Analysis of a Cold Rush

“Chips are floating your way in loose games (if you play goot), you just can’t see it because of the variance muddying the waters.”
–Izmet Fekali
So this is why you need a 300 big bets in your bankroll. It was the weekend of the runner-runner on Party, and my lungs are still full of water after repeatedly drowning in the river. You’d think playing 4 tables would take the edge off of the losses, but wins were few and far between on this awful weekend.
There’s nothing like a losing streak to force you to sit down with Poker Tracker and see what’s going wrong. In a late-night conversation with Chris, who was also getting kicked in the teeth this weekend, I told him that the best remedy for a losing session is an in-depth review of your play (with alcohol coming in a close second). Bill echoed this sentiment in a recent post. Going over our play helps us answer the question, “Was it my play, or were the poker gods unkind?”
So let’s take a walk through the numbers, shall we?
One good thing about playing 4 tables during a losing streak is that I tightened up, seeing the flop 24% of the time, which is a bit lower than my usual rate of 29% (note that I try to play on loose-passive tables, so I can play more hands). Part of this is due to my lack of good starting hands, but I did end up dropping marginal hands such as KTo and QTo from middle position. Although I feel my win rate drops slightly by adding the 4rth table, since it’s ABC poker at $3-6, I don’t think I’m giving up too much.
The other important numbers were pretty much the same, with the aggression slightly turned down, which reflects the fact that I was missing most flops. The most glaring difference is that my big card preflop hands were completely missing the flop. This is reflected in the difference in showdown percentages:
My baseline rate of winning without a showdown after a preflop raise is 31%, but this stat was 41% during the cold rush. A smaller percentage of my big hands were getting paid off, mainly because big aces like AK and AQ were missing the flop and getting called down. The other big difference was that I won at the showdown in hands where I raised preflop 13% less than my baseline rate. This shows that I was sucked out on more than usual, which seems like the norm during a big losing streak.
The individual hand stats confirm this:
The big aces, AK suited or unsuited, and AQ suited or unsuited (dubbed Mrs. Slick by the infamous Monk) went down in flames. 30 hands, for a whopping win rate of -22 BB. I tend to play these hands aggressively against ragged flops, and ended up getting caught by loose calls from the BB who ended up hitting one of their middle cards on the flop.
QQ was good for -3 BBs over 6 hands.
KQs was good for -10 BBs over 6 hands thanks to two bad beats.
The list goes on and on. Reviewing the numbers shows me that I misplayed plenty of hands, but the mistakes were relatively few, while the bad beats were many. So when I dive back in tonight, I’ll be able to play my usual aggressive game without (too much) fear of getting sucked out on. All we can do is get our money in when we have the best hand, right?
The final tally: -7.4 BB/100 over 1370 hands for the worst run I can remember in a long time.
It’s not much fun to write about getting your ass kicked, so I’ll end on a good note. I am a little disappointed that I didn’t have the balls to push the hand below harder, but if this isn’t a ringing endorsement for Empire, I don’t know what is (thanks to Grubby for the converter):
Party Poker 3/6 Hold’em (10 handed) converter
Preflop: hdouble is Button with Kd, Kc.
UTG folds, UTG+1 folds, UTG+2 calls, MP1 folds, MP2 folds, MP3 folds, CO raises, hdouble 3-bets, SB folds, BB (ImNotReallyOnTilt) caps, UTG+2 calls, CO calls, hdouble calls.
Flop: (16.33 SB) Ah Kh 5h (4 players)
ImNotReallyOnTilt bets, UTG+2 calls, CO raises, hdouble 3-bets, ImNotReallyOnTilt caps, UTG+2 calls, CO calls, hdouble calls.
Turn: (16.16 BB) 8s (4 players)
ImNotReallyOnTilt bets, UTG+2 calls, CO calls, hdouble calls.
River: (20.16 BB) 5d (4 players)
ImNotReallyOnTilt bets, UTG+2 calls, CO calls, hdouble raises, ImNotReallyOnTilt 3-bets, UTG+2 folds, CO folds, hdouble calls.
Final Pot: 28.16 BB
Main Pot: 28.16 BB, between ImNotReallyOnTilt and hdouble. > Pot won by hdouble (28.16 BB).
ImNotReallyOnTilt shows 6h Qd (one pair, fives).
hdouble shows Kd Kc (full house, kings full of fives).
Outcome: hdouble wins 28.16 BB.

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