It hurts, doesn’t it?

“It hurts, doesn’t it? You can’t believe what fell… All your dreams dashed. Hopes down the fucking drain. Your fate, standin’ right behind me.”
–Teddy KGB
Usually the cards turn around after a while. I popped some tobacco under my lip and spat, disgusted after watching AA go down for the 4rth time that session. But the cards never turned. I tried to think about variance and convince myself that it would turn around if I just kept playing well. But after so many beats you just start wondering whether the guy raking it in with his rivered two pair (T7 offsuit) is the sucker, or if its you.
The journey to the “long run” is full of obstacles, and bad runs are just another bump in the road. If you can remain calm and play your normal winning game, you’ll ride them out. But watching those big bets disappear, those virtual chips that you worked so hard to create a mountain out of… watching them go into some fish’s bank account hurts.
I’m talking about the Party/Empire $5-10 shorthanded tables. Pure poker… bluffing, raising, psychology– they’ve got it all. After reading David Ross’ description of these games in his quest to make a living from online poker, I couldn’t resist sitting in these games. I figured if he can win on 4 tables simultaneously, surely I could scrape out a couple big bets playing only 2 tables. And I did at first. And then the poker gods rained bad beats on me for hours, and when I finally logged off, a huge bite had been taken out of the bankroll.
I took comfort in 2+2 regular Clarkmeister’s post (thanks Iggy) astute observation that it only takes a few big pots to cause a big losing session:
” If you are playing in some nice juicy games, losing 4 or 5 pots that you “should” have won when you have the field drawing to say 4 or 6 cards collectively, has a devastating impact on your performance. Losing five 15BB pots over 2-3 sessons when you “should have” won 4 of those 5 has a sixty (60) BB impact on your bottom line.”
So it’s back to the grind for me. I’ve been doing very well in the $3-6 games, and it was probably a mistake to leave. But the fast-action pace and huge pots in the shorthanded games were just too much to resist. Ask Grubby, he lives on those tables.
Hollywood Home Game
I played in my first home NL tourney last night. A buddy from work hosted, and only 3 of the 8 players had ever played NL hold ’em before. I’m not a big fan of poker as a “social event,” but I figured it would be some easy money after getting kicked in the nuts on Party all day.
Of course it was chaos, between determining how much the different color chips worth worth, telling people to post their blinds, and telling everyone when it was their turn to act. The action was insane– people winning huge pots with Q high, and some of the players didn’t even know what hand they had. In the biggest pot of the night, the table maniac pushed all in with pocket 3s on the river with a board full of face cards. A newbie called the bet, and when the maniac showed the threes he said “you got me,” and began pushing his chips over without turning over his cards. Out of curiousity, I turned over his cards– 75s. The turn card was the 5, so I got a kick out of saying “The Cards Speak”, and pushing the pot to him. The maniac wasn’t very happy with that, but when are maniacs ever happy? It’s tough to put a player on a hand when he can’t even put himself on a hand.
How I lost the tourney: UTG I have AJs, and I pop it up for a raise. Maniac to my left reraises a decent amount, and the BB calls all in. he 75s guy calls, and I tentatively call. I really think my hand is best here (these guys have been raising with junk all night), and when the Jack and two rags flop, I push all-in. Of course they call, so the pot is monstrous. The turn is a 7, river a rag. BB has A6, so one down. Maniac, of course, has AA, and 75s hit his set of 7s on the turn.
I still like this play– the way these guys played top pair was a monster, so I think I would have played it the same way. If I had won that pot, I would have had a huge stack to work with, and could have coasted into first. I also knew that I could rebuy, and still have a good shot to win. Or so I thought.
I rebought, and stole a bunch of pots to get myself into 4rth place. 4 players remain– maniac and 75s with huge stacks, and one of the 3 solid players with a lot more chips than me. I play tight for a while, until I get AQc UTG. I make a big raise, hoping that maniac and loose guy will call, and solid player in the BB will fold. But they both fold and tight solid player in BB calls (uh oh). Flop is Kc 9c Qd, and now I have to decide if he’s on AK (maybe) or KQ (unlikely). I put out a feeler bet, and he comes over the top of me all in. I go into the tank…
–If he doesn’t have AK I have 14 outs– the clubs and the 2 queens and 3 aces.
–If I win this hand and double up, I think I can win the tourney.
–If I fold, I’ll be very shortstacked
So I call. He surprises me by turning over K9, and I’m happy that the aces are live. No help from the board though, so I’m out in 4rth.
After the tourney, everybody said they had fun but that it was a little “too intense” for them. Loose passive guy said “I like dealer’s choice… it’s more social, and you get to play those games with WILD CARDS.” Oh the humanity, as the man of Guinness would say. On the plus side, I did get free beer. Little consolation on my worst day of poker ever, and needless to say my head still hurts.
Poker Blog Patrol
Chris “Three Kings” Halverson pops his B&M cherry by winning the first hand he ever played. Lots of great quotes in here, but I think this was my favorite:
“I grab my son’s retro-1970’s sunglasses, my big hooded sweatshirt, and a big baseball cap and head out the door.
OK, no I didn’t. I didn’t bring anything like that, not even a cap.”

Pauly, Paul, and Mighty MG are running bad. But not as bad as me, so I take a little pride in being the best.
TFG is dominating the single table tourneys on Party, just like I said he would. If he ever gets off his damn tractor and learns something about pot odds, he’d probably be sitting with TJ at the final table somewhere. Those damn Texans have it in their blood. Of course, his nickname will have to be Scott “Texas Chainsaw” Chaffin, and his lucky charm will be his chainsaw, which he puts on top of his cards.
I was honored to find out that The Quiet Lion not only read my blog, but commented on it. Richard Brodie’s latest post details his latest attempt to win a WPT event– this one was the WPT Celebrity invitational. He didn’t do as well as he did in the LA poker classic, where he finished lucky #69 out of a record 382 entrants. It’s only a matter of time before we see Richard’s “monkey face” gracing our television screen…
Grubby is terrorizing the Party tables along with his new significant other laptop. He is clearly insane– has anyone else tried to play 4 tables on a laptop using a TOUCH PAD? I can’t even move the pointer around the screen with those things, let alone click “raise” on four tables.
Guest poster Grubette has 2 superb posts describing the insanity that is Southern California poker. She shows you how to save money using your looks:
” Then we’re heads up yet again, this time at the rag-rag-rag flop, me with AK suited, him with two rags. He checks and smirks, I check the whole way on the rag turn and rag river. He checks behind me and shows me his little pair of rags. Orderly next to me comments on Juicy’s failure to bet when I’m in the pot, ‘It’s nice to have a pretty face.'”
Maybe she could give me some fashion tips, it might help my hourly rate. I also enjoyed Grubette’s theories on the karmic balance and how poker can warp your mind:
“I’m getting off the exit to go to HI-G and the light is green, so I step on it a little to make the light. As I get closer to the guy in front of me and am nearly at the intersection, a Corvette tears through the opposite red light and whacks the guy in front of me in a dramatic plume of smoke. The Corvette is totaled and the other car sails through the intersection and stops. My first thought is not, should I call for help? or is anyone hurt? or even, good thing that wasn’t me. The thought was ‘there goes my luck.'”
Which begs the question… where the hell did my luck go? Grubs, I think you’re going to have to turn Grubette loose and get her going on her own blog. Apparently there is plenty of the “writing gene” in the grub family DNA.
Hopefully it will return in time for the next poker blogger tourney at True Poker, where our fearless leader has set up shop.
Felicia is trying to set up a weekly poker blogger tourney on Sunday nights, which I hope will come to fruition. Felicia’s been running bad as well lately, so maybe the poker bloggers have somehow angered the poker gods… bad cards seem to be the norm for most of us.
John jots about making THE LEAP to the WSOP. We’re all rooting for you John.
Good luck out there… don’t tilt, the cards will come eventually.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply