Bitch-slapped by the Deck
I almost hope nobody reads this, because it may sound like I’m whining. And I hate whiners, especially those who whine about their losses at the poker table.
So… Dear Readers, I’m not really writing this for you. I’m writing for myself, to try to purge this from my psyche.
Here I am at the World Series of Poker, staying in an expensive room at the Rio in Las Vegas. I flew in this morning, napped some on the plane, surveyed the WSOP area, hung out a little bit at the pool, registered for a tournament that starts in 2 days, resisted the temptation to start playing poker immediately, went to the fitness center and worked out, and ate a salad. That seems almost perfect insofar as my plan to get my mind and body right before the tournament. (OK, confession time, I did enjoy a Cinnabon at the airport upon arrival, but I digress.)
Then I sat down for some $1-3 NLHE cash game action. And just got bitch-slapped by the deck. As in…
- AKo, I raise and get 2 callers. Flop 983 and I continuation bet and get one caller. Turn is a K, giving me top pair/top kicker. I bet again and get called. River is a T, I bet again and get raised. I call. Villain has the nuts with QJ. He called flop and turn bets with gut shots, and hit on the river.
- AKs, I raise from UTG and get 3 callers. Flop K64 with two clubs. I C-bet and UTG+1 calls. Turn is 5d, I bet again and he raises. There is some confusion as the dealer scrambled up the deck before the river was dealt and before I had acted on the villain’s raise. I folded, and he shows 66 for a flopped set.
- 88, I raise UTG+1 and 3 callers. Flop 652 with two clubs looks good for me. Except UTG check-raises on the flop. I fold, and later find out he limp/called with 43o. BB had pocket 55s. The guy 2 seats to my left then says he folded pre-flop with pocket 22s.
- I call an opening min-raise with KTo. Flop is KQ5 with two spades. Opener bets and I call on flop and turn rag. River A of spades and when he checks, I’m sure my hand is good, but don’t see any reason to bet. He has JT for a rivered straight, but pot-controlling in case I was chasing a flush draw.
- KJo and I call a pre-flop raise in a multi-way pot. Flop is K85 all spades. I raise after one of the pre-flop callers makes a small bet, thinking he has SOMETHING LESS THAN A NUT FLUSH. Wrong.
OK, so over 4 hours, something must have gone right. Well, yes I did win one mid-sized pot when my T9o made top pair. And I won another small pot when QhTh flopped a K-high flush (I had raised pre, 2 callers, and one call of my smallish flop bet then he folded on the turn).
And here is a list of ALL my pocket pairs higher than 88: [ ].
Here is a list of all my flopped (or turned or rivered) sets: [ ].
Here is a list of all my 2-pair or better hands, other than the flopped flush already mentioned: [ ].
I know this is variance. I know “This Too Shall Pass.” I know patience will prevail in the long run. I know tomorrow is another day. I know.