Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Getting Lucky to Win

I think I found the key to motivating me to play more poker. My good friend the reload bonus is helping out. I took advantage of most recent reload bonus opportunity and I’ve actually played a fairly large amount of poker in the past week, trying to claim that bonus.

I was playing in one the 180 player SNGs when the following happened.

I had not been doing well, I was missing flops hard and my continuation bets were meeting stiff resistance. I don’t think I had won a pot when we were about half way through the first hour.

I had AJs in EP and put in a raise. I was re-raised by someone in middle position and called by a guy who had just pushed me on the flop of the previous pot. I thought that I had been showing weakness in the past few hands I played, so that may have encouraged the extra calls.

Anyway, I was short stacked and a little tilty so I pushed all-in, hoping that they didn’t have anything they wanted to risk a significant portion of their stacks on. Not a good idea in the early stages of a tourney which I should have known, but oh well. I was re-raised all-in by the guy in middle position and then called by my nemesis from the previous hand.

The first guy had QQ and the second KJo. Of course he hit a king on the flop and another on the turn to knock us both out. For the record, I’m not complaining about losing this hand, I deserved to lose it, just not to that guy.

After knocking us out he made some smart ass comment to which a couple other players at the table responded by telling him how much he sucks. I watched the table for a while as I fired up another tournament, and I think the whole table was on tilt after that event. The guy kept trash talking with at least three of the remaining players. At some point he made the following comment in defense of his calling two all-ins preflop for almost all of his chips with KJo. “You have to get lucky to win these tournaments.”

That has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Yes, you usually do have to get lucky once or twice to win large tournaments. Getting lucky means making a set when your pocket kings run into someone else’s aces, or flopping a straight with 57o in the big blind after four players limp in. It does not mean you should intentionally seek out situations in which to put yourself where you have little chance at success. Doing that will only lead you to the rail faster than normal.

You can become a successful player by minimizing the amount of luck needed to win. The more +EV situations you put yourself in, the better you will do. If you repeatedly put yourself in losing situations you shouldn’t be surprised at all the bad luck you run into. I would bet that the people who make plays like that are the same ones who always complain about how unlucky they are or the site is rigged against them.

I really wanted to watch that table in hopes that the guy would make anther play like that and bust out, but the table broke up and I didn’t care enough to go find his new table.

On a non complaining note, after royally sucking in the 180 player SNGs that I played I finally got back in the groove playing a couple single table SNGs and finishing in first and second. So now I just need to keep playing somewhat regularly to stop myself from getting so rusty again.

Originally posted at



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