So, Hoy has won with AA thirty times in a row in cash games. Kudos to him and I wish him the best of luck with that hand in the future. AA tilt is insidious. In Super System, Brunson writes how he would rather play AK than AA. Seemingly counter-intuitive, it makes more sense the more I play poker. AK is simply easier to get away from in scary situations. Even with TPTK, I can fold against strength. Holding that AA, I often feel invincible even though I still only have one pair.
A few months ago, I lost $1100 over the span of three hands with AA. By three hands, I mean I played AA on the first and lost $650. I folded the next hand. On the very next one, I picked up AA again and lost $450. Now on the first one of those, I got most of my money in behind as my opponent had hit two pair on the flop. On the second, we got in pre-flop and I just got outdrawn. At that point, I went on a very focused form of rage tilt. Down to $300 in my account at this site, I brought it all back to the 2/5 NL, $500 max buy-in table where I had just dropped four figures. Now, I have always played right at the edge of my bankroll but that’s O.K. by me as it is not the rent money I am playing with. This site has always been my cash cow as I haven’t had to deposit any money there in three years now but I was a heartbeat away from changing that with my desperation move. I had moved up to take a stab and I was putting myself in position to take a stabbing.
Apart from the rage though, I had knowledge. I now knew why certain players always seemed to get lucky against me and why they always had big stacks in front. Unlike many of the other players, I never said a word when their little suited connectors connected to win a big pot. I just observed as I realized they knew something I didn’t. What they knew was that I was going to raise big PP and AK 3x the blind pre-flop, bet on the flop no matter what, and probably play the PP to the river unless an over card scared me. With that knowledge, they could call with almost anything, fold if the flop didn’t help, but stack me off if it did. I resolved to not be that predictable again.
Now, I got lucky for sure. That night, I took my 300 and ran it back up to 1300 and went to bed a little happier. AA tilt had caused me to do a stupid thing but I had been fortunate enough to make it through the night without having to transfer funds from another site. Most importantly, I learned a lesson that has proved profitable for me since.
Cut to last Saturday night. After threading my way deep into the 28K on FT, I was sitting with an average stack with about 250 players left (180 pay). The dream scenario occurred with me in the SB. A late position player with approximately my stack size, raises 4x the blind. I raise a little more than the law requires as the BB (big stacked) is the only one left to act and I would not have been upset with two callers there as it would have been nice to triple up. Alas, the BB folds, the late position player (LPP?) goes all-in and I call to see his QQ. He hits the Q on the flop and rivers a four card flush as I don’t have the A of spades. I’m out short of the money. No big whoop. It happens.
Forty-five seconds later on TP at a 1/2 $200 max buy in NLHE table, I pick up AA and get into a raising war with another player. We eventually end up AI pre-flop with him turning over T5o. Ten on turn, ten on river and I am speechless. Per my routine, I am silent. Another player types “disgusting.” I sit mute. For two hours, I continue to play typical Pirate poker (TPP) and chip up on one table, stay around my starting stack on the other. At quitting time, I resolve to play two more hands. AA tilt has been dormant for hours now but it has been festering. I end up pushing TPCK with a flush draw that I really have nowhere near the odds I need to push with. I lose and my -200 night turns into a -400 night in the blink of an eye. I felt cheated losing with AA getting in so good and I tried to get it back by playing like a bozo. Do I make that move if I had lost earlier through a bad play by me? I don’t think so. I feel as though the earlier hand colored my whole night. As soon as I realized that I was still upset, I should have stopped to regroup rather than trying to plough through. I hope this lesson sticks.
See everyone tonight.