Have you ever played a hand so bad that you just can’t let it go? During the session you keep thinking about it. The next day you keep thinking about it. It’s like a festering infection. It’s like the first time somebody put those trick candles in your birthday cake. You blow out the flames, but then they just keep popping back up. At first it’s freaky, and annoying, and everyone is laughing, but I’m not having fun. Playing a hand bad and having it keep coming back in my mind is just like that, except it’s the entire universe laughing at me, and it’s definitely not fun. That’s why, ever since my fifth birthday, I have dedicated my life to gaining the ability to stop the taunting, and I’m pretty far along, but I’m not all the way cured. There are times, like when I totally butcher 72o, a hand that I have misplayed many times, when the coming back keeps comes back.
Like this one time, in Vegas. I was playing in a full $5-10 blinds no-limit hold’em game at The Venetian. Two players folded, and the next player opened for $30. This guy was as reliable as a coin flip. Heads he folds, tails he plays. Yes, he liked to see lots of flops, and yes, his hand range here was very wide, but he was by no means what I would call a donator. He did not get strung out for big money before the flop, or after it, without good cause. Even though he gave himself plenty of rope, he almost never hung himself with it.
Two players called behind him, and the small blind folded. I was in the big blind, and despite having 7-2 offsuit, I folded.
Do I suck or what? My image at the time was very tight, very disciplined, very much like the kind of guy who, if he were to raise from the big blind in this spot, to say, $150, the chances that anyone would call would be dang near zero. That was me. That was who I was at that moment. I was a guy who was looking at one hundred and five dollars sitting in the middle of the table as if it was just sitting there on a sidewalk, and I neglected to pick it up.
Okay, thanks for listening to my bad play story. I think I can let that hand go now.
[This post is still growing, and it will very likely appear in BLUFF Magazine after it matures.]