Thursday, March 09, 2006

Lots and Lots of Losing

Last night was a baaaaaaad night of poker. Although the total loss was not so great, I must have entered six or seven different tournaments, and didn't last more than 30 minutes or so in any of them. I could not believe it while it was happening. On one or two of the beats, in particular some of the later ones because my frame of mind was already significantly worsened by the first few beats, I will take personal responsibility for. In one case I pushed too hard with AJs after not seeing a hand for quite some time. On another occasion I moved in on someone I was "sure" was weak, and they turned out not only not to be weak, but to have pocket Aces. C'est la vie, mais il sucks.

Other than the two beats I mentioned above, however, I also suffered several flat out bad beats and stoopid river pulls. I'd love to blog here about the two worst, and I'd be interested in any thoughts that anyone has if I played these hands wrong or could have played them better:

Hand #1: As those of you who have played with me (blogger tournaments or otherwise) will certainly know, I often play the hammer, sooted or otherwise. I won't call an allin raise with it, but I'll play it if it makes sense, and even raise with it when it seems like the thing to do. Well, I experienced a first last night. I had my first-ever hammer flop when I was playing the hammer:

Not quite the 772 flop you really hope for when playing the big H, but cripes, I'm The Hammer Player for crying out loud, I have to play it, and finally for the First Time Ever I was about to drop the hammer with a hammer flop and bust somebody. I bet 300 on the flop with my 2 pairs against this donklestiltskin, and he called. Then on the turn I bet another 500, and he called again. When the flop came an Ace of Hearts on the river, I moved in, knowing of course he didn't have two hearts since there was only one on the flop and he couldn't POSSIBLY have been calling me with just a backdoor flush draw. Well, he quick called, and turned over...A-10 of hearts. The Ultimate Donkey Draw right there, calling my flop bet with just A-10 high, and then calling again on the turn with the same A-10 high, plus now the backdoor flush draw. And then of course hitting that draw. So I STILL have never gotten paid off with a hammer flop while I'm holding the hammer. That one KILLED me.

Shortly after that, I limp into a hand from the BB with A3o, just checking preflop with two other callers in ahead of me. The flop comes K55. I consider this a good flop for me in that there are only two cards (a King or a Five) that my opponents could be holding to have hit a piece of this flop. But nonetheless, I've got nothing and not even a good kicker with my Ace, so I'm not doing anything dramatic with this hand. I check and it's checked around. The turn comes a rainbow 2. So now, with no flush draws out there, my hand is still technically decent, but again with nothing but now an inside straight draw, I'm not doing anything. Still, given the checks previously, I bet out small, about 3/4 the size of the pot. First opponent calls, second guy folds. So I'm putting this guy on maybe a low pair, maybe a King, *possibly* a 5 if he's really tricky, but more likely than anything else, I'm thinking just a high Ace or even QJ or something like that. I wasn't too scared, but not a lot of money was in the pot at that point, and I still knew I wasn't going to sink much more in there at that point. Well, the river brought the 3 of clubs, hitting my miraculous inside straight. I decided to bet small again, figuring he might raise if he did have something big like a high King or, better yet, hopefully a 5 that he was slow playing. I bet about 3/4 the size of the pot again. He immediately goes in the tank. In fact, he waited (purposely, it seemed to me at the time) until there was less than one second left before reraising me allin. Now, at this point I'm thinking, there's no flush draw out there, so the only realistic hand I have to worry about with my straight is a boat. He hasn't bet this like a boat so far, and the only holdings he could have to fill that boat are K5, 53 or 52, all of which are possible, but none of which seem particularly likely. To be honest, at this point I'm figuring him for either KQ, AK, or possibly a 5, and he's been slow playing and now wants to see if I'm a donkey. Well, asshole, I'm not the donkey, you donkey! I quick call, flip my straight, and...

He flips up KK.

Jeesus H. Christ. I could not catch a single break last night. Let's just hope tonight works out better than yesterday. Variance can be a real bizznotch some days.


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