Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Online Poker Challenge: Lessons Learned From Another Tough Month

Share this
Warning posted on this blog: Bad Beat Stories May Appear.

That's what happens when you have yet another bad month in online poker.

I'll keep them to a minimum. In fact, the only time I'll really mention them is in a few lessons I learned from this month's tough luck.

The lessons are worth learning.

I thought this month would be just like last month when it started with a winning session. Rush Poker on Full Tilt continued to treat me well, at least that's what I thought when I hit quads in Holdem in one hand and doubled through another player with A-A-x-x doubled suited in Omaha.

I also played a hand well in Omaha. I flopped top two pair with Q-J when I called a guy's raise. The guy bet the pot on the flop, and I raised. When he raised me back, I pushed. Here's why: I knew he had AA.

I don't see people raise with Q-Q or J-J at those levels, and that's really all that can beat me here with his raise. People also overplay A-A at this level (.10/.25), and I got the idea he didn't want me around. It's OK to be afraid of monsters in Omaha but I really didn't believe he had one based on his hard betting. It turns out I was right.

Alas, my luck turned after that session. A few days later, on March 4, I was sucked out on quite a few times. The worst was when I had a pair and an open-ended straight draw. I made my straight on the turn, and he called my push with two-pair. He got his boat on the river. A four-outer after this kind of a night.

This was what happened to me all last year and January. I really honestly thought the streak might finally be coming to an end, but I guess I was wrong. It's really frustrating, but it's not like I blew all my profit from last month. I quit after that hand. I do my best to never play while on tilt. This is probably the only real reason I'm a winning player.

A week later, during a session, I lose to set over set, yet again (and in Holdem, not in Omaha, where it's much more common). I lose when a flush draw hits for all our money in when I'm way ahead. I'm about ready to quit for the month.

I finally win during a session on March 12, a few days later, when I suck out on someone (!!!). I'm very confused by this. But this is why I continue to play. I still honestly believe that it all evens out one day. I really believe that. Some months it's hard to tell.

I played a couple days later and played fairly well but I didn't get as much value as I could have because I was too careful. One long-standing problem of mine is when I do start to make a profit I tend to button up a bit because I don't want to lose it. Honestly that means I play better because I'm more patient, but I do leave some value on the table. You have to be willing to gamble a bit in poker sometimes, and when I'm ahead, I have trouble with that.

I lose a couple days later, and we're off again, when a flush draw hits against me after we put all the money in, and my pair and flush draw doesn't hit against another player a few minutes later. If it were one way or another, I could take it.

My session ends with a tough cooler, and I burn off a few more bucks.

The main lesson that I honestly didn't see last year, and what I didn't see until now, was I had always prided myself on not playing on tilt, but in fact I was playing on tilt.

It was an extended tilt, the kind that lingers after the bad beats and stays in your head without you realizing it's actually there.

It's the kind of tilt that makes you play sooted cards, high cards with weaker kickers to a raise or hang on to overpairs after a dangerous board hits. It's a bad, inpatient way to play poker, but it's the kind of poker you play when you're on this extended tilt because you think:

• "There's no way I could continue to get sucked out on."
• "I have to play this hand fast and hard because that's how my opponents have played and it's worked for them."
• "I'll suck out. It's only fair."

These all were in my head, even when I didn't realize it, even days after my last bad session.

It's no way to play poker.

Sometimes losing streaks can help you win money in the future. We'll see if I'm right next month.

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed