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Where is the Luck?

I busted fairly early in the Riverchasers event. I had about 3600 when I ran my Aces all-in against Kings preflop. Yes. Into KINGS. The flop had a King and I was down to 200 chips.

About a week or two ago, I got a player to go all-in for his $100 stack in a cash game, when I held Aces and he had Kings. The flop had two Kings. Dems Quads Beeches!

In both instances, I felt the sting of bad luck. But really, what do I have to feel bad about?

Poker is a game of skill and luck. But those particular hands, well, they were just luck. It's all too common to see those situations and think that the chances of the King coming (twice!) was so small that I was extremely unlucky. But I prefer to think of the hands as a proverbial cointoss if you look at the game in a different perspective.

In both hands, it was easy to get my opponent all-in with his Kings. 99.999% of players will automatically call an all-in with Kings preflop, especially against a player with my range. So, preflop, I had already gotten lucky twice by (1) being dealt Aces when (2) my opponent gets dealt KK. I did nothing to earn that situation.

When you get THAT lucky to have Aces over Kings, you are already in great position to stack your opponent. But I didn't do anything to get to that position. The hands played out as they did because of a unique string of events. Even though the end product of that string is that I am now an 81% chance of winning, that early luck in no way guarantees that I will win; nor does it mean that I should win.

One call look at those situations as two 19% suckouts, or we can look at the game from a broader perspective. I didn't get unlucky that Kings flopped. I was unlucky that I was dealt AA when my opponent was dealt KK and a King was about to flop. As soon as the deck was shuffled, my fate was sealed. I was destined to lose both hands, and the manner in which I lost didn't matter.

Its really the same thing as being dealt KK against AA, when no King comes. In a situation like that, it might stink to be in such an unlucky situation (although, arguably, I could take some responsibility for not folding KK, whereas with AA vs. KK it was an inevitable outcome).

I suppose this is all to say that I didn't get unlucky when my opponent improbably hit his set. Instead, I got unlucky by getting dealt Aces. It doesn't do me any good to personalize it or focus on that elusive 81/19 lead I held preflop. All that matters is how the hand ended up.


I attempted to throw a homegame this weekend. Wifey Kim will be in Georgia, traveling with a gaggle of her chick friends to see another one of her chick friends and her new baby. When the cat's away, the mice will gamble, so I tried to arrange a NLHE tourney or cash game in my NYC apartment for Saturday. I must've text messaged over 25 people, a random assortment of local gamblers I've met from various social circles. I got some interest, but ultimately not enough to make it an easily organized game. I've given my critique of many homegames on this blog, and I'm not blind to the realities of hosting a poker game. The host has a terribly difficult job, from gathering player (who usually avoid committing until the last minute) to turning away last minute players after the game is full to making sure that the game runs smoothly. In my experience, all of these things cause agita. And worst of all, I never play as well when I host because I'm so focused on hosting duties.

Ultimately, I called off the game. It was a nice thought, but the reality is quite different. So, I thank those who throw great homegames, like Jamie at Wall Street Poker and Roose and his crew, the occasional IHO game, or the midtown donkorific homegame in my bro-in-law's building. I'm glad you guys are running some games, cause lord knows I can't stomach the gig.

And on that note, anyone feel like checking out an underground poker room this weekend?

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:18 PM,


At 1:27 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

Of late, it seems I cannot beat Aces, nor can I win with them. In the Mookie and Riverchasers I was knocked out or knocked down with AA, then tortured against AA.

Bleh, just gotta shake it off and move on.

Check out my response to your comment on my SAGE post...


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