Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Subtle Tilt: The Devil Inside

Last night was a losing night, -3 BB. Why is this worth taking up space on a page to mention? Subtle tilt didn’t get me, that’s why. The games last night weren’t quite as loose and sloppy as they were on Monday, but they were still decent. I started out on $2/4, but these were way too tight (pots averaging about 4 BB) so I dropped down to the looser $1/2, where they were running at least 7 10 BB/pot.

Right out of the gate, I get KK. I love great hands like this but am always worried when I get them on the first hand. After a preflop 3-bet with 5 people coming along for the ride, the flop comes AA2 and is 3 bet in front of me, so I feel I have to dump it. I suppose that this could be argued as weak playing given the size of the pot, but it turns out my read was good since the SB had A2 for the flopped full house. Ugh. Over the next 2 orbits I had quite a few really good starting hands, most coming with position. The problem was that either the flop didn’t cooperate (at all) or the river would save someone who had been calling against my top holding. I managed to get rivered five times within those first three orbits, and I could feel the subtle tilt coming on.

I opened up another table to play while I battled at the first one, and resolved to do one thing: Keep playing my good holdings aggressively, even though I’ve been getting crucified by suckouts thus far. This is much easier said than done for me, because when things go as they were last night, you can hear the pinging of the fish radar noticeably increase.

Fish Radar?

Yes, fish radar. I call it fish radar in general, but it applies to good players as well as fish. I can’t exactly blame them either, given the amount of hands I happened to be playing, and losing. The one or two decent players at the table kept coming at me, of course, because they immediately tagged due to the sheer amount of hands played in only a few orbits. 14 hands in three full orbits, I would have tagged me as a loose fish too, but goddamnit, I had an unusually high amount of playable starting hands! It worked out eventually, as the aforementioned decent players at the table finally realized I wasn’t the fish they originally thought once some of my later hands started to hold up. Hell, one of them even commented on the fact. I wish it would have taken them a bit longer to notice, however, because it took away from my comeback profit.

Next comes the second, and most often seen incarnation of the “Fish Radar”. Once I got rivered for the third or fourth time, any time I was in the hand so were the loose fish, no matter what. You could literally hear them thinking, “This time is my turn to suckout.” They all had tone and were looking to knock me out of the sky. Thankfully the cards turned, I was able to throw out some chaff, and eventually escaped the fishy missiles.

Here is why I’m proud of my loss: As I stated earlier, I’m normally very susceptible to the subtle tilt, slipping quickly into weak/tight mode when my good hands don’t hold up. By continuing to play my good holdings as they should be played, I made many more BB’s than I would have had I succumbed, and thereby limited and nearly eradicated my early losses. I won’t say this time that I’m over it or immune to it, but I can proudly report that it’s getting better, slowly but surely.

Note to the fishes: Pray for a quick death, cuz I’m steady coming for ya.

Obligatory Reminder:

Details: Wednesday, March 30th
$20 + $2 - No-Limit
Poker Stars - Private tournament tab
Password: thehammer

I can’t make it to the tourney tonight, but watch out anyway, Mrs. Head will be stepping in for me. Good Luck to everyone!