The effects of getting tired hit me again while playing poker.

sleepy face
Image by deadoll via Flickr

Since October 18 I have played in 12 Step Sit N Go’s and my progress is as follows: 5,4,5,5,6,4,4,4,3,4,5,5,5 and I am currently back to having an entry ticket for Step 4 again.

Yesterday was a busy day for us. Besides doing some work for, we volunteered to do some grandchildren watching for Chis and his wife Katrina while they went out and enjoyed a date. He is only home a few days a month since the book he co-authored, “Trust Agents”, was released.  While the children are very well behaved, they are demanding in that they want to do things with Poppy and Grandma. Harold wants me to help him with WII games, and Violette likes to have Grandma help her with her projects. We only had the children for four hours or so but by the time they were picked up to go home, I was very exhausted.

So what did I do? Why I fired up online poker site and registered for a Step tourney. I was the second registrant and I knew it might take an hour or so before enough people were available to play. I saw that a satellite for the Wednesday night bounty was running a late registration and I entered. I am not sure what I was thinking because I ended up busted out of the tournament in 20 minutes or less, 47th of 53 players. I absolutely was not rested enough to think properly about tourney play.

So I decided I would find a cash table and play there until my Step Sit N Go tourney started. I found a .25/.50 No Limit table that had a high dollar per pot average and sat in.  Over the course of the next 90 minutes, I was able to increase my buy-in from $25 to over $70. This was because I am conditioned to playing only premium hands or drawing hands in position. I was very satisfied with my results and my hand selection even though I did play in more than 16% of the hands dealt to me. I find if I fold at least 85% to 92% of the hands that I am dealt, I win more and lose less overall.

Just as I was dealt another hand, a second table opened up on my screen.  The Step Sit N Go #5, just started. I quickly exited from the cash game after folding my inferior hand and proceeded to play the tourney.

For the most part, I was doing well. I was always at least average or above average in chips. At some point during the session, my wife Diane asked if she could rail me so I set up my Netbook to display the Sit N Go on our large screen TV in the living room area of our house.  As I either folded, called, bet or raised with a hand, I would explain what I was doing and why.

At one point we were down to five players so all of us would get something for our effort. We would either advance to the next level, repeat this level or go down one level. I was the small blind and I was dealt an A7 off suit. I decided to bet out and see if I could take the pot right then. I bet 500 which was five times the big blind of 100. The chip leader called and all the rest folded. The flop was A 8 2 and gave me top pair. I bet out 200 and the big blind called. The turn was a Q and I bet out 200, hoping that my opponent would fold. The river was a K and I gave up betting and just checked. My opponent bet out 500 and I folded. Because I allowed myself to play a poor hand poorly, I gave up over 700 of my chips and now was in danger of falling from third place to fourth.  I knew that I should not have gone against the chip leader without at lease two pair or better in this case.

My final hand was a J 3 off suit, when I was in the big blind. The small blind called and the flop was J 8 2. I had top pair and bet out a pot size bet. At this time, the blinds were 100/200 and the bet took over a third of my stack. The small blind raised and I went all in only to face an A J. He also had top pair but with a great kicker. The only thought I had after the flop was that I had top pair. I had failed to even consider that my kicker was too low to be of any value. This was because I really was overtired and was not thinking about all the possibilities.  I ended finishing in 5th place and will have to start again, just one level lower than this one.

The whole point of this post is that I know or should know better than to play when I am not rested. Or I should be more careful, taking into account that I am not playing at full capacity. Except for the cash game win, it was a very frustrated end of the day all brought on by myself.  Sometimes I am my worst opponent.

How do you handle tiredness? Can you adjust your play to make up for how you feel? Do you just wait another day? What are your thoughts about playing tired?

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