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Losing Begets Losing (Vegas Trip Report Pt 5)

Be gentle, kind readers. I have to be honest when I do these trip reports, and that means that I have to relive those moments when I wasn't in my best form. This is one of those posts. I played horribly, and I suffered the consequences. So, you feel free to post about how my plays were bad, but I'm letting you know beforehand that I know. And, I'm also letting you know that somehow, writing about the hands opens the old wounds. Its part of the reason I was hesitant to start the trip report. I don't hide behind false stories or fake things, so re-enacting my failures is like living through them all over again. So, yes, I suck. We got that part. But be gentle. Now, prepare your special 3-D schaudenfreude glasses. Here we go.

Robbie Hole and I were still up for more poker after the Freemont Experience, so we headed to the easiest location, the Excalibur poker room. I was seated at a table with a wid variety of players, but only two notable characters. A big (wide and a little chubby) Asian man sat three or four seats to my right. He looked like a tool, and he played like one too. I had him marked as a target fairly early when he took some money off of Rob by playing J5s to a raise preflop and drawing to the river. The other guy was a slick looking Mediterranean man sitting in the 3s (I was in the 9s). He was the only other player at the table wearing sunglasses, and his big stack suggested that he was playing (or at least running) well.

I felt the fatigue setting in. We were up really late on Thursday night, I got little sleep before Vegas on Wednesday night, and it was well past 3am Vegas time (6am NY time). But poker called me and I obliged.

The first hand I played was KQo. There were a bunch of limpers and I raised $15 on top of the 1/3 blinds because I was in position. Among the callers was Sunglasses Guy, who had limped from UTG. A drunk girl and one other player called too.

The flop was K67, rainbow, and I had a good hand with top pair, second kicker. When it checked to me, I thought I made the smart play of betting $50. I suppose it actually was a smart play, because immediately afterward, Sunglasses pushed all-in for over $300. I had my starting stack of $200 minus the preflop raise and postflop bet, so when it folded to me, I had to think the hand through. Writing it now, it seems like an easy fold, but at the time, the all-in push meant one of two things: (a) he had a monster hand, or (b) he was bluffing because he sensed weakness.

I took a decent amount of time in this hand. I didn't want to let an opportunity go by, in case he was trying to play me. I tried to get some information out of him. "Well, you don't have KK. I know that." I paused. "Hmm...I have a good hand. I want to call you. Let me think." I paused. "You have 66. Or 77. You hit your set. Damn." I let that sit for a minute. "I'm going to fold. I'm folding AK, buddy. Nice hand." Of course, that was a lie. I had KQ, but it was close enough to the truth. After I folded he showed his hand, 66. The table was impressed by my fold, but I thought it was pretty obvious. After all, what do you limp-call with preflop UTG, other than a small pair, hoping to hit a set. Once he hit it, the check-raise was obvious. I'm just happy I wasn't stupid enough to call.

I had 75o in the SB a few hands later and limped along with 5 or 6 people. The flop was 754, rainbow, so I took the opportunity to bet out with top two pair, hoping I could get some action from an overpair. I bet $15 and got two callers, the red-shirted Asian Guy and one of two chicks playing like, well, chicks. The turn was a Jack of spade, creating a spade flush draw. I figured I was still good. Asian Guy liked playing draws, so I had put him on an 6, for an open-ended straight draw. I was praying that there was no 8 or 3. When it didn't come, I decided to bet big and try to take down the hand. I put out $45. The chick folded, but Asian Guy called. The river was an ugly 8. I ignored my fear of the straight draw, since he was willing to call $45 with one hand to come. I still recognized the possibility, but by now, I only had less than $70 behind, so I figured that I was not going to give the hand away because of that improbable scare card. I pushed all-in, my only real move. I could've checked, but any monkey in his situation would've raised me and I would have to call, so at least by raising, I might scare him off and be able to hide my hand. I dunno. At the time the push felt right. He called and showed 96s. He flopped the open-ended straight draw and turned the flush draw. I tried to price him out, but he was just too willing to pay. Did I fuck myself or did fate fuck me? Either way, I was fucked.

I got screwed again a little while later. No, that's not right. I'm not going to belly ache. But I did suffer a tough defeat. A shortstacked player decided to raise to $7 from MP. Asian Guy raised to $14. I had AKo, and decided to raise it again to $45. Neither of their bets scared me, especially the Asian Guy's raise, since I knew his requirements were VERY loose, even to a raise. The first bettor raised all-in, another $12 or so on top. Asian Guy called, and I called as well. The flop was Jack-high with two hearts. Check-check. The turn was another heart. Asian Guy pushes all-in. I fold. The river was a fourth heart, but I didn't have any hearts anyway. The All-in Player showed AQo, and the Asian Guy showed KQh. I had them both dominated, but the Asian Guy hit his flush and I lost the $150+ pot.

Losing begets losing. The last hand was just a shame, but this one I did to myself. With 37s, I was in one of the blinds. It limped around and I checked. The flop was KK7. I was hopeful that I was actually ahead, and I figured that if I weren't I'd know right away. I bet out $20 and only got one caller, Sunglasses Guy. The turn was an 8 or a ten or something. I didn't want to give up on the hand yet, in case he was playing a middle pair. I figured I should fire a second bullet and bet out $35. He called. The river was a blank. I checked. He bet $50. I thought for a moment and folded. He showed K7o, for the flopped boat. I lied once again and said I laid down a King with a crappy kicker. He was impressed by the fold. At least I have that moral or is it immoral victory of getting away with a lie.

Clearly, this was not working. I racked up and left the table. I think I lost about $200-300 in that session, but I don't recall the numbers now specifically. Losing begets losing, and once I began losing due to things somewhat outside of my control (the rivered straight and the AK v AQ v KQ), I essentially just gave up on playing my A-game and suffered the consequences. It wouldn't be the end of my brutal poker losses either, but that will have to wait for another post.

After playing, Hole and I went up to the room. We played some Rummy 500 and tried to relax. We eventually went to sleep at around 5am. I had resolved to wake up early the next day. It was going to be a long Saturday.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 3:22 PM,


At 3:26 PM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

Your funny man.. When you say you played great and push monkey a hand I think you played badly.. and when you make some good folds or get sucked out on you think you played badly.. I did not see anything terrible in your write up. Some good folds. Nice thinking through your hands. Just bad luck and a bad session which everyone has.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Its not so much that I think I played these hands poorly. The first hand KQ v. 66, K76, was a good fold. No doubt. The second was bad luck, BUT I also had him read as going for the straight. I should've check folded the river. I had a read and I didn't follow it. Ignore the blank hand history. This hand was about reads. I made it, but didn't follow through. I knew he rivered that straight, but I bet into him anyway. The AK v KQ v AQ hand was bad luck. But the last hand was all me. I shouldn't have made the bet out there at this table with 37 on the KK7 board with so many players. So, I think I misplayed two hands. Different styles, I guess, Woffles.


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