I can feel 'em, crawling around my ankles. Serpents of self-doubt, poison to a poker player, if I'm silly enough to call myself that. After today, I'm feeling snakebit, and while the logical portion of my mind knows that most of the time I made the right moves, the moves you have to be able to make if you're going to play this game at any level bigger than kitchen table piggy-bank levels, they didn't work out so much and I'm gonna have to hit an ATM again before I can make any more plays of any kind.
I started off at the Rio, because one thing I wanted to do this trip was play rooms I've never played before, and that one certainly qualifies. I helped start a game, and took a couple bad beats to kill my buy-in. One hand was actually interesting, and is a classic case of getting the desired response and not the desired results. I had a hair over $60 in my stack, after one really sick beat and one big draw that I missed. I picked up Ax-Qc in the SB. We were 6-handed, and I had already decided that I was in my last orbit, so there were only a couple more hands left in me. I made it $15 to go, and got two callers. Flop came down A-8-X rainbow. I look down, and start to talk, saying that there's about $48 in the pot, and I've got about that left, so I'm all in.
One caller folds, and one guy sits there thinking, and muttering to himself "I just don't think I have enough outs." Now the board was pretty damn unconnected and rainbow, so if he's looking for outs, I desperately want the call. I say "will it help you make your decision if I show you one card?" and I turn over the Qc I was holding. Obviously it's irrelevant to the board unless the guy thinks I'm on a backdoor club draw, but I just wanted to entice him into calling. It worked, he called and tabled the K-8 of clubs, and I'm a huge favorite to win the hand with A-Q. 9c on the turn gives me a little concern, and the 8 on the river gives him my last few chips.
Now I got exactly the action I wanted, and just got unlucky on the end, but that stuck with me all day, and when I went to the MGM, I remembered that I've never booked a winning session at the MGM in all my trips to Vegas. Not exactly the right frame of mind to be in when you're going to play No Limit poker. But I did. My first hand I picked up Queens, and picked up a few bucks. Then I couldn't manage to get away from second pair with a flush draw and bled a little, then I lost a $350 pot to a 4-outer and started to feel the slithering around my feet.
I played a little while longer, but didn't play well, and playing scared led me to playing poorly, an then finally making a silly stand with a bad hand in a big pot with two good players and getting stacked again. Now it's time to grab dinner and I'm not sure what my plan is for the rest of the evening. I plan to play more, but I might head over to the Mirage and play a little low-limit stud before I venture back to the Venetian, where I did manage to book a decent win last night. I definitely need to change up something for a little while, so that I can get the sound of scales out of my head, and shake off the fear.
Fear's a killer, and an insidious bastard. Playing my home game, the money doesn't matter to me, because I have confidence that I can win back in one week anything I lost the week before. But out here, we're playing for money that matters more to me. I try not to put the money into real-world terms, because I have a bankroll, but since I tap into my bankroll pretty frequently for real-world things, it's hard not to confuse the two. Maybe if I can manage to make a mental shift in that direction, than I'll be able to separate a little better. But right now, I need to fill the tummy void, and work on filling the mental void before I go back into battle. I may try to play a low-stakes tourney later tonight, but it all depends on if I get my head straight and find a cash game to crush.