“But I just got here!”

Isn’t it funny how the cards fall sometimes.  As you read my posts, you’ll find that I may sometimes disagree with the “norm”, but my opinion is this… how many of these so-called poker bloggers and magazine writers are winning poker players?   I don’t know.  At any rate, I digress…where was I?  Oh yes, the cards and how they fall.

Because I live in Vegas, I find that games are usually a bit tougher on weekends.  Obviously in Vegas, lots of people come in from out-of-town and the player familiarity just isn’t the same as it can be on a Monday or Tuesday morning.  Knowing this, I cut my Friday night activities short and decided to get home and get in bed early.  I knew there was a major convention in town which meant that the poker rooms would be crowded.  My intent was to wake up early Saturday morning well rested and ready for a long day of grinding out profits at the poker table.

I arrive at the City Center around 10:00AM and immediately put my name on the new $9-$18 limit game (which I think has now become a standing $10-$20).  Shortly after I arrived, there were enough names to get a new game going – and so my poker day begins.  Oddly enough, first hand there was a gentleman who set the tone of the game by putting in a live $18.  For those of you who may not be familiar, “live $xx anything” equates to a straddle, which means that the player immediately to the left of the big blind can double that blind and steal the last action.  It’s known as a sucker move and mostly people who don’t like chips in front of them will do this, because you’re blindly adding double the blind in early (bad) position, and 99% of the time it will get capped before the flop.  I’ll write more on how it’s best said to play in this situation later.  I’m on the button first hand and I look down to see  AK suited spades.  I re-raise when it gets to me and of course because bad players can’t let down their ego’s, the “straddler” caps the action.  The board comes A-2-K and the action is again capped.  Turn J, which also made a flush and river K.  Needless to say, I won a huge pot.  If I recall correctly, I’m already ahead about $310 after the first hand.  Why is this important and relevant to my story?  Because I play with daily limits and goals.  Being in Vegas and having the action readily available to me any day of the week, I feel that if I don’t have a system of limits and goals, then I probably wouldn’t survive long in this town.  Especially being it that I love to play poker and can sit hours upon hours in a game.  Well lately my goal has been $500 a day and on any day that I get involved in three pots and lose.  I go home.  This is how I know to stop.  Well with my theory fast in motion, I play my second hand and again, look down to see what I deem as a big hand and I’m on the cutoff with QQ.  With the “vivace” of the table, needless to say the action is capped again by the time it gets to me and I reluctantly call.  Flop comes out 9-5-2.  Two bets to me and I three bet only to have the button press it and the big blind cap the action again.  Turn 2 with a raise and river 2.  Pot is just under $700.  The hands exposed are A9, 1010, JJ and my QQ which again scoops the pot.  Now I’m ahead by about $750.  If I’m true to myself and my goals, it’s time to leave.  I could walk out with $250 gravy over my $500 win goal and enjoy the rest of my Saturday at the gun range.  I decide to take off three more hands (just in case I’m on a rush).  AJ off-suit, folded pre-flop to a capped bet, 7-5 off, fold and 2-2 which I also fold to a three bet in middle position.  I grab some chips trays, rack my chips and head off to the cashier.

Five little hands of poker on a day that I prepared and was ready to play all day.  I think this is important to write about because there are so many players who want to play this game to win, but don’t.  So many who set goals and don’t follow them.  I hope to expose all of the weaknesses of bad players but also, I want to discuss the struggles that the average everyday poker schmoe like myself goes through on our quest to play the game we love and be a winner.  Setting goals is so very important to a person who plays to win and having the discipline to get up from the table when the goal had been achieved is even more important.  I love to play poker and certainly could have sat in that poker room all day enjoying the sights, and sounds of the beautiful new City Center and all of its glory.  Instead, I left with my $500 goal attained, plus $250 in gravy… and let me say this…I had a great time spending some of that extra money.

Be disciplined.  And remember TIGHT – SOLID – AGGRESSIVE is the best way to play.

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