Jacks set me back – oops….

141/365 - Discipline
Image by _mandrew_ via Flickr

I like to think that I have a lot of patience and discipline at the tables. In playing No Limit Cash games, I usually wait for good hands. I even fold A 10, KQ, KJ when I am first to bet, UTG, under the gun or UTG+1. In middle position I might call or raise with these hands. I will admit to occasionally misplaying AQ, UTG, but for the most part I stick to my plan.

Last night I played two separate cash game sessions. The first one, I ended up ahead by taking back more than twice what I started with. In between the first and second cash session, I played a Step 4 session and left in fourth place, winning another ticket to a Step 4 session. My last cash game session was not as good as the first.

There were some new players and I did not take the time to see how they play. In the hand that I had pocket Jacks, I was in the small blind and a middle position player raised to 4BB, big blinds, or $2.  My initial thought was to call and fold if I did not hit a Jack or fold if I did hit a Jack but an Ace, King or Queen also showed on the board.  I called the $2 bet. The flop was 6 2 10, rainbow, no flush draw likely. Instead of checking I bet $5 and my opponent raised to $10. Instead of folding, I called and now was pot committed. The pot size was such that I did not want to lose to a bluff, which I doubted. The turn was a 7 and my opponent bet all-in and I called. He turned over QQ for the best hand and won the pot.  My lack of discipline in that one hand had cost me my buy-in and had cut my gains for the day to just under $5.00.  In No Limit, all it takes is one badly played hand.

Do you play no limit? Do you give your opponents credit for better hands than yours based on their betting patterns? Do you have losing sessions at No Limit and how do you handle it?

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