One of the most disappointing events in any no-limit game is getting stacked. With the monetary loss often also comes a sense of embarrassment and self-doubt. “Did I do it wrong? Should I have approached the hand completely differently?” Every decision gets scrutinized.
I want to talk about a hand submitted to me by one of my regular readers. Here’s how the hand went. It was an online $0.25-$0.50 no-limit game. My reader had a $22 stack, or 44 big blinds.
He raised to $1.75 from under the gun with Q Q . The button reraised to $6. The blinds folded, and my reader called.
The flop came 5 4 3 . Both players checked.
The turn was the 3 . My reader bet the pot, $12.75, with his queens. His opponent raised all-in for $3.25 more, and my reader called.
The other player had pocket aces, the river didn’t help, and my reader got stacked.
Here was the question he asked when he submitted the hand:
“Was all of this inevitable, or just another instance of my poor play? Hey, go ahead and kick me, I can take it. In fact, if I played as poorly as I feel, I welcome and need the kicking.”
My thoughts about the hand play are simple, but I have more to say about some of the issues beneath the surface.