Saturday, March 19, 2005

Poker Night: I really, REALLY hate 4's...

What are the odds?

How many times have you found yourself asking that question? Myself, a few times here and there. It's tough to separate the real bad beats from the hands where someone simply catches a card -- people like to think that if someone only has one out and catches it on the river to take the pot, they're the victim of a bad beat.

Uh, no. Try me on for size.

Twice tonight I found myself the victim of running 4's on the turn and river. Twice. Same card. Turn and river.

The first time was the worst -- it came during the first game, where I was pimpin' Donnie out of his chips going heads up after everyone else was bumped out. I'd call the big blind, he'd raise, I'd go all-in, he'd fold. He'd call the big blind, I'd go all-in, he'd fold. I was beating him up, and he was getting pretty short-stacked after having a significant chip lead going in.

Then, kind of like the title from a few days ago, I caught some cards -- and sometimes, catching cards is bad.

I'm in the big blind and get 7/3 suited clubs. I figure I'm in deep doo-doo, but at least I'm suited, plus I'm in the big blind. Donnie calls, and let's me limp into the flop. I check. Out comes the flop: club, club, club. I've got a freaking flush. A sucky flush, but I have it right now and figure with Donnie on the ropes and, at this point, on the short stack, I want to bet him out of the pot, especially if he's got one club. So I go all-in. Donnie calls.

I turn over the flush, and Donnie turns over two cards, neither of which is a club. He's got king/4 offsuit. Yes, one of the clubs on the flop was a four, so he had a pair, but who freaking cares? He'd need running kings or running fours to beat me.

Turn. 4. River...4. We all kind of let out one of those "just maybe" oooohs when the first 4 hit on 4th street, but it's one of those "nah, not really" oooohs, you know? Figuring that there's noooo way another four comes out. We figured wrong. So, he wins that pot, but I've still got chips. I'm still in it.

I few hand later, we're about evenly stacked, as I pimped Donnie a couple of more times to even up the chip stack. I get king/9 suited spades while in the big blind, Donnie hesitates just a skoche before calling, so I go all-in -- he hesitates a bit more before calling. I turn over my cards, and Donnie turns over...pocket 4's.

Do you see where this story is going?

Yep. Pocket 4's held up, I lose. Not one spade even hit the board. Shame about that.

Two games later (I won the middle game), I'm going up against Luis, who's a known bluffer, but who's also known to check a full boat or an ace-high flush all the way to the river. Unpredictable, in a word. It's just he and I when the flop hit (he was small blind, I was in the big), and I flop two pair, 10's and 6's.

I peek at Luis' chip stack and see I'm well ahead of him, so I go all-in for intimidation. Luis calls with king/4 off suit (yeah, king/4 offsuit...again).

He's got nothing -- no draws, no pair -- why did he call in the first place? There was nothing but crap on the flop, so maybe he thought I had a low pair or something, but nevermind that.

What are the odds? I mean, I already got beat by running 4's once, and pocket 4's won the first game facing two suited overcards, but again?

Yep, again. 4 on the turn, 4 on the river. Trip 4's beats two pair.

I found a way to win a game, come out $60 bucks ahead for the night, and still feel screwed over.

What a game. I oughta kick the guy who invented it.

So next time you're playing some Hold 'Em and you've got your trips and go all-in, and the guy calls you with an inside straight draw and catches his card -- before you get too upset, think of me, and think of running 4's twice on the same night.

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