Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good

My father was my baseball coach for 10 years. While it looked promising for a couple, once it became clear that I had finished growing at the age of 13, the baseball career was basically called off. He did, however, teach me quite a bit, including the fact that on any single given day, it is often far better to be lucky than good.

Monday and Tuesday of this week were rough ones. Monday saw me get 6.5 racks deep in the Bay 101 20/40 game (I was also down 400 or so from 10 minutes of 5-handed 40/80...for the life of me I don't know why I sat in that game) and reach a peak "stuckedness" of $2400. Thems, as they say, the breaks. I fought onward, playing for a nearly epic level 11 hours, eventually finishing the day stuck just a shade over $1000. I try not to play super long sessions just to "get even", because I know that doesn't really work. But given that my main objective is to play enough hours, I objectively evaluated the situation and decided to play a long day. And it happened to work out.

Tuesday was more of the same. I spent the first half of the day at Bay 101, leaving down about $300 when I had finally had enough (two good winning friends were in my game, and that was because the other two 20/40s didn't look any better). My intel suggested open seating at Garden City, and my "chips up to chips down" time up 21 minutes has to be close to a record. I proceeded to get my ass kicked for a few hours, then again fought back nobly to post a small loss for the day.

That brings us to today, which I again decided to spend, as Pete implied via text message, "Banging Bay's sister" (I'm serious....this is actually how he asked if I was playing at Garden City). Yet again the only tool at my disposal early in the session seemed to be a shovel, and I dug myself in pretty deep, blowing almost 2 racks in the first 75 minutes. I kept getting check/raised on the turn and river, to the point that I was visably flustered. It had happened about 3 times in row, and I'd folded all 3 hands. A tight female Asian prop tried it once more, on a board of:


Where the Ace was a second club. I happened to have Q8 in this hand, in the blind, and had taken the betting lead on the flop. When she check/raised the turn I actually pulled off my head phones, stood up, and declared to no one in particular "Do I have 'Raise Me' written on my forehead?" Then I called "Time....this is happening so much I guess I should try to figure out why." I then called her down to see KT of clubs and dragged a nice pot. The tight female Asian prop was none too pleased to be the one who finally got caught.

At some point, the following hand happened, which I've posted on two plus two if anyone is interested in comments:

Live 20/40 with some lags and 2 players running at like 90% vpip. No joke it's awesome.

I open A J UTG+2 at a full table.

The CO 3-bets me. He has owned me today and I am running awful. For example, he 3-bet me with the AK and I had the AQ and the A did flop. He also cold-called the 44 when I opened the KJ and the K74-J did proceed to fall. I'm telling you this because it's possible he's feeling a little over-confident. By local standards, though, he's not retarded.

Awful loose passive 90% vpip button calls 3 cold like it ain't no thang (it isn't for her). Awful loose spastic SB calls 3 cold also as if it is not a "thang". The SB once triple donked 77 on a board of 923hh-5-Q. Actually scratch that, the first bet wasn't a donk cause he back-capped preflop....anyway....

BB folds and I cap for value. All call.

17 small bets, 4 ways.

T 6 2

Sb donks (see above regarding spasisicity and donking). I call. CO raises, button folds, SB calls, I call

11.5 big bets, 3 ways

T 6 2 2

SB checks, I check, CO bets, SB folds, I call

T 6 2 2 T

I donk in rhythm because Qantas never crashed IMO. I'm planning to fold to a raise obviously.....

The result of this hand, which isn't in the thread on two plus two, is that the CO basically turbo mucked, saying "nice catch". Shortly thereafter, he looked as if he'd perhaps eaten some bad sushi. Maybe I gave something away on 6th street, I'm not sure. Truth be told, I'm not sure what he folded. Folding an ace is almost inconceivable. But not having at least ace high...that's pretty inconceivable too after the action he put in. I just figured since I wasn't gonna fold for one bet, I might as well bet and see what happened. I'm pretty sure I'll get railed on two plus two for being an idiot on that one, but I'd rather be lucky than good.

Eventually I gave up on the "overs game" (with all 9 players holding an overs button) and moved to a short handed 20 with one of my most favorite fish. Despite having 7 bodies at the table, the game was close to breaking. The usually nittery and deuche baggery of "I don't want to play short" and blah blah blah continued, until two players actually requested our game be broken and merged with the 3rd table. While we were playing 6 handed! My favorite fish and I both protested and for once reason prevailed. A few hands later they broke the 3rd table and merged them with us....

Then it happened. I raised 88 in the lo-jack and got 3-bet by a better than average regular in the hi-jack. Two more players called, and we saw a flop of:


Ouch. We all checked to him and he bet. One other player called, and I called, closing the action at 16:1.


No help. We all checked to him, he bet again, and this time the other player folded. 9 big bets in the pot. I go into the tank, think for a while, and eventually decided I have to grit my teeth and call again. As soon as I do, the guy (he's sitting right next to me) gives off some sort of emotional tell that he is not happy that I just called again. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something definitely happened. I take this all in quickly in the 2 seconds before the dealer burns and turns the final card:


Given the tell I just picked up on the last street, I resolve that I have to call the river. I apply my (perhaps incorrect) concept from earlier that if I'm going to call, I might as well bet. I'd stand to get an extra bet from ace high some of the time, and honestly he should be betting EVERYTHING that beats me (so there is no place where betting costs me a bet I wouldn't have had to pay). Also, he can't really expect me to fold, so he'll likely check back anything (which ain't much) that I beat. So, I bet.

He is visibly struck. He looks at the board and mumbles something about pocket 8s. He says "I'll pay you off" and calls. I table my hand. He is disgusted. He picks up his cards, looks at them where I can see them, then throws them face down on the table. Two other players also see the cards and are as stunned as I am. He just folded pocket Queens, the winning hand. The dealer did not see the cards and has already stuffed them into the muck. He looks at the board again, and at my hand, and still says to the onlookers (now telling him he folded the winner) that I have a straight. I of course have no such thing.

The guy realized his mistake, eventually, and made no attempt to call the floor or anything. He was actually very polite about it, and didn't even really get upset. I stacked up the chips and tried to keep my mouth shut, again remembering that it's better to be lucky than good.


Wacky said...

Wow, not often a person mucks the winning hand on the river after you have already opened. I have done it once or twice in my life by mistake after seeing my opponents hand, and seeing something I wasn't expecting.

CT said...

If you know what you saw for sure, that he folded the winning hand, maybe you could give him half?

You'll probably win it back later anyways... How -EV would it be to do the right thing here?

jesse8888 said...

I thought about giving him some of the pot, or maybe at least buying him dinner or something, but opted to be a cheap skate. I dunno, felt kinda bad, and had to go home soon after cause it was so running into an ex at a bar.

Wacky said...

You really shouldn't give him any money. Being able to read the board and your hand once it is tabled is the responsibility of the player. He should know what you have and if he can beat it. He obviously thought that an 8 made a straight some how and he mucked.

jesse8888 said...

That was my rationale as well, but I just felt dirty inside. Not dirty enough to give him money. Just like a little dirty.