Mondays, am I right? Out of an MTT in 5 terribly played hands

Here I am at The Mad Express tournament, flushing away my 15K entry chips like I’m allergic to clay.

Late registered 3 minutes in…

First hand:

KK. I raise it up, get one caller. Flop 56J. I bet, called. Bet the turn, called again, River another Jack. I check, He goes all in. I have to assume he’s got a Jack, so give it up, losing 2000 chips to start with pocket Kings.

Next hand, anger shove QT to steal the blinds, win 90 chips.

Next hand, 72o in BB. Flop 989, UTG min bets, 2 callers, I fold.

Next hand, KQo from SB, raise it up, 3 callers. Flop a pair of Queens, bet half the pot, the Cutoff calls. Turn is a 7, I bet half the pot again and take it, bringing in 2500 chips. Now back up to 500 below the starting chips.

Next hand, A5o on the button, I limp, 6 in the hand. Flop 467 rainbow for a OESD. Bet 200 chips, 1 folds. Turn, a King. CO bets the pot, I stupidly call, everyone else gets out of the hand. River a 2, I don’t hit my straight and have to fold when the CO shoves, CO takes in 5220 chips.

Next hand, K7s in the CO, again angry that I stupidly called the pot-sized bet with no hand made and just hoping for a 3 or a 8 or maybe an Ace to help me out, and have to give up so much of my stack. But maybe it’s worth it to take huge gambles on early hands and hope you double up so you can coast the rest of the way through to the final table. Nope, I think about that, but I’m still angry. I raise 2BB, 4 call, which is fine, I don’t need to isolate to play K7s, I just need to hit spades… Flop Jc9s2s, one lousy spade, so I figure just try to bluff this pot, I shove, Someone with a JQ calls, nothing hits me and I’m done. People calling with just a pair crack me up. They’re never wrong, unless they’re me.

I’m really angry about the first hand. Starting out with KK, I should have just shoves on the flop and let Mr. Top Pair Jacks or Top Set Jacks take me out in one hand rather than waste 2 and a half minutes putting up with the early rounds of play.

I think a new strategy for MTT play will to check the Away (Post & Fold) box for the first 10 minutes and come back and start playing from that point. Or just late-reg.

I’m going to go tilt-play and lose 300K chips in the Astral 9-seat SNG if anyone wants some easy chips.

Maybe the opponent in the first hand held a pair of jacks, and hit 4 jacks on the river.


Maybe any time I play a pocket pair and don’t hit a set, I should just assume that anyone else in the hand has already made a set on the flop, and show weakness, and give it up while it’s still cheap.

Here’s another hand with KK, flopping into AQ, beat by AA. I see the flop, I know my opponent likely has an Ace, I’m like, hah yeah I’ll just shove everything right up in there real good and let him have it. And then he improves to 2 pair, leaving me far behind with my unimproved pocket Kowboys.

Hurry up and get all my chips. I’ll give away everything I have with AA too.

AA beat by Broadway straight.

I might as well just never play another Monday. Cards are cursed.

Do you notice a pattern here? Emotion is your mortal enemy at the table. Gotta work on that.


Right. Just set me off with one promising hand that turns bad, and I might as well write off the entire night. Literally my first hand, too.

Out 8th place in first hand of latest 9-seater:

This one was dumb and completely my fault.

Opening hand at the table. UTG+1 raised 3BB, next two call. I have KJo, I raise to 10BB. Already dumb. CO, Button fold, SB calls, UTG+1 calls, UTG+2 calls.

Flop 7T8 rainbow. I misread the flop, think I have OESD. SB pounces, shoving all-in. UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 calls, I call.

SB holds QQ, UTG+2 has 56o, we both miss our straights, QQ takes the hand.

Making very good on my promise to lose 300K chips.

Why would anyone ever raise with KJ? At least I “isolated” the hand to just 4 callers. That’s good strategery, right?

This is a huge leak that you need to plug. Far bigger and more important to work on than any technical aspects of your game. Do you notice that you’re angry while it’s happening or is it only afterwards? What specifically is it that triggers you to become angry?

You are right.

It’s a trigger for me when I get dealt premium cards, play them “correctly” and still get beaten for a big loss.

I’d rather limp Kings and lose a small pot than Bet 6BB, get a caller holding junk and lose to them.

It’s always in the MTTs that there’s some yahoo who’ll shove any old garbage, 34, 86, J2, and wind up with 2 pair or a rag set to knock out my never-improving pocket rockets and cowboys.

It’s also more often than not that I get AA AK KK in the UTG seat, and if I don’t raise, I end up with a 9-handed pot, if I raise even 1BB, I end up with a tiny pot and maybe 2 callers, but if I raise 6-10BB, I get 4-6 calls.

It’s not so much the bad beat, it’s the bad play that precipitates it. Coupled with the fact that any time I ever play like that, I get soundly trashed the way cards are supposed to be. I really should just ignore the first 10-15 minutes of any MTT I sit in, and fold to any aggression, unless I’m sitting on a monster, and not even try to play pairs until the play settles down.

I ended up losing a lot of chips tonight, but then came back in my last two 9-seat SNG tables with a 1st and 2nd place finish to offset much of the loss, so I’m only down 112K as of right now. I did manage to knock two players out on a hand where I hit a set of Queens, improved to a full house, and crushed Aces and some other hand.

I think I’m OK. For now.

It’s just weird; I’ve been noticing a pattern over the past several weeks where I’ll get really great cards on Sunday and win a lot, and on Monday I’ll get about as good cards but lose lose lose on crazy improbable beats. I may skip playing next Monday and see if I can avoid it. But that feels like superstition.

It’s great that you know what is triggering you. This is step 1 in dealing with the tilt. It sounds like you get what Jared Tendler calls “Injustice Tilt” and maybe some “Entitlement Tilt”.

The next part is having a strategy to recognize and deal with it appropriately in-game. Personally my steps go something like this:

  1. When you notice you’re tilting, take a deep breath.
  2. Remind yourself that other players are going to get lucky sometimes and that’s part of poker.
  3. Remind yourself to keep playing good poker and you’ll win in the long run.
  4. If you still want to make “angry moves” then sit out for an orbit until you calm down.

Your steps might be a bit different but this is what works for me. I would definitely encourage you to come up with a plan to deal with this better.


Just went out 4th in my last 9-seat SNG tonight. Played very well in this one, after getting knocked down to 7th/7 remaining players, came back to take the chip lead with some aggressive play, culminating in doubling up through the big stack and then ran into disaster. Had JJ beat by AQ – this didn’t make me angry, it was legitimate to call my 4BB raise with AQ, and the board paired the Q. But then a few hands later, from the BB I tried shoving A2s hoping to steal, got called by the same player, holding T6o, and they end up hitting the board with their garbage, and I miss, they knocked me out. I’m not really upset about this, either – it was a calculated call when his stack was suddenly bloated up about 3x mine, he could survive the beat, but it’s still ridiculous to call an all-in bet of over 2000 chips when the BB is 300 and you’re on the bubble, holding T6o. I’m fine playing A2s vs T6o for +EV every time, and this just wasn’t a good time.

Doing better today.

I won my first two SNG tournaments, a 3-hand, won in 6 hands and about 2 minutes for a quick pick-me-up, and then a protracted 9-seat SNG in the Astral Ursa Minor circuit. I played well here, got beat on a few hands but nothing bothered me. I played somewhat cautiously, but was hitting flops and taking pots when I needed to, and didn’t feel like I was getting desperate to win a hand, although there was a point where I was in 7th place out of 7. The remarkable thing about this tournament was there was a high number of flushes made in the game, 8 or so altogether I think. Including two on the very first hand. I’ll have to go back and analyze my play to see what I did there, but I think the key hand was about at the midway point, when I happened to make a full house and take a huge pot, which put me into the chip lead and made me feel very comfortable.

First hand here if anyone would like to replay it:

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