You know it’s just a matter of time before you find yourself holding an ace. Don’t let that card affect your judgment. Look at what it did to Larry and find out how you can avoid it.
Dear 888 Poker,
I feel as though I’ve gradually become a sucker for aces. Whenever I get one, it affects my judgement as I automatically assume I’m on the road to riches. I appreciate that this is incongruous behaviour, but is there a simple way of eradicating it from my game?
It’s no surprise to hear you get carried away when you land an ace – loads of people do, even though they know they shouldn’t.
They key is to keep bullets in perspective. There’s no doubt it’s an extremely valuable card when you’re head-to-head and frankly, it can assist in you being the aggressor if your kicker is low. Of course, should your opponent move all-in in such circumstances though, you could have some trouble.
As for an easy way of eradicating your bullet infatuation: the simple answer is to recognise what you’re doing. It is, after all, just one card, but you should also keep an eye on your opponents because although an ace is valuable, you have to consider whether it’s valuable enough (on its own) to jeopardise your game by prompting you to make a bad decision.
The Poker Guru
I have a friend who recently played a couple of local tournaments and a host of cash games during what was supposed to be an exam revision break (I know, I know), but he failed to cash in the tourneys and came out losing in the cash games too.
However, as we shared a beer afterwards and I commiserated with him, his response was, ‘ I actually played quite well; I was unlucky to lose.’ I couldn’t believe it! He lost a fair wedge (in student terms), but reckoned he’d learnt a lot. Is there any such thing as a ‘good loss’? It seems contradictory to me.
By the sound of things, you’re quite a competitive guy – the sort for whom winning at all costs matters. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, would you be satisfied if you won a poker tournament as a result of being incredibly lucky or if you knew you had played poorly? I think I know the answer.
Those for whom winning is everything probably cannot appreciate your pal’s post-tourney response. That’s understandable, but it doesn’t make his more measured tones any less valid.
I suspect he evaluates his game according to how he implemented a specific strategy or how good he was at mixing up the play, how effective his bluffing was, and so on. It follows that he understands when he plays well yet doesn’t get the rub of the green. Significantly however, he probably won’t suffer if he embarks on a losing run (provided he’s playing well) because he also knows that should his chip stack last that long, he’ll get a result in the end.
Moreover, tilt is unlikely to have much of a prolonged impact upon such a measured player as he sounds a patient type who avoids panicking. Unlike for you (and this is not a criticism), to him there is such a thing as a ‘good loss’ which might be difficult for you to appreciate. In short, I would have to agree with your mate, even though he probably should have been revising.
The Poker Guru