I'll start with the rant, just to get it out of the way...
I had one of the most frustrating runs of poker in my entire life last Saturday. I attended a "friends and family" tournament at my cousin's house. Everyone there who knew me well would've put heavy odds on me to win the game at the outset. Sure, 24 people bought in, but most of them were VERY casual players and were drinking heavily from the start. Even better, many of the rest were regular "home gamers" who thought they knew far more than they did and were eager to get all their chips in the pot with a mediocre top pair.
Four hands in, my first opportunity... I look down at Kings from the Big Blind. Under the Gun (first to bet pre-flop) raises 10x the BB. He loves his hand, which means it's probably an ishy-to-decent Pocket Pair or a medium-to-strong Ace. Unless he's stupid lucky, it's not better than Queens. The pot was 75 with the blinds before his raise to 500. He's got 4,500 behind. I have 4,950. It's folded around to me. I push. I know, I know, PUSH??? But I made the decision consciously using the following logic:
1) I know he's going to call. These guys never lay down their raised hand to a reraise. Many of these home gamers have some absurd, ego-driven notion that they can't be pushed off a hand. He has to call. Otherwise he's being a wussy. Heh.
2) For the first 6 levels, we've got unlimited rebuys, after which there's an add-on. If he has Aces or gets lucky some other way, another $20 and I'm right back in it.
3) I want to establish an aggressive, in-your-face table image early - win or lose. I can leverage this later to incresse the value of my smooth calls and value bets.
He calls of course. He's got Sevens. Here comes the flop...
I kid you not. I should have taken the hint and left, but no... I told myself every time these fools get lucky, it works in my favor as it reaffirms their bad behavior and makes them ripe for the picking - assuming they ever STOP getting lucky.
That hand was the beginning of a very long night. The next hand I played, probably 45 minutes later, I flopped a straight on a rainbow board. Of course, the other guy flopped a higher straight. They were pushing each other around with mediocre hands... But every time they played me, they had the absolute nuts.
Card dead, card dead, card dead... Used the button to steal a couple blinds against the weak-tight players to my left. Lost AQ to 7T, AK to A2, Aces to KQc. Basically I was destined to lose every hand I got myself into... Play it slow, play it hard, didn't matter... They called no matter what the odds and they hit ALL NIGHT LONG.
Finally the rebuys ended. I added on, giving myself around 8.5k chips against a table average of about 10k. Most people did not add on. Didn't make much sense to me either.
Card dead, card dead, card dead... Finally I got 9s from one behind the button and decided to push them sorta hard to see where I stood. The blinds were 300 / 600 and I raised to 2400, about a third of my stack by that point. Big Blind called.
He's all-in. I call. He has Jacks.
To my discredit, I was less than polite while dumping my chips to the middle of the table. I wasn't violent or yelling, just unceremoniously shoving stacks of chips into a big mess in the center of the table. I was about as frustrated as I've ever been at a poker table.
I tell you that not as some whining bad beat story, but to make a point... Sessions like this happen. Sometimes you're not allowed to win. Sometimes you get Qs twice, find yourself against As both times - then when you get As against Qs, the other guy draws out on you. It just happens, and it happens in streaks.
It's absolutely normal to be frustrated. Luck can be the stupidest thing in the whole wide world. But through it all, remember that short term results don't ultimately matter. If you insist on playing good poker no matter how bad it's going at the moment, if you stay consistent through all the ups and downs, good things will happen in the end...
At the least you've developed a maturity worth having. At the most, you've learned one of the most important skills to becoming a great poker player.