Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Empire Strikes Back Part II - Revenge Of The Fish

< rant >
Well I finally cleared the Empire bonus! Unfortunately showing a substantial loss, after a severe beating from the most disgusting display of poker I have ever seen.

I can take the loss, but some of the beats were so absurd they really stuck in my throat. We've all been there, but I have never experienced so many examples of bad beats/bad luck in such quick succession.

I honestly could not buy a hand. Off the top of my head, a few quick examples:

- AA down to A6s. Flopped a flush.
- KK down to K2s. Runner-runner flush.
- AKo down to JTo. Ace on flop. Runner-runner gutshot straight.
- KK down to 66. Capped pre-flop with another player. This guy made a straight after calling every raise pre-flop and on flop.
- KQ flops a Broadway straight. Loses to runner-runner flush.

That's just scratching the surface, and hardly begins to illustrate just how bad some of the play was.

It's absolutely impossible to put some people on a hand as they literally NEVER raise. One hand I saw got to showdown without a single raise - bet and called the whole way. The hands - AA and JJ on a board of all undercards!!!

I know my play got progressively worse over the weekend, moving from the usual tight-aggressive towards weak-tight as my frustration grew, so some of the blame certainly lies with me.

This was the first lengthy session I've played using PokerAce HUD, and I think that contributed partly to my state of mind, as I was seeing the hole cards people were mucking.

Rather than giving me lots of useful information, it merely reinforced my perception of the standard of play. Some of the hands people were taking to showdown were incomprehensible, and I was even taking offence at some of the heinous bad beats other players were suffering.

Even worse, it really pains me to actually lose money to people who don't even seem to know the rules, as evidenced by the following hand.

I'm dealt trash in the big blind, and check to multiple limpers. The flop comes Ace high, with no help for me.

I check. EP bets out and gets three callers. I fold, actually saying out loud as I do 'They can't all have aces'.

This is confirmed when the turn brings a second Ace. EP bets again and gets one caller. By now I'm presuming both have an Ace and it's a battle of the kickers.

The river is harmless. EP bets again, and the other guy raises. In my mind he can only have one of two hands. Either he paired his kicker, or a small pocket pair has made a baby house.

EP makes what looks like a crying call...and scoops the pot with a modest kicker!

Normally I'd have shrugged this off but PokerAce HUD shows me the losing hand - A2o!!!

So this guy has called all the way, and raised on the river with NO realistically conceivable way of winning the hand. Sure EP guy might have folded to the raise, but it's screamingly obvious he has an Ace.

Yet I still couldn't win a hand against these guys!

I knew I was losing my head, and really I should have quit earlier, but I wanted to get through the bonus.

That's the one disadvantage with bonus whoring - sometimes you find yourself shackled to the PC when you know you'd be better off elsewhere.

Still, long term it's a +EV pursuit, even if it's -mental health in the short term!
< /rant >

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