Wednesday may have been a breakeven poker day but yesterday I managed to lose 9 buy-ins at $50NL tables. Yes, that’s right, a $450 EV adjusted loss. Am I a great poker player or what? Obviously I experienced some tilt issues during the two sessions that I completed at the online poker tables of Pokerstars. My steal percentage increased by 10%, folding to continuation bets frequency dropped by 15% (!!) and defending blinds or calling 3bets stats were significantly higher. The orange EV line was going straight downwards and I quit playing before I completed 3 hours of play. As a friendly advice, don’t continue playing when you don’t enjoy playing poker. Aggressiveness also led to some interesting bluff-raising actions.
I am not considering myself as a poker player that is seriously affected by tilt. I rarely let emotions overcome my strategy, no matter the game being poker, sports betting or trading. However Thursday has been one of those days when I feel everything is going wrong. With such bad psychology, it was inevitable that I wasn’t going to play optimally. I played more Hold’em Texas poker than… Fold’em Texas poker. I was going to showdown 30% of the time with noticeably bad cards. There was really no hope for me to cut back my losses, as the more I tried, the more I wanted to win pots, not willing to give up any hand. And that is a very bad poker strategy.
Still, there are two poker hands that I’d like to discuss. The first hand was QTs which I opened from UTG 5-handed. A 31/22/5.7 player calls from the Big Blind and the 345 rainbow flop goes check-check. Villain checks the 8s which also gives me a flush draw and still holding two overcards. Of course you almost must bet the turn card when it’s checked for a second time. Villain calls and they actually bet half pot on Kd river! Having no showdown value I regarded that bet as a blocking bet with a holding like A3/A4/A5/56/57/46 which wants to go to showdown cheaply. Villain defended a lot from the blinds and they were pretty aggressive, so I decided a bluff-raise would show a profit in the long run under these circumstances. Additionally the King was a great card to bluff and villain was firing river cards very often (45%) as well! Villain folded and I took down the $10 pot with complete air.
During the second hand, I reraise preflop from the Big Blind with Queens against 2 villains at early position. UTG folds but the fish (83/17) at MP quickly calls, no surprise there. Fish was also short-stacked with just $10 left when the flop came King-high and the pot was already $15.75. Betting that flop would surely lead them to fold their 75s, so instead of being aggressive, I let him try to bluff me. Of course, I wasn’t going to go anywhere against his bluff, as more often than not they won’t show a King there. Another example of bluff-catching at poker.
I’m going travelling to Greek islands tomorrow and I don’t expect playing online poker that much over the next week. I will still try posting a couple of updates though, in case I do play from my laptop or hear of interesting investing news.