May 29th, 2014    





Part 1: What I Learn From Winning the Pot of Gold

I have been waiting near 25 years  to believe in the possibility that the Blue Jays may have a chance to win their third World Series!  Yes, I know it's too early to predict, but just as one can believe in others' endeavours, we should approach poker only when we feel as though we are in a winning frame: well rested, focussed, disciplined and at the same time relaxed with a review of what notes we have on our opponents. No one expects any sports team or individual to win every game, but I like the Blue Jays' stats thus far 

This is Part 1: What I Learn From Winning (Even When I Might Not Expect To) to be followed up by at a later date with Part 2: What I Learn From Poker from Losing (Even When I Might Not Expect To).  Enjoy!  (And remember to slide speed or you will find hands move too slowly.)

Keeping notes on players--somewhat harder with Zoom--but possible when you meet up with a player numerous time--showed me that Villian 1, LOVES to see the the flop, turn and river card! . And while my bet of $6.25 was uninintentional with a new mouse walking me instead of vice versa,  it didn't matter as the more you bet against Villian 1, my notes show not only will he follow; and, the higher he bets, he is either bluffing or on a silly fishing trip. I, too, like to protect the button, but with Qc Th.,I fold when there are prior bets. What did I learn? There is definite benefit in making notes on opponents! 

I can also play Villian 1's game but it's far scarier with a multiway pot. My first bid should be $2.75--slip of the tongue, I mean slip of the new mouse--a three-bet and for the 2 limpers over the initial standard opening bet of  $ 0.75,  $0.50, for each limper--the BB-- $0.25. Such a bet would have isolated many, but I don't normally  play at a 6-person Zoom table, rather a 9--person table.. Thus I have no idea if all the limping is indigenous to a 6-person. But what did I learn? No one betting was likely to hold two diamonds or a King and five. But someone could certainly have held one King, even Villian 4, if he really believed I would not  initially made a 3-bet with AA. 

Whoever said that one pair--don't you love it General Khan!---can beat 2 pair or three of a kind? Unless Villian 3 thinks I am going to bet above a 3-bet (sorry, that darn new mouse as my bet should have been $1.50 plus for two limpers, up to $2.00, yes even with 44), and then bet over $20 on thin air, maybe his Aces are just that..Yes, I assumed he he held KT, but would he really limp in with KK or AA unless he too was struggling with his mouse?  And  what I was sure of is that he never paid heed to the 4c on the flop. Yes, call me aggressive to persist with those initial two fours, but had no third four shown up on the flop, I was not sticking around!

Analyzing winning pots seems more difficult than those losing pots due to blatant mistakes or bad beats. The latter are simply part of the game and best to move on as you emotionally let them go Yes, I can do that without tilting but it took practise, modelling from our terrific teachers and definite help from Jared Tendler's two volumes of The Mental game of Poker.. But all pots--those we win, those we lose-- demand you seek to 'get into your own head and your opponent(s)'.

With the next blog, let's see what it takes to learn from losing pots. I am sure I can find some of those! And may the Blue Jays keep reviewing both their winning games and their inevitable losses.

May all your aspirations come to fruition.