Raise or Fold:  A Year of Risky Business

Writing and playing poker as if they were activities worth doing well.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Poker Gods Hate Me

I took two of the most horrendous beats of my life half an hour ago, back to back. In both cases my opponents went runner runner: in one case running deuces for a boat to beat my flopped 2nd nut flush, and in the other running nines to put trip nines on the board, counterfeiting my flopped-set-turned-boat by giving the other guy a bigger boat with his top pair crappy kicker.

This put an end to a long session in which I played some of the best, most solid, disciplined poker of my life. I had folded my way through literally hours of off-suited, unconnected, worthless hands. I had played my A game throughout. I had kept my patience and my cool, and shrugged off the first beat. The second, I have to say, got to me. The fact that I walked away with the remnants of my once-healthy stack (I had the second guy covered as well) feels like some kind of grotesque pyrrhic victory ~ at least I wasn't felted.

For what it's worth, the whole table was flabbergasted too. When other hardcore players look at you with shock and pity, you know you've really gotten reamed.

Every bad player blames bad luck.
Maybe that's me.
But tonight, I think it's fair to say that I was unlucky twice in a row, in fairly spectacular fashion.

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Anonymous joxum said...

Oh boy, that sucks big time!
I think tilting is completely allowed in such a situation.



9/6/09 9:03 AM  
Anonymous poker bot said...

Good luck for next game.

9/6/09 11:13 AM  
Blogger Rakewell said...

"I hereby take this solemn oath: I will never deliberately tell a bad beat story again. Ever."

March 11, 2009

"I am NEVER playing mfin' 1/2 in a casino again. Ever. I don't care if it's the only game bring spread. It's nit worth the aggravation."

July 13, 2009

9/6/09 11:24 AM  
Blogger Rakewell said...

I suppose, after a couple of minutes' more reflection, that quoting those two pledges without further comment might seem cold and harsh to you and/or readers. Nothing like kicking a Grrl when she's down, right?

That's not my intention. My purpose is to invite explanation about the seeming discrepancy between such strongly worded, absolute, heartfelt promises to self and the subsequent changing of mind about them.

You don't really owe anybody an explanation, but I suspect that other followers will share my wonder about what, if anything, such pledges actually signify and/or what it takes to cause them to be either reevaluated and moderated, or outright broken/abandoned.

(Disclaimer: Cardgrrl and I have talked about some of this in person, so I have a bit more insight than other readers will, though even I am left scratching my head at times.)

9/6/09 11:35 AM  
Blogger NewinNov said...

Ouch; impressive you walked away rather than letting the influence of tilt creep into your play.

9/6/09 12:18 PM  
Blogger Cardgrrl said...

@Rakewell You know what? I honestly don't think any explanation is needed. Hyperbole and rants go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I didn't think of this post as primarily a bad beat story, although I suppose on reflection it probably looks like one. I saw it mostly as an example of the difficulty I'm having trying to figure out why my results have been bad and the struggle I face to not get tilted.

If frustration got the better of me and I posted a rant on my blog, so be it. At least I didn't donk off the rest of my stack at the table.

9/6/09 6:33 PM  
Blogger Cardgrrl said...

Actually, now I'm curious.

Did any of my twelve other readers notice the "discrepancies" pointed out by Rakewell? If so, were you curious about them? Bothered? Disappointed?

9/6/09 7:02 PM  
Anonymous poker rakeback said...

I think the most difficult part of playing online poker are the bad beats. You play so many more hands per hour, especially when you are multi-tabling, that the beats come so much more frequently than in live play. I seem to control my temper well at a public place like a casino and with time in between hands to cool off, but online I find it more and more difficult to not go on tilt.

9/6/09 7:08 PM  
Blogger NewinNov said...

Hyperbole as you stated is a good explanation. I disagree with Rakewell and take your so called absolutes as hyperbole; it is evident throughout your writing; it is imfused in your style. It is also evident as you are pursuing your "adventure" over the one year mark. As it is an adventure there are opportunities to change course, it would be stifling not to be open to adjustments. I enjoyed reading the brief bad beat stories as they illustrated your actions (e.g. leaving the table) which provides some insight into how you handle adversion.

I am so behind in my poker blog reading but I chose your blog because you mainly stick to poker, are succient, and I am interested in the story - can a novice make it as a professional poker player.

9/6/09 10:00 PM  
Blogger Sean G said...

I don't imagine there is a poker player alive who hasn't sworn off bad beat stories, or a certain type of game. I swear off cash games about three or four times a year. Then I make a late MTT finish and then I run over and give half of it back.

I never considered that you had made the oaths (although I did read one and saw you refer to the other) when I read your tale. Even if they had been in my mind, my first thought was to how cruel fate can be.

My second thought was why I'm glad I'm keeping to my "no cash" oath this time around. :)

Sorry for the misfortune, those were some brutal cards.

9/7/09 12:25 AM  
Anonymous astrobel said...

In my opinion your mild discrepancies with Rakewell regarding this issue have a lot to do with the male/female approach to decision making and life in general. Males tend much more to draw a line and keep things simple, females are a tad more complex and that shows.

PS. I'm a gay male and have shared loads of time with female friends and have myself some not typical male characteristics but to be honest when it comes to decision making I cannot help it, my biology is MALE and I keep it simple.

9/7/09 6:09 AM  
Anonymous astrobel said...

Surely the poker Gods couldn't hate such a nice girl !!!

9/7/09 6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, all

Since the comment feature has not been disabled I will leave one.

The problem is not that CG is blowing off steam. I too have and will at times. The issue is what is this blog? A public diary? A literary exercise? A tool for improving CG's game?

I see it more as a tool for developing CG's literary style. A diarist is one fine style with prestigious tradition.

That said, I encourage CG to post hands at twoplustwo and deal with the social misfits that people it's forums. Some of them got more game than a video arcade. :)

[Clarification: the game alluded refers exclusively to poker. :)]

akileos, the happy warrior

9/7/09 5:43 PM  
Blogger FkCoolers said...

Don't take this the wrong way, but you're like every other poker blogger in that you'll say you'll never do something again but a couple weeks later we see a "Yep, I did it again" type of post.

On the one hand you can look at like it's merely hyperbole etc. but on the other hand you should really stop and examine the perception versus reality of your self-discipline.

9/8/09 11:37 AM  
Blogger Sean G said...

I think we all have bad habits. Offsuit connectors are one of mine. They are hard to quit. I lose a big pot, I swear to myself that I won't do it again.

Then a week later, I do it again.

Just like when I tried to quit smoking, I'd say "I'll never smoke again!" But then a week later, I'm smoking again.

Giving up your bad habits takes a lot of repeated failure. Isn't the important thing that you keep trying in the face of that failure? One of these days, it'll just stick.

9/9/09 12:44 AM  

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