Tuesday, December 09, 2008
My Worst Poker Hand and a Trading Lesson
Last night I was sitting at a hold em table with a 10/20 blind and started with $3000. After about an hour, I was up to about $3600, without having played any big hands. Then I got the hand we all wait for, pocket aces in good position. The guy before me raised the pot to $70, I re-raised to $330 and he called.
There's close to $700 in the pot. The flop comes down 2, 3, 6 rainbow and my opponent puts in a $700 bet. I know from playing with this guy before that he's willing to make big bets with nothing more than top pair, so I raise him up to $1400. He not only calls, but puts me all-in. There's over $7000 in the pot. I call and he's got an A-6. The only way I lose is if another 6 comes down. Thus, I had about a 95 percent chance of winning a huge pot.
Unfortunately, he hit a 6 on the river. I lost my $3600. I pride myself on being "zen" and taking emotion out of things like poker and trading. I trade and play poker based on probabilities and risk, but I couldn't control my emotions here. I was pissed. I told the guy that it sucks that a bad player gets paid off for playing stupid (I wish I could take those comments back).
I should have taken my loss and went home. Instead, I put down another $3000 and played for another 2 hours. By the end of the night, I had lost another $900 making bad plays. I was what is referred to in the poker world as "playing on tilt", making bad decisions because I was pissed.
Can you see how this related to trading? Have you ever taken a loss off a great setup, only to get upset and then start making bad trades? If you have, take heed from this poker lesson: never play when you are emotionally off balance because of a losing hand.