Bad Beat –> Happy Tilt. Oh my!
This post involves our friend “Myles” from the previous post, where I made a massive over-bet all-in river shove. Read about it here.
About a week later, I’m off to a good start in a $1/2 no limit cash game, having doubled up early when my AA held up against AK on a K-high flop. At this private game, the host has two interesting jackpot bonuses, both of which are about to come into play. The first is a high-hand jackpot. A separate fund is segregated out of the house rake during the night, and the player with the highest hand of the night (paid out at midnight) using both hole cards wins the jackpot, which is usually between $80 – 120. In addition, there is a bad beat jackpot, which requires losing a hand with JJJ-TT or higher (using both hole cards, although the winner of the hand is not required also to use both hole cards under house policy). The bad beat jackpot grows by $25 each time there is no winner, up to a cap of $500. Tonight, we are at the jackpot cap.
In this hand, our familiar villain “Myles” raises to $10 from the UTG+1 seat (i.e., two seats to the left of the Big Blind). He has about $260 to start the hand, and I have over $400. Another player calls, and I call with QQ in the Cutoff seat (one seat to the right of the Button). The Button (I’ll call him “John” for purposes of this post – he has about $200) also calls, but both blinds fold. I considered re-raising with my QQ here, but decided to make a non-standard call to deliberately under-represent my hand.
Flop ($43): KQ5 all different suits. What a perfect spot to have just called with QQ. Myles bets $20 and the next player folds. I want to see what “John” is going to do here, so I just call, and John also calls.
Turn ($103): K. Now I have a full house, QQQ-KK, which is awesome, and if somehow Myles or John has KK for a bigger full house, I qualify to win the bad beat jackpot. Also, nobody has posted a higher full house yet this evening, so I’ll be leading the way for the high-hand jackpot. Some nights this is good enough to win the high-hand jackpot; other nights not. A couple weeks early I had a 888-99 hand hold up until 11:59 pm, right before payment time, when TTT-QQ stole it away.
Now “Myles” checks. When “John” called the flop bet, I think he probably has a K or Q, or a straight draw with JT, with a remote chance of a really strong hand with KQ or 55. I bet $50, about 1/2 of the pot, hoping to get at least one more call from “John.” If he is on a draw, he may chase it for this amount. “John” calls $50. Then… “Myles” slides out $130 for a check-raise of $80 more. This is really interesting. He has to consider that either “John” or myself has a strong hand. So his range is either a bluff, or a very strong hand like AA, AK, KK (quads??? really???) or KQ.
On the other hand, the worst that can happen is I’m going to win the $500 bad beat jackpot, while the most I could lose on this hand is about $260. Or I’m going to win a huge pot. Once again, I just call, to see if “John” will put in any more chips. “Myles” is pretty pot-committed so I should have no problem getting the rest of his chips in on the river. To my disappointment, “John” folds.
River ($413): 5. Now the board is KQ5-K-5, or a double paired board. “Myles” somewhat unhappily tosses out two $1 chips, the minimum bet amount. Wha-a-a-a-t? Obviously he doesn’t want to put in the rest of his chips.
Here is where I went on happy tilt. I’ve fallen in love with my hand, with a flopped set of queens and turned full house. And the knowledge that I’m qualified to win the bad beat jackpot if somehow I’m beat. Rather than pause for a second and think about the implications of the river card, I just announce all-in. The reality is that “Myles” can fold AA here, or anything else he might have that doesn’t include a K. My raise is totally idiotic – he’s not going to call me with a worse hand, and not going to fold a better hand either. After considering the possibility of me having KQ rather than QQ, he calls and shows AK suited. His KKK-55 beats my QQQ-KK.
While I win the $500 bad beat jackpot, I also could have called “Myles'” $2 bet on the river and saved $98 more
“Myles” laughs, thanks me and reminds me and everyone else at the table about the extra $98 I paid him about a dozen times over the remainder of the evening.
Sometimes he reads this blog. Merry Christmas, “Myles.” I hope you used it to buy yourself a nice Christmas sweater and matching necktie.
A little while later, against a different villain, my TT runs into AK on a board of KK4-K-9. The other guy has quad KKKK’s with an Ace kicker, to bump me out of the high hand jackpot. My KKK-TT again qualifies for the bad beat jackpot, but it has been reset to $25 and the house rule is they won’t pay the jackpot to the same player twice in one night. I don’t want to sound like a complainer, but a different river card in the first hand with “Myles” and I would have been about $600 richer.