Beeing able to let go of good hands

    • Dragar
      Joined: 09.09.2008 Posts: 2,214
      I have a problem of letting go good hands sometimes. They "blind" me. The signs that I should fold are obvious but even when I look at the board at that time.. I don't see it. Only afterwards its very clear.

      I tried telling myself that every time my opponent raises or something it means he has something good and I should reanalyze, sadly I still don't.

      This hand for example. I didn't even see the possible flush draw when I made the call.

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.05 BB (6 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

      UTG ($9.86)
      MP ($4)
      CO ($9.77)
      Button ($4.83)
      SB ($29.84)
      Hero (BB) ($7.12)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 5, 4
      1 fold, MP (poster) checks, 2 folds, SB calls $0.03, Hero checks

      Flop: ($0.15) J, A, 6 (3 players)
      SB checks, Hero checks, MP checks

      Turn: ($0.15) 5 (3 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $0.10, 1 fold, SB calls $0.10

      River: ($0.35) 5 (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $0.20, SB raises to $29.69 (All-In), Hero calls $6.77 (All-In)

      Total pot: $14.29 | Rake: $0.70

      SB had 6, 8 (flush, Ace high).
      Hero mucked 5, 4 (three of a kind, fives).
      Outcome: SB won $13.59

      Is there any way I can play better with regards to this?
  • 9 replies
    • DE4DLY
      Joined: 27.01.2007 Posts: 109
      This is the same problem that I have.
      Most of my losses are down to play like this.
      What I have noticed is that if I am tired or feel a little down in the dumps then I find it much harder to lay down good hands even though I have a good read that someone has me beat. It is like a part of me feels that I deserve some luck.
      When I feel like this it doesn't matter how much I tell myself to play well, remind myself that I will never climb the limits unless I actually improve my game and improving my game means putting into practice the poker skills that I am spending so much time learning instead of going with that urge to just hold on to the little luck I have had until I get sucked out on the river....
      It doesn't matter how much good advice I give myself those times I still keep holding on to those hands when I should let them go,

      What does work is having a short break, not too long, not long enough to get distracted, maybe 20 minutes.
      During this time I put my feet up and talk to myself about what I want to achieve with poker and so on, and how all the effort I put in to playing and improving is just a waste of time if I don't apply it on the tables.
      I find that encouraging myself by reminding myself at these times, that I actually have learned a lot of quality poker skills and they are a good foundation for taking my game to a high level if I just trust them and play them out and continue to learn, that motivates me to play well.
      Then I go back to the tables and try again. Usually I make the same mistakes eventually even though I know I shouldn't, but it is easy to see from my graph that my losses are a lot less and my gains are greater for quite a while after these little chats to myself.
      If I stay on the table at those times I just end up tilting because I am angry at myself for playing in a way that I know at the time I shouldn't.
      Hope you find a way that works for you and I hope this helps.
    • andyb43
      Joined: 23.07.2008 Posts: 903
      I find myself falling into this trap when I have been card dead for a while. Suddenly a playable hand develops and therefore my pea-brain tells me it must be my time to win one................................wrong.

      I also do this a lot with AK. I feel it is my right to win with such a good starting hand, even if the flop is rubbish...............................wrong again.

      All I can say is be alert to all posibilities at all times.

      I think practice and experience are the key here.

      Here's to both of us kicking the habit.
    • Dragar
      Joined: 09.09.2008 Posts: 2,214
      Yeah but too make things worse I get hands like this afterwards:

      PokerStars No-Limit Hold'em, $0.05 BB (9 handed) - Poker-Stars Converter Tool from

      Hero (CO) ($5)
      Button ($11.03)
      SB ($8.21)
      BB ($4)
      UTG ($1.11)
      UTG+1 ($8.46)
      MP1 ($3.91)
      MP2 ($7.33)
      MP3 ($7.06)

      Preflop: Hero is CO with J, J
      UTG raises to $0.15, 4 folds, Hero calls $0.15, 1 fold, SB calls $0.13, 1 fold

      Flop: ($0.50) 5, K, 7 (3 players)
      SB checks, UTG bets $0.15, Hero calls $0.15, SB calls $0.15

      Turn: ($0.95) 3 (3 players)
      SB checks, UTG bets $0.25, Hero folds, SB calls $0.25

      River: ($1.45) 8 (2 players)
      SB checks, UTG bets $0.56 (All-In), SB calls $0.56

      Total pot: $2.57 | Rake: $0.10

      SB had A, 10 (high card, Ace).
      UTG had A, Q (high card, Ace).
      Outcome: UTG won $2.47

      So what to do overall :(
    • DE4DLY
      Joined: 27.01.2007 Posts: 109
      I would have (or more accurately should have) folded there also.
      I would have put the UTG on having at least one K in his hand, and if I had stayed in the pot he would have had it too....
      I think that especially if you are in the habit of holding on to expensive second best hands then it is worth folding when a bit unsure just for the practice...
      I hate it when that happens though....

      I just found a link to +EV PokerComic in another post.

      I already feel better.
    • Hlynkinn
      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      it will all come with experience... Just post a lot in the hand samples forum and you'll learn quick...

      both hands are pretty bad played imo tbh..

      in the first hand you've only invested .35c$ if my calculations are right so calling a whole stack here on a river completing a flush draw is just bad in general.. So many hands have you beat... Any flush and villian could have a fullhouse... So imo that hand would be an easy muck imo... Also I would just be happy checking behind on that river btw for cheap showdown.

      the other hand with JJ...
      Personally I suck at cashgames but I think I would re-raise it preflop... but I could be wrong cold calling is also good I think..
      As played preflop what are you thinking calling it on the flop?... your putting as much money as you've already invested in the pot on a K high flop with JJ?... Only two outs can make your hand better... So it should be a easy fold on the flop... The fact that your opponents turned over some random Ax type of hands don't mean your hand was wrong... JJ on K high board is simply not strong enough..
    • davidangel
      Joined: 03.09.2008 Posts: 456
      post your hands in the correct forum for advice
    • Dragar
      Joined: 09.09.2008 Posts: 2,214
      This is not mend to analyze the hand I posted.. that was just for showing what I mean. I already know whats wrong with both hands and how they should have been played.

      Its the overall psychological part of beeing able to let go of this kind of stuff.

      Like the other day... I couldn't let go of AA on the flop... 21$ gone.
    • TheBrood
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 4,382
      Just remember that AA,KK,etc = monsters preflop but not necessarily(had to google this word lol) monsters postflop.
      Think what ranges they play and calculate how much of the flop they hit.

      AA,KK are very high pairs but postflop just a pair. 2pair, set, straight, flush, FH, etc all have you beat.

      Don't underestimate when an opponent offers resistance, specially if hes seen you play tight in the past and/or is a winning player(W$SD). He knows you have a hand, and probably knows you cant let it go.
    • Joronamo
      Joined: 17.10.2008 Posts: 649
      I understand where your coming from, but imo you played the JJ hand badly. You should never limp with JJ because there are always gonna be callers with overcards. The only time you should limp with JJ is in late position like your SB and its been a walk and you dont want to scare away BB but even then its risky. You have to play your JJ agressivley not passivly like you did by calling and folding. By playing aggressively preflop you are elimating all the junk hands with overcards people have preflop like K7, AT, Q2 etc. Sometimes you will get donks who call raises with those hands but hey thats poker. With regards to your general statement about not being able to let go, i reckon this will help - ask yourself this question: can you only beat a bluff? it helps me alot. Remember poker isnt about winning every hand but making correct decisions so sometimes a good laydown is just as good as taking down a pot worth $10 because you might have saved yourself $10 calling.