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Sometimes it is hard to get out of your own way. No matter how hard we try and slow down and think things through we can all fall victim to an over-eager call.

Hopefully, I (and you) can learn from my mistakes from my last session.

From Hero to Zero

I was crushing the table from the get-go the other night, flopping straights and two pair and getting guys to get their stacks in bad against me.

Before I knew it I was up over $2000 in less than an hout and got that invincible feeling we all get when we are sun running.

Just when I think it is all going my way I pick up A♦A♥ in the cutoff.  The player UTG+1 opens to the standard $20 and when it is folded to me I put in the standard 3-bet to $85. It folds to UTG+1 who ends up calling. Off to a flop we see 10♦Q♥ 3♦. All things considered a good flop for our hand as we are only losing to flopped sets so far but our hand could use a little protection.

Danger, Danger, Danger!!!

When the UTG+1 checks to me I fire for $225, this is mistake #1. This over pot sized bet signals to my opponent that I have either AA or KK since QQ would not bet so much since QQ wants callers.

When the UTG+1 player flat calls alarm bells start going off in my head. I immediately think flush draw and completely dismiss the possibility of a flopped set for some unknown reason.

When the turn comes the 7♦ and the UTG+1 checks to me, I get the feeling it is a trap. I check back that I have the A♦ and once I confirm I do have the A♦ I check back for pot control.

It’s A Trap

The river then peels the J♥ and the UTG+1 immediately fires out $500!

In my mind I should be walking myself through the action, counting the hands we beat (not many) and the combinations that beat us (tons of them). This should be a rather easy fold as we are certainly not good here enough of the time to make it a profitable play.

I Am So Smrt…I Mean d’oh!

Unfortunately, the unthinking part of my brain takes over and I quickly pop a chip into the middle to symbolize a call only to see the bad news. UTG+1 had Q♥Q♣ for flopped top set.

What should have been an easy fold ended up costing me ($725 more dollars than it should have because I couldn’t control my actions long enough to realize the UTG+1 really doesn’t have many bluffs here and can beat any hand I am just calling with.

If I really thought the UTG+1 player was weak I could have easily bluff raised to try and take the pot away on the river. Hubris, however, is a different beast altogether. Hubris makes us think we are entitled to a pot based on our pre-flop odds.

The sad fact is that I am supposed to lose here 1:5 times, unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those times and I missed the clear and obvious signs and paid the price.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

To make matters worse, I made the same mistake about an hour later in a spot where it was obvious the villain had hit his runner-runner flush and was taking me to value town.

These two hands put me on a short bus headed straight to up-stucksville and that terrible feeling of what might have been. Even though I still squeaked out a small win the pain of losing all the chips I once had far outweighed the bright side of still being up for the session.

The moral of this story clearly is, turn on your brain and leave it on the whole session. If you need to make yourself count to ten or something else to keep you from drifting into auto-pilot mode. It could make a huge difference in your win rate and your enjoyment of your session.