Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

These past few weeks have been very trying. I was just starting to break out of my down swing (last month I posted a win large enough to pay expenses, taxes, and even keep some for myself), but three times this month I have posted massive losses ($2800, $2900, and $2200) which have basically wiped out 12 other winning days. I literally have won 4 out of 5 days for the month, and have basically broken even. This last week I kind of found another interesting way to run bad. For most of the beats I'm about to tell you I was actually winning. In fact, these hands come from 5 days of play, and again, I won on 4 of them. The point is that had I not taken at least most of these horrendous beats I would currently be on a massive heater, having won thousands of dollars in the past 6 days. I'd be happy with life, myself, and my choice to keep at this. As it is, I'm still just kind of grumpy. So now, without further adieu, we shall commence with a week's worth of beatings:

I find myself in the Oaks 30/60 game playing a pot against Jose. I have KJs and we see the flop 3 ways. The flop comes JK4 and he somehow check raises me to get it heads up. I 3-bet and we see an ace turn. He check/raises me again, and I have no choice but to call down. He even bets the river and I call, and he shows me AK. This isn't really a "bad beat", but it tipped off a series of hands that made me just want to cry. He was drawing to 3 outs on the flop, however, and hit his card to take $180 more away from me, not to mention the other $500 in the pot, so I feel I can count it.

Next up Jose plays a hand in the dark. I raise in early position and he calls from the big blind without looking at his cards. On the turn of A58-3 he looks at his cards after I bet and check/raises. I pay him off with my AK to find 53s. Of course I don't spike any of my 8 outs on the river, because otherwise I wouldn't be writing about the hand. Also, this pot was contested 6 ways preflop and had over $500 in it when he looked at his cards on the turn.

In quick succession now I am dealt black Kings and raise in early position. Again the pot is 5-6 ways, making it qualify as "big". The flop is J82 rainbow and Ray calls two bets cold. I 3-bet and he calls the 3rd bet, then raises me when the Ten hits on the turn. Just to make matters worse I river a 2, so calling becomes mandatory (honestly I probably would have called anyway). He of course has Q9o for the gut shotted straight. The final size of this pot was 16 big bets, or just a nudge under 1000 American dollars.

Ten minutes later I am dealt JJ in the small blind. Jose raises and is 3-bet by the button. I cap it and we see the flop 4 ways (Ray still had cards, of course). The board runs out A99-9-A. That's right, with JJ I am now playing the board. I bet the flop and turn and was never raised, and on the river am headsup with the 3-bettor. I check because if I bet he could bluff raise so I'd have to call. He bets, I call, and he shows 98s. So in an $800 pot where I had the biggest pair, nobody had an ace, and two aces came out on the board, I managed to call playing the board on the river and lose.

Next up I raise 88 in early position and collect 4 calls. Honestly in this game maybe I should have been limping 88, but it's hard to argue with raising a hand that plays so well short-handed and multi-way. Ray of course calls the two cold and raise/caps the 752 with a flush draw flop. On the turn I get a 5, a mixed blessing as it turns out. Ray could easily have just gotten counterfeited, and there is always the chance he's going batshit with a flush draw or some sort of combo draw. So I lead out and get raised again, at which point someone else goes all in. The pot is enormous and Ray could still be FOS, so I call down. He has 52o and drags all $1200. Somehow I leave the casino up a few hundred dollars, and only really upset about the last hand (and only that I lost $60 more than I should have, not $120). The next day at The Oaks brings more of the same.

In basically my second pot of the day (I'd won the first one against the same opponent and after this hand he said he had to "get me back" for it) I raise a limper or two with 99 in early position. John, who is just awful, cold-calls on the button and we see the flop like 5 ways. It comes down 764 (way to flop an overpair of nines, Jesse!) and he bet/3-bets me. We're heads up now and the turn pairs the 6 for a 764-6 board. I bet and he calls again. The river brings a fairly benign Ten and I bet and he calls again. I table my hand, fully expecting it to be good, and he turns over T7o. Not only did he hit a 5 outter against me on this river, but there were only two hands in my entire range against which his ten "outs" were even good. If I have Jacks or better here he makes two pair and still loses. But ship him the 12 big bets anyway, his reward for cold calling on the button with Ten Seven offsuit.

The next hand is really only interesting statistically. John limps and somebody iso-raises him. This is because his range is substantially weaker than any two cards, as he open raises a lot and doesn't fold too often. I 3-bet with AKo and we see the flop five (5) ways for 15 bets. The board runs out 743-8, and John and his iso-raiser both hold 87 (John's offsuit of course, the raiser was at least suited). Against their hands preflop I'm a huge favorite:
pokenum -h 8c 7d - 8s 7s - as kd
Holdem Hi: 1370754 enumerated boards
cards win %win lose %lose tie %tie EV
8c 7d 17640 1.29 962942 70.25 390172 28.46 0.155
8s 7s 75557 5.51 905025 66.02 390172 28.46 0.197
As Kd 887385 64.74 478079 34.88 5290 0.39 0.649
But still somehow managed to pay a big bet on the turn to draw dead (two bets went in on the flop 3 ways, so I was getting something like 13:1 on the turn call). Thankfully this time I didn't get there.

Next I get owned by an expert. John raises and Matt 3 bets in late position. I call 2.33 bets cold in the small blind with 99 and bakku calls the big blind. It gets capped, and in all we have a seven (7) way pot for 28 small bets. The flop if 965 is much to my liking, but alas it is not to be. Bakku has 87 for the flopped stone nuts and gets the flop AND turn capped against me. This pot totaled 35 big bets when all was said and done, and I flopped top set. I made a mistake on the turn by bet/3-betting instead of check/raising, since our last opponent was all in for 2.5 bets. Had I noticed this I probably shouldn't have even 3-bet, as the chance of bakku holding a smaller set is going down pretty quickly as the raises go in. I lost one bet more than I should have, I think, but my lead on the turn is still defensible, as there were two other players still hanging around and facing them with two cold is pretty nice. But once they fold and the last player calls with only 3 chips behind 3-betting MAY be spew. Anyway, 35 big bet pot for bakku.

A player I thought was a nit open raises and I 3-bet him with AKo. We go off 4 ways for 10 chips a piece (someone is all in...again). The flop brings Kc Tc 4s and I manage to bet/3-bet the thing three ways. So already we have 11 big bets in the pot, and turn brings, of course, the worst card in the deck. Kc Tc 4s - Qc. I bet, the player behind me calls (he actually probably has the same hand that I do) and the nit now raises. I fold, as does the other player, and the nit produces J9cc for a straight flush to drag the main pot. I guess he's not a nit, 15 big bets for him.

And our last hand of the day sees me go to war with AA. A tightish regular named Gary opens and I 3! AA. Abbey, another regular, calls 3 cold OTB and John (he of T7o cold-call fame above) takes 2 more to the face in the big blind. This is not surprising, since the only way for him to fold would be if the dealer stole his cards before he looked at them. Gary calls only and we see a flop of:


They check to me and I bet, Abbey calls and so does John, Gary now raises and I 3-bet. Abbey finds a fold but John soldiers on in the face of impossible odds, calling two more bets. Gary just calls, and we have ourselves another 11 big bet pot. The turn is a somewhat concerning 9, but at least it puts out the 4th suit. Nobody will beat me with a flush here. Gary obviously has like JJ or perhaps ATs and isn't a threat. John though...John's never out of it because he can have any two cards. I bet and they both call. No raise means that I have the best hand and am fading at most 10 cards on the river. The river pairs the 9, for a final board of T65-9-9. John checks and so does Gary, and I promptly fist pump bet for value. John pauses and says "Do you have TT?" and I almost shit my pants. He can't...he can't have a nine. It's not possible. How on Earth can he have a naked nine? He calls and Gary over calls. I table the aces, but once again they're no good. John has J9 of spades, with which he saw fit to put 3-bets into the pot on the flop. 17 big bets....all his.

Day three in our masochism series took place at Garden City, and our first villain was TG. TG is just a miserable human being, berating the dealers constantly, yelling at other players, and bitching constantly when he loses. I smile when he loses chips. I complete my small blind with A3o and we see a flop 5 ways. It comes out J93dd and I can't fold because nobody bets. The turn brings a non-flush 3 and I get excited for just a minute. I make an expert check and a player on my left bets. TG calls and starts bitching already asking why the guy is bluffing. The other two players have folded and I now raise. TG now goes off on the bettor, yelling at him for betting as if this is some sort of team sport. He then puts his second big bet into what was a 5 small bet pot starting the street. After he raises the river Queen and I call to see his KTs with no flush draw, I can only surmise that the poker gods are out to get me. Seriously, how do I lose $160 in a $100 pot by flopping bottom pair? Just how?

And now for a monster. I limp with 66 in the CO and "The CEO" raises the button. We see the flop about 6 ways and it is a picturesque:


A horrible regular donks from the big blind and gets two calls from two other not great players. I raise, The CEO folds, and the bb 3-bets. The two other players call and I get out of line and wait til the turn. It's a perfect spot. He's going to lead no matter what and the two sandwiched players are pretty much going to have to call. If I get a good card on the turn for once I can raise, trapping them all for multiple bets on the big street. Capping of course has merit now, but I think this is a spot where just calling with a set closing the action is actually correct. And for once I get the brick I so desperately deserve:


That's right. The card is a total blank. It might as well be face-down on the board. The BB leads and as predicted both players caught in the middle call. I now raise, putting the 16th and 17th big bets into the pot. The BB 3-bets and I must now accept the possibility that he only called The CEO's raise with 99. Both other players fold and I call only. The BB only has 12 chips left anyway, so the decision to raise isn't even that important. The river....


I am stunned. He leads and I call. He tables K9o and drags a 22 big bet ($880) pot. His 3-bet on the turn is just horrendous spew, and once again I am cooler-ed out of a month's rent.

A few hands later I have the good fortune of posting my small blind on the button. This happens after a player goes broke in the blinds and isn't present to receive his next hand. It's the best deal in poker, as you get to post your small blind in the best possible position instead of the the worst. It folds around to me and I complete with T5o. The CEO is in the small blind and he doesn't chop. Perhaps raising would be better, but in this case calling is so cheap (2 chips) that it seems a viable alternative. The CEO raises and the BB calls. I call again, standing on my position and 5:1 odds to see the 3-card flop soap box. Both these plays are marginal, but had I raised first I'd most likely be in the same spot, except the pot would be even bigger. The flop is:

987r and The CEO leads out. The BB calls and I start a 3-street semi-bluff aimed at getting him off all of his two over-card hands, which make a huge portion of his range. Both of them call me, and I get some help on the turn:


If I was entertaining thoughts of taking a free card, they are gone now. The CEO would be very unlikely to slow-play a big pair on this board, and he almost can't call this turn with overs. He's drawing dead too much. So I bet after they both check, and The CEO tanks. He looks at me, looks at the board, and calls. The bb mucks. The river brings a Ten. "Wow, a pair!" I think. But my excitement is short-lived. The CEO bets and I decide I have to call, since he's capable of turning AK into a bluff here. I call and he shows me AJ. He was ahead the whole way, but he can only win the pot if he spikes a Ten or an Ace on the river. Otherwise there is no way he can call me again. $400 pot for The CEO's kid's college funds.

Back to The Oaks on day four. A player string raises in early position (he throws out 4 chips, then goes back for 2 more). Nobody, including me, calls it, since it was obvious that he was trying to raise but technically he screwed up and we can play the hand for 1 bet if we want. A poster calls and for my good deed I receive AA in the small blind (I honestly hadn't looked yet when I didn't call the string raise). The bb mucks but the raiser and the poster both call. The board runds out:


After betting the flop and turn and collecting calls, I now pause and check the river. Can I really check/fold aces on the river in 9 big bet pot? What do I beat that would only call the flop and turn? AK seems impossible. Ace Ten? Maybe? What else? My opponent quickly bets and I go into the tank. He claims to have QT, which is just so silly I almost believe it to be true. He then offers to show one card (lord knows why) and I pick...the queen! For a moment I feel great, like I saved $60 bucks, until I realize that my aces just got cracked by a guy who raised QTo (he showed the ten also) under the gun + 1.

The next hand I limp T9hh in early position. The previous hand had been 10 ways limped preflop, so I think it's safe to say I can play T9s up front for one bet. We see the flop five ways of A53 and it checks around. This is a catastrophe, as I'm now guaranteed to lose money. The turn of course brings a 9 that puts up a flush draw and the SB bets out. The BB calls and UTG folds. I call figuring to have the best hand a lot, and a player after me calls also. The river brings a 2 that completes the flush draw and it checks around. The SB has K9, the BB mucks, I show a 9 and muck and the last player shows Q9 before mucking. There was one card in the deck that could come that would cause me to lose money. And it did. Two hands later, and this is practically an aside side now, I raise with TT and get 6 callers to see a flop of AKQ. After putting in one bet on the flop I fold the turn meekly, not getting the odds I need.

For my next trick, after four limpers I raise QJss in the small blind. The BB folds, but we still see the flop 5 ways of:


I bet and UTG raises. Abbey calls and the player who talked shit to Danielle a week ago (known from this point on merely as fat fuck) calls two bets cold. I 3!, UTG calls, Abbey caps all in, and fat fuck takes two more to the chin. The Ace of Spades hits on the turn and I lead out anyway. UTG calls and fat fuck now raises. I call instantly as he does hate me. UTG calls and the river 5d brings me no help. I fold, as does UTG, and fat fuck tables Ad 3c, which wins not only the side pot but the main against abbey, in total over $1200 American. At this point he has $6000 on the table.

And in closing, I return to Garden City for one last round of ass-whoopings. I raise a limper with QQ and the bb comes along. The flop is 542 with two diamonds and I bet. Both call. The turn brings a King and I bet again. Once more, both call after checking. I let the river ace check through and they show K9o and KJ0, for a total of two outs between them on the turn. Small pot, yes. But two outs. Between them.

Next I raise the button with KJdd and get 7 way action (mainly because there were 5 limpers in front of me). The flop comes down K94 with one diamond and I bet and get 3 calls. A 2 of diamonds hits on the turn and I bet, once again collecting two calls. That's 12 big bets. The river black 8 looks harmless enough, but I get check/raised by the biggest fish at the table. He's spastic and bad and I can't make the fold at 15:1. He shows me K8, for the rivered 2-outter (the 8 of diamonds would have resulted in me getting like 3 bets from him).

And as a final insult....Two limps I raise AQo on the button. We go off 4 ways and flop Jh 7h 3c. I collect only one call with my c-bet and see the 2c peel off on the turn. My lone opponent donks, a line that just screams "I picked up a flush draw and don't know what to do." He only has 11 chips left so it doesn't much matter what I do and I just call. The river is a harmless 9 of spades and he bets. I call, 95% sure he has 2 clubs in his hand. Sure enough I'm correct, except that his clubs are the Ten and the 9. Nice hand sir, nice hand.

I realize this post probably wasn't that interesting to a lot of you, but it was therapeutic for me to write, so I thank you for reading. Private Joker once said, accurately I think, that nobody, no matter what, cares how bad you run. Nobody believes that you're running that badly, and even if they do, they simply don't care. I find this to be true, and I find myself feeling the same way about friends who claim to be running bad. It's just hard to fathom that luck can play such a huge roll in the results you see over the course of 500 hours of play, but it's painfully true. Tomorrow is a new week, and pretty soon I might be one step closer to "run-bad" proofing my life. Details next week.


ExMember said...

Is this play typical of the 30/60 game at Oaks? And if so, congratulations, you are going to be a very rich man.

Alan Bostick said...

It is indeed typical. The Oaks 30 is said to be the best 30-60 in North America. (I'm not sure I believe it; but it's rather softer than the Bellagio 30.)

Oren said...

You should give the 10-200 game at GC a shot. It quickly turns into a 200/200 limit game - with players that are not limit players. You should do well in this game with the right lineup (but put your seat belt on!).

I was actually down from a long weekend session that went bad with consecutive bad beats that I dont remember ever getting (in a single session), but this helped put it into perspective.

pdscjr said...

CEO showed you A10 not AJ right? Or am I misreading?