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Monday, January 31, 2005

Bad beats and lucky draws

I am a calm person, really I am. I don't go all Hellmuthian if I get slapped by a particularly bad beat, and I understand the nature of the poker beast. I also understand that I use too many cliches, so isn't it about time you get off my back for that? I think so.

Last night, though, I experienced something that made me wish I'd taken up smoking, or been prescribed Ritalin as a kid--just something that would calm me down. I actually had to sit out a few hands to get my bearings straight, and I honestly can't remember the last time I've had that happen.

I was two tabling early in the night; one table at Doyle's Room, and the blogger table at Party. I was absolutely card-dead at the blogger table, and it got so bad that someone told me my V$PIP was at 7%. It wasn't until I checked PokerTracker after logging off, that I realized my real V$PIP was closer to 14%. Is that the same as 7%? No. Jerks.

On Doyle's, it was much of the same--Fold, fold, fold, raise, missed flops like Nick Kaeding misses field goals, fold, fold. I'd rather lose hands than fold all the time. Each time my first card dealt was an ace, I'd scream at the dealer as he was dealing everybody's second down card. Don't lie to me. You all do this, right? My heart always skips when I'm dealt the first ace, and then sinks when my screaming doesn't pay off.

"Come on! Cooooome oooooon. Big money, big mother-fucking whammies!"

Whammy in the form of an unsuited low-card.

"Hello Muck, I'd like you to meet Mr. Shitty Hand. Seems you two have become quite familiar over the coarse of the evening. No, really, I enjoy the sight of you canoodling. It makes me happy."

Suddenly, out of the sky came a heavenly chorus of voices, the clouds parted, and there was light.


On the very next hand, my first, red ace was paired with a second of the black variety. Different ethnicity, same glorious life purpose--to win me money. In late position I bumped it up 4 times the big blind and two people called--the button and the big blind. Up until a few months ago, I was using the standard of raising 3x the BB, but at the low-limit tables, that method just doesn't work. I'd still have 6 people call my raise, because, what the heck, it's only a buck fitty. So, 4x is now my standard raise.


The big blind checked, I made a pot-sized bet that the button called almost immediately. The BB folded. The only thing that was worried about in this spot was the button having A3. You know, the hand that dumb people like to play. Sure, he could possible have King-something, but the way he called it so quickly made me believe he wasn't afraid if the threes.


Should I be afraid of this card? I didn't think there was any reason for me to be, and made another pot-sized bet. If there's one thing that I really don't understand, it's when people underbet the pot for a reason other than trying to trap someone. Betting scared. What's the point of, say, betting $2 into a $10 pot when you're trying to win it right there? Or, for that matter, making a minimum bet into a substantial pot? If you're not slowplaying the absolute nuts, that minimum bet does nothing. To me, it says Here, take this pot from me. I don't want it, but I also don't want to look like a pussy by checking. You know what? You look even more like a pussy making that tiny bet!

Shit, I don't want to give away my secrets. Nevermind me.

The big blind, whom I'm going to affectionately name "clueless asshole" from now on, didn't cold call--he minimum raised me! Now, I knew after looking at the flop that I was probably going to be playing for my whole stack. It happens. And by looking at my PT data, I know that aces are a substantial winner for me. Somewhere around 80%, I think. The numbers have held up for me. If he had one of the last two 3's, well, kudos go to him for branding me a sucker. The only other hand I could imagine him doing that with was King-rag, or pocket 10's. I pushed in the rest of my stack, he called and turned over...are you ready for it?


Shit, his two pair two pair? Wait, no they don't! I'm going to win a monster pot here! I had thoughts of doing the running man; of diving head first into a bed filled with Lincolns; of treating all my womens to night on the town, filled with lavish meals, and copious amounts of booze for all.

Sadly, though, the river brought another king, and my mental imagery bubble popped. The running man lost out to stunned silence; the bed of money was replaced with one laced with jagged glass, and the only night my womens were about to enjoy included one bowl of ramen each, and box wine.


See, here's where you'd think this another bad beat story. It isn't. I was ahead, happy that I made the right call, and not pissed that Clueless Asshole had sucked out on me. What followed, though, was the event that triggered my need for a Lucky Strike. None of that pansy-assed, filtered, I-cherish-my-lungs shit. Oh no, this called for a man's cigarette.

I don't follow the chat at Doyle's, because if there's anybody chatting at all, it's usually nothing but garble. After this hand, I instinctively clicked the chat button to see what, if anything, was being said about the hand. One guy typed in "Ouch", and I was fine with that. Ouch is right. It hurt my bankroll.

"That usually happens when I try to get cute with aces", typed Clueless Asshole.

What? Excuse me? Cute? Were you even playing in the same hand as I was?

I didn't type that, though. It doesn't do me any good to berate this player through chat. I'm a non-confrontational person by nature and can usually let things slide off my back, like it's coated with teflon. If this had been at a B&M, though, he would've had a chip rack to the ear. I did, however, feel like driving to Providence-every Providence in these United States if it came to that- to beat this moron senseless. Yeah, I know that's a little redundant.

Ok, you caught me. I wouldn't resort to violence to get back at him. It pissed me off, though, not because he sucked out on me, but it's because he didn't even realize that he was behind the whole time even after berating me in the chat. I didn't get "cute" with my aces. I was the initial bettor, the flop bettor, and reraised him my whole stack after he pulled off that minimum raise.

I sat in my chair, quietly stewing for 5 minutes, watching as this dumbass used the chat box as his proverbial soap-box to promote his inane agenda.

"See, that's why you raise as much as you can, so you don't lose with aces. I'd rather fight another day, than lose my whole stack with aces"

This is the point where I clicked the X on the chat box, and realized that he just didn't get "it". I could do nothing, nor did I want to, to make him realize just how stupid he sounded. If he'd been my friend, I would've pulled him aside to slapped him with a wet brillo pad.

He wasn't, though, so I did the next best thing--pulled out a gazetteer to see just how many stops I was about to make.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger JasonSpaceman said...

Sounds quite similar to my recent experience at Doyle's Room with pocket 77...except, of course, your Aces were a much better starting hand. Ahead the whole time, sucked out by a fool, berated by said fool for my play when he was the one risking his stack. Ugh.

I hope the ride to Providence doesn't sap your will to beat that bastard senseless!

At 2:19 PM, Blogger BadBlood said...

I keep chat off nowadays, unless I'm at the blogger tables. It's much more calm. There are always morons out there and ya can't do anything about that.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger StudioGlyphic said...

In my limited experience at Doyle's, it seems that even bigger raises will often be called by dominated hands, so you could probably bump it to 5x or 6x if you like.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

I think a softball bat to the head of clueless idiot wouldn't have been overdoing it.

At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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