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Archive for April, 2010

Anatomy of a tilt

As I have a tendency to tilt too much, I thought I would sit down an analyze what is going on. I believe as a poker player, understanding and mastering tilt is a major skill, as this has a large effect on your bankroll.

One typical scenario goes as follows:

I am losing slowly. I am sitting at pokerstars playing four tables of NL100. It seems not much is going on. I am not getting good cards pre or post flop. So my stacks all decrease slowly like under the influence of a fast paced erosion. This obviously does not put me in a great mood already.

In addition it seems that I miss all my draws. This adds to the fire of my rising anger. If this was not enough, I try a few continuation bet bluffs and I face a monster once, losing a good chunk of my stack. I get raised a lot pre and post flop, and this annoys me and makes it even worse. Because it feels like the other players at the table are able to play me like a puppet.

So I fold most of the times to these raises, but when I decide to take a stand and to defend my hand, I am against a big hand. Then I pre flop raise AK, miss the flop but got donk bet. This is aggravating as this is the case of a donk calling station making a donk bet, and if I had not missed this would have been the opportunity to take a big pot, but instead this makes me feel even lower.

Finally I cannot take the aggression anymore. A few hands later I reraised at the flop when I have two pairs but got 3-bet. This normally signals a very strong hand in this type of game and the prudent route is to fold as I have no strong draw to back me up. But given how pissed off I am already, I call and end up losing my entire stack to a set.

I could feel it when I got 3-bet, but it was stronger than me, I could not resist calling, as if to say “Ok, you want my stack so much, just take it”, in great desperation.

And that is it I have reached the climax of my tilt and I cannot take it anymore. I am not reloading as I know I have totally lost it and cannot play poker anymore. Only one option for me at this stage: leave the tables and go hit my head on the wall…

So after this self-analysis, the point is: tilting is when I am losing and I lose even more; I cannot stand losing and I lose my self-control in this situations.

Remedy: I need to read about self-control (blogs and books) and be systematic about learning to control myself. Self-awareness first, self-control next. The great players control their tilt, so this must be my goal as well.

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Sunday, April 18th, 2010 online gambling Comments Off on Anatomy of a tilt

Catching a bluff

This hand was played at the $100NL table at Full Tilt Poker…

I had just sat down so I had no read on the anyone at the table. It was folded to me in MP. I raised to $4 with a pair of tens. Everyone folded except for the big blind who called.

The pot was $8 and the flop came Q77 with two clubs. The BB checked to me and since I was the pre flop raiser, I fired out a pot sized bet of $8 hoping to fold him off, but unfortunately he called.

The pot was now $24. The turn card was the ten of clubs. This was the perfect card for me. He checked to me and I checked it right back. I could have bet here but I wanted him to think the flush card scared me.

If I bet now and he has something like AQ, he will fold because he is afraid of the flush. If I check, I can induce him to either bet his queen, bet if he has a flush (which I beat of course), or he may make a big bluff thinking I have AK and that is why I checked the turn.

The pot is still $24. The river is the queen of diamonds. Now that is a really bad card. If he has a queen he now has me beat. He goes all in for his last $21. I used all of my allotted time but finally decided to call for a couple reasons.

1/ I set him up to bluff me and he may well be bluffing

2/ He may be betting his flush (even though thats a bad idea on a double paired board)
3/ He’s playing a short stack. A lot of times a short stack is a sign of a bad player. This is not a huge factor is most hands, but I sometimes use it to sway me when I am teetering over a decision

So I called him and he had KTo and I took down a nice pot.

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Monday, April 5th, 2010 hand histories Comments Off on Catching a bluff