Sunday, September 10, 2006

Actual Poker Content

Praise be to Mansion for their free money! If it wasn't for that, this could have been one depressing weekend.

Poker can be a game of fiercely conflicting emotions, and the biggest emotional responses tend to come not from victory, but defeat.

When I'm on a good run, cashing in four or five SNG in succession, scarcely a word will pass my lips. It feels almost routine.

In fact, it probably should be. At the levels I play, it's not egotistical to claim to be better than 90% of the players. It's fact.

An amoeba on acid could play better than some of these guys.

So, when the wheels come off, and bad beat after bad beat rains down upon my head, I'm more than disappointed. I'm indignant, affronted, outraged, by the sheer injustice of it.

Which is silly, since this is poker, and these things happen. But I'm only human.

There's been a whirlwind of indignation this weekend. In the last eight games I played, I've managed two third place cashes, three bubble finishes, and three early exists.

I'll skip the bad beat specifics but suffice to say, in every bubble case I was ahead when the chips went in. From at worst a very marginal 51/49 - but my chips went in first - to a sickening 80/20 - and it wasn't pair-over-pair pre-flop, but a bizarre flop move from an aggression monkey.

Of course on the last one in particular, had the cards been face up as we played, I'd have been happy with a call that would usually have propelled me into a commanding chip lead.

Yet once the chips are in, turn and river dealt, and the beat laid down, all I can say is 'wtf were you thinking playing like that?' It's the way of things to be happy when the odds hold up, and outraged when variance let me down.

Aside from bad beats, I had a new experience in one of the early exits, when I found myself all-in pre-flop with QQ versus KK and QQ. Not many outs there!

Now, against a raise and reraise pre-flop, I'm perfectly aware that it should be possible to get away from QQ.

Against a collection of really tight, solid players, I'm sure that's a move I can make.

However, against a motley collection of Saturday night PokerStars players, I don't think QQ can be put down.

As justification for this stance, I offer a hand I observed during the same session on a different table. The actors - two short, but not desperately short stacks, and one above average stack. Short Stack 1 open pushes, Short Stack 2 calls all-in, and Above Average calls off sixty percent of his stack from the button, with the blinds yet to act.

Cards on their backs and Short Stack 1 has AQs (fair enough), Short Stack 2 has QQ (can't argue with that), and Above Average has KJo (wtf?).

I'll say that again. King. Jack. Offsuit. What DID he think he was beating? How could he possibly conclude he was ahead?

Actually, that's a stupid question. He likely saw paint times two and thought 'The nuts!'

Against players like that, QQ cannot be put down in my humble opinion.

I had planned an epic session for last night, but I could feel my self control failing under the bad beat barrage, so I made what I consider my most productive move of the night by logging out, and having an early night.

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