Cold Decked – What to do when your confidence wanes?
So on Friday I took a trip out to the river rock in Richmond for some no limit live play. I sat down at the baby table (1-2 no limit) with 140 bux in chips and felt pretty confident. I gotta say, I had the worst cold deck experience I’ve ever had! I wasn’t just cold, I was frozen solid. The worst thing was it was a table full of people who would call down anything, so I couldn’t even bluff any hands. In 5 hours, my best three hands were a k9 suited, an AK off suit and an A10 suited. Nothing spectacular thats for sure. I did have pocket 7s once, but I was short stacked by then and couldn’t really make a strong play with it, specially seeing as it was raised big before me. I mean, I smooth called it, but with ajj flop and the raise preflop i was out at the flop.
The K9 diamonds was the second hand on the table (they opened the table as I got there, so I was one of the first 10 on that table). I called a small raise preflop as I was late position, and flopped 3 rags, two of em diamonds. No action so I put in a 10 dollar bet. Got 4 callers (!!!). Turn was another diamond, so I bet 10 again and was down to one caller, the button. River paired up one of the other cards, and I bet 10 again…button goes all in and I called, reading him for a set. He was a young guy and didn’t seem real relaxed, so I figured he wasn’t real strong, and certainly didn’t put him on a boat. He didn’t have a boat, he had ace rag of diamonds. So I lost about 80 bux first hand I played. Sigh.
Then…bang! Cold decked for 2 rounds. 2x 2x 2x q4 j3 etc. Finally I get the a10 suited, and I raise. 3 callers. Flop, a 10 10. Woot! I slow play it and on the river someone bets and I triple raise hoping for a call or reraise (flush on the river). Everyone folds and I won a 60 dollar pot…not too bad. So I was back up to about 125, but didn’t see any other hands! It was brutal. I did get an AK, as I mentioned above, and raised fairly big with it preflop. I got 5 callers ffs! And the flop came 3 rags…5,7, j. One crazy guy goes all in, and I just couldn’t call that. Turned out he had 57 and won the pot. Why he called a 15 dollar raise with 57 is beyond me, but that’s the way the table was. After that, I didn’t play a hand for 3 hours til the last one, when I was down to about 50 bux and went all in with a9 suited from the button. Big blind called with aq and of course I lost. Rather than rebuy i said screw it and went home. 5 hours, 3 hand! Seriously, wtf?
So after I left I kind of analyzed a bit, and came up with some ideas for next time I get cold decked like that. First off, I must say that I did fold a few winners preflop…rag hands, small connectors and the like. Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but me, when I’m cold decked my first instinct is to tighten right up; wait for the cards to change and get better. But in retrospect, maybe I should have loosened up a bit. If I’m hitting a few cards, I am happy to play marginal hands once in a while just to change things up a bit. So why do I not do the same thing when things are going bad? Obviously it becomes a confidence thing.
I figure if I force myself to play a 57 or something and play it hard perhaps it will turn around the confidence a bit. After I lost with the AK to the 57, the very next hand I get dealt 57. Showed the guy next to me, and said “maybe i should call him with his own cards” (the 57 guy from the other hand had raised to 12 dollars). I folded, and flop came down…57x. And then another 5 on the river. So I would have won it. Confidence! Dammit…
Of course hindsight is always 20 20, but there were several times friday evening where if I had just called the 2 dollar blind I would have won a pot. There were also a few times where a well placed raise would probably have stolen some blinds. And I just didn’t freakin do it! Cuz I was all ‘fraidy cat because I just wasn’t getting playable cards. So I made a promise to myself…if I’m decked again, rather than just placidly get blinded out or frustrated and do something stupid (like all in with Ace 9) I will loosen up with hands I call. If I’m just gonna go home down anyways, why not take a gamble now then; it is, after all, called gambling, no?
I dunno…maybe this is poker 101 and a lesson that I missed or forgot about; but it was a bit of an epiphany for me to come to that thought. If you’re running bad and going to lose anyways, why not get a bit more aggressive and take some risks? It works for Gus Hansen, the Grinder, Scotty Nguyen and others…