Friday, August 24, 2007

Ou est le plumber?

From the film Hustle & Flow:

It's hard out here for a pimp.
When he tryin to get this money for the rent.

For the Cadillacs and gas money spent.
Because a whole lot of bitches talkin shit.

One could apply the above song lyrics to my life.

Well except for the fact that I drive a Toyota.

So yesterday I mentioned the Feng Shui stuff regarding leaky pipes and losing money.

Part of me hates bringing it up because I really dislike the idea of believing in any kind of superstition. It just seems like too much work.

And even Stevie Wonder has tried to warn me that when you believe in things that you don't understand then you suffer. Superstition ain't the way.

But this leak in my house is getting ridiculous.

I played live for less than 3 hours last night but still managed to play plenty of memorable hands. Not so much in terms of poker strategy, More in terms of randomness.

Among the highlights:

My very first hand from the blinds I held king 7 and hit trips on an ace,7,7 flop. I bet the turn and got reraised by what I was hoping was a big ace. At least that's what I thought I was hoping until a second ace appeared on the river. It happens.

The very next hand I picked up ace 4 in small blind. The board came out ace,2,4,6,10. Me and my two pair got check raised on the river by a dude in early position who also hit two pair with his ace 6 off.

Again, it happens. As the dealer pushed him the pot I felt encouraged by the fact that at least I wasn't going down with top pair top kicker here. If I'm going to lose let it at least be respectable with trips or two pair.

Then things got really weird.

The 5 times I held pocket pairs last night, all 5 times I flopped sets. It was shocking.

Each set should happen 1 in 9 times.

What are the odds of something 8 to 1 happening 5 times in a row?

I'm not even sure my calculator can handle that one.

But what was even stranger was that 4 of the 5 times my sets didn't hold up.

We're not talking top pair top kicker getting outdrawn here. We're talking sets.

Like even if I'm up against a straight or flush draw and even if they hit, I should still occasionally win if or when the board pairs.

The first hand I held pocket 6's on a 5,6,7 flop. I gave up and lost the least money possible to my opponents 8,10 once the 9 came on the turn. (He only bet 10 dollars on the turn!!!!! He was trying to milk money out of me but instead gave me such a cheap shot at the board pairing or me hitting quads with my 10 outs.)

The other 3 times my sets lost to flushes. Each time it was the humiliating 4 card flush where the board goes runner runner on the turn and river and my opponent turns over 1 card of that suit.

Not that it should matter but it would somehow feel more respectable if my opponent turns over 2 suited cards.

Yet despite all this madness I was ahead on the night by picking spots to take down pots without having to show cards.

And even with the hands I was losing at least they were strong holdings rather than the previously mentioned typical top pair top kicker kind of stuff that I watch people lose their stacks with everyday.

The only time I wasn't ahead on the flop came near the end of my session.

I held the ace of hearts in the small blind in an unraised multiplayer pot.

Flop came jack, queen, king of hearts. And two players were actually willing to go all in on that board.

Sitting in front of your computer reading this you might figure they held a small flush. Or a set they were trying to protect. But they weren't even that strong.

One guy held king, queen of diamonds for two pair. The other held 9,10 of diamonds for the bottom end of the straight.

If one of them goes all in and the other folds then I probably fold too. I don't necessarily need to gamble on this draw.

But against two opponents getting 2 to 1 on money was just too good.

Even if you don't have much gamble in you, folding is incorrect here when your holdings are 40% to win the hand. (9,10 guy was slightly above 40%. Two pair dude was slightly less than 20%)

Not to mention the poetic justice. I had just had 3 sets cracked by 4 card flushes. Wouldn't it be fitting if I were to win a huge pot the same way?

Apparently not. No heart or 10 came and pot went to the 9,10 straight guy.

And as happens so often, the very next hand I picked up pocket jacks on the button. There was a guy sitting across the table from me who had been bullying everyone all night. He was fearless when it came to firing 3 bullets into pots. I'd watched him do it a few times. Anytime he raised preflop he would just keep betting every street until he faced resistance. So even though I hadn't played a pot with him, I felt like my observation was setting him up for his maneuver whenever I did.

On this hand he raised preflop to 20 and I called from the button.

Flop was 2,7,8. He bet 20 and again I called.

Turn was another 7. He bet 40. I called.

Why no raise?

I don't think he has a 7 and I don't want to scare him away. We know he's going to bet the river again out of position. And I'm likely to reraise him.

River is a harmless 3. No straights. No flushes.

He bets 75.

Something seemed different about this bet. The first two times he threw the chips out onto the felt in front of him. But this time he counted his chips carefully and placed them out softly.

This scared me. I decided not to raise. I just called.

He turned over pocket 3's. He passed me on the river.

Looking back now I don't regret not reraising him earlier in the hand to force him out. His actions were exactly what I wanted. In fact everything was perfect. Except for the 2 outer on the river.

That be poker.

Meanwhile I gotta get that leak fixed. ASAP.

Although I must say I'm tempted to play again before that happens just to keep sharing this madness with you folks.

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