I could go on like this for another thousand words or so, but I’ll spare you any more verbosity. While there were some amazing hands played at that table, I didn’t play any of them. My two chances to make any sort of big money fell apart when I overplayed Cowboys and forced out a guy with TPTK, and when everybody folded to a minimum raise when I held AA.
After finally peeling myself away from the table, more than slot hoki $100 in the hole, I realized that I might as well have been playing with my cards face up. My opponents didn’t need their cards to beat me.
I struggled for most of the next day, trying to figure out how I could be so successful online, but fail so miserably sitting at a cheap $30 max buy-in NL homegame table. It was, to date, my worst live performance ever.
I’ve come up with a few conclusions, and would appreciate any thoughts from people who play a good mix of online and live play.
1) No matter how good my hand, I mentally noted the nuts and convinced myself my opponent was holding it. When I believe my opponent is always holding the nuts, I can’t convince myself to play my game. As such, as a matter of pride, I refused to show down my hand and cost myself money in the long run. That leads me to…
2) Pride cometh (or perhaps, goeth) before the fall. See, since I hadn’t played at this game before, I wanted to look good. I wanted people to see me as I see myself: A solid poker player. Since I wanted show down amazing hands, I folded weak but winning hands. Unfortunately, my pride backfired on me. After initially representing myself as a solid rockish player, I became known as a passive player who would fold to bets on the river. The good players at the table picked up this tell very quickly and exploited it to their advantage.
3) After playing tens of thousands of hands online, I think I have forgotten the absolute necessity of maintaining–for need of a better term– my poker face. After eighteen months of auto-posted blinds and the ability to cheer out loud when I hit my flush, my tells were so obvious that even I was picking up on them. By the end of the night, heads up with Missouri Josh, I caught myself picking up my cards to fold them before he even bet. That’s just sad.
4) After losing two buy-ins, I became obsessed with the idea of getting back to even, forgetting that in a ring game you don’t have to play your stack like one would in a tournament.
5) I’m not as good as I think I am. My B&M; play has been basically limited to limit play (my strong suit). My homegame NL play has been limited to two games that I can beat with some regularity. This was a new NL game, however, against relative unknowns. Good players can adjust their style to fit the game. In an effort to do so, I adjusted improperly and lost several buy-ins as a result.
I made it home by about 2:30am and willed myself to go to bed instead of firing up Empire. By Sunday, I had recovered emotionally enough to get back to playing my regular online game. I played my limit ring game and SNG’s all day long, cashing in 75% of the SNGs. I made back my losses from the previous night and woke up this morning feeling a little better about my game.
BadBlood is thinking about another game in a couple of weeks.
I think I’ll title that post, “Fish, back in the water.”