Hand Anger

Published in Poker and Gambling - 2 mins to read

Last night I was enjoying the recent uptick in player liquidity on Run It Once and was happily clicking buttons when a particular hand made me really angry. The nice thing about being a fun player is that now I can simply stop playing, take a step back and evaluate why exactly this hand irked me so much.

The hand went as follows:


My first reaction is to inwardly chastise villain for making such a bad play - I think preflop is definitely -EV and every other street is at best breakeven. Why am I so angry? It’s a sense of entitlement, one of the ways ego manifests itself in poker, because he made a ‘bad’ play, he doesn’t deserve to win my money. But maybe he had a sick read on me, he felt he could outplay me in position despite having mediocre holdings, perhaps my large lead OTR was actually a lot more exploitable than I had thought. It’s also a spot where in reality I think I am making a lot of EV, just in this case I happened to lose actual money. Even after a couple of million hands of poker, those spots still hurt.

I wonder how much my poker mental game is influenced by my mental health off the felt. If I needed less external validation, the kind I might get from winning money at poker and thus proving some kind of intellectual superiority, I can’t help but feel that these spots wouldn’t tilt me so much. The obvious sequitur is that I should work on my IRL mental game and then things will fall into place at the tables, but perhaps the reverse might also be true?