Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ice-cold Poker = Tilt-free Poker

The title of this blog is "Ice-cold Poker", and I'd like to mention why I chose it. I believe that I perform best when I'm able to think and reason clearly, and for that to happen my mind cannot be pre-occupied or distracted by anything, especially emotions. An excess of emotion may lead to decisions being made based on factors other than reason and instinct, both of which arise from our faculties of intelligence. As we all know, choosing a particular course of action because we are angry, frustrated, depressed or even just because we 'feel like it', can result in undesirable, and sometimes even disastrous consequences.
When I'm sat at the poker table, emotions should have no impact on my decision making. Each decision to check, call, bet, raise or fold should be based solely on reasoning stemming from observation, deduction, rational theory and occasionally instinct, which to me is the brain telling you something it cannot easily explain. For this reason, poker play should be as unemotional as possible, hence my blog title-cum-mission-statement of "Ice-cold Poker". By playing such poker, I can maximise the number of correct decisions I make through intelligent reasoning, and reduce the number of incorrect decisions made through emotional interference, including tilt. Thus, if I achieve my ideal 'ice-cold' mindstate, then I thereby achieve a tilt-free mindset. I cannot yet play this way all the time, but when this becomes a habit then I hope it will help make me a far stronger player.

It's been a good week results-wise since my last post, and I feel I have been playing very well. There were a few situations however where I felt like a left some money on the table: one where I flopped a fullhouse; and another where I had the nut fullhouse on the river. I'll leave the latter for another day, and focus on the former where I was lucky enough to flop a fullhouse with JJ.....

I was playing a fairly loose $2/4 game on UB and was dealt JJ in UTG+1 (is this known as the hijack seat?). UTG raised to $14, and I called, since in my position I didn't want to get caught out of position in a raising war if someone behind me also had a strong hand. The cutoff also call the raise, and the blinds folded.

The flop came down Jc 4h 4c (Gin!!!)

UTG bet out $40 into the $46 pot. I deliberated, then called, glad that there was a flush chase on the board for deception. The cutoff also called, taking the pot to $166. At this point I thought UTG had a big pair or something like AK, and the cutoff had at least a flush draw if not a 4.

The turn came down Jc 4h 4c (3c)

Bingo! The flush card came and I thought I was going to get paid off by at least one of my opponents. UTG checks, and I decide to bet out a weak $70, looking for a raise from anyone holding the flush or possibly an overpair with a high Club. To my dismay, both players folded.

What did I do wrong here? Should I have checked the turn myself, or was it the size of my bet that was suspect?


Fuel55 said...

You have to build a pot. Unfortunately neither opponent had a flush draw and they decided to put you on one.

lj said...

agreed. i don't think you did anything wrong. you're hoping they have a flush, are willing to play their overpair or 4 hard, or put you on a bluff. clearly neither opponent had a real hand they were willing to play to a paired board w/ three to a flush.

AnguilA said...

I don't think there's anything else you can do there. If someone had the flush you would have won a very nice pot!

SubZero said...

Maybe I was unlucky that neither of them had a flush draw or overpair. But that begs the question: what the hell did the cutoff have??? The flush was the only draw on the board!

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I think I woulda checked the turn with the intent of raising. Based on the sequence so far, it would be very hard to put you on JJ so if someone had the flush, your indication of strength with a checkraise would not deter the guy with a flush, IMO.

But then again, I think I would probably make less than you by raising on the flop. When UTG bets out, I would just double his bet to make it seem like "I hit my jack but I'm not so sure exactly where I stand so I'm gonna raise you but only a minimum so that if you come over the top I will fold" and try to sell that message. If you raise on the flop, if UTG has a pair bigger than QQ, he'll pay you off. Maybe the cutoff had a pair like 99 or something and with one over was willing to call?