Keep it all in or get it all out?
Tuesday February 13th 2007, 4:01 am
Filed under: Heads Up,No-Limit,Opinionated,Poker Stuff,PokerStars

Today I was having mixed emotions at the tables and after yet another brutal suckout (pocket kings lost to the powerful ducks when a third duck said “quack” on the river) I asked myself: Is it really good to keep it all in(side) or is it better to get it all out? One thing’s for sure, to keep it all in is impossible in the long run, at least for me. Now I’m lucky in some ways, as I started this blog and so I’ve always got an outlet for my thoughts on hands, the way they were played and many other things. Sometimes this isn’t enough though. Tonight was one of these occasions where it wasn’t enough, I just had to get it out in the chat and so I went ahead and berate oned of the donks “Hellmuth style”. Is it good to do something like this? Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, you get it out of your system and it’s a relief. No, for many different reasons:

1. While you get it out of your system, it distracts you from playing the current hand optimally as you’re busy typing whatever in the chatbox.

2. It can influence your opponent in a way that will come back to hurt you – at least sometimes. The read that you have on him/her might be useless from that point forward as he/she will switch up their game in order to punish you (and sometimes that works just fine if they suckout on you again, sending you into overdrive-tilt).

3. It’s bad etiquette.

4. In the long run you WANT your opponent to play that way, because pushing in with 1-20% chance is exactly what you want them to do. Why even make them think they could or should do it differently? (Assuming that some of the donks really aren’t that bad that they can’t learn from such situations)

5. Related to 1.: It can influence your game not only in the next hand, or the next, but for an extended period of time as your motive to play a hand can switch from “making the correct play/decision” to “I’ll show you donkey”…

6. etc

So, do I feel better now – absolutely. Did my outburst help my game, the decision making or the results in any way? Not really. Bottom line is, no matter how perfectly you played your hand or how bad your opponent played his, in the end the cards will decide the outcome. All you can do is make (near) perfect decisions and live with the results and I’ll pledge to stick to just that (and keep the ranting part exclusively to my blog ;)) in the future.

As for tonight, I think I played good, made sound decisions and won the matches I was supposed to win (4 out of 7). Out of the three losses, at least two were cruel, but hey, that’s poker, at least sometimes. I don’t want to go into greater detail about specific hands tonight, but I gotta at least break down one of the matches. This one could have been entitled “Just blind off, there’s no chance in hell you’ll win this match.”…I attack attack attack, hit some flops, don’t hit others, but I’m consistently grinding away at my opponent’s stack. I hold a significant chiplead and my opponent raises me preflop. I look down at QQ. Now remember, this is headsup and he’s in a desperate situation. I reraise him and he’s not commited yet. He pushes all-in. Can you laydown the queens here? I couldn’t…sure enough he shows AA and the rockets blast my queens. We’re almost back to square one as I’m ahead only a few hundred chips again. The grinding continues and soon enough I find myself in a commanding chiplead again. This time, I look down at KK. I raise from the button and he pushes all-in. Laydown Kings? Hmm, I can’t see him having Aces again here and if he does, then I’ll have to quote tuff_fish “God bless america, son of a god damn bitch!” 😉

I call and he shows the powerful 2-2, quack quack. Now I’m happy as I’m waaay ahead and he doesn’t hold the Kings nemesis, Ace rag. Flop is blank, turn is blank…river says quack, here I am. So I lose to a set of deuces on the river, lovely two outer. Wow, we’re almost even in chips, again. The grinding continues and soon enough I hold a bigger chiplead again. I hold KsQs…i standard three-pop it preflop and he flat-calls…flop comes down Kc-Qh-xc…I bet three-quarter the pot. He reraises me. I push. He insta-calls. Turn is Ac…River is xc…Showdown Jc7c…oh well…have a nice day. I’m down to slightly under 500 chips and the next time I look down at a semi-decent hand I push with A7 s00ted, he insta-calls with Q2 s00ted and sure enough a lonely duck is all it takes to beat me. Matches like these make me wonder if it would be a good idea to have some barf bags at my desk – hmm…maybe that’s a new business idea in itself, don’t you think that some players would spend a buck or two on the following one, after all what’s a buck or two compared to cleaning up your desk and keyboard 😉

Suckout barf bag!

But enough dwelling for tonight, I finished the session up, what more can you ask for…I’m out of here…

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