Hey, it’s Ron again, the worst poker player on staff here at the Poker Academy.
I had a realization as I lost my second buy in the other night. Well, actually it was two realizations.
First, I don’t like getting felted. Especially from a luck box who keeps sucking out on me.
Second, my game selection sucks sometimes.
You might be in the same boat as me. Since I’m not a professional poker player, I only get to play a handful of times each month. So when I get to play, I want to play.
It was last Friday night, and I had no plans on the schedule, so I put my “bankroll” in my pocket that morning before work and planned on hitting the tables after my day job ended for the week. You know, blow off a little steam. Visions of scooping big pots and being carried out of the card room on everyone’s shoulders filled my head most of the day.
I drove straight from work to the card room, and was seated at a table within a half hour or so. I was ready for some action.
Then I lost one buy-in. I did what I always do, “Am I running bad or playing bad?” I did a quick mental review of the hands and concluded that I may have made a questionable call or two, but for the most part I was playing solid and just getting the wrong side of variance.
So I reloaded and was actually up for a bit. That’s when I should have walked away. Not because I was up, but because the dynamic at the table shifted pretty dramatically.
They started a new, bigger game, and all of the sudden there were new players in the mix. In the span of 10 minutes, three maniacs were now at my table. When I say “maniac,” here’s what I mean. Playing over 80% hands for an open. Popping every hand for a raise and re-raise pre flop.
One hand I remember was maniac vs. maniac. It went raise and three bet pre flop. Then it was bet, raise, call on the flop. Bet, raise, call on the turn. And bet call on the river.
Maniac one says, “You got it, I have Jack high.”
Maniac two looks at his cards, then looks at the board, then says, “Jack high is good.”
I remember thinking, “What the hell just happened?” How is that guy scooping a several hundred dollar pot with Jack high?
So here’s what I learned about myself. When there’s one maniac at the table, I can handle that ok. In fact, I kind of like it. But when there’s three maniacs at the table, I get uncomfortable and it usually doesn’t work out for me.
So I have now made a note to myself. Leave the table when 1/3 of the players are complete maniacs.
Mental note number two: talk to a better player than me about a strategy when at said table.
I stayed and got felted because I had been thinking about getting in some table time and wanted to stay longer regardless of how I was playing or what kind of table I was at.
I could have got up, cashed out and put my name back on the list. I could have asked for a table change. I could have gone home. All of those options are better than what I did.
Sometimes, just trust your gut. When I started to not have any fun and get that uncomfortable feeling, I should learn to trust that.