Whether you are a seasoned poker player or a recreational one, I think we can all relate fairly well to this post.  If you haven’t put it together yet, this post is about being pulled 2 ways while playing poker.

This post was inspired by my own play last night after doing something stupid at a FT.  I’ll break down the events that lead up to this “stupid mistake” by me:

I had been super aggro at the last 2 tables and built up a nice stack.  This doesn’t go unnoticed at this stage in a tourney by most players, so you have to expect to be played back at a bit.  So, we get to the FT and I’m CL and everyone is fairly deep stacked.

There was this 1 villain that I’d end up 3 betting from the blinds like 3 times, because they were opening position quite frequently, and that’s just not something you can let go on without keeping someone in check with a 3bet here and there.  Anyway, IP (In Position) this villain had flatted ALL my 3bets AND rivered a set/str8 against me everytime for big pots.  The holdings were always 46o type hands and so I started thinking how can I combat this, because I’m not going to let this guy keep doing this against me… (Yes, perhaps I could have taken different routes to avoid seeing rivers, ect., but the point of this post is not hand strategy).  Simply put, I was getting annoyed.

**So I had built up a stack of about 50bb and was dealt 88 in the SB and GUESS WHO raises IP???  Yes, above stated villain!  Here we go… this is  where I’m going to stand up… this is where I’m going to do something different to end this frustration and give myself some satisfaction over him… They make it 20k at 5k/10k, I make it 60k from SB, they make it 120k, I snap 5bet jam, then snap call with QQ – GOOD GAME DREW!

I proceed to slam my laptop shut and fume for a little.  I start asking myself “what just happened”?

This is what I came up with after reflecting upon the situation…

1st  – It’s good to have a plan in poker, but I should not be snap 5bet jamming 88 with 45bb, 6 handed at a FT. (I had planned on going balls to the wall with this hand, NOT thinking logically about it… BUT moreso emotionally).  BIG MISTAKE.  See 2nd thought below now.

2nd  – Villain in prior hands was FLATTING all my 3bets with these marginal holdings… why would they 4bet me with a marginal holding now?  When I make my 3bet larger than prior?

3rd – I had 45bb and there is no need for overplaying this hand in this spot with shorter stacks behind me… I got $900 for 6th and 1st was $4200.  Assuming an edge over most of the players remaining, I should not have to take a high variance line to ensure I get at least top 3 finish with this stack.

It took me 15 seconds to think of these 3 things after I busted and the timebank I had left was more than that.  So my fatal error here was that I let my EMOTIONS pull me off the track VS thinking LOGICALLY about the situation.

SIDENOTE: Looking at this from the other side, this is such a sick setup for this Villain.  This exact situation just goes to show the value in using your portrayed image and it coming in to play when forcing opponents to make mistakes.  If you can play the game and understand this dynamic well, you will make a shitload of money.  Also, to own someone on this level is quite a great feeling 😉

Hope this read was useful for anyone reading!

This is what seperates good players from great players… being able to seperate the two and keep your focus on the big pictures ect ect…