I learned an important lesson today.  I was playing in a .05/.10 no limit ring game today when I suffered two bad beats in the first four hands I played.  In both cases I was outdrawn on the river when I held otherwise superior cards.  I bought in for a mere $4.00 but was now down to my last $1.09.  What to do.  In the past my tendency was to shove with any two cards that added up to 18 and, as you might expect, I wound up losing significant big blinds per hand.  This was a hole in my game that needed filling if I intended to move into higher levels of risk.

I decided to tighten up.  Heck, I still had 10 BB left and I could still dip into my reserves if I busted out.  I decided I would only play premium hands.  For sure I was playing AA, AKs and AQs.  I would also play AKo as well.  Bigh Pairs were also in my sights KK, QQ, JJ and TT.  I would also wait for the following suited hands, AJ, AT, A9, KQ, KJ, KT and K9.  That was it.  I also would only play if I was on the button, in the cuttoff or in the hijack position and I would defend in the BB and SB as well.  I would become a rock.

Several hands went by with no action from me.  I won a couple of hands along the way because everyone folded to me while the BB.  I was getting antsy but I reminded myself that my play was designed to not have to dip further into my reserves.  I played several rounds without betting but then I looked down at AdJd.  I was in the cuttoff.  Yes, I could play a hand here.  There were two limpers in front of me.  I decided that a bet of 3 times the BB plus 2 more BB's, one for each limper would do.  That would put me nearly all in so I shoved my last 0.89 into the pot.  The button called as did the BB and one of the two limpers as well.  I thought, here it goes.  I'll surely get the worst of this.  The flop comes 2d7dkd.  My goodness I floped the joint.  There were no obvious straight combinations, no pairs so a full house was not yet in play.  I had the nuts if the hand held up.  The BB put in a pot sized raise and everyone else folded.  He turned over an Ac9h.  He needed runner runner AA but I had one of those aces.  He was drawing dead.  I earned a pot of right around $3.50. 

That hand and the sequence of patient folds before that hand provided me with the ammunition needed to grind some more at that table.  I stopped playing after about 250 hands up nearly $5.00.  Having been on the ventalator for a while, I realized that poker is a game of patience.  If I can wait and I make good decisions I will win over the long run.  Patience is the key to grinding out victories from the jaws of defeat.