Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Suckout That Wasn't

Larry Joseph Burrows: Why is it when you do something terrific, nine times out of 10 you're all alone, but when you screw up really big, the whole world is watching?
”Mr. Destiny”

After yesterdays NFL bashing, I feel like I should mention two things about the game that I do like, and then be done with it. Firstly, Quarterbacks must have some awesome skill. To remember all those plays, then find an open man amongst all those players and throw it with all that padding on, that’s pretty impressive. When I guy runs 20 yards full tilt, then turns around and the ball is already there for him to catch, that’s a pretty special skill. And secondly, the scheduling. Having a week off after the two final teams are decided is a top idea, and so is having the pro-bowl at seasons end.

Anyways, back to poker – have you ever made a call at the table and you still don’t know if it was smart or not. I mean, you know why you did it, it seems reasonable at the time, but you still have no idea if you were correct or lucky. Maybe a combination of both. Here is how my night went last night.

I bought into the $1/$2 NL 6-max game with $75, which maybe a little under what I need, but never the less that is what happened. 30 hands in, I have not won one hand and I’m down to $22 left. Ouch – it was some raises pre-flop that then missed and I was forced to drop, as well as some unlucky river cards that cost me (twp pair getting done by a bigger two pair, you know the usual story.). The Distraction is in full force also, and asked me how I was going – “I need to double-up twice in a row to get close to even”. Yeah, I was travelling that good . But this isn’t a bad beat post, this is just a weird hand.

On the button, I have ATo and think with $22 left if I raise it here I am just about pot committed anyways. If I push now, I’ll only get called by bigger hands or I’ll make $6 or something. So I decided to do hat I always do with an ok hand and just raise – raise it to $7. 3 callers, which is good if I hit and bad if I don’t. The flop comes 3d7s9s. I have the Ace of spades, so I can get runner-runner spades or runner-runner straight, but most likely I’m looking for runner-runner two pair or trips to be good (got to assume there is a better ace out there). I’m last to act, but I’m already planning on pushing all-in on this pot because with $15 left what more can I do? First position bets $8, second position raises to $33, and third position calls all-in for $33. What to do, what to do?

Surely someone has something better than me. There could be a flush or straight draw, or even an under pair out there but they are all better than me. I’m pretty disappointed with how this session has gone, and the tilt in me wants to push and not even look at the turn or river. I consider the fold, then look at the pot…it’s pretty big already. Ok, so I can’t win the entire pot, but if I manage one of my runner-runners then it could be ok. Besides, one of these guys could be on a bluff or a draw, right? So I pushed with Ace high, no kicker. First to act folded and since we have two all-ins, there was no more action to be had. The turn was a 9, and so was the river. The board showed 37999 with no flush. In other words, I can be beaten by pocket pairs, a 3, 7, 9 or AK, AQ, AJ. Somehow, no one had that. The other all-in player had Q4s looking for the flush, and the raiser must have been on a bluff because he mucked to my ace high. After rake, it was a $79 pot pushed my way. I was up $4 on the first hand I had won. I cashed out a little over $90 after another 30 hands or so.

So was this a bad call, faced with all that action in front of me? I tend to think it was, but I haven’t bothered to do the numbers behind it yet. Was I “pot committed” enough to justify it? Or is that just the catch cry of all drawing donkeys. How was I to know I actually had the best hand when I went all-in?

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