Monday, December 27, 2004

Black Sunday

While contemplating the metaphorical blimp crashing into my metaphorical Super Bowl, I give you the four hands that put me out in yesterdays' four $20 SnGs in descending order numerically, but ascending order of brutality:

4. My 55 falls to AKo on the bubble.
3. My nut straight on the turn falls to a boat on the river.
2. My Hilton Sisters fall to a flush on the river.
1. My pocket jacks fall to J3o.*

*That is not a mis-print.

It is the worst beat I have ever taken. By a long shot. It was the fourth tourney I played yesterday. I'd had rotten luck from the start (though much better luck in limit games; more to come). Beat #2 above actually came on the first hand of the first tourney I played. Bet T300 on the jack-high flop. All-in on the rag turn card. And up pops the flush on the river. One hand. Thanks for coming. Bad, but not a rare occurance on party poker. Not by a long-shot.

But #1...oh...#1. It went something--and by "something," I mean "exactly"--like this:

Level 1, I'm one from the button with pocket jacks. Three limpers to me and I raise to T100. Folded to the BB who calls. Two of the three limpers call, as well. Which is ridiculous in itself. Three callers on a nearly 7x raise. It's ABSURD that there are three valid hands to call with there. ABSURD.

Flop comes 10 7 3 rainbow. BB bets out 90. Huh? Now, a man of sound mind and body here thinks a set or a pocket overpair. Except I knew the BB was the guy I wanted. See, he'd already doubled up once earlier. In that hand, he raised K9o pre-flop in MP. And went all-in with an ace on the flop. Magically, he won (thanks to being called by a worse player on Q10o).

So, I raised all-in, knowing FULL WELL I was way ahead. I thought he might have A7. Five outs, max. I gave him too much credit. He had J3o. Pause to contemplate the thought process that compels one to call a huge pre-flop raise with J3o. Extrapolate that further to calling the pre-flop raiser's all-in with bottom pair.

You can figure the story by now. Another 3 spiked on the turn to put me out. I still can't believe it. I was visibly shaken. In the most literal sense. I was trembling like Kathryn Hepburn with the DTs. I want to hurt that man. I want to grab him by the lapels and go Neidermeyer on his ass, spittle and expletives flying. I demand my revenge.

So, of course, I've tagged him. And I'm going to stalk him until my dying day. Every time I log on, I'm going to look for him and try to sit his table. Every. Single. Day. I also invite you all to e-mail me, and I'll give you his screen name. I want him to suffer. If you take a pot off him, however, you have to promise to type in chat: "That's for playing J3o" or something like that. Not convinced? Okay, more snapshots of his play from the remainder of that particular tourney (in which he finished 6th, despit having T2800 with 8 left):

Called 3x pre-flop raise with K6o. Went to the river with K-high.
Called minimum raise in the SB with 107o. Miraculously folded on the flop.
Called an all-in on the turn with a pair of 5s with A, K and J on the board.
Called a minimum raise with 42o. Called all-in on a flop of A A 5. Caught his gunshot on the river, at which point a boat had already been made. Dead. Money.

You know where to find me.

The Good News is, that in between tourney's 2 and 3 yeaterday, I decided to play some limit ring games. I got Cloutier and McEvoy's "Championship Hold 'Em..." for Christmas and devoured it already, so I figured I'd play with some fresh ideas in my head. Er, giddyup. I was playing 2/4 and doubled up my buy-in in less than an hour. Won the very first hand I played with 107o in the big blind (flopped top pair; called all the way down by two folks holding middle pair).

The most fortuitous hand was when I caught The Hiltons--both dressed attractively in red--when UTG. Raised and got two callers, including the gentleman just to my left who had already re-bought at least once. Jack-high flop with two hearts and my bet gets two callers again. Turn is a scare card, in several ways: King of hearts. I lead out regardless and only the gentleman to my left calls. I expected a raise there and was surprised not to see it. Could he still be betting the jack? Slow-playing a pocket over-pair? Or just waiting to jump on the river with his kings or a flush. Whatever. The river is the ace of hearts. I do a double take. "I do believe I have the nuts!" I say to nobody in particular. Bet and am called. He turns over 53 of hearts. Dang. So close to getting sucked out on and the poker Gods come thru. See, you DO want people playing crap cards to a pre-flop raise. Hard to remember that sometimes on party poker.

Then took a huge pot with a hidden set of tens against two players with TPTK.

All in all, a slightly profitable day and solidly profitable week. So, why is it that I want to crush J3o so badly? I'm not a vengeful person. Perhaps it's just that his play struck a chord in me that had not been struck before when playing poker. I re-read the "hate" paragraph again and I come off like an ass. But I won't edit it. It's how I felt at the time (and feel on a lesser scale every time I think about it). Am I going too far? Damn. I'll accept any advice on how to deal.


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