Flop comes 5-5-5. ouch. Turn, Q. Then here comes the betting, raising, firing away the chips! Man, it would have been a nice little pot for me. I really hate it when that happens.
Have you ever had that feeling? Ive always found myself in situations where something in my gut was telling me to either play a hand or fold it, and it turned out ot be right. Sometimes, when i go all-in pre-flop and it's time to show the cards, it's either i feel completely relaxed or i have a sinking feeling in my stomach that makes me wanna throw up. Just yesterday in a ring game, i went all in on a flop of 9-6-3 all clubs, with my pocket 9's making a set. I got one caller with pocket 4's and one club, but i felt totally relaxed and sure enough, i took the pot down. In the same game, i raised with Q-Q in late position, and then someone went all-in, which i called. She had A-9, and i felt my stomach do somersaults. Sure enough, the Ace comes on the river. Story of my life.
So is it for real? Is it possible that our intuition or gut feel, our so called "blink" insinct, plays a valuable part in our game? It seems impossible, but it has happened too many times for me to just ignore it. Sometimes you have a strong hand, but something tells you to tread carefully and sure enough, someone has you beat. Sometimes i go with my instinct and push with marginal hands, and it would work to my favor. I've peeked at pocket kings and intead of feeling pure joy, i felt a sense of foreboding and doom, then proceeded to get busted by an A-x hand. I've raised with 4-3 on gut feel, and watched it make a straight on the flop. Do we really have that internal radar in us? How can we use it to our avantage?
It's actually quite hard to filter it from the all the junk in your head, because sometimes we think too hard and the message becomes jumbled. A friend has told me that if he listened to the little voice in his head all the time, "he would go broke playing poker!" Funny but true. I've been damaged quite bad by "listening" to that "instinct" and chasing that nut flush draw all the way to river, going broke because of it. I'm sure a lot of people have had similar experiences with this phenomenon, so i guess i'm not gonna be alone on this one.
I'm certain we all have this internal "spider sense" in us that warns us of danger, in poker or in our lives in general. It's probably the human survival instinct in all of us, and since poker is some sort of "life and death" situation, with all the stress and psychology involved in it, our senses pick up things unconsciously that we would ignore otherwise, things that will warn us of danger, or opportunities. Poker legends have probably honed and mastered this ability and have learned to listen to it and use it to their advantage. I'm sure we can achive that level of mastery too, as long as we put in the countless hours of experience and time which will help our imperfect "filters" become clearer, and help us distinguish the difference between the voice of the crazy gambler in our heads and the voice of that poker jedi in all of us.