Playing Hold Em and Trying Not To Tilt
So, I drive up to the Indians to play some poker. It is a ninety mile round trip, which with my truck, costs just about nine gallons of gas.
I mark it down in my expense book because one the the rules that I have for playing poker is to keep track of expenses. I pick Hold Em poker for this trip because I have been playing it for free online and want to see if I have learned anything.
Real money poker is not like Internet poker. On the net you can play for free or you can play for real money. The Indians won't even look at you if you want to play for free in their card room.
I buy into the game with half the money that I have decided that I can afford to lose. Which necessarily means that I am not playing in a no limit game but one with a betting structure of $3.00 and $6.00. Not a high stakes game by any means but one in which you can make some money if you are careful.
The card room was crowded and I had to put my name up on the board to be called when they was an empty seat at a table. I killed some time by putting a twenty into a video poker machine. Usually I have pretty good luck playing video poker. This time was no different. No big wins but enough three of a kinds to have me pretty close to the twenty when they called my name.
I opted to pay the Big Blind in order to get into the game right away instead of waiting for it to come around to me. Shuffle and Deal. Pocket Aces for the first hand. "Cool." I sez to myself. "Pocket Aces and I am gonna slow play." So, I am standing with [ As,Ad] and the flop comes Ac,Kd,Jd. I have hit the set but the board looks like a Straight or a Flush could choke me. I still call. The turn card is no help to me, or the straight, or the Flush, it is 2c. I check. There are four people left in the hand. One guy bets. I raise just to see how the wind blows. I find out it is blowing gale force. Two more guys raise and one drops. As hard as it is to do I throw away the three Aces.
The hands went on like that for an hour. Just enough to skate me all the way to the river and then dump me on the bank. In the meantime I had to rebuy with the second half of my stake. I gotta admit that I was getting a little freaked out seeing good cards, winning cards, get beat time after time. Not even a mystery that they were losers to anyone who spends ten seconds reading the board. It was all right there for me to see in the middle of the poker table I knew that I was heading for tilt if things did not turn around.
The only way that I recovered my composure was to remember that my entire plan was designed to avoid tilt and heavy losses. I could loose my entire stake, get up from the table, and leave. Just the cost of doing business.
This will happen to everybody, sooner or later. The advantage of an Internet poker room is that you do not have to spend the money for gas, food, and drink. It is far easier to change tables on the Internet. The only thing that I could do was get up and walk around my chair a time or two. It was no help.
Thousands of people play for real money online everyday. Do not be afraid to download the software. Just follow the directions. The worst thing that you can do is begin by playing for real money. Play the free poker games first. And play them a lot. Go to a book store and buy a book on playing Texas Holdem. It is an investment that you will not regret. Read the book, then reread the book.
It will save you money and point you in the direction so that you can make some money playing texas Hold Em Poker. When you make your deposit into a real money account do not start out with a million dollars. Make the initial deposit small, just to see how things go. If they go badly, go back and play the free money games some more. If you think that Hold Em is all luck then you will never put in the time and effort that it takes to really learn the skill set that you need to play the game well.
Daniel Cates is already a legend among online poker players, as in just a few years he has risen to the top of high stakes heads-up tables, challenging everyone including Phil Ivey himself.