Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thoughts about yesterday

When some people (like Phil Hellmuth) lose a tournament it's a donkey's "fault".  They think they lost because their opponent made a loose call or didn't play correctly.  This kind of thinking is ridiculous.

I never think that way.  When I lose a tournament (like yesterday) I review all my moves post mortem (that's medical talk for my new reader, Dr. Chako!) to see how I could improve my play. 

I mentioned the two critical hands that were my demise yesterday and I've been reviewing my thinking on them.  First one was having Q-8 spades in the big blind, and no raise preflop.  I flopped a flush, with big and got called by Ms. Ace. I don't think I did anything wrong there!  Turn was the king of spades.  I KNEW that was bad for me. 4 spades on the board means one card can beat me, that Ace.

I make another bet to see where I am and Ms. Ace raises me.  What does that tell me?  She has the goddam ace!  Yet I call (first bad move).  It's hard to lay down 2nd best flush but I should've. (that's pride fucking with me).  River is a non card and since I'm a scaredy cat I check and she bets 2,000.  Now I KNOW I'm beat, but I think about it and talk myself into with the following reasoning:
  • maybe it isn't the ace of spades that she has. 
  • maybe she's trying to buy the pot because I checked. 
  • there's alot of money in the pot....2,000 chips to pick up maybe 7,000
All stupid reasons.  If she didn't have the ace she wouldn't be re-raising me.  Trust me, she's a barely adequate player and all the players there don't tangle with me (especially when I'm betting out) unless they've got the nuts.  The guy to my left announced about 10 times, I'm not calling any pot that Josie is in....Yes, I've left an impression there.

Also, that last reason - the money in the pot...pot odds.  I don't like calling because of pot odds.  It's good to know where you are, but my theory is there could be a gazillion chips in the pot, but chips in the pot doesn't turn your hand into a winning hand.  It doesn't matter how much is in the pot if you've got a losing hand you need to lay it down.  I didn't follow my usual advice.

One final thought.  If you've been reading along you know that I'm a studier of tells, and use them in my live play all the time.  Tells are a critical part of my success (yeah sometimes I have success).  The tells I use have to do with glancing, breathing patterns, blinking patterns, talking loudly, softly, making speeches, etc. 

One of the easiest tells to use aren't any of those things, and it's usually quite effective.  When your opponent makes a bet and is waiting for you to call or fold, take a look at him, a good look, and ask yourself this:  Does he look like a winner or a loser?  That's it!  It's really very effective!  Someone who doesn't want a call starts to look miserable while he's waiting, a winner starts to look cocky like "come on, call me" and of course some people stare off into space and try to show nothing.  They won't talk, glance or any of that stuff....but ask yourself that question again "Does he look like a winner or a loser", and you'll find that answer within just have to listen.

So let's go back to that gorgeous picture of Mary:

Does she look like a winner?

The answer is No.  Does she look like a chain smoker?  I say I can see the effects of smoking on her face, but that's not what this post's about. 

I snapped this picture while she was in a hand that she later folded.  Not that she looks like Princess Di when she's winning but she has a glow in her eyes when she has a good hand that's very absent here.

What I like to do when I'm NOT in a hand, but observing players going at it, is ask myself "Does he look like a winner?" and I make my guess and get to see if I'm right.  Practice, practice, practice!

Editor's Note:  I talked to Cancer Al today.  He and Mary chopped first and second.  Then they went to some casino where there is only slot machines and they lost EVERY penny in the slot machines.  $500!  Every penny of both of their cashes.  That just REALLY pisses me off....I no likey slot machines.
Play smart.



dbcooper said...

Did you play doctor a lot when you were younger??? Ha Ha

You are so right about pot odds. When you pretty sure you are beat but throw in more chips because of pot size then you are just throwing away more chips. You just have to go on your reads. I think we are all guilty of hoping that the Ace isn't there but really we know it is.

Memphis MOJO said...

Good post. That's why I prefer live poker to online.

You didn't mention this (although I'm sure you're aware), but part of the whole process is to make sure that you aren't giving off any tells!

Josie said...

@Coop LOL I knew I was making a mistake as I was calling but hopefully I've learned from it.

Thanks Mojo. You're right about giving off tells...something I don't think about as much as I should. Really though that wasn't an issue here.

teddylumpskins said...

Many players KNOW they're beat, they just don't want to beleive it. Me thinks that's what happened to you.

It's not uncommon, just make sure it happens to the other gut next time!

Josie said...

@teddy - You're right. That's EXACTLY what happened! I knew it, yet I didn't want to believe it. Next time I hope to listen to my gut.

Josie said...

Ohhh Teddy Bear!!! Welcome to my blog and thank you for leaving a comment. Much appreciated!

Josie said...

Editor's Note: I talked to Cancer Al today. He and Mary chopped first and second. Then they went to some casino where there is only slot machines and they lost EVERY penny in the slot machines. $500! Every penny of both of their cashes. That just REALLY pisses me off....I no likey slot machines.