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Good game vs. out of comfort zone

JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
I have more than tripled up in a big action $5/$10 game. Now my stack is out of my comfort zone. The game is good action. Is it worth it to stay?


  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,086Subscriber
    Not if you are out of your comfort zone.. that by definition means you wont be playing optimally.

    A few years back I got really lucky over and over again against this one guy at the Wynn during the wsop and had like 3500 on the table at 2-5.. then a bunch of 5/10 players with 5k chips came down.. even though the one guy I kept beating was still there I was way out of my comfort zone and got up .

    as many a player has told me..

    "there is always a good game tomorrow"

  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    Playing out of comfort zone is a good way to learn new skills. Be very aware of you mental state and stay for a while - get valuable experience even if you sacrifice some EV for that. Next time you will be able to stay a bit longer and eventually you will master it.
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    Well almost immediately after I posted this the main action guy called it a night. Then became smaller again. I left shortly afterwards as the new players filling the game weren't very good for the game.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,086Subscriber
    another thought is to play a bit when you are a little out of your comfort zone. but not when you are alot out of your comfort zone, that way you could build your comfort a little at a time wo the bigger risk

  • CruelUltimatum Posts: 160Subscriber
    JCW said

    I have more than tripled up in a big action $5/$10 game. Now my stack is out of my comfort zone. The game is good action. Is it worth it to stay?
    If you're not comfortable, then I don't think it's ever right to keep playing unless you're shot-taking or you're using it as a way to get better. But if it's just "this game is playing way too big for my bankroll," get out!
  • The Clubber Posts: 110Member
    I have often stayed too long in a game past when either the game was good or when my play was good and regretted it. The maxim I told myself when this was a bigger problem for me was "You can't leave a winner if you don't leave."

    I think there's a combination of things you can do.

    First, it's always good before you start to have a plan for when you will leave. I usually set a time limit for myself to avoid playing tired because I find at the times when I am tired and the game is good, I overestimate my ability to play well and my ability to control tilt deteriorates significantly when I'm tired. I also often have a plan to leave when I'm up more than 3x my buy in unless I have there aren't other stacks that can threaten me. I live in Vegas, so I can always move to another casino and find a good game. When I was playing in Chicago, I learned to play 1/2 PLO in part so I could take a break and preserve some of my winnings.

    Second, it's good to have a checklist that you use for table selection. I keep a checklist on my phone that has a list of questions that I aks myself. I try to use the dealer change or a dealer fill as a time to read the checklist, but TBH, I don't have that down pat as a habit yet. The list has questions where I try to assess if I am mentally alert and focsed - (Ex. Am I hungry? Am I tired? Do I find myself looking at my cell phone when I'm not in a hand?) my image ("Am I seen as a winniing player? Have I been caught bluffing recently?) and questions on my opponents ("How many people are likely to make a big mistake? Do I have good position at the table? Is anyone stuck, or off their game from tilt or alcohol? etc)

    In the long term, I think setting a ceiling on wins is a mental game leak that I'd like to work on to correct. I need to reread Jared Tendler for some help on that, From what I learned from my first reading would be to prepare some "logic statements" for those moments like. "The best time to play is when I have a winning image. As long as I can sustain the loss, the potential reward is greater than the risk of being coolered. I will keep playing my solid aggressive game until the table or my strategy is no longer profitable."
  • DavidChan Posts: 1,208Pro

    It really depends on a lot of factors.

    First, you should use sound bankroll management. If you have more than 10% of your poker bankroll on the table, then sound BRM would say that you should quit soon.

    Second, are there any good/tough regs who have you covered or close to covered? Do you cover the fish? If the risk is greater than the reward, then leave. If you still think the reward is greater than the risk, I would consider staying.

    Third, what is your table image? If your table image is strong winning player, then I would be tempted to stay at the table to exploit that image for a little longer. You can usually get away with more bluffs with this kind of image. If, however, you are too uncomfortable to "run over the table" with your strong winning image, then you should just quit. There is no benefit to having a strong winning image if you are too uncomfortable to take advantage of it.
  • DavidChan Posts: 1,208Pro
    FWIW, I had a very similar scenario come up for myself. I was a little out of my own comfort zone when I was playing the 25/50 with 5 ante NL Cardplayer LATB cash game last month. I was adequately bankrolled to play in that action-packed game, but I normally don't play that high.

    Nevertheless, I definitely hit the accelerator pedal when I started building up a big stack from my original 6k buy-in. I wanted to maximize the most out of my strong winning image, so I made sure to put the maximum pressure on thr whole table after I won that big pot against Barry Woods.

    Of course, if I were not adequately bankrolled, I would have probably have quit the game early at some point instead of playing until the game broke.
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    The Clubber said
    the potential reward is greater than the risk of being coolered.
    Risk of you being coolered by a player of equal skills is exactly the same as you coolering him. So you don't win or lose any money on "coolers" in the long run.
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    The game was a $5/$10 but a couple of action guys were on tilt. So it was Straddled every hand and a raise. So in reality it was a 20/100 game. Four of the players had me covered. I played on for an hour but didnt hit anything. Then one of the action guys left and the game went back to normal. I left.

    But I really didn't feel comfortable at the game and shut down to set mining. Saw three flops, gave back about $400 in looking to flop. Missed and left.
  • RDF Posts: 183Member
    I was just in the exact same spot as you a week ago.
    Doubled up 3 times. Game was awesome.

    Then I started playing more passive preflop with hands than I usually do. I noticed it, was going to leave, but justified staying because the game was really good.

    As a result, I called with 99 in a spot I would normally raise and allowed myself to get coolered in a 1200 bb pot.

    From now on, if I notice that I am leaning towards the passive option rather than the aggressive one because I'm so deep, that's my trigger to leave. Or better yet, get up, go for food, and try to get back in the game.
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