Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Mental Error

Two days ago, while playing a little .50/$1 6-max PLH on Full Tilt I had made a huge and embarrassing mistake. Here is how the hand went down:

An under the gun player raised to $3 and the button called and I called as well in the big blind with 33. I hit gold on the flop when it came up T 7 3 rainbow. I checked and so did the raiser and the button bet out $7. I flat called him and the pre-flop raiser bailed. The next card was an off suit K and I checked it again. The button did not disappoint and went ahead and bet $10. I check raised him to $25 and he re-raised enough to effectively put me all in so I pushed the rest of the way. Surprisingly, he flipped over AA and the river bricked. With that hand out of the way, I turned my attention to my other tables. When I looked back, the player I had just "busted" typed in the chat box "??". Since that made me curious, I took a look at his stack and it was double what I had. So now I asked myself, "did he make a straight or something on the river?"

Now I was somewhat distraught so I started looking through the hand histories and guess what I found? I was never dealt 33 in the first place! I actually had 44 and totally whiffed on the flop. My first reaction was a pain at the loss of $200 I thought that I had but the feeling was quickly replaced by a feeling of embarrassment. I wanted to type back in the chat box that I had misread my hand for the set in order to salvage my ego, but even as my heart was racing, I told myself that it is far more productive to let them believe that I am a complete donkey maniac so that I could get paid off handsomely on future pots.

Since this is the type of mistake that I probably only make every 100,000 hands or so, it is important to make the best of it. Otherwise you have wasted all of your money. And who knows? Perhaps that grave mental error could actually end up netting you much more than that in your session because you were able to swallow your pride and focus on your "implied donkey odds"?

Even though this particular error is rare, in a future post I will point out some more frequent mental errors that you should watch out for more ways to prevent them. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Ouch that sucks. Sometimes the power of wishful thinking can play tricks and we've all had similar experiences no doubt.

I remember vaguely wondering what the super-tight player could possibly be calling with, when I cunningly overbet value-shoved the nuts on the river and I saw his chips go flying in. I'd made the nut flush on the turn and there was some action which should have rung my alarm bells a bit.

Of course a big omaha hand on another table had distracted me from noticing the turn had actually paired the board...

On that occasion I think I was incredibly lucky to make the money back from the same player in a nuts (for real this time) versus second nuts hand. I suppose if he hadn't thought I was a huge monkey he could have folded.

By the way this blog has definitely gained some great new material recently, keep up the good work!

Lorin Yelle said...

Yeah, well this hand actually gave insight into a whole new scenario. If I had been the other player in this situation I would have immediately donned this "idiot" with the purple flag- my own greatest insult that basically signifies that player X has no fucking clue what is going on.

Now I realized that if someone else makes such a mistake (such as calling an all in bet with something like Q-high with no outs on the turn) it is better to temporarily suspend judgment rather than make a critical profiling error. After all, if a player is THIS BAD then he will surely expose himself as such in short order.