Week three of my challenge draws to an end and the poker gods keep treating me nicely. Last week's run, of course, didn't last - variance asked for revenge eventually. I lost $18 in one session, $7 in another, but picked myself up again, booked a new daily profit record of $69 on 2 Nov, before slipping down again by $38 the next day.

Those ugly swings still bother me, though not as much as they used to before I revised my bankroll management rule. Also, can't really complain. My upswings, thankfully, tend to be longer and stronger than my downswings. As a result, I'm proud to report an overall profit of $80.74 since the start of my challenge on 13 Oct.

It could have been considerably higher had I not played yesterday (those -$38 ) when I was a) too tired and b) too full of myself from my previous big win. [Sorry, I had to insert this extra space between 38 and the bracket because PSO kept poking fun at me by transforming 38 plus bracket into 3]

I don't know about you, but I can't help to notice some deep wise logic hidden in this apparent chaos called variance. Whenever I start becoming too cocky I hit a wall - and start losing badly.

Some call it bad luck, Tendler calls it overconfidence tilt. I should look into this more closely, I guess. Though, honestly, I thought this was the one sort of tilt that didn't apply to me. In fact, it usally takes just one bad losing session to break my confidence and at least five big winning sessions to build it back up again. So me and overconfidence tilt?? Nah.


Anyway, I wanted to tell you something else as well: I ventured into Skill League territory! My timing, admittedly, couldn't have been worse: 29 Oct, only two more days to go before the race to the top would reach its monthly finish line. I was aware of that, of course, just somehow wanted to see how I would fare.

The Open Skill League tournaments don't normally fit into my full-time-job-need-to-go-to-bed-at-some-point schedule, so I had played only one (very short-lived) tournament in October, resulting in a sad thirty-five thousand something rank in the League table. This weekend, the winter time change worked in my favour with the tournament starting one hour earlier than usual - and then THIS happened:

I managed a spectacular no 69 finish out of a field of 10,000!

When I told my girlfriend (next morning after a rather long MTT and rather short night) she was really impressed.

When she learnt about the payout, not so much anymore.

'Why the hell would you play five hours for a lousy 1 cent?', was her not so unreasonable question. My ramblings about emotional payout, an unheard of astronomical twenty-five thousand player leap to rank ten thousand something, and my mentioning of the impressive League Rank 1 payout didn't really do the trick after that. Especially since the League Rank 1 argument clearly didn't apply this time.

In any case, I thought I'd share my busting hand with you as it relates to my current love-hate subject: tilt. More specifically: revenge tilt.

There was this guy or girl (I don't know, let's just say 'he' for simplicity here, no offense intended) to my left. In two subsequent orbits it's folded to us when I'm in the small blind with villain in the big blind. Both times my holdings are decent enough for a steal raise and might even be good enough to continue playing after the flop, if villain called. Which, of course, he doesn't. He also doesn't fold.

Nope, villain reraises me all-in. Twice! In a row! Probably had crap, damn it! But that's all he needed (together with some guts) to push me off my mediocre steal holdings. F*&%ing smart moron.

Third orbit, it's folded to us blinds again. Deja vue. But this time I'm looking down at TT. Ha! Gonna get his sorry reraise-all-in-smart-ass and TRAP him (imagine really evil anticipatory laughter here).

So, I cheekily min-raise just as before (with 2 big blinds usually enough at this blind level to steal). But this time...

Of course, he flats me. Buggar.

I am now looking at a very unwelcome overcard, one that could easily be within villain's calling range. I c-bet, and then, something familiar happens. He belatedly re-raises me all-in.

Only this time I'm in a slightly better position. I have a hand to speak of, and I reason: if he had a king he'd be more clever letting me bet off the rest of my stack or reraise me on the turn (unless he wanted to protect a king from a flush or if he was drawing himself, but this raise seemed just too big for a real hand). Also, if he had a pocket pair 44+ or so, he would have reraised me all-in preflop. So I put him on a very low pocket pair or, more likely, a marginal holding like 56s or 67s that would have warranted a call (just) and would give him bottom pair. So my tens should be good, I thought, and made the call. Watch how the drama unfolds....

At least I was right about his holdings. Kinda proud of my reading skills here. The call was a good one, too. And the 8, well, who would have guessed it was coming?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about a bad beat here, even though it certainly was an annoying one.

I'm sharing this little tragic episode because it's a wonderful example of revenge tilt gone wrong. Since what I really should have and - under tilt-free circumstances - would have done is to just shove my last eleven something big blinds here. Villain would have had to fold his crappy 68o without a moment's hesitation and I would have stayed in the tournament a sweet little bit longer. I might even have made it to a 2 cents worth of prize money to brag about to my girlfriend. Well, let's just say: Thank god, it wasn't Sunday Storm...

Right after this game I added 'revenge tilt' to my personal tilt-demons-to-work-on list and started working on it yesterday - with some first funny results. More about this in my next post.

For now, see you at the tables or here.