The value of one boot

So at the end of October I had my first losing session in a long while.  After twelve convincingly profitable sessions over about 40 days where I knew I outplayed my opponents and I minimized the random cards I was getting, I hit the double whammy: I got a run of barely playable hands at a table full of talented players over at the $1/$2 tables at Lucky Chances.

I sussed out the talent after about 20 minutes of play, but thought it’s foolish to change tables just to get easier opposition, since I have to know how to play against talented players.  Unfortunately I played some hands early poorly and never got cards.  That meant when I got questionable cards I played them too aggressively and had my hat handed back to me.

I left smart, meaning I rebought once and then with enough introspection realized I needed to leave when I started to lose that.  It took me ten days to examine my play and get back to a table.  "What was I doing wrong?"  "Was I playing too many hands?"  "how was my table image affecting my results?"

Finally last night I got back on the horse.  Earlier in the day I went and took Sarah boot shopping for her birthday.  By the time it was done I’d bought her two pairs of designer boots which was a little extravagant.  But it made her happy, so why not?  It created a sort of code though, and when I spoke to her later after my winning $6/$12 session at the Oaks, I called her to tell her I’d made "one and a half boots".

Interesting thing about that session: the first hand I showed down was the nut straight flush.  And yet for the rest of my 2.5 hour session that night I didn’t get any respect.  I also saw, first hand, the damage that tilt does to one’s game.  Players that I know were talented took a couple of bad hands and started playing desperately.   One of my big wins came from a guy who was "drunk, sleepy, and tired" [his words] and had the shortstack habit of bluffing when he missed a big draw because he was pot-committed. Indeed, I called him with Ten-Three and read him so well that before I showed, I said,  "You don’t have anything, do you?"  When he said "No", I showed him my Three to match one on the board and stacked the pot.

Unfortunately my hubris tilted him and he promptly switched tables.  I won’t do that again.