My weekend at the tables started out rather poorly. As I lamented on Friday, I got knocked around pretty good. Saturday morning was much better. I tried on 2/4 table on Full Tilt to try and get something back. I have run 2/4 over at Noble and have done well. I figured the same would happen at FTP.
Not quite. I didn't play too well, and had my share of bad beats. I found myself calling too far with just over cards, playing second pair and paying off top pair. I realized I was playing bad poker. When my J J was beat by K 7 suited when a K spiked the river, I walked away. I was stuck on the weekend for $160. My profit at FTP was gone and then some.
I sat there and steamed a bit. I had to make a decision. My answer wasn't necessarily the correct one. I loaded up Noble Poker and played 2/4 there. After bouncing around for a bit, I finished up 6 BB in 30 minutes. Just felt the need to notch a win and get out while I could.
I later played the Lucky Dollar and was out in 800 something. I was never a factor there. It was a waste of time to sit around playing a game I was mentally into.
Being late on Saturday afternoon, I got in touch with some friends about going out that night. Though it was raining buckets, there was a festival to hit up when the skies cleared. But that wasn't for a couple of hours. Here is the smartest thing I did all weekend.
I picked up a book. Winning Small Stakes Hold Em. Right off the top I liked what they were saying mainly because they hit on some principles I already was thinking. One thing they hammered home was that the majority of the people you will play against in the small stakes arena are going to be bad players. I have already mentioned how I have given players to much credit. This book said to not give them any. In fact, take advantage of them. Yeah, that is such a simple thought but it needs to done. It also mentioned another very simple fact. You will fold a lot of hands. Only play the best. A very simple concept that few follow.
I hadn't gotten to any actual play and I was feeling more confident about my game already. The next morning, I woke up, ran some errands before hopping to play. As I played (or should I say folded), I kept reading the book. I was now on pre-flop hand selection. Like most books, they layed out the best starting hands. But they backed it up with why. They also pointed out where to raise and when to lay back. I have seen this in other books but not in such detail. I sat there reading, looking up to raise or fold, and just blasting away when I had a good hand.
I kept my sessions somewhat short. Only about an hour or so. But I was playing 2 tables at once (I have noticed my results dip when I try to do 3). After watching a movie and agreeing to meet some friends for dinner, I played one more quick session.
After a sweaty meal at Hooters- never go somewhere to eat hot spicy food when the air conditioning isn't working well and it is near 100 degrees- I came home to play some more before vegging out to the Simpsons. I usually do well with beer and wings in my belly. I played for roughly an hour before the toons were on.
I thought I was done for the night. After trying to sleep, I found myself wide awake at 1:30 in the morning. Instead of laying around in a warm room, I decided to go play some more. That might make me sleepy. After about 45 minutes, I turned off the pc and went back to bed.
The end result was making half of my money back. I am basically just above where I started. Each of my sessions on Sunday resulted in winning sessions. Best yet, I felt pretty good about how I played. Forgetting some bad beats, I played pretty solid. At spots where I got sloppy, I quickly learned why I shouldn't be making that play and stopped it. I folded hands I knew my opponents would play. Extremely few of those would have taken down a pot. The hands I did play, I played aggressively. If I knew I was beat, I got out. I mucked a flopped straight, feeling pretty strongly that the raiser had the big end of it. Having the dummy end can lose quite a bit of money for you. Plus it didn't hurt that the turn made higher straights possible as well.
So what the hell does all of this mean? It is all about goals and getting back to basics. One goal I was going to focus on was to improve my tournament or ring game play. I think that by improving my ring game, it will make me a better player overall, thus making my tournament game stronger. I can be very patient in tourneys. I just need to learn to be as patient in a ring game.
I would suggest if you are running bad, go back to your bookcase and pull down a book and read. Poker can be like major sports. When baseball teams are playing bad, what do they do? The practise the basics- fielding, hitting, throwing, bunting. Same thing with basketball players. They practise their jumpers, free throws, etc. after the team workout. Ok, maybe not basketball players, but you get the point. It doesn't hurt to regroup yourself and relearn basic skills.