Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Weekend Trader (Mohegan Sun Edition)

I suppose what goes around comes around, as I got back all of Saturday's Foxwoods loss and more by winning a $1K pot at Mohegan Sun with my quad Jacks beating out an Ace-High flush.

I was admittedly a bit lucky -- just as I was "unlucky" last night at Foxwoods, as here's how the hand played out:

I had pocket Jacks, raised to $12 pre-flop (we're playing $1/$2 no-limit Hold 'em), and got six callers ... to my chagrin. The flop came J, 8, 5 ... all diamonds. I checked, as did the guy with the flopped flush (of course I didn't know it at the time), and then one guy bet $25 (there's about $90 in the pot by then). I then raised to $150, not wanting anyone with a flush or straight draw to call, and the guy with the made nut flush goes all-in with his $800 stack. At that time, I had a $500 stack that I'd quickly built from the $300 buy-in.

It was a tough decision, but I figured he was likely on a draw and was doing a semi-bluff, which if true, had the odds slightly in my favor. Of course, he could have had (and ultimately did) a made flush and didn't want to risk losing to a full boat (which was what he was probably thinking), yet even if that was true, I at least still had some outs if the board paired. I wasn't figuring the case Jack would show. So I bit the bullet and called.

Thankfully, the case Jack came immediately on the turn, allowing me to take down the largest pot of my modest poker career of over $1K.

From that point, I only risked the amount over $1K for about two hours (aka "trailing stop"), before heading for home with exactly $1,005, or +$705 from my $300 buy-in. And yes, that's the actual chip stack pic taken about 15 minutes before I called it quits. Each stack is $100.

Grades? I'd say A for luck, an "Incomplete" for the decision to call (the call is likely highly debatable ... comments appreciated), but most importantly -- an A+ for putting the trailing stop in effect after the hand to lock in the net two-day gain and close the weekend on a high note. The trailing stop was of course "borrowed" from trading ... and is a concept I occasionally have trouble implementing in the last hour of both trading and poker nights ... so perhaps trading is helping my poker as much as poker has helped my trading.

Either way, the weekend's net efforts were good reinforcement of proper trading practices, including leaving Foxwoods Saturday night when I wasn't on my game and before I did any further damage, and starting today with a clean slate and shutting everything down shortly after I got back in the green. I also felt I read the other players' emotions well in today's session, which is another strong reminder that trading -- like poker -- is all about reading the other participants and taking the opposite side of the emotional play. Another good reminder for "chartists" who don't understand what charts truly reflect ... human emotion.

Plus I had a lot of fun.


Anonymous said...

Bad call, you should have been the one pushing, not calling

Luck was on your side though, and I agree, luck has much more to do with poker on the short time frame than does skill

Don Miller said...

Yes, the more I've thought about it, the more I agree. I thought I was the initial aggressor -- which I was -- but when he came over the top I should have known I was behind.

MikeH said...

Phil Gordon has a tip in his Little Green book - watch for players employing your "trailing stop" technique and bully them out of pots. Particularly if they separate out the winning chips into another stack.