Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Sunday, April 08, 2007

That could have gone better

Subtitled My 2-Day tour of the Charlotte underground poker scene, and it only cost me $900.

So yeah, this is one of those posts that stings a little. It's better than my How I Went Busto for New Year's post, but still not a lot of fun. After diligently picking up writing assignments to inflate my bankroll to previously untoushed levels (ok, $3K, but that's higher than it's ever been) I spent the last two nights giving it back to various members of the local poker community that donated it to me in the first place.

So last night I started out in a new room that I'd never been to before, a nicely remodeled room in a contractor's office. There were only six of us that showed up, probably due to the newness of the room. Location is a little remote, too, but most rooms around here are. I managed to blow through $300 in ever-increasing chunks playing short-handed short buy-in poker, which is not something I do well. Most people bought in initially for $40-60, and it didn't take me long to realize that all in meant nothing and I was playing No Limit No Fold 'Em Hold 'Em. Long enough for me to lose $100, but still not very long.

I don't even have any bad beat stories to tell about that buy-in, unless you count a guy calling me on every street to hit his flush on the river, but I want that call every time, because 3 out of 4 times, my two pair holds up. So no real bad beat stories there.

Then I move on to a room where I've played before and sit down in an 11-handed game where most people are stacked around $200. Not a ton of money on the table but not bad. I pick up Aces, get all my money, and they hold, but the guy I pushed with had less money than me, so I don't quite manage the double up. Regardless, I'm nicely ahead and one of two deeper stacks at the table when I limp on the button with Big Lick, 96o. With 8 callers in front of me I like to see a flop with practically anything, and if I hit, I'm jamming.

Flop of Q96 looks awfully pretty to me, and I raise the middle position guy who throws $20 at it. I pop it up $50, and he goes all in for another $50. I figure I'm behind when he re-raises, but getting about 4:1 on my money I make the call. He shows his Q9, I don't hit a 6, and my shout of Rebuy echoes through another room. My next buyin goes away when a hand goes down exactly as I had planned it, until the river of course.

I hereby freely admit that I owe you all a dollar for the bad beat story that I am about to relay.

I have KsQs under the gun, and I make it $12 to go. I get raised by the biggest fish at the table to $24. I'm the only caller to see the KJ3 rainbow flop, and I shove. I've bled my stack down to a little less than $100 by missing flops for two hours, and I've been waiting for a chance to get all my money in against this guy, knowing that he calls me with any Jack, any King or any gutshot draw.

He shows his J10, and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm actually less than thrilled at the Queen on the turn, as that more than triples his outs, and I'm really not thrilled at the Jack on the river. IGHN, $500 down on the night.

So tonight I roll over to a different card room and check out their cash game action, which looks pretty good. This place is pretty crazy, and I'm now looking at 2 losing sessions there and 1 winner, but obviously my sample size is pretty small. I buy in for $200 and lose half the first buyin when my KK goes down in flames to a 4c6c on a A44 flop. Yes, I raised preflop. Yes, my $20 preflop raise got called in 4 places, including the 46, which given that she was in late position and there were two callers in front of her I don't fault her call at all.

The rest of it goes away in one of those situations where I'm just going to go broke every time. I call a preflop raise of $12 with 55, and hear angels sing when the flop comes A5K rainbow. Preflop raiser checks, I bet $20, he raises to $60, I shove about $350 in the pot and of course the man that flopped top set calls.

Why did I bet so much? Because I'd seen this same guy call off his entire first buy-in with AJ v. AQ on an A-high flop, and put him on at best AK for the two pair. I also figured that any big Ace and he thinks I'm trying to steal and he calls. He's sitting behind about $1500, and I want to double through him. I probably could have avoided losing my entire stack, but if I'm calling a raise with Presto, I'm looking to flop a set and shove all my chips in. That's just how I play small to medium pocket pairs. So I went broke with set over set, and left the joint a $400 loser.

And that, kids, is how to lose 1/3 of your bankroll in two days.

1) Play like a donkey for two hours.
2) Overvalue two pair on what looks like a non-threatening board.
3) Lose a pile of money to set over set.

All in all I feel like I didn't play poorly in my last two sessions, and that's what matters in the long run. Like I told Suzy last night, I didn't build a bankroll to look at it, I built it to play cards with it and increase it. If a couple of hands go differently, I'm up big for the two nights. As it is, I'm stuck close to a grand for the weekend. Not a good feeling, but better than the one when I did the same move and was broke at the end. I'll be back at it in a week or so, depending on how rehearsals go this week. That was one reason I tried to cram so much play in this weekend, because I don't lnow how long it will be before I can play again. Oh well, shit happens.

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