Welcome to idiots corner, I am your host, stoopid. Today's lesson is a basic one, but one well worth repeating. You need to play tight aggressive to win at poker at low levels and as a beginner player. This is an accepted practice. So when you have a pocket pair and the flop has a paired board, you make a stab at the pot. When someone plays back at you... sailor beware!
I lost a bundle last night in 3 hands. ALL THREE were similar in nature to this scenario (or were this scenario). 77 in late position (or 44 or 88). Flop is J55 (or 449). I think I have the best hand. But, based on WHAT? I want to play more agressive, so I engage in a little "wishful assumption". A "wishful assumption" (in the words of Elwood Blues) is when you have to hole cards, and you (snicker) WISH you were ahead (bow bow bow). Either the other player had tripped the paired board or even worse, had pocket JJ on the flop of J55. Needless to say, I lost more last night at PS than I had EVER lost in one session. Playing .5/1 no less.
This game is killing me!