this hasn’t been a great week. something has been off with my patience online, and i had a -1 buy in live session on friday which i’m obviously not happy about given that i’ve been mostly winning when i play live cash lately. right now i’m still half fuming from donking myself out of yet another live tournament last night, a few places from the money as usual. i had around 11,00 chips and i believe the blinds had just gone up from 600/1200 to 1000/1500 (lolstructurements) with 18 or so players remaining and 10 spots paying. average stack was around 20,000 give or take (they don’t update this reliably on the tournament screen so i usually just calculate it on my phone). point is, average stack with 18 players left was well under 20bb.
at this stage of the tournament, the final two tables, every nitty old dude with no concept of ICM is simply trying to get into the money and make the final table, where 5, 7, or even 10-way chops are pretty common. only a few things happen at the final 2 tables:
-everyone folds around, walking the big blind.
-the one guy with a giant stack 3x’es it if it’s folded to him, everyone folds.
-someone open shoves, and everyone folds.
-someone open shoves, and someone calls only if they have a very good hand or a giant stack.
-blinds eat everyone. quickly.
with my stack having just gone from a little under 10bb to more like 7bb, i decided to open shove A7o from early-middle position. the guy with the giant stack called with QQ and held.
why am i so tilted about this? it’s a fairly standard play (unless you are chip leader 3 handed at the main event of the WSOP.. in which case you might want to consider not playing A7 vs QQ for all your chips lol. not the same situation obv but i just realized it was the same two hands). any raise was getting folds around the table unless someone woke up with a hand, which is what happened in my case. it’s just unlucky. am i more pissed about getting unlucky, or more pissed that i could have actually raise/folded in this situation? i keep telling myself about to just NOT SHOVE when i have a hand i’m “supposed” to shove but will certainly be a losing hand if i’m called. i keep telling myself to just fucking fold my way to the money one time so i can get this monkey off my back about not having any live cashes.
i could have 2.1-2.3x’ed it with A7 with the intention of folding to a shove (2x raises are a little dicey when you are talking about live regs. even with average stacks of <20bb, they still make a standard raise to 3x. yes they are dumb, but the point is that a raise to 2x the big blind will not get folds often enough. i made the mistake of 2x'ing with 32o into a guy's bb who'd been blinding himself down for hours and had about 5bb, figuring he'd just fold as usual. he looked at his cards, said "hmm - i'm suited!" and defended. luckily for me he check-folded the flop hahaha). but i'm not playing the tournament to mincash. i don't want to fold my way to the final table with 3bb. but, i also don't want to keep not cashing. it's just really really frustrating to NEVER RUN GOOD when i get to the end of one of these tournaments. just someone not waking up with a monster hand every time i shove a marginal one trying to pick up the blinds, would be nice. is that too much to ask?!??! not gonna even bother begging the poker gods to let me get there with a 30/70 hand one time when i'm pretty sure my 80/20s hold up about half the time in live tournaments. anyway, i don't mind my shove i guess, but i mind it a little in this situation because it didn't work out, and it NEVER seems to work out. at this point i am starting to need to be results oriented because i don't have any live tournament results and as i've said before, i can't afford to keep on playing tournaments and not cashing. so i'm feeling bummed and annoyed and generally fed up with poker today. another thing that really tilted me last night, was this middle aged reg who i chatted with last week in the bar area. he had been playing at my cash table on friday, and it was the first time i'd played with him. he doesn't normally play the game i do (1/2 spread limit), i think he is more of a high stakes limit player. anyway for some reason he was playing my game that day, and when i got to the table i could tell he was paying close attention to how i was playing and inspecting my moves, blatantly staring at me the whole time i was involved in hands, etc. it was pretty tilting but i tried to just ignore it. i was relieved when he got up from the table after an hour or so. i still didn't have a good session after that, and maybe that was partly the reason. i have found that my mood is much more dramatically correlated with my success in live cash games than i was first inclined to believe. the night i probably won the most i have ever won in one session (around $1200) was when i found out that my nasty methhead upstairs neighbors were moving out. these people had been stomping around and playing loud music and instruments for months and driving me really crazy. they refused to quiet down even after i involved the landlords, i had to call the police several times, etc. so you can imagine how overjoyed i was when i found out they were leaving. it was really one of the best days of my life. and then i went on to have my largest cash ever in a live game. of course it could be a coincidence. but on the same token, i have also started to notice that when i have losing sessions, it generally occurs when i'm in a bad mood or annoyed by somebody at the table. not necessarily annoyed/frustrated by their play - this DOES happen to me a lot online if i have a good tricky player to my left who will never let me steal their blind, 3bets me a lot, etc. this kind of stuff really doesn't happen a lot at 1/2 cash games. it's just a different situation and people aren't going to be doing those kind of tricky moves to make you frustrated. but often times there is someone who is just plain annoying at the table, who won't shut up or who smells really bad or who is trying to hit on me or who is scarfing a big plate of pork chow mein or buffalo wings right next to me. or in this case, who is staring at me for inappropriate amounts of time. it's fine to look at someone while they are playing. people SHOULD look at people, i look at people, it's good for information. but in a couple of instances, in a couple multi-way pots, this particular guy was staring directly at me while other players were acting, and also after i had already acted. completely ignoring the other people in the pot who were acting. as i say, it made me pretty uncomfortable at the time. so yesterday this guy sees me waiting for the tournament and comes right up to me and goes, "would you like some constructive criticism?" uh.. eyeroll. lemme think. i really had no interest in his opinion on my play - obviously i knew he'd been "evaluating" me at the table and suspected he thought i was playing weak (i was involved in maybe like 2-3 pots while he was at the table and i think i ended up check folding postflop in all cases), but i was like "okay sure." and he starts talking about how i make it too obvious when i'm not going to continue with a hand postflop and he can tell i'm not interested in the pot and etc. actually the main thing i was not interested in was having this creep stare at me for minutes on end, which is probably why i didn't bother contesting any $20 multi-way pots when he was involved and when i didn't have a hand worth contesting a $20 pot with anyway. i mean, it might be valid criticism and i'm certainly going to pay more attention to maintaining a standard posture during hands so as not to give away anything. so i was like "okay. thanks for letting me know, i didn't realize i was doing that. that's good information." and in this super condescending way he is like "yeah. you know, it's just something to think about, if you want to be serious or make any money." and i'm like "umm. i make money in that game." and he's like "..really?" and looks super skeptical. obviously at this point i just want to bitch slap this guy. i could have shown him my stats (which i keep track of using a nifty app for iphone called pokerjournal) or told him to ask any of the spread-limit regs, or any of the dealers for that fucking matter, that i am up a substantial amount in that game and generally win when i play it. but it's not like i had anything to prove to this doucher. i just said, "yes, i'm a consistent winner in that game." and ended it at that. what tilts me so much about this is not that someone was attempting to offer me "constructive criticism." i welcome criticism if it is genuinely constructive, especially if it will help me with my play. what tilts me is this guy, who has never played with me and who does not regularly play the $1/2 spread limit (it's basically the same thing as no-limit except there is a cap of $100 on each bet), thinks he has the RIGHT to come in and criticize my play after watching me for an hour. it's not 30/60 limit holdem where the same eight regs and two props sit there playing mind games and having dick measuring contests. in $1/2 you don't win money by making fancy moves and blowing your opponents off middle pair. you win money by having or making the best hand and getting value on it. for the most part, people aren't trying to fuck with you; they are trying to give you money with a hand that is weaker than yours. occasionally i will make a big play on someone, there's one guy who is always trying to kinda fuck with me at the table - not in a mean way, but just constantly trying to get the better of me i guess. i called one of his raises with 76 and flopped middle pair, i think the board was like J hi rainbow without many reasonable draws. i bet out like 20 or 30 and he raised me 100 on top (the maximum raise). i thought about it, decided he was full of shit, and raised him another 100. he snap folded and i showed my hand (which i sorta thought was a bluff but which might have been the best hand). everyone at the table was like "whaa." that shit i will do, when i know the players and i know they are trying to fuck with me. i also recently moved all in on a guy with complete air after he straddled for $4 and then raised it to $30 or so after 6 or 7 people limped the straddle. there are two kinds of straddlers: a passive straddler who will just check it when people limp in his straddle unless he has a hand, and an aggro straddler who wants to "take control" of the pot, mostly with any 2 cards. i knew this was the type of player who was going to straddle just so he could make a giant raise when everyone limped the straddle. i had limped the button with Q9 after all the limpers, and i flatted preflop after they all folded to his raise. he snap bet $40 on the A hi flop and i could tell he was already ready to bet no matter what the flop was. i moved in for $80 or 90 more and he folded. in tournaments obviously it is necessary to make many creative moves if you want to be successful. in live cash games where i am 100+bb deep at all times and playing against amateurs and card club regs, i only make moves when i have a really good read and have a reason to believe they will be profitable. maybe i have too much pride and just don't like being criticized, but it's something i've noticed people want to do a lot, with me. i don't know if it's just because i'm a girl, or because i'm a relatively new player who is open about just getting started. but a lot of people (i.e. men, though i don't really know any other female players in person) think it's their right to criticize every move i make, whether or not they even understand the particular game i'm playing, and whether or not i've solicited their advice or have any interest in their opinion. poker players are notoriously egotistical, and confidence is certainly something that will contribute to success. but just about every male player i have met thinks he knows drastically more than me, and has all kinds of random advice that he is absolutely certain i should be following, without really understanding any of the other variables. i should be playing more live. i should be playing more online. i should try online cash. i should be playing PLO. i should read this book or watch this video. i should never open X hand from Y position. i'm not saying i know more or am better than any of the armchair "coaches" who want to criticize my play and give me advice. i just don't appreciate being an automatic target for those sentiments. and i do think it has a lot to do with my gender. i want to learn from as many people as i can, but condescending dudes who think they know everything can eat me. /end rant xo