Friday, March 31, 2006
There are Monsters Under the Bed
I lost some money in Vegas last weekend. It was a loss, but not a painful one. A decent portion of it was at Craps, as as that turned out, it was a universal loss among my brethren at the dice table. I hardly played a hand the entire trip, save maybe 30 minutes at a 3-6 table with Spaceman after I busted from the Aladdin daily tournament when my all-in raise with KQc ran smack into Aces.
I haven't recovered my mojo since.
The last thing I wanted to do was interrupt my trip reports, which I so love writing, to bitch about poker. But after a three day stretch of Abu-Ghraib style torture at the tables, I just can't keep it inside anymore or I'm really going to lose it.
I'm really starting to think I suck at this game. That every tournament win I've ever pulled out was done via sheer luck and that winning tournaments doesn't mean very much anyway. Performance in cash games is the true measure of a player. And my results have turned dismal. I'm just not getting better and meanwhile the games get harder every day and I feel like I'll never ever catch up.
I dropped about $750 playing 3-6 and 5-10 in March. No matter how hard I try, how tight I play, how aggressively I bet when I think I have the best hand, how many great laydowns I make, it just isn't adding up to anything. The swings are steep and harsh and long. I feel stressed out and horrible all the time. I'll win 400 and feel fantastic only to lose it the next day and feel miserable again. I'll flop trips to lose to a rivered gutshot and feel like I'm losing my mind. I always feel like I'm perpetually trying to get unstuck. I'm dealt aces or kings and can already feel my chips moving away from me. I play hands in a vacuum and try to be zen about the whole thing. I understand the mistakes I've made in the past and avoid them fastidiously, but still I bleed. I play more tables to take the sting out but it only makes the sting worse because I'm getting sucked out in double-time and losing twice as much.
A $750 swing and she's going this nuts? It's not this one swing. Believe me, it's not. It's that after all this time grinding away, I'm still maybe a breakeven cash player at best, I think I'm playing right, and I really don't know where to go from here. I thought sound ABC limit poker according to the wisdom of Sklansky and Malmuth and Ed Miller and their Big Red Book was supposed to yield a profit measurable in big blinds per hour. Not for me it doesn't.
So I took a break and tried to make the money back in SNGs. Change of pace and all. I stuck to the $11s on Party and played 55 of them in 3 days. That didn't go much better. I lost again... just slower.
This next part recounting my more stunning suckouts is really just therapy... do yourself (and me) a favor and skip this section...
66 called by A3 on 732 flop. Another 3 on the river
J9 vs. A6 on AJ9 flop. 6 on river.
AA vs. KQ on JT4 flop. 9 turn, 8 river.
45 flops top two on 452 flop... of course A3 is trapping me
A5 vs. 78 on A74 flop. 7 on river.
77 vs. JTo on A78 flop. River 9.
KQ vs. J7h on KQ69 board, two hearts. He hits a river heart.
Reraise 10 BB all-in with KQ, called by A9. Q9X flop, 9 turn.
All in JJ vs. 78. Flop 477.
KK vs. AJ. Ace on river.
AA vs. 77. I run headlong into his flopped quads.
AJ falls to T2d on the bubble and villain admits he misclicked.
A7 vs. K8 on 7 high flop, he hits runner runner straight.
AQs falls to 28o. I want to put my head through glass.
K9 vs. Q3. I push on a 9 high flop and he rivers his Q.
J8 flops trips on JJT board. Why wouldn't he have tens? Shoulda known before shoving in.
JJ vs. 58 on J high flop. Calls down and hits flush on river.
AK vs. AK vs. AQ... Q on river.
OK. All better now.
I'm just saying. If I can't seem to not only beat but annihilate $11 SNGs and $3-6 cash games on Party Poker after playing for 2+ years, I just have to wonder.
Is it even worth it for me to keep playing?
Especially now when my entire future is in jeopardy?
For 13K hands, my VP$IP is 21.15. Att to Steal Blinds 29.99. Folded BB to steal 49.33. Won $ WSF 36.78. Went to SD 29.54. PF raise 9.97. Won $ at SD 48.55. Aggression factor 2.86
What am I missing?