Friday, January 27, 2006

Unlucky In Poker

Reporter: Where do the Sox rank in terms of importance in your life?
Ben: I say the Red Sox... sex... and breathing.
”Perfect Catch”

That movie was called “Fever Pitch” in the US, but it was called “Perfect Catch” out here because of the original British version I guess. I hate it when movies are released in different countries with different names. It makes no sense to rename them for Australia – we speaka da Engrish too!

So how have the cards been treating you? Good for you, because they have been kicking me in the ass over the past two days. I am trying to ween myself off bad beat stories, so here is a quick run down of how I went.

$5 SNG – AKc gets smacked by 86c. Both on the flush draw, but he running two pair.
$5 SNG – Crippled when flopped two pair all-in against OESD, hit on the turn. Knocked out when I made a stand with ATd and got called by QQ. No bad beat there, just bad timing.
$5 2 Table – great read on the big stack, who is responsible for 90% of my chips. Down to final 7, I’m in 4th and raised it to 5BB pre-flop with 88. I can’t scare him off KTo which hits.
$5 SNG – AKh, can’t scare off Q8s with a 6BB raise pre-flop all-in. The eight hits.
10c/20c Omaha PL – Ok, I suck at Omaha pot limit. I sat down because Skitch was there, but I lost most of my stack when my open ended straight flush draw with bottom set failed to get across the line and I had to dump it on the river.
$5 6 person SNG – Actually took 1st, but this was before all the others. I hit two straights in a row and had the chip leader pay me off on both. Heads up I won with KK and the flop was 999. Opponent called with JT.

Since online poker is rigged, how about the live home games?

First game – Finished second when I made a stand with severe chip deficit. I have KJs, he has A-litte. The ace hits.

Second game – Crippled with flush over flush, then all-in on a rag flop. I call with AA, opponent shows KK. River K. Out 5th (of 7)

Third game – chip leader has 95% of chips when we are down to the bubble. I manage to double up and finish second when the exact same situation as game 1 occurred.

By this time we started a cash game. The worst of it was KK getting hammered by the hammer. That cost me my stack. I managed to get my losses back when TT held up over 77 (both hit the flop) and then a six high straight put me back to even.

Generally, I think I am lucky I haven’t lost more money than I should in the last week or so. When I was playing the Omaha with Skitch, he said his Distraction was on the phone so he had nothing better to do. I was in a SNG at the time and doing very well – but my Distraction was watching “Perfect Catch” in the lounge room and couldn’t wait to show me this one bit of the movie. I knew this was a sign that all was about to go horribly wrong. I busted out of the Omaha game and the SNG – well, it was the one where I had an excellent read on the chip leader. He would under bet every flop if he missed, and I would push him off it with a re-raise. I did it about 4 times and then I knew next time he would call so I needed to have something. I did, and he doubled me up! I was taking chips off no other player in this game – and thankfully everyone else kept giving him more (and thus me). Then the 88 hand described above occurred, and I was gone from there two.

It’s a real shame, because I was having such a good run of things, non-poker, leading up to the last week. Sadly, my poker mistress has not treated me as well. It the usual stories – bad beats, no coin flips, running good hands into great hands, never seeing the nuts – you’ve heard it all before, and I’ve already spent too long talking about it.

So lets talk about something else, but still poker.

There was a long time when I had a dreaded fear of Queens. It all started when I managed to fold them pre-flop once with two all-ins in front of me – I figured one was probably playing aces. They had 99 and 66, and just to rub it in there was a Queen on the flop.

After that game, I was knocked out of tournament either with Queens or by them. It was uncanny how often it happened.

Then a few months ago, I managed to call pre-flop with Queens in a home game against a player who put on a bluff all-in pre-flop with 46o. It was late and he wanted to go home. Anyway, he hit a 4 on the flop but got no more help and I declared my Queen curse was over.

Now I have it back. I have a very bad feeling every time I get dealt QT suited.

Even with a massive stack, I fold this hand immediately because I am that scared of it. I know it isn’t a monster, and shouldn’t be considered one, but it has just got me into a trouble before.

Stupid thing is, I can’t even remember the hands that it got me in trouble with. I just remember that it happened.

Now the only chance I have of seeing a flop with QT suited is from the big blind. And when this happens, I usually get a small piece of the flop or a flush/straight draw. That usually gets me in trouble.

So now I have resorted myself to only playing QT post flop if it flops the Royal Flush or QQT. Anything else is a fold.

And when I do fold those cards, from whatever position, they hit the flop for the nuts and two players go all-in, who would have been drawing dead against me (if I was in the hand).

Ok, so a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.

I know this is stupid, but I can’t get myself off it. Every time those cards get dealt to me, I automatically go into a panic. It is just as stupid as having a “lucky hand”, which I also used to suffer from (63o, how tragic is that?).

Does anybody else suffer from such stupidity? I feel ashamed even admitting to it. I mean, I know poker. I know the theory behind it, I know what good starting hands are and are not.

Why have these stupid little superstitions?

It’s got to the point that I know they are stupid superstitions, and I should just play QT suited on its merits. But the “curse” has been so long that I’ve forgotten what the merits were.

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