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An Embarrassment

There is nothing, and I mean Nothing, worse than playing poker poorly in such a way that you are literally embarrassed. Embarrassed that people saw you play. Embarrassed that you let yourself play. Embarrasssed that all of the effort and time put into poker can be tossed out the window in one fleeting moment of over-aggressive and/or extra loose and/or blind stupidity.

That's how I felt last night. I planned to meet Roose at Genoa for their $50+10 NLHE tournament at 7:30. I arrived at about 7:45, thanks to taking the wrong train. Fortunately, Genoa allows players to buy in late, so I grabbed my chips and sat down two seats from Roose. I barely acknowledged him, as per my new style to pretend like I don't know the guys I know. Oddly, it is not inspired by any plan to collude. I just think that the image that I am playing with a friend somehow affects the table. I also enjoy opportunities to play mind games, and withholding this piece of info is always a card to play, no pun intended.

Starting late is NEVER a good thing for me. I may add a new rule: Don't join tournaments after they start. I felt rushed and behind even though I didn't miss a full orbit. I raised in the SB with 58o when only the BB was left in the hand. He pushed all in and then showed KK when I folded. Fair enough. If I had been there from the get go though, I wouldn't have made this play. I know tight(er) is right(er) at Genoa's tourneys. Hell, up until tonight, I cashed in 4 out of 6, so I know what I'm talking about.

I then limped with some garbage hands, hoping to connect. No luck there. I finally finished myself off in the BB with A7o when the guy on my left and one or two other players limped pre-flop. I raised to 400 from 100 (the BB), expecting to take down the pot. The game starts with only 2000 chips per player, and I was already down to about 1500. With blinds so high and the next level at 100/200, 25 ante, I felt like it was time to pick up chips. The guy to my immediate left called. Everyone else folded. The flop was 346. I decided to continuation bet. I went with 500. He took his time. I'm praying inside that he just folds, but he pauses and tosses in a 500. The turn is an Ace, and I'm saved! I push all-in for my remaining 775 or so. He calls and shows AQ. I knew this would happen. This is why you do not play Ace-low.

Embarrassed in public. I stand up and move to Roose, admitting my stupidity and the fact that I was forcing the action. Not two hand later, Roose is on the button facing a raise to 350 from a weak player. He calls with A8. A dark skinned guy, who must be Indian or from thereabouts, calls. He's been playing loosely all night. The flop is T84. It's checked to Roose and he bets 400 or so. The Indian goes all-in for more than 1500 more, covering Roose. Everyone else folds. In this position, you have to think that the Indian is bluffing or semi-bluffing. The all-in makes no sense, although in hindsight he could've been playing an over-pair of Js or something. But Roose picks up on the hint of crap cards I smell and calls. I hope me hanging over his shoulder didn't have anything to do with it. Indian shows T7o. He called a pre-flop raise with that crap, hit top pair with a shitty kicker, and then check-raised all in with that poop. But he won the hand, and Roose and I leave, both feeling embarrassed. We go through what is becoming our usual post-game ritual over dinner, comparing our losing hands and arguing over who sucked more. I still say my play was atrocious.

When I got home, I spent some time with wifey Kim until she fell asleep. I went online to keep my Rio streak going. It was down to 4, with 3 spots paying out of 6, and I was in decent shape to place, if not win 1st or 2nd. But I played a hand poorly and was one of the 2 shortstacked. Then I limped in the SB with the hammer, and caught an open-ended straight draw on the flop. I pushed all-in, under the Rule of 10, hoping to win the pot from the other short stack (BB) and the button (chip leader). My though was that the SB would be scared and probably missed the flop anyway. The chipleader wouldn't call the sizeable bet unless he hit or had an overpair, and he was playing tight (folding SB and such) so I doubt he would've limped and hit a piece of the 89T flop. He had 8T though, and I bubble with the hammer.

Well, I think to myself, I can't let that stop me. Variance is variance and bad play is bad play, but I can now play well and make the money. I start up another Rio. I'm the first one out. Here is the hand. I'm dealt Q7o in the BB. There are 4 players in the hand, all for a min raise from EP. I call because of pot odds. The flop is Q29. I think I'm good so I bet out a small amount. There is one or two calls before the button min-raises. I call. Everyone else folds. The turn is a 7 and I have two-pair. I bet bigger now, but not huge, hoping to have him min-raise me again. He does. I call. The river is a blank. I put him on AQ or KQ. I bet bigger, but not all-in. If he raises me back, I'll essentially be all-in anyway. He does re-raise me all in and I call. He has 22 for a flopped set. I don't know if I played this wrong. I think it was just variance. Either way, I was (and am) embarrassed.

That was it for me. -$60 live, -$40 online. -$100 overall. Not good, not good at all.

But at least I realize that tonight or tomorrow or whenever I play next is a new day and a new game. My past embarrassments will not control my future actions. Even so, I've still got that bad poker hangover.

Peace out!

posted by Jordan @ 8:48 AM,


At 12:59 PM, Anonymous TripJax said...

I played pretty bad last night too, but to a lesser extent. I just wasn't thinking through my decisions and it showed.

Hey, I read your most recent AC trip report and gotta say, good job in the live games. That was fun to read. Can't believe the bubble close. You'll hit it next time.

At 3:11 PM, Anonymous hoyazo said...

Hey Jordan.

First time I ever went down to AC to play in a live nlh tourney, I drove the 2+hours from NYC, got there just a few minutes before the tournament began thanks to the lovely GSP traffic, sat down at my table, and promptly went out in about 5 hands. I could feel how flushed my face was, and I literally RAN out of the place, weak and shamed. I SO know how you feel. Trick is just not to give up and keep getting back on the horse. Everyone plays god awful sometimes, right?

Hey do you ever play in any good home games in NYC?

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Dave said...

Embarrassed by poor play? A certain DADI Omaha game seems to come to mind......

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Veneno said...

Been there..done are not alone.

At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Karol said...

A dark skinned guy, who must be Indian or from thereabouts, calls. He's been playing loosely all night.

If this is who I think it is, I love him in cash games.

I played terribly during a day game at AC Hilton last week. How bad? A10h in my hand, 44Q with two hearts on the flop. Make my nut flush on the turn and decide to slowplay. Checks around. Last card is a Q. For some reason (I blame the fact that I hadn't eaten in like 36 hours) I don't notice the obvious boat on the board and push all-in. Could a dumber play be possible? I doubt it.

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Jordan from HighOnPoker said...

That's the one. Hey Karol, if you are ever planning on going to Genoa or All In, send me an email or a comment. The email is accessible through my Blogger profile.

Whenever I face these embarassing situations, I just want to run from the room kicking my feet behind me and crying like the nerdy girl who gets caught with toilet paper hanging from her shorts by the school jock. How's that for imagery!

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Karol said...

I'm in AC this weekend (my best friend who doesn't play poker had a free room for work-related reasons, I swear I'm not a crackhead who is in AC every weekend :-) ) but definitely will let you know when I'm back.

At 3:32 PM, Anonymous SirFWALGMan said...

You must always suck worse! heh. Good luck man. Downswings always suck. Im there too. It will turn around though.


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