Had a really bad short-handed $20-40 session yesterday. Was playing with these 4 guys who were all friends and who joked around and who all went out to dinner together. It was just me and them. They played in such a way that I felt I had zero edge against them as a group, despite feeling they were playing bad individually. This was a weird feeling that I’ve only gotten a couple times before. I am fairly certain they were not actively colluding, but playing against a group that doesn’t care about losing money to each other, but who will play hard against you, is a tough dynamic to fade.
I got stuck about $1,600 fairly quickly in the game, and just had a feeling like there was nothing I could do in the game to get ahead. Every time I’d get involved in a pot, I was facing most of the guys, and then I’d sometimes face a couple raises against my mediocre hand, or end up heads-up with a strong hand. And some of the guys would check down when in a pot together, and some of the guys would play against each other. It was hard to know what dynamic they had together, but it sure didn’t feel like I had any edge.
Again – not saying they were colluding. It’s just the case that with this kind of dynamic, it’s really hard to know where you’re at, or how the players’ relationships should change your adjustments. I would have quit the game sooner, but we were all waiting for the full main game. I thought I was stuck beyond repair for the day, but ended up getting even in the full game. It was probably one of the juiciest limit games I’ve ever played in.