Back to Basics

It’s been a rough month poker-wise. Since August 28th I have 23 numbers recorded for my poker play. Each number represents play at one site for that day. Of those 23, only 7 were positive with none over $150. All the rest were negative with several over $200 in the hole. Those are some rough days. I had been trying to beat the 6-max games at several different sites. I wasn’t faring too well if you couldn’t tell. For that month period it was nearly $1,400 in the hole for poker play. Good thing for deposit bonuses which totaled nearly $800 for that same period of play. So in reality I was down $600 for the past month. Not too bad when you look at it from a different angle.

Two weeks ago I bought the new iPod nano and one of the first things I did was start downloading some old episodes (back to around 38 or so) of the Card Club on Lord Admiral Radio podcast. Tomorrow I should finally catch up with Sunday’s podcast (episode 45). I’ve been playing the shows on my ride to and from work each day, which works out great. Listening to Sean, Brent, and everyone else involved in the shows has renewed my poker focus.

I’ve been focusing way too much on my cards, completely disregarding the community cards, the tells, and the situations. Most of the time I’ve been thinking, “I can’t have 2nd best again, can I?” Then I call and lose. It’s been happening non-stop for a month. Today it ended.

I logged into Bodog and found 2 tables of $2/4 limit hold’em. I’m a much better limit player than I am no-limit, so this was an easy choice if I wanted to turn the tide. Both tables were pretty aggressive and somewhat loose, so I knew I’d have to play a little tighter than normal. This didn’t seem to be a problem considering the cards I was being dealt. If I had a penny for each time I was dealt K2 off-suit, I might have a 50 cents. Just about every time I had a moderate hand in late position, looking to limp, someone would raise in front of me and I’d fold. The flop would not have hit me once during these hands. The aggressive nature of the tables was saving me a lot of money.

I was up a little, then down a little, but never up or down much at all. I was playing straight forward poker and being patient. I had to. I sure wasn’t getting anything to play. As my time at the table neared an hour and a half I found AA. Five players put in three bets and we saw the flop. It was jack-high with 2 spades. There were a few bets and raises, but nobody folded. The turn was another spade. Everyone checked. The river was another jack. I was more than happy to check fearing I was beat by someone slow playing. The player to my left bet out, two folded, an early caller, and with over $90 in the pot I was getting more than enough odds to make the $4 call. Neither player had a jack or the flush and I took down the 20+ BB pot.

Shortly after I found AA on my other table and 4 players went in with capped preflop betting. Again it came jack-high with a flush draw. Betting was capped on the flop with two players besides myself. On the turn I raised, but wasn’t re-raised this time. Both players were still in. the river was a blank and I took down an $80 pot against QQ and I’m not sure what else. I was nearing 2 hours of play so I saw my last free hand before the blinds and logged off with a $125 profit for the night.

It sure felt good to post a winning session with solid play. I’ve realized over the past month that I’ve been calling and bluffing way too often. I saw more than my share of 3-5 out draws hit, but I wasn’t playing good poker, so my losses were inflated. Back to basics and the money comes a lot easier.

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