When the cards finally hit

There is nothing more frustrating that sitting around watching all your chips dwindle away, especially when you have a fairly strong hand, but you just don’t get hit on the flop, turn, or river. That was the kind of luck I was having all day today. One hand in particular, I had a suited slick and found myself all in against a Q-J offsuit. Sure, I am not a huge favorite to win this one, but he does have only six outs, barring a straight draw, but that would split the pot anyway -well, unless it was 8-Q, but that didn’t happen. What did happen though, was a Q-2-J flop that effectively ended it for me. Then, just to kick me in the nuts, the river was another Jack. Another hand, I did get hit, and made an Ace high flush on the turn, again holding a suited slick, but lost when the river hit a 6 giving the other guy a full house. Yes, he went all in with a 2-6 offsuit after I had raised it 5x pre-flop. It’s no wonder good players hate playing with us donkeys: you simply can’t be prepared for someone to pull that hand out of there ass. What are the odds of them making the full house? Some days it seems like about 1 in 3.

When I decided to play another game several hours later, I went with a low buy in, 18 player game. I sure didn’t want to put much money out with the luck I had been having. Of course, when the prize for winning is only ten bucks, then, then I start to get the cards, and in a big way. Hell, it seems like I couldn’t miss. I started taking some pictures just after what would turn out to be my last shit hand of the tournament. Then I kept on taking them, ’cause it was just silly the cards that I was getting. I offer it up here for your relative enjoyment:

With the suited A-8 in middle position, I limped into this one. I had been having horrible luck all night at this point.

When it turned into an Ace high flush on the river, I bet all in, since the big stack in the bottom middle had raised it when the king came on the turn:

Alas, Mr. Big stack didn’t want to tangle, so it was just me and the short stack that got to show off our cards, and the beginning of what would be a series of awesome hands for me:

I came across a pair of jacks on the button, and was trying to slow play it, hoping to take out at least two of the shorter stacks. Then the one on the top right here went all in. I was the only one to call it, but I only got a pre-flop screenshot of this one (I had two tournaments running at the same time so some of the screenshots I took were of the wrong damn game). She went out on this hand, and it took me to second in chips:

Got an A-4 suited in the big blind, which turned into a bit of a raise-fest. I had to call this one just because of the size of the pot. I would probably have called it anyway though, I always like to see a flop if I have an A-anything that are suited.

PokerStars gave me a gift on this one. I bet half the pot, but even that was too rich for Mr. Bingo:

Look at the size of that pot. It sure is nice when more than one person calls the all in from the short stack. All I had to do now was wait this out and hope that he didn’t catch two running hearts.

Which he didn’t. At that point I took the chip lead:

We’re down to six people when I get the A-J offsuit in late position:

The bet is too high for all but one guy by the time I get my ace on the turn:

So what should come on the river? Well a jack. Giving me top two pair.

I was pretty sure I had this hand won, but when he bet 500 into it, I didn’t want to risk an all in call only to see that he had pocket threes or a 4-5 offsuit. Of course he didn’t have it, he had a broken flush, and a hell of a low one at that:

I am in the small blind here, going in on a hand that I would probably have laid down if I didn’t have such a huge stack at this point. The flop gives me a gutshot draw, but the bet to see the turn is pretty small:

And, it checked around to the river, which was good ’cause if anyone had bet into it at this point I would have probably laid them down.

This time, I bet 500 hoping to keep them both in it, or possibly get a re-raise if someone had two pair, but only one called.

Suited Q-J when we are down to four players, of course I am going in with that hand. Of course I don’t want to bet into it, I am hoping to eliminate one or both of the short stacks if the flop hits me.

The flop leaves me on a flush draw when the short stack pushes. I called him figuring I would make my flush with the luck that I had been having this game:

Turns out he was betting on the flush too. Unfortunately for him, he was doing it in the same suit as I was but with lower cards. The turn gave both of us the flush, and thus me the win. Except that he now had a gutshot straight-flush draw at the river, which he thankfully didn’t make (probably would have in the games I was playing this morning though).

We swapped a few hands back and forth in the heads up. He was having a bit better luck than I was though. Here I am shortstacked after I had lost with top two pair to his three of a kind. Sadly this would be my last win of the heads up.

We got all in on the very next hand, but it didn’t happen until the river. He had been checking since the flop when there were a bunch of small cards on the board, I paired an Ace on the turn and a Queen on the river. I thought I was gonna double-up, but he flipped over yet another three of a kind, 4’s this time.

As much as I know that you are supposed to be pissed when you finish second, I was actually pretty happy with it. I finally made a return on my buy in, and that was far better than I had been doing earlier in the day. I just wish there was some way to know when the cards are going to start falling your way so that I could do this in a game with a higher buy in. I guess that is what everyone is searching for though. The ones whose cards start to hit at exactly the right time can end up making a lot of money.

The thing is that you I can’t really approach this game with the hopes of making money or it seems to cloud your my judgment. If it takes playing the low buy in tables for the next year to get to where I can win with some consistency, thus giving me the confidence to make good judgments when I am playing for larger stakes, that is what I am going to have to do; It is far better to be winning small sums of money than losing large sums (and to me the $10 buy in to the WWDN Invitational counts as a “large sum”).

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