Last week, I posted a rather whiny blog
regarding the bad streak I've been having in my recent poker games. Since then, I've received a number
of emails asking me if things have picked up. Well, fear not dear readers, my luck has turned around (kinda). Put down the violins - I've seen some decent cards! Now the highest starting hand I've had featured a couple of cowboys, and some of my other playables actually hit on the flop. Since that last post I've shown down a straight, the nut flush, and even a full house.
Now, it's clear to me more than ever that I was, indeed, having a terrible run last week. That happens. But what has also become clear is that something else was going on, too. Yes, I had crappy cards, but should I have lost SO badly? Was I playing my best? The answer is no. I realize now that, by moving up to a higher level than I'm used to (even one where the players are decidedly not any better) I was playing with what they refer to in the poker world as "scared money." Looking back, I can't exactly pin down any specific errors I made, but I now sense that there must have been times when I could have made a move, a bold call, something...but didn't because I was somehow more concerned about losing $20 than losing $10. This is absurd, and makes for chicken-shit playing in a game where fearlessness is a vital component. Did I do anything majorly stupid? Maybe not. But I didn't do everything necessary to win, either. Looking back, if some soothsayer were to inform me that I wouldn't see a decent set of cards for the next 10 games straight, could I possibly have insisted on playing the same strategy that normally works in these s&g's? (Be patient, let the others knock themselves out, maybe play a couple of big hands if you're lucky - then get agressive once you make it to the money.) To a better poker player, the answer would be obvious. In the future, if my normal style of play isn't working, I need to be able to shift gears. Besides, even if I had made a bunch of (hopefully well-timed) moves and still lost all those games, I would've had a lot more fun doing it.