The lessons are becoming harder and harder. I used to enjoy the rush and swings of playing Poker and Blackjack. However, when I was wagering $40-$80 a night the stakes weren’t too high. But now the swings are becoming much bigger and it hard to calm my nerves after a night like last night.
I arrived at Talking Stick at about 7pm with $250 ready to play my game of choice: $2-$3 no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em. I was called into a table at seat 5, between an older Asian woman and a business man. The first hour was, for the most part, uneventful. I had taken down a couple of small pots and was sitting at about $330. With a solid read on my opponents and a pleasant atmosphere my confidence was bolstered and I was certain I would be able to triple my money before the end of my session. However, things changed when I came across the following hand.
The small/big blind post their antes and the Asian lady to the right of me, who was under the gun, raised to $15. With the action on me I look down to my hole cards and I see a beautiful hand, 2 black Kings. With pocket K’s I decide to re-raise, “Make it $45” I say with confidence. A tight player in seat 7 calls my raise, as well as the small blind, and the Asian lady. Nobody re-raised my raise so I was certain I had the best starting hand. I figured the guy in seat 7 for pocket Qs, and wasn’t sure what seats 2 and 4 were holding.
Then comes the flop: J-9-J. Seats 2 & 4 both check so I decide to bet $75. Seat 7 quickly shoves all of his chips in for about $180 total. Now the man in seat 2 is debating whether or not to call, while the Asian lady to my right is holding her cards in a manner which suggests that she is going to fold. While this is going on I replay the events through my head, “So, there was a $15 raise preflop, I re-raised to $45 and nobody tried to re-pop my bet. I think seat 7 has Pocket Q’s, Seat 2 probably has a strong Ace (e.g. AK, AQ, A10suited) and it looks like seat 4 is going to fold.” I continue to ensure myself that I am a huge favorite to win this pot, “Okay Alex. There’s about $415 in the pot, you have the best hand, you got this.” Seat 2 finally folds, but then out of nowhere the Asian lady pushes all of her chips in. Without hesitating I say “call”. At this point seats 4 & 7 are both all-in while I still have about $80 left.
Before the dealer is finished dealing the turn and river I flip over K’s and seat 7 quietly mucks his hand, pocket Queens. Now all that stands between me and the $580 pot is a small Asian lady with a striped shirt. The board now read: J-9-J-7-9. With my K’s face up on the table I am certain I have just won, when she remarks “I have fuhh howse” the accent just furthering my hatred for her. She flips over K-J for Jacks full of 9s.
I AM NOW OFFICIALLY ON TILT.
I drop another $100 bill on the table giving me a total of $160 in chips. Two hands later I end up busting out to the same woman when I go all in on the flop with a suited Q-8, while the board read: 10-6-3 with two spades. The final spade never came. Now I am down $400 in two hours and I know I should probably call it a night, but I don’t.
Over the course of the next couple of hours I withdraw $200 twice, loosing it on bad calls and some ill advised slot play. I end up leaving the casino at 4:30am with a single $100 bill in my pocket and a valet ticket. I try not to think about the money I just lost and distract myself during the lonely ride home. I wake up at 10am this morning, almost forgetting that I had just lost $800 about 10 hours prior, but then quickly remember. I drive into work and sit down in my office chair and think, “Fuck! I wasted almost a grand last night and have nothing to show for it. I should have bought a new T.V. or something. I’m a fucking idiot”.
I know my friends are going to be disappointing in me, but they’ve gotten used to the swings almost as much as I have. I’ve found it is very difficult to build one’s bankroll. I keep fluctuating +/- $1,000 every 1-2 weeks. I sure hope I find a way to steadily build it up, otherwise I won’t be able to keep playing.