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I'll not go into a full depth report of my weekend at Cache Creek because over all I had a very poor poker weekend and I don't want to burden you all with a recap of 2 or 3 hundred bad beat stories. But I will give you a brief recap.

I got there about 11:45 and see Hitman with a mountain of chips in front of him already. I guess he got there about 9:00 and had this wonderful shit-eatin' grin on his face. I got seated nearly right away in a 4/8 game after putting my name down on all the lists (3/6, 4/8, NL). They had 3 or 4 tables going when I arrived.

Flailed around on the 4/8 for about a half-hour before they called me up to the NL game. I never really go anything going (don't think I even drug one pot at the 4/8 game) and need to refill my rack for the NL game.

The NL game had a real interesting mix of local regular "pros", a few wanna bes like me and a few fish. The flow was decent (not too crazy, not too tame) and we got down to it. I managed to get on a pretty good roll for about an hour (maybe two) and I took stacks away from 3 or 4 players.

I had one encounter with this kid who had ben sitting at my 4/8 table (let's call him Sparky) who seemed to think we had some kind of bond. I think I've played with him before and I get the feeling that he recognizes that I play a solid game and I think he thinks he does too. I can't explain it, but he kept looking at me as if he wanted some approval for what he was doing or something. Anyway, Sparky had been flinging chips around like they were meaningless and lands several decent pots. And then he gets caught a few times and then he actually wins a minster pot when someone called a very large bet on the river who couldn't bead Sparky's A-high bluff. The caller was an other wise solid player, but I just didn't get that one - he put him squarely on a QJ (which he could beat) and decided to back his read with a lot of chips. Sparky's stack were going up and down like an elevator.

Anyway, we get into this hand. It had been raised pre-flop to something like 10 to go (a fairly mild raise) and there were 5 or 6 caller including myself. I had A7 suited and decided to see if I could out flop the table.

The flop comes 474 and Sparky bet something like 20 and we get 3 or 4 to the turn. I didn't feel like anybody had a 4, but I hadn't discounted the possibility. The turn brings an A. Well now. The action is checked to me and I'm suddenly pretty sure I have the best hand. I bet 50 and called by Sparky. The river brings a T. I'm not at all crazy about this card. Sparky could easily have had AT (I didn't put him on TT because of the way he had played it earlier). Well Sparky does a little 2-step and shoves the last $140 of his stack into the pot. I thought for a few seconds (just gave myself a chance to breath and make sure I was happy with my read) and called (I had him covered). He flips up AJ and my 2 pr are good. "There's no way I could have put you on A7!" "Yeah, that's what I figured."

So I drag this monster pot and 3 people helping me get the chips out of the middle, color up $250 and after all the dust had settled I'm sitting htere with like $550. "OK" I says to myself, "Maybe this is the session that's gonna make up for the last 6 weeks of running bad."

Click.

Somebody threw the switch back to reality. I went dead solid cold. I didn't drag one more single chip from that table. I sta there for about 3 hours and pissed away about $300 just trying to manufacture somekind of hand or some kind of opportunity. I never really got into any trouble because my cards were so bad, that I couldn't get deep enough into a pot to get into trouble. I finally decide to cash out and head upstairs to meet up with my friends (we were ther for a weekend long Hearts tournament). So I cashed out $280 (from $100) and went up feeling OK about a positive session even if the last 3 hours of "equlization" felt kind of shitty.

Hitman had come by sometime before all of the above happend and said goodbye with and extra 3 or 4 hundred in his pockets. Good work man, I'm glad someone know how to beat these fish.....

Went up, said hey and visited for about an hour. Had a few cocktails and ventured back down to the NL table. I went through 2 1/2 racks in about 2 hours. I don't think I drug one single pot. There were a couple hands where I got "out of line" (trying to push the wrong hand around), but for the most part, it was just a continuation of the earlier session. I fianlly got tired of feeling like they were just sticking needles in my eyes, grabbed my last handful of chips and went to bed.

I didn't hit the floor at all on Satrurday. We did day one of our hearts tourney including the prerequisite 15 or 20 stiff cocktails a piece. After we were done, a handful of us decided to have a little SnG (we brought some chips). OK, fine. It got down to me and G-Money for the battle for first and second. I caught him with his pants down when he shoved with a 93s and I had JTs. I hit 2 pair on the flop, and, continuing in the "Hagar don't get to win no more" vain he caught a runner, runner straight to stay alive. We finally ended up just chopping up the 1 and 2 places so we could get some sleep.

After the tourney on Sunday (I managed to have a really great tourney only to finish on our version of the bubble - tied for 4th to get into the final four and lost the tiebreaker by a very slim margin) I decided to go back and get some of my money back. I had been drinking (a lot) so I didn't want ot jump in the deep end, but I hadn't seen anyting at the 3/6 or 4/8 tables that required any great mental capacity to handle.

Sat down at 4/8 with a rack, and stepped right back into the ice age. Nothing, nothing and more nothing. It took me an hour to drag a small pot or 2. Then back in the freezer. I got down to about $15 and find a 99 in early position and decide that I'm playing these like AA. I managed to limp-raise so we had 7 or 8 to the flop for 3 bets. The flop came 887. I bet and get raised for my last chip. There's still at least 6 plyers in this hand. Well, now that I'm out of chips, the Poker Gods felt it was time to build me a hand and delivered a 9 on the turn. And they all just kept betting. The river managed to leave my hand good (it actually brought some fish a flush) and I watched the bigger side pot go to him and managed to stack about $80 for less than half the pot.

Even though I lost a bunch of chips (in the side pot), I felt that maybe it was time for things to turn around. Well I was wrong again. I watched the last $80 float away with out even a glimmer of hope of winning a pot. Again, my cards weren't even good enough to get any suckouts - I just couldn't hit any hands (and bluffing is just not an option at these tables). Busted when I shoved my last $7 in on a suited big slick which didn't connect and just didn't feel like burning through anymore chips that night.

I got up Monday morning hoping that something had changed. Hit the tables about 11:00 and again fell right back into the freezer. I did'nt win one single pot for over an hour. I had chances, but the board 4-flushed on both of them and had to throw my top pair away. Called for my second rack and finally drug a reasonable pot. Managed to get another pot or 2 and was only abour $25 down and then it all just went to hell. I started hitting hands and running into monsters. Example: KQ spades from early position. I just called (raising was pointless unless you wanted to build a pot) and get something like 9s4s9d on the flop. I bet out and get raised by this old guy who just sat down. He hadn't shown me anything but "solid" so far, so I respected his raise and called. Turn brought a blank. Check, bet call. River brings the card I'm looking for:7s. I hit the second nut flush. Check, bet, check-raise, re-raise! Christ, does he have the A flush or a boat? Of course he does. I have to pay him off and sure as shit he was holding 97.

The rest of my morning session went pretty much like that: make a hand earn nothing or get crushed. Fold and my draw would come through. I got a few stupid suckouts along the way, but all in all I was just horribly cold. I went and had some lunch tried like hell to forget the poker weekend. I have slipped into some kind of poker bizzaro world and need to figure out how to get out.

Yes, this got long, but I am leaving a lot of stories out, because I know you don't want to hear them.......

Anyway, the rooms at this place are pretty incredible if you care about that kind of thing. You could easily get away with a little "romantic getaway" excuse to take your wife there for the weekend. They even have a spa that you can book her into while you go down and get your fix.

No more to report - looking foward to Saturday!
 

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How come you didn't walk when you had the $550 in hand?
 

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Example: KQ spades from early position. I just called (raising was pointless unless you wanted to build a pot)
Group 1 hand. Isn't that what you are there to do?
Build a pot and get the limpers / draws out of the hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How come you didn't walk when you had the $550 in hand?
Why would I get up and leave when things are actually working? It's all one long game.....right? How am I supposed to know that I wouldn't land a single pot for the next 3 hours?

Group 1 hand. Isn't that what you are there to do?
Build a pot and get the limpers / draws out of the hand.
#1. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't raise early with that hand - I think I was actually in the BB so I was gonna get all 7 callers anyway. (This was 3/6 BTW)

#2. When I haven't had anything working, it's real hard to be confident that anything I do will be right. I tend to err on the side of being a little less agressive when things are going that way.

#3. That was just a sample of many hands like that anyway - it was just the way things were going most of the weekend (and almost all sessions for the last 6 weeks). When I go cold, I go very cold. You never had a brutally long run of bad cards?
 

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(This was 3/6 BTW)
I thought it was on the NL table. My bad.
I guess with $3/6, it's a slot machine mentality, so raising it does nothing. You have a slight chance in getting them out in 3/6. If it were NL, that would be a little different.

And yes, I have been on long runs of bad cards, not ones that last a year or two though.
 

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Why would I get up and leave when things are actually working? It's all one long game.....right? How am I supposed to know that I wouldn't land a single pot for the next 3 hours?
I read many a time that poker players know one of three things when they sit down at a table, they will walk when they have lost a pre-determined anount, they will walk after winning a pre-determined amount, or they will walk after a pre-determined amount of time no-matter what is going on at the moment.

Hard policy to actually adopt but I am giving it a try with option #2.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I read many a time that poker players know one of three things when they sit down at a table, they will walk when they have lost a pre-determined anount, they will walk after winning a pre-determined amount, or they will walk after a pre-determined amount of time no-matter what is going on at the moment.
We must be reading different books. Everyone I've read on this subjects suggests that it is a mistake to leave aa game just because, you've won or lost a certain amount.

According to everything I've read, the time to leave is:
1. When you're in a game that's too tough (in over your head).
2. In a game that's too tight (nothing to be made).
3. Something has happened to your ability to perform (getting tired,or drunk or too bored to focus).
4. A profitable game, changes to an unprofitable one (table texture has changed)
5. You have to be somewhere else.
6. The unfortunate event that you run out of money.

I have read that on occasion, it's good to book a win when your'e running bad just to help the confidence. And I did book a win in the session you suggest. True, it could have been a bigger win, but I got up when I felt it was time for a break.

Buying into the theory that it's all one long game, I would have dropped the $500 in the next consecutive 200 hands whether it was all that night or another.

That's what we're supposed to believe anyway......
 

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I agree with Hagar here. As long as you're playing at a table that's not over your head, and the table is the proper composition sufficient enough to drag a profit, there's really no reason to leave unless you can't play properly (drunk... I hope not), tired, or have other circumstances. Poker isn't about the short term. In the short run, fishes catch their runners, good players sometimes lose, etc. If the playing situation is ideal, then one should theoretically never leave, since you should always be looking for a "beatable" game. But that's just my opinion. Reality isn't always that cut and dry.

-David "Kid"[/quote]
 

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I also agree that you should not let a predetermined amount of wins or losses to dictate whether to continue playing. However, Mike Caro the poker writer warned about passing the" threshold of pain" as he called it. That's when you lost so much (each person's threshold is, of course, different) that you don't care any more. Say you lose $1,500 and you feel numb and another $300 or $500 loss doesn't cause you any more pain. Try to quit before you get there and save that $300/$500 bankroll for next time instead of try to get back $1,500 that session.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
However, Mike Caro the poker writer warned about passing the" threshold of pain" as he called it.
I haven't come across it being started like that, but I operate under similar guidelines and out it under the "something has changed my ability to perform" category in my initial listing. For me, it just depends how things are going.

I'll usually commit a rack or two to a session. I know this is a pitifully small amount needed to take even a short run of bad cards in a 3/6 or 4/8 game. If I still feel like playing, I'll throw another rack at the game. If I just can't take the punishment any more, I pack it in. It's all about how I feel at that time, not how much I've lost. I guess the rack "measuring stick" just forces me to actively evaluate my options at that time.
 

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However, Mike Caro the poker writer warned about passing the" threshold of pain" as he called it. That's when you lost so much (each person's threshold is, of course, different) that you don't care any more.
Sounds like a complicated way of saying that you're on tilt. Which goes back to what Hagar originally said, leave if your ability to play has lessened for whatever reason... again sometimes easier said than done. I know there's been times when I've steamed and not played the best poker, losing unnecessary $.

-David
 

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On the surface crossing the threhold of pain (TOP) sound like going on tilt but they are also different. I think crossing TOP you are more of a numb feeling whereas on tilt you are more angry and willing to ram and jam without holding a good hand. Although in both cases you will be playing badly and have a very high chance of lose more money.
 

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I think different people identify tilt in different ways.
Anything that effects your ability to play at your prime or effects your game is essentially "being on tilt".

The issue and the challange is being able to identify when you are on tilt, or off your prime.
 
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