Friday, December 28, 2007


Well, no one said it was going to be easy. I've learnt the hard way that poker can be gutwrenching, demoralising and depressing all at once, and today was no different. Unfortunately, it was due to a complete lack of discipline on my part rather than any deviant intervention from the poker gods.

It all started so peachy. I was up $500 for the day, playing well, had a good meal in me and braced to start threatening that $4,000 landmark. Then, I met Markus, and it all went wrong. Sitting with just $80, I doubled him up unnecessarily when I lost my concentration and re-raised his Turn bet with a Flopped flush draw, thereby leaving myself committed and forced to call when he pushed all-in with two pair.

You know you're playing badly when your opponent turns a paltry $80 into $750 without you even quite knowing how. At this point, I was just a couple of hundred down for the day, and should have thrown in the towell. However, I refused to quit and searched for more tables, possibly because I was (1) angry at having relenquised an excellent profit for the day (2) uable to accept my first loss for the challenge or (3) upset that I had allowed such a small stack to take so much money off me. In fact, it was probably a combination of all three.

In total, I played an abusrd 9 hours and 38 minutes, the majority of which I barely took a break. I convinced myself that with it being Friday, I should play on regardless of how I felt as there would be some easy money coming my way from the recreational players. This wasn't true, and although a few weak players did cross my path, the standard remained pretty high. The overwhelming factor, though, was that I was simply playing terrible poker and would have lost my money to pretty much any level of player.

I have mixed feelings at the moment. One is anger at myself for failing to quit early doors, and the other is resignation in the fact that I've dropped all the way back down to $1,890.66 in the challenge. The biggest feeling I have, however, is that of disappointment, disappointment in wasting an entire day pissing about in front of a laptop losing money. Life really does hang by a thread, so I just hate to think that I knew it was going tits up, but chose to carry on instead of doing something more satisfying with my time like walking around Hampstead, reading a book or simply spending some time with my girlfriend instead of ignoring her like I have done thus far.

However, I also acknowledge that what is done is done, and I'm a firm believer in looking ahead rather than dwelling on the past. In that sense, I'll be taking what little positives were left from today's session: playing at lunch time is much more profitable than night, and as soon as I detect that I am making unforced errors, quit playing, whatever my alter ego is telling me.

In terms of the challenge, I am concerned that I still have over 3k to go before I can pay off the tax man, but believe my game is good enough to retrieve today's defecit. It might take me another week, but I can do it. I'm a little worried that time is running out with my trip to Bahamas coming up next week, but I'm remaining confident. I hate failing at anything in life, so I'm determined to ensure that this isn't one of them.

I won't go through every major pot in detail as it reveals too much of my play and will probably just bore you needlessly anyhow. However, here is a brief list of the 5 biggest pots I played.

(1) $724 - I called a re-raise from the button with 8d-7s, re-raised his $60 bet on a Tc-8c-7d Flop, he called the extra $270 with Ah-9c. 3d Turn, 5d River, I win.

(2) $680 - raise, reraise, re-reraise, his call before he called my £290.60 push on a 3c-Qc-5h Flop. I had Ac-Ah, he had Ad-Qd, 2s Turn, 3s River, I win.

(3) $668.40 - He raised pre-flop from button with Ac-Jd, I called with 6d-4d, checked an Ad-£d-9d Flop, he bet $20, I raised to $60, he pushed for $263.20 more, I called. As Turn, 6s River, I win.

(4) $442 - I called a re-raise from the button with 9c-8s, re-raised his $48 bet on a 3h-8c-8h to $96, he made it $198, I pushed, he folded.

(5) $428 - I raise button with 8s-5s, he calls with 8c-8d, he check-calls 5h-8h-Jd Flop before check-raising the Kc Turn, I call Turn and $124 on the Ad River, I lose.

Makes you wonder how I lost all that money when I won 4 of the 5 biggest pots, doesn't it? The most worrying thing, however, is that if I'd lost hand (3), I think I would have blown everything in my account.

Bah Humbug!

biggest pot won: $724.00
biggest pot lost: $428.00
time at the table: 9hr 38min

profit = -$1,137.47
blonde poker account = $1,890.96
$3,109.04 to go before the tax man goes away

Days played = 6
total time played = 24 hrs 17 mins
current $ per hour = $20.63
current $ per day = $98.49


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