Germany w00t, my play/luck argh
Saturday June 10th 2006, 4:28 am
Filed under: Full Tilt Poker,No-Limit Hold'em,S&G

So the Fifa World Cup started today with the opening match Germany vs Costa Rica. We won 4-2, w00t. Not a really good game and the two goals scored by Costa Rica really showed that the defensive part is the weakest link of our current team – although one of Costa Rica’s goal was an offside goal. Given that it was the opening match, with expectation high and feel for the game low, it was a good effort and the first 3 points. Nice one. Even better that I picked both Germany and Ecuador to win their opening matches (Ecuador 2-0 Poland), so I’m off to a good start in all of the pots I’m playing.

After a nice bbq along with some beer and some more footie (Ecuador vs Poland) it was time to play some poker. I was in such a good mood, but that quickly changed as soon as I received my first junk kickings. Now I’m not a whinebox per se [although this very blog has been, is and will be my way of dealing with things, so bad beat stories, whether you like to hear/read them or not, are an integral part of this blog – although I’m trying to get keep the “whine whine”-post to a minimum and get to the point of analyzing the play along with the situation and questions, opinions and advice are very welcome], but sometimes you can’t help but shout/write it all out after you’ve received yet another kicking. Sometimes it’s just bad luck, most of the times it’s bad play shown by your opponents (sure enough rewarded by the deck) and sometimes it’s just bad play. I think that most of my beats today were a mix of all of the above.

1. Let’s start with bubble one (this hand didn’t happen on the bubble, but it put me from chipleader to bottom and ultimately led to my bubbling), aka kick my junk:

I’m sitting on the button with Phil Hellmuth’s favourite hand (two black nines), there are two limpers in front of me and I decide to get at least the blinds and/or one of the limpers to fold, winning the hand right there. I put a bet of 400 into the pot (blinds are 30/60). Sure enough the SB calls and all others fold. So I’m now heads-up. Nice. Even nicer when the flop comes down 3c9h8h. Now the SB is putting in a bet of 180. I read that as a feeler bet and ask myself: What hands can I put him/her on at this point? As I don’t have any prior notes on the player in question, I can’t be sure, so I apply my rule of thumb: Either a high pocket pair (JJ, QQ, KK, AA), a strong Ace maybe suited, or just twenty (maybe suited). So (s)he could be drawing to a straight or a flush, or (s)he could think that (s)he’s ahead with the overpair. I decide to go with my gut (overpair – after all (s)he called a 400 bet prior to the flop with only 30 commited) and push right there. (S)he goes into the tank for a while and reluctantly calls – showing JhJs.

Now I feel really good about the situation. I was behind preflop, but with the nice flop I’m now an almost 85% favourite to win the hand. The turn is the 10c – although this is not a card I wanted to see, it’s still not too bad, the odds are still on my side with slightly over 77% to win the pot. Now I get the sick feeling in my stomach that is only present when the dealer is about to peel the one card of the deck that can hurt me (in this case it could be two cards Q/7 which might all be live, so basically 8 outs). Sure enough the dealer is kind enough to peel the Qc off the deck for yet another fascinating runner runner straight.

Good for me that I’m pretty used to such crap by now, so I abstain from throwing up on my keyboard and moan a little. Then I think of the old math thing: if you’re a favourite to win it around 77%, you’re going to lose it around 23% of the time. But god, do does 23% (or anything between 1-30%) seem to hit a lot against me or what? Now I know that it’s obvious that you’re going to get outdrawn more if you move in (way) ahead and the human mind remembers (bad) beats more than when hands hold up (or when you outdraw yourself for that matter), but I don’t think that’s the case here – and to prove my “I’m losing against all odds more often than I’m supposed to”-theory, I’m starting a bad beat and (bad) win log from this day forward! Let’s see if I can prove my theory – and even if it’s for a (shorter) period of time [after all such things are supposed to smooth out over an extended period of time].

My analysis of the hand:

After I flopped top set, there’s not much I could have done different. After all I need to make sure that I make drawing as expensive as possible as I’m sure that I’m ahead right there, so I can’t see an obvious error on my behalf in the hand…can you?

For your viewing pleasure, the hand in it’s beauty, yuck:

Come on!
2.+3. Are you kidding me? – or otherwise put: there’s exactly one hand (or very few) that can beat me, sure enough one opponent will hold ’em!
2. Let’s start with the hand as it evolved: I hold 9h 6d in the BB, blinds are at 80/160. It’s folded around to the SB who calls and I check. The flop comes down 8d Th Qd. The SB puts in a min-bet. Now I don’t know where the hell I’m standing, but I call. Turn is the 3c. He checks, I check. Now I’m pretty sure that he doesn’t hold top pair, but for all I know I’m behind. River brings the Jh. I made my straight and with now flush possible I feel that I hold the winning hand – after all the only hands that can beat me are K9, AK. SB puts in another min-bet, which I read as at least a semi-steal, so I min-raise him. He pushes. Now I’m wondering – can he really hold K9/AK? Unraised pot. Bet the flop. Checked the turn. Bet the river. I’m not sure, but I don’t put him on this right there, so I call. Sure enough he not only shows AK, but AKs.

Analysis: Well, this is the old problem of giving it a shot. If I lay down this hand after he bet the flop, I don’t have to worry. I’m out of 160 (BB) and that’s that. So this is the first and final error in this hand (IMO) – after the check on the turn all I can put him on (that would beat me) is a flush draw or one pair/two pair, after the river card I can’t put him on K9/AK(s)…or can I? Maybe I should have believed him right there, but I didn’t. My bad.

3. Nines again, this time 9s 9h UTG, four handed. I’m slightly behind the chipleader and way ahead of two smaller stacks (3 ITM). Bubble time. I pop it up to the pot size (blinds 80/160). The two small stacks fold, the BB (chipleader) calls. Flop comes down Td 8h 7h. The BB puts in a min bet. Turn is the Js. Now I made my straight and wait for the BB to act. The BB puts in another min-bet (160), I reraise to 2k. BB goes into the tank and calls. River Ks. Now the BB pushes his remaining chips in. What to do? For all I know, the only hand that can beat me is AQ. Now this would be in the range of hands to call my preflop bet, but not really in the range of calling the turn bet, or am I missing something? Was he really drawing to a gutshot with Ace high (or a kicker playing rag Ace for that matter)? Impossible is nothing, but I’m not laying this down. I call. He shows AsQc and I bubble.

Quick rewind: Preflop – BB 44% Me 55%, Flop – BB 20% Me 79%, Turn – BB 14% Me 86%, River – BB 100% Me 0%

Sigh, ahead all the way, outsuckered again. So I would sum those three hands up as good played hands – Me 2, Donkeys 1, hands won – Me 0, Donkeys 3.
Opinions, comforting words, advice and even “stfu you made an error here, here and here” comments very welcome. I’m out…

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