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.