Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Seven Deadly Sins of a Bad Beat

A truly horrific, monkey-tilt inducing bad beat has many important components. While a few may be lacking, in general most are present in most of the horrendous beats I seem to take. These beats are not simply the most probabilistic disasters, but rather depend on this amalgam of features to send me directly to monkey-tilt. Here are the 7 key features.

1. Back Story

To advance to monkey-tilt you need to be close to it already. It's not a quantum leap. If things are going great all day and you're up 3 or 4 racks and all of a sudden a guy runner runner gutter gutters your set from one pair, you'll probably be able to shrug it off. If on the other hand you've been getting bludgeoned for 3 hours and have already taken your share of ridiculous ones, you're qualified to advance to monkey tilt. Other extenuating circumstances fall into this category. For example, you could have just had a frustrating phone call with a significant other, or this could be your first or last hand of the day.

2. Insane Mathematical Properties

While I did say the beat need not be a complete black swan, the more amazing it is the more likely it is to induce monkey tilt. Somebody making a gut shot on the river really doesn't phase me much. My 99 getting bet/3-bet 3 streets in a row by KJ on a J97-K-J board (which happened two days ago) on the other hand, was a little much to take.

3. Putting in an Extra Bet Good

This always seems to get me. If my opponent makes some sort of play at the pot and I don't just shrug my head and call down, but instead put in an extra raise, it hurts even more. I didn't just play the hand well; I fucking owned the guy. But somehow he found his card anyway. That really pisses me off.

4. Idiotic Play by a Third Party

In the games I play bad beats are often a team event. I'm in there betting and raising all the way with top top, and some random Asian guy drinking a Corona is just calling everything I can throw at him, and we get to the river and POW he has made his one card idiot end of the straight and I'm sitting there wondering why this dealer kill me all the days. Then the guy who cold called me with QQ (and promptly called like 3 big bets of action post flop) laments his own bad luck, when in fact his idiocy cost me the pot.

5. The Bad Pay Off

I'm trying to reduce the frequency with which I do this, but you really have to know your players well. Sometimes players get there, and you just KNOW they got there, but in the fantasy world inside your brain you believe they COULD be bluffing because everybody bluffs sometimes, right? Well no there are guys who never, ever bluff, and especially don't bluff often enough for you to call down their turn check/raise in a 6 bet pot when the board just paired.

6. Size Matters

Obviously the bigger the pot the more monkey-tilt points you score. Yesterday I was at a juiceball 20 game and limped the 76 of hearts behind another limper. When it got back to me it was 6 ways and the other 5 players had put in 2 bets, so I 3-bet. Someone capped it and we took a flop 6 ways for a rack of chips. Of course I turned a second pair, check/raised the field, and then had to fold to YS's river donk (see 5) when the flush came in. He had 32 of clubs. Monstrous.

7. The Sense of Impending Doom

Sometimes you flop a hand so powerful that you actually take a second to figure out how on Earth you could possibly lose. It's sort of like a puzzle, really, and we all like a real puzzle. When this happens and you actually take the beat, well, it just sucks really.

An Example

I took this beat last night, and it scored well in 6 of the 7 categories above. Without further adieu:

Full Tilt Poker $2/$4 Limit Hold'em - 9 players
The Official 2+2 Hand Converter Powered By DeucesCracked.com

Pre Flop: (1.5 SB) Hero is UTG with A Q
Hero raises, 5 folds, BTN calls, SB calls, 1 fold

Flop: (7 SB) K Q Q (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, BTN calls, SB calls

Turn: (5 BB) T (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, BTN raises, SB calls, Hero 3-bets, BTN calls, SB calls

River: (14 BB) J (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets, BTN calls, SB calls

Final Pot: 17 BB
Hero shows A Q (a straight, Ace high)
BTN shows K 4 (a flush, King high)
SB mucks A A
BTN wins 16.25 BB
(Rake: $3.00)

Up until 5 minutes ago I was playing on five (5) full ring 2/4 tables. I have closed the rest of them and this is the last table up and running. The reader will note that I am under the gun, and that this is therefore literally my last hand of what was a 300+ hand session. I am stuck something like 25 or 30 bets going into the hand, which is mildly irritating. Criteria 1 is met.

Upon seeing the flop I actually paused and said to myself "Thank goodness, I'll get a little back here". Really what I was thinking was that it sure would be nice to win a nice pot as I walked away from the tables and started to get ready for bed. How could I possibly lose this pot? I started looking and could only find a few hands with even 4 outs (there are no open enders, as I fill up on the aces) at gut shots (against which I obviously have a massive redraw) and pocket pairs with 2 outs (also against which I will be able to redraw). Unless somebody has flopped a full house my equity on this board is probably north of 85% against 2 opponents! Sense of impending doom? Check. Insane mathematical properties? Double check.

What exactly was the retard with AA doing in this hand? Did he cost me the pot? Probably not. Did he butcher the hand beyond all recognition, thus forcing me to use brain cells to answer the previous question? Damn straight.

Extra bet? Sort of. I get raised on the turn here, which in live games almost certainly means a straight or lol slow play of a full house. But online it can mean all sorts of things, including "I want to win this pot with 7 high!", and even if I was against a straight I have outs to boat up and probably won't even get capped. So I 3-bet the turn and somehow the guy with AA still just kept calling along (he put me on ace king obviously) and managed to turn a big pot into a gigantic one. Size matters? Check. Extra bet to viciously own guy into putting 3 bets into a 6 bet pot with about 8 outs? Check. Ditto for guy with 1 outter? Check. Lose anyway. Check.

So as you can see, this pot scored a resounding 6 out of 7 on the monkey-tilt inducement chart, making me grouchy enough that I forced Danielle to watch it play out on HEM's replayer. The only way I could have gotten to seven was by somehow paying off a raise on the river. Rest assured, I was prepared to go that extra mile.


Yodaman said...

quite ironic that I was at a friend's house recently and the movie Se7en was on. Great movie.

J said...

This should be a COTW or a chapter in a book somewhere. One of your most thoughtful and entertaining posts so far.

d said...

se7en was indeed a great flick, remember seeing it 3 or 4 times in the theatre when it came out...speaking of 7, that's the one that always happens for me...flop anything big like a set and the visions of impending doom cloud my mind immediately lol...

Hamking said...

Sorry for the bad beats man...

On a positive note, this had me roffl'ing just thinking of where this quote could have originated from:

"..and I'm sitting there wondering why this dealer "kill me all the days.""

lolol... oh man..
what will those LAG-AZNs think of next?

jesse8888 said...

I must assign credit where credit is due. Numnutz on 2p2 introduced me to that quote. He is very white, so yes I should receive the racist ban. But it's my blog, only I can ban the racists.