When to get up from the table?

This has been a pretty good source of discussion in poker circles for years now.

The general consensus if that if you have an edge in the game you should stay as long as you can because you are giving up money by leaving.

However another noted gambling expert has stated previously that you need to “Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

In the online world I guess you just need to know when to log off?

In a home game setting or brick and mortar I don’t think you have to worry about the players at the table changing all that much, once you get a read on the players you could expect them to hang around for a few hours at least.

In the online world however, at least in the games that I throw down in, the players that are at your table could entirely switch out once or twice in the span of and hour and all the notes and reads you have go for naught. There is also a lot of hit and run players in the online world, well at the lower limits there are, guys that will step in for a a rotation or two, double up on an all in and leave.

I was having a really good session the other night, up on one table quite a bit and the other was a bit over the buyin. Leaving then would have made for a profitable day and a bankroll builder. I decided to leave as soon as I got to two full buyins profit and was just short of that goal when the slide started.

I was in the BB with A3 suited and UTG raised to 4.5x. A bit of a big raise for UTG and at this table at least, so I was thinking either a pair that didn’t want a lot of action, or AK trying to thin out the AQ, AJ, AT, and A9 that always seem to make two pair. Guy had been at the table for a short while and played fairly decent, cbet flops when he raised and generally played top pair strong. He had about half as many chips as me. Everyone else folded and I called.

Flop some A35 with one of my suit.

I lead for a half pot bet and get raised. Well he obviously has an A and not KK, QQ,  or JJ.

I reraise, not a huge one, I want his money in the pot if he has AK

He reraises me.

Yeah, this really feels like AK now.

I pop him again and he goes all in. Perfect, I call.

He turns over AA and I need big time help that never comes, boom almost my entire profit for the session gone in one hand.

Well not really a bad beat as I was behind all the way, could have just as easy been AK though so maybe this was just some bad timing on my part. That’s poker.

Now I could have licked my wounds right there and still been up for the session.

But noooooooooo.

From there I try in vain to scratch back to the level I was at but lose a couple more buyins instead when my Aces and Kings both get cracked, by pretty horrific hands mind you, and the next thing you know I am down a few buyins instead of up a few.

A combination of bad cards, a couple suck outs and not being able to connect a flop or get action when I had a good hand really sets me into reverse. Did I play terribly? No I don’t think  so, but I did play differently for sure. Your mental state has so much to do with how you play the game that you need to be aware of it an notice when it is driving you off your game, not making calls, bets or raises that you should have made because you are playing scared of losing is a sure way to guarantee you will.

In the future I will try and pay more attention to the play and not set numbers as much for goals. Leaving when the cards go dry rather than when you hit a certain number might make more sense in the long run, I guess I’ll find out. So far I’m running dead today for cards and the only time I get big hands it seems to be folded around to me.

The other day on High Stakes Poker 5 Daniel Negreanu said “no mas” and left the game, now he had dropped about $600,000, just a tad more than I did today, but he did manage to realize, albeit a bit too late that he wasn’t playing well and it was time to push away from the table and things were probably not going to get better. I can just imagine the conversation you have with yourself in the parking lot after losing 600 large, I hope I never have to have them.


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