Looks like I’m going to have to take a break from playing poker here for mental health reasons. I cannot take this much longer.
Go ahead and complain all you want about how long this post is, or better yet just skip to the next thread. I don’t care.
So I start my morning like this:
I sit down at a 7.5k buy-in MTT this morning, and this is the very first hand that I’m greeted with.
I limp 35o, flop a pair of 5s with a 7 over me. A player holding 52 hits two pair on the flop, bets, I fold. They’re raised by the other player in the hand, and respond by shoving. The other player calls, holding nothing at the moment. The turn and river are Jacks, they’re holding… guess what, a Jack. Trip jacks, they double up in their first hand, insane suckout against a weak 2 pair. In a lot of cases, I’ve seen hands like this where someone hits rag 2 pair, which is good for the moment, but when they shove, they get called by someone who hits a higher pair, and then the board pairs, giving the higher pair two pair also, and then the rag 2 pair hand loses. But you don’t see someone hit runner runner trips to improve from High Card to winner very often.
Next hand, I limp K6o, board misses me, but I check it to the river. I needed a 4 to hit a straight, don’t get it. A3 wins the hand with high card Ace. It’s a paltry non-hand with no action, non big deal.
Next hand, I get KK, raise modestly, get a call, end up flopping a set of Kings. No one calls my bet, I take a small pot.
Next hand, the player who won the first hand to double up knocks out another player who shoves like an idiot with nothing into trip 2s. I guess they felt they’d hit a whee; with their A4, and could just shove into a paired board.
Now, through no special skill, just idiot plays that gifted chips to them, Dgourlie has a huge stack.
Next, AJ, flop Aces. Bet, call, bet, call, bet call. Opponent has 99, hits a river 9, takes most of my chips.
I get junk for a few hands, 72s, fold it. K4o, fold it. 42o, fold. 85o, fold. 73o, fold.
A2o. I decide I’m done and give up, shove it, and and up making the nut flush with backdoor diamonds and triple up.
Next hand, ATs, I miss the flop, pair of 7s and none of my suite, so I get out of the hand after the flop.
Next hand, 55. I limp hoping to get a set. I do, and make a good pot, taking 1800 chips.
T5o, fold. KK takes a chunk out of Dgourlie holding 77.
A4s, raise to 3BB to 120, 3 callers. Miss the flop, let it go. Turn is an Ace, a player shoves, takes the hand. Probably had AK.
JT, I’m in initially, but someone raises and I don’t feel my stack is big enough to speculate on JT, so I muck. The flop is 8Q9 for a straight for me if I’d stayed in. The big raiser is AK who misses the board completely but wins the hand with A-high. I could have doubled up here.
K8o, limp. A player raises to almost 800 chips, or half my stack, I lay down. A player shoves, and they go to the flop 3-up. 99 was the big raiser, Dgourlie called an 800-chip raise with 23o, AQ was the shover. Dgourlie takes it with a pair of 3s on the board giving him trip 3s, and triples up to 11430 chips, knocking out the player who had 99. Now how in the heck does anyone call an 800 chip raise with 23o, let alone go all-in preflop with it, and then come out on top?
T7o, fold. The survivor of the previous hand, Spaquito22, shoves and claims the blinds.
Q6s, in the BB, I limp. Catch a flush draw with the K8, and facing a half-pot bet of just 90 chips of course I call. Call another half-pot bet for 180 chips on the Turn. Miss the flush, lay down on the river to a pot-sized bet. Lost about 330 chips, but it was an opportunity. https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/499057558
JTs, I limp. Flop 6A6, I muck the turn to no pressure, timing out, and let the only other player in the hand take it. Their big stack made it very likely that they would have called anything, and I’m sure they would have had a Q to edge me out, or bottom pair. Wasn’t intending to timeout here, but it was probably the best possible play on this hand that I could have made.
32s, on the button, muck. Spaquito22 bets 1700 and steals the blinds.
JTo, I limp. Next player raises 2BB, 2 players call. Flop is 6KJ. I shove on my 2nd pair, am called by AQo, who misses broadway by a Ten, and I end up with KKJJ over KKA to double up. Now I’m up to 2700 chips, finally back to over my starting stack.
39o, muck. Dgourlie and sas1957 are in the hand, limping in. Flop is QKA. sas1957 goes gray, but Dgourlie mucks anyway, to no pressure, and 120 chips go to an absent player.
38o in the BB, muck to a min raise and from UTG and a re-raise from Dgourlie to 180. Dgourlie c-bets pot and takes the hand on the flop for 450.
53o, fold the SB. 85o, fold the button. It goes to the river, AcJc vs 4c2c, on a board with no clubs until the turn and river, no flush for anyone, Dgourlie misses a baby straight 2-5 as well, and sas1957 takes the hand with a pair of Tens on the board, A kicker. There’s no action at all here, they just check to the river. I would have had a pair of 5s to add to the Tens, which would have been good enough to win here, not that I would ever make that play – neither entering the hand, nor betting the 5 on the Turn. But if I’m AJ here and there’s no action on the flop and the turn gets checked to me, I’d probably lay in a 1/2 pot bet and get called by 5’s. It gets done to me all the time when I’m playing AJs into a board like this, where previously to about a month ago no interest on a pot meant that you could steal it, and low pairs wouldn’t call.
J2o, fold. Button makes a pot-sized bet on a dry-ish board, 4c8c5s, and takes the hand. 67 could have had a straight here, but more likely the button was betting their position, seeing no interest in the flop, and was able to steal it. I see this play a lot, and I’ve made it a lot, but lately any time I make it I get burned by a caller holding bottom pair, or high card Ace.
T6o, fold. mitsidevil and Dgourlie go at it, Dgourlie min-raising preflop from the BB, and getting the call from the SB. Flop is A34 with two hearts, a jack of hearts on the turn and mitsidevil overbets the pot, Dgourlie mucks. It’s reasonable to think that mitsidevil had 25 (because you always call a raise with 25 if you’re the SB, you have to give that BB some action or they’ll just walk all over you, right?) and was slow playing, then saw three hearts on the board and decided they had to end the hand with a giant bet. Or that they had two weak hearts, and didn’t want a possible fourth heart to come and give a single high heart the hand. Or that they had an Ace or a set of 3s or 4s, or maybe a pair of Jacks.
ATo, I limp, Spaquito senses blood and raises half his stack, I get out of it, but mitsidevil and Dgourlie call. Spaquito shoves the flop, mitsidevil mucks, Dgourlie calls. Spaquito wins the hand with KK, while Dgourlie’s A4o misses a wheel straight by a deuce: (Qd3d6s)5h3h. Big chunk taken out of Dgourlie for a stupid call with a weak Ace. Serves them right, they drop from 11000-some chips down to 8500. But they still have 3x my chips, so I guess I’m just jealous.
J2o in the BB, Dgourlie min-raises and I fold, they take the blinds.
J7s, in the SB, the entire table limps, I limp due to the pot odds favoring it. Flop is 852 rainbow, with 1 heart, I check, BB bets the pot, mitsidevil calls, button calls. BB shoves, mitsidevil calls, button clears out. BB takes it, having hit top pair, 8s, with an Ace kicker, and gotten called by a pair of 8s, King kicker. Betting a pair of 8s like this is crazy, but might well work given that the pot is not big and there’s not a lot of incentive to call with something marginal like top pair, 8s with a King kicker. But call they do, because Replay fish are apt to call with any pair. Tattoo this on your knuckles so you never forget it. The BB, fradede, ends up turning the Wheel by the river, hitting runner-runner 34, so got good value on their 88A, and becomes the new Big Stack at the table. mitisdevil is knocked down to 1000 chips.
A2s. I limp. I flop A3K. Two players in the hand, I figure I might as well bet. I consider shoving, because it seems to work for idiots, why not me, but instead I just bet the pot, and get called. Now, of course here I should be thinking I don’t have a strong enough Ace to take this hand, but I don’t think that, no. What I think is, who cares if I lose this hand. So I’ve already put in too many chips on it, and if I do get beat, I’ll be down to a few hundred, and who wants to play back from a couple hundred chips, so I just shove the rest in, and get a call. Spaquito22, the villain in this hand, is holding KJ so only has a pair of Kings, and they don’t improve so I end up taking the hand from them, doubling up to 4700 chips. In poker, if you’re going to make mistakes, make BIG ones.
Now, I’m feeling like a new man. My stack is decent, I’m no longer on the bottom at the table, and I’ve been steadily building. My play hasn’t been great, in fact it’s been pretty awful, but here I am with some chips, and I’m feeling good now. I decide to tighten up and try to keep these chips, and maybe win some more.
Q3o, I fold, mitsidevil goes up against Dgourlie again, J9s vs 42o, and Dgourlie takes the hand with 42o for 310 chips on a pair of 4s, bottom pair on the board.
A6o, I decide is not good enough to play anymore now that I have a reasonable stack to protect, and I muck it. Dgourlie raises to 600, fradede calls and mitsidevil shoves 800, the other two calling. Fradede calls all the way to the river, then mucks when a river 7 pairs the board, and Dgourlie wins the hand with QJs, giving them a higher kicker on the board’s pair of 7s, over mitsidevil’s T9o. mitsidevil is eliminated. Successful bluff, Dgourlie, who min-bet the river with air to bluff down their opponent, take a 3000 chip pot, and knock out a player. Way to play that garbage.
Q4o, in the BB. I am able to limp, and luck gives me trip 4s on the flop, 448. I min-bet, hoping to build the pot without scaring anyone off it, and get two calls and one fold. The turn is a 6, so now anyone holding 57 has a straight. I decide to bet a little harder, but again get two calls. River is a 5, and now anyone holding just a 7 has me beat. fradede launches a pot-sized bet, which Dgourlie shoves back at. I decide I’m beat and give up the trip 4s with a high kicker. Dgourlie flips up 48, they won the hand flopping a full house, and takes almost 9400 chips, knocking fradede down to under 4000.
54o in the SB, I muck. Flop is J2J, sas1957 shoves at it and getting no calls, takes the hand.
A9s. Dgourlie folds, everyone else limps in, Spaquito22, the BB, shoves. I read this as a blind steal, and so does sas1957, who calls. I call too. Spaquito has 22, sas1957 has 46h. They hit a pair of 6s on the flop, I miss the board, and am left with 10 chips. Now, for sure, no sane poker player would make this call that I did here. A9s is not strong enough to call a shove. But 46s wins the hand.
The next hand I’m forced all in, and lose the hand, and am eliminated.
So, having gotten this far, here’s where I’m at:
I can raise with high cards to fold out the weak cards. But then I miss the flop 2/3 of the time, by the probabilities, which means that if I want opening to be profitable, I need to win when I hit, and I need to bluff profitably sometimes.
I can’t bluff anymore, because players are calling pot-sized bets with bottom pair, raising with air, and I have to read that as though they have a strong hand, so can’t barrel again on the turn and river, or I just give away even more chips. So I slow down, they sense the weakness, they shove or bet pot back at me on the Turn, and I fold.
I can watch players making ridiculous, stupid calls and hit improbable outs, again and again, and not only survive, but build a monster stack that they dominate the table with. Their loose play ultimately screws them and they flame out most of the time, but while they have the dominant stack, they can successfully bet me off of pots where I have a legitimate hand. And more importantly, my raises with big cards aren’t getting them to fold their weak cards, which means when I miss the board with a dry flop, they hit, and then they kill me.
I can raise 6-8BB with a hand like AQs, flop 2 8 6, bet the pot, get called by a pair of 6s, and whiff on the turn and river. I can bet KK into 55, and they will go all-in and suck out with trip 5s.
I can occasionally hit a monster, straight or flush, and temporarily have a big stack, and I’ll exit winning chips about 50% of the time, the other half of the time I’ll make some stupid call because I am seeing idiot players making ridiculous shoves with nothing, and I feel like maybe top pair should be good for something, and this will be the one time they actually have a great hand.
And those times when I’m getting QQ+, I’m opening too big, maybe I get a call, but more often just getting the blinds, and when I do see a flop, either they fold to min bet, or they hit 2 pair or better and destroy me with what’s supposed to be an 80%+ hand.
I am not playing good HU poker right now, taking 2nd place more than I’m taking 1st, even though a good half of those times I’m coming into HU with a huge stack advantage.
This all adds up to I no longer see a clear way to win, and I’m second guessing myself against players who play like idiots too much. At a table with a good, solid player, they’ll take me, and if they don’t, then the idiot player will take me on an idiot hand that hits for them.
Suddenly it’s as though my whole game is unraveled, I have on confidence anymore, psychotic play is prevailing, leading me to make unforced errors and make my game even worse.
So, basically, I need a vacation from poker, or I need to quit entirely.