Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Poker Night: Lucky Luis

I haven't written about my legendary bad luck in Hold 'Em for a bit, so here's the latest from my files...

- I played in a larger game last Friday in Vacaville. The buy-in was $25, and there were 18 players at two tables. It was run better than our loose games are, with the hosts running two decks on each table and running the blinds on a strict timer-basis. And now comes the pain...

After catching nothing (no, not even a pair) for the first 30 minutes or so and seeing my pile of chips dwindle (I was strong several times starting out and did some raising, only to have the flop destroy my hopes and dreams), I caught the best starting hand: pocket bullets. What did I do with 'em?

(sigh) This time I chose not to raise, figuring I'd let the flop come out and let somebody catch high board pair or something. Of course, out comes 4, 5, 7 on the flop, and now I have to worry about one of the limpers catching a straight. The turn? A freaking 6, so now's there's four to the straight on the board, and I'm forced to bail out after a strong bet and a call.

The next hand I caught was k/2 suited clubs, and I flopped a flush with the ace on the board. Great, right? Being last to bet, I again figured I would sit on it, as my chips were getting pretty low and I wanted some cheap bets and a few calls to bump up the pot before it got to me. This was destroyed by a bunch of checks after the flop, which I went along with. 4th street was the queen of clubs, which wasn't that great of a card for me (it meant nobody else had it), but did mean that there were four to the flush on the board, so hopefully somebody with a jack or 9 of clubs would get bold after the river. Again, everyone checked, so I did the same figuring I'd put out a small bet after the river if everyone checked again.

The river? Queen of hearts....okay, whatever. I wait to see what everyone else does, and get check, check, all-in, fold, fold, fold...yep, I got an all-in, which was exactly what I wanted, right? I've got an ace-high flush with a ing kicker, so I've got to call...and the guy turns over a freaking full house with queens full of 10's. He caught a queen on the turn and river to give him his hand and screw me over royally. Sure, I should've bet a bit earlier, but who figures to have somebody catch up to them when they've got a freaking ace-high flush with the nut king?

- Our own Poker Night was on Saturday, and featured a brilliant display of luck by my friend and nemesis, Luis.

Without going into too much detail, I'll just tell you that twice on all-ins where I would've taken him out he caught a turn and river card to beat me. Twice. In one night. Remember when I told you guys how I got beat twice in one night by running 4's on the turn and river? Yeah, Luis had one of those, and he did it twice himself on Saturday.

I came in 2nd place twice, both times to Luis. Other than my trials and tribulations with him, I was generally beating up on everyone else (actually catching a river card to beat Dave once). How'd Luis beat me in the second game? I went all-in with k/j suited spades, and Luis called with...2/7 suited spades...and ended up with two pair. Luis himself doesn't know why he called, except for the knowledge that whenever we go heads-up on an all-in, he starts out behind and gets whatever cards he needs to catch up and beat me. I've never seen anyone catch as many cards as he does, but it's balanced out by me hardly being able to catch a card to save my life.

Yin, meet Yang.

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