Friday, September 22, 2006

“When I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a rollercoaster – Up, Down, Up, Down. Oh, what a ride! It was just so interesting that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled… all together. [pause] Some didn’t like it. They went on the Merry-Go-Round, but that just goes around… Nothing! I like the rollercoaster; you get more out of it.” – Grandma, Parenthood

This is one of my favorite movie quotes ever. People that don’t have kids don’t get it. I always related it to having a family. After all, the movie is called “Parenthood”.

But I suppose you can relate it to poker as well (ok, I’m reaching, but stay with me here). There are so many ups and downs in a single week of poker, each hand can be an adventure some days, each hand can be boring and rote on other days, but there is always the possibility of something exciting every time you pick up your virtual cards.

I’m on a mini-rush at Empire right now. I’ve won (not just cashed, WON) three of my last four $20+2 SnGs and came in second in the one I didn’t win. I’m winning the races now and not losing to suckouts. Some of it is good play, most of it is simply getting my money in while I have the best of it, a small bit of it is suckouts. Now, all of these have come on the heels of a really bad experience with back-to-back rivered four-outers (tidy little 120 to 1 odds) to take me from chip leader to bubble boy in another SnG.

I’m not big on hand histories, but this hand shows a beaut of a suckout, this time for the good guys.
***** Hand History for Game 5221965549 *****
0/0 Tourney Texas Hold'em Game Table (NL)
(Tournament 29049479) - Thu Sep 21 23:40:36 EDT 2006
Table Speed 1291295 (Real Money) -- Seat 1 is the button
Total number of players : 6
Seat 1: chewer4u (5704)
Seat 2: NOSAL1 (780)
Seat 3: ToddCommishE (885)
Seat 4: Fitness_24 (3215)
Seat 7: dfisher19 (3512)
Seat 9: stylus777 (5904)
NOSAL1 posts small blind (300)
ToddCommishE posts big blind (600)** Dealing down cards
**Dealt to ToddCommishE [ 9c, Ah ]
Fitness_24 folds.
dfisher19 folds.
stylus777 raises (1200) to 1200
chewer4u calls (1200)
NOSAL1 folds.
ToddCommishE calls (285)
ToddCommishE is all-In.
Creating Main Pot with $2955 with ToddCommishE
** Dealing Flop ** : [ 5s, Qd, 6d ]
stylus777 bets (1100)
chewer4u raises (3100) to 3100
stylus777 raises (3604) to 4704
stylus777 is all-In.
chewer4u calls (1404)
chewer4u is all-In.
** Dealing Turn ** : [ 8s ]
** Dealing River ** : [ 7s ]
Creating Side Pot 1 with $9638 with chewer4u
Creating Side Pot 2 with $200 with stylus777
** Summary **Main Pot: 2955 Side Pot 1: 9638 Side Pot 2: 200
Board: [ 5s Qd 6d 8s 7s ]
chewer4u balance 0, lost 5704 [ As 6h ] [ a pair of sixes -- As,Qd,8s,6h,6d ]
NOSAL1 balance 480, lost 300 (folded)
ToddCommishE balance 2955, bet 885, collected 2955, net +2070 [ 9c Ah ] [ a straight, five to nine -- 9c,8s,7s,6d,5s ]
Fitness_24 balance 3215, didn't bet (folded)
dfisher19 balance 3512, didn't bet (folded)
stylus777 balance 9838, bet 5904, collected 9838, net +3934 [ Ac Ad ] [ a pair of aces -- Ac,Ad,Qd,8s,7s ]

OK, so I’m the shortest of short with 1.5BB in my stack and I have to pony 2/3 of that in the big blind. With A9o, I don’t have much choice but to push. Stylus777 is a pretty decent player (he and I have been heads-up a few times for the top slot in SnGs) and chewer4u is apparently a dumbass. Stylus is content to value bet his pocket rockets on the flop with me all-in. Chewer thinks his middle pair is worth pushing (?), seemingly oblivious to the relatively empty sidepot. According to the CardPlayer calculator, I’m roughly DEAD at this point with less than a 2% chance of winning. I either need running nines or seven/eight to win. Nice to see a 49-1 shot come in for me. But I still had to capitalize on it to cash, let alone win.

Four hands later, there are four players left (bubble time) and I’m tied for third with around 2600T. I pick up the dreaded 88 middle pair in BB and the guy I’m tied with pushes. I’m practically forced to call and he turns over the expected Ace-face (AJ) for a yucky race. He rivers the nut heart flush, but the chips come my way because the hearts are conveniently numbered 4-5-6-7 giving me the nut straight flush. I was ahead the whole way, but it’s still nice to pull a big hand.

So, just by mentioning it, the streak will probably end today. No matter, another streak somewhere will start up. Maybe for me, maybe for you. For every ten players that are down, somewhere someone is up. I like the rollercoaster.


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