Thursday, April 23, 2009

When to walk away and when to stay

Tuesday even I bled money at the tables and was crushed in the tournaments and sit-n-gos. I was really frustrated and discouraged and was looking forward to a fresh start on Wednesday.
Wednesday started off the same way. I lost half my cash game buy in what seemed like two hands but was really a couple of rounds. So I signed up for a couple of sit-n-gos. In less than two minutes time, my flopped two pair was drawn out on to elimate me.
I turned off the computer and walked away. Briefly I understood the reason why people believe internet poker is rigged. Tuesday's bad beats made the feeling exponentially worse. I turned on the TV. I tried not to think about it. But, I couldn't.
I hate to lose. Bad results bother me. Then it dawned on me, bad play should bother me. Bad results shouldn't be a problem that lingers. I thought back to Tuesday's blood bath. Cash game. Cut off tried to steal my big blind. I flopped good and re-raised him. Flop missed him. I put him in. He called. I was right he had a bare ace and a gutshot. I was right, the river was wrong. Ace for the joker.
Bad result is not the same as bad play. Now tilting off another buy-in after that was wrong. Aggressive for aggressive's sake won't usually get the job done. I thought about the plays that busted me out of the sit-n-gos. Kings ran up against Aces.
Bad luck, not a bad play.
AK all-in vs A9. 9 hits the flop.
Bad luck. Bad result.
When the breaks go against you, it is hard to believe that the breaks will even out or that good play will eventually make up the difference. But I remembered some pretty good advice I read, don't quit playing because you have lost or are down, quit playing because your play is off. Looking at my play, the last half of the cash game was poorly done but the tournaments were played well. I was doing a good job of deciding where I was in the hands. Playing more wouldn't be an invitation to diaster, it is what I should be doing while playing well.
Good things happened. I final tabled a sniper tournament to end the night due to a mixture of good cards, good luck and good decision making.
I really think that this is kind of a milestone in my development by consciously shifting my focus to analyze my play from a decision making perspective rather than simply looking at the results.
I hope I remember and that maybe others will get it quicker than I did.

Good luck at the tables.

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