KK in the Mirror


Tonight I stack off with kings versus fairly obvious aces, for the second time in the past few weeks.  It’s the third preflop set up of late, but why am I getting it wrong?

  1. kk3bet KK with tight image over TAG’s raise.  He massively 4bets, I snap fold.  He shows me aces.
  2. I 4bet KK over even tighter player, he calls.  I felt it had to be aces, but had trouble believing my own read.  He leads ten high flop and now I rip it in, getting called and shown AA.
  3. Now tonight.  Fishy player who flatted qq now min raises over loose player’s open.  I sense aces, because it fits his profile and preferred actions.  I have a hard time believing my own read, however; why would he min raise when the pot is looking very multiway?  The loose player doesn’t need to be coaxed to call, where’s the value?  I go from thinking like him to thinking like me.  I 4bet, loose player folds, weak player tank shoves for another 95 bbs.  I snap call.

What’s wrong is that I am not really above the game in the last two situations, not remaining objective.  I am attached to my own cards.   No matter who you are or at what level you are at or what your holding is, this is a mistake.

Why did I get it right the first time?  Because I respected the player.  Because I respected the game.  Because I was focused.

Stacking off out of spite against lesser opposition and softer games is no way to play.  The money is all currency, very spendable and handy right around now, when the rent is due.

The combination in the latter two KK hands, of a lack of objectivity and a disregard for the villains involved, is indicative of distraction, frustration and mental game issues.

4 thoughts on “KK in the Mirror

  1. Did you ever do role playing games? When I was a teenager I did, running the game or sometimes playing. I struggled with the concept of “hit points” as it didn’t really make much sense. Flash forward to poker, and I realized after a while that “hit points” are the most simple, effective way of thinking about the mental game, where they represent your resiliency. If you are in a good mental space, you are gathering them and can take blows. Your focus and objectivity increase. The more beats you take, the lower your total, the more sensitive to runbad you become, to the point where one or two bad results drive you insane. You have to work with this and know where you stand.

  2. Interesting analogy. I am familiar with ‘hit points’ though through video games. But the concept is the same. Specifically, I too picked up Kings and gave my stack to what was most certainly Aces. And it was. I spent the car ride home, and I guess this morning as well, stewing in my lack of discipline. Other issues were at play, and simply put, a marvalous opportunity was squandered.

    But you’ve given me food for thought, as usual. Thanks for the reply.

  3. The key with KK is to remember it is just a piece of equity like any other holding. If someone has a one hand range, you might as well have 72. When I folded the KK in the first hand, the cards just went into the muck quietly and efficiently and I was ready for the next hand. I had come to that game with no less than a full hour of focus and planning. In the other two, I showed up without a plan, and found excuses, concepts, and self-pitying reasons to go with my hand. Tough spots bring up exactly where we are at and reflect our mood. You can see how mental game exactly intersects with strategy.

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