Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm a wimp

The title says it all: I'm a big, fat, no betting, bluff abandoning, value bet missing wimp.

I chickened out so many times on the river this weekend. It's sad.

I guess my excuse is that I was intimidated by the previous action, the river cards, the boards and my fishy opponents. But let's be real here -- those aren't very good excuses. So much of the profit in loose passive games comes from postflop play, and when you miss those big bets, you're sacrificing a lot of your profit.

I held pocket Kings and had bet the whole way. Heads up on the river, an Ace that's a flush card comes. I check. I check-raised with second pair, bet the turn and then comes a non-threatening river card. Check. I hold pocket 8s vs. one aggessor and two callers. I check, the aggressor bets, a passive player calls. I fold the winner. The most common situation where I checked the river was when I feared that I was outkicked. That's probably the best example.

Wimpy wimpy wimpy. If I had bet in any one of these or other situations this weekend in L.A., I would have taken home a few extra big bets. But I didn't.

What I like about live play is that the pace is so much slower than online that you have more time and more sensory data to help make my decisions. I look for tells and keep track of the action better than online. The disadvantage is that I fear some of the crazy suckouts and just check. Weak. So weak.

I'm pretty sure my river play is more confident online than in live play. I wonder, though, if that's a function of the likelihood that I'm facing one opponent rather than several. I figure that my chances of winning are better heads-up.

What I consider less during live play is the value of getting overcalls that are even worse than my second-pair hand on the river.

No check, only bet. I think I need a tattoo on my forehead that says, "Bet the river!!!" But that wouldn't work because only my opponents would be reading it. D'oh.

But the trip was good. Although my play was disappointing at times, I somehow managed to eke out a small profit. I think I can safely attribute that to the fortunate cards I received on Saturday.

It was a lot of fun to play in the $9/$18 game I had heard so much about.

It was even better to meet in person some of the bloggers who I've read before. I'll give them props in another post very soon.

For now, I'm exhausted. I stayed up way too late (um ... all night) playing poker.

1 comment:

cc said...

The turn and river value bets, especially the river, has to be a stair-step leak for alot of folks (at least for me). Stair-step meaning having to fix this leak to "get to the next level," whatever that means. I think the check-raise river boat when the board pairs, straight when the gapped draw hits, or runner-runner three-flush board stings so much that I often get fraidy-scared when the scare card hits (and not the A on the river I'm talking about here). We (or I) probably need to be a bit more automatic on these value bets: % of time you're raised on the river: <10% maybe? % of time you're called and no good: 20%. % of time you value bet the river and folded: 20-30%. Probably 40-50% of poker we play, you're going to get paid off, so we have to just bet, maybe every time unless you have a super read on someone (which at least I most of the time don't).

For what it's worth.