As I progress along in my abilities and apply some of the recent lessons from PSO, I am finding a new found confidence that I can sit down at the table with anyone and hold my own.  The last few weeks have been a real grind as I have been putting in about 15 hours a day trying to build my stake and earn a paycheck before Christmas.  My strategy being to play small stakes games to finance my tourneys with the goal to win a top 3 or two each week so I can start taking at least a small draw.  While I am sitting at the stakes table I try to play tight aggressive poker and not deviate from the basics.  First always start with a good set of cards (game is unimportant), second know your odds and use them to get people to add extra money when the odds are in your favor and check off when they aren’t.  Tight play and a few check traps accomplish this real well on most tables no matter what the limit.   As a result I can now sit down at a table and after a few hands tame the donks at the table and make them fear playing against me (I have actually cleared .02/.04 stakes tables for hold em and Omaha by playing tight aggressive poker to scatter the herd).  I found out last night that there is still one glaring exception…. ME.  I still haven’t killed the donk in me completely.  Last night (late in my shift) I confidently pulled up a chair on the micro stakes Omaha table and slapped my chips down ready to start making those donks tow the line and deliver their chips into my stack.  As I started the game I realized quickly that the player on my left (perfect position) was calling everything and sticking out every raise to the bitter end.  As I waited for my playable hands to appear I began to have visions of his chips slowly walking across the table and nesting in my warm embrace.  Then my first playable hand comes in and it’s a smoker QQKK double suited.  Time to start upping the ante, I thought to myself and proceeded to raise the preflop pot all the way to the limit.  The flop comes Q rag rag no suits no straights the two rags are connected but just barely.  I quickly check my odds and with a set of queens pocket kings and no aces on the board going up against at best a smaller set, 2 pair or a possible inside straight draw big enough to drive a semi tractor trailer through, I think to myself  "I am golden".  Needles to say the donk on my left followed along, and like a good little donk called me all the way to the river with multiple raises.  Showdown time…Imagine my surprise when the donk turned over a small straight from catching a runner runner turn and flop.  How dare he take my pot I thought indignantly…I will have to give this donk a REAL poker lesson.  I then proceeded to tighten up a level on my normally tight play (almost impossible for me given my pention for top shelf starters in the first place) and really put the hammer down on him every time I had the odds.  When this didn’t work (he beat me every hand no matter what I had to start with or finish with) I became mad and even more indignant and proceeded to violate ALL of my rules and deliver my entire table stake to the lucky man in the video screen.  As my final chips fell into his stack he politely im'ed a kind word of blessing for my misfortune to which I politely replied back gg.  Finally exhausted from a long day, I got up from the table wearing my new/old donk suit and left with my pride wounded and my overall stake slightly diminished.  Needless to say I was tired at the time I erred but that is no excuse.  Large tourneys go long hours and you need to be able to play consistently no matter what the conditions and win (that’s what being a pro, is all about).  Even after reading all of the advice that says know when to say when, and get up from the table when your losses reach a certain point. I still made the error of thinking I was smarter than the cards and continued to play my stake to zero at the table.   Thank you ILgen for the kind words and valuable lesson (we donks have to stick together lol).  Hopefully writing it down myself this time will help it sink in a little better.  Now if you will excuse me I have to go write “I will not lose more than half my table stake before I get up and leave”  one million times on the chalkboard.
Cheers and beers
The FLcrackr