Thursday, March 12, 2015

Losing with a Straight Flush

Here’s a hand I witnessed at the Quantum Reload tournament I played in that I told you about here and here.

This hand didn’t involve me.  Player A, a short stack, shoved the turn.  Player B, a bigger stack, called.  Player B had King-6 of diamonds.  The board included the 2,4, and 5 of diamonds.  Player A had two Aces, including the Ace of diamonds, so he had outs.  By the way, he hadn’t raised preflop with his Aces.  The bigger stack was saying “No more diamonds.”  But a diamond did indeed hit.  The bigger stack said, “Damn!”  The dealer called the hand for Player A.  “Ace-high flush.”

But the river card wasn’t just any diamond; it was the 3 of diamonds.  And the dealer soon caught his error.  Or at least one of them. “It’s actually a straight flush.”  Indeed it was.  The guy with Aces had the steel wheel.  The dealer started to push the pot to the guy with the Aces.

Notice anything wrong yet?  The “losing” player didn’t, but the guy sitting between the two players involved did.  “Straight flush?  He’s also got a straight flush.”  And he pushed the guy’s 6 of diamonds next to the board.  “A bigger straight flush.”

Yes indeed, the guy who thought he lost had the 6-high straight flush and was eventually and properly awarded the pot.

That’s the first time I’ve been at a table where a straight flush lost to a bigger straight flush.  Wow.  And lucky that one player not involved in the hand noticed what the two involved players or the dealer had failed to.

OK, so now I’m hearing you folks shout, “What, two posts about that crappy Quantum Reload tournament weren’t enough?  It’s really a three-parter?”

Well, kinda.  Let me explain.  When I started that two-part post about my most recent adventures at the Bike, I honestly thought it was something I could knock out in a couple of hours and that it would be a (relatively) short post.  I started it the very next day and figured I could have posted by early evening.

Boy was I wrong.  The post sort of had a life of its own. Suddenly I was writing a two-part post.  In fact, the first draft of it was actually too long for two posts.  I reviewed it and cut a bunch of stuff out to make each part closer to an “acceptable” length.  One of the things I cut out was the hand I started this post with.  But I cut out other stuff too.  A few words here, a few sentences there, a couple of paragraphs here and there.  All told, I trimmed 1,000 words out of it, and it was still as long as you saw.

I could have cut it more, and I’m sure some of you would have preferred that.  But I didn’t want to cut out any more.  You see that was a “frustration” story….a list of one thing after another that went wrong for me.  To me, it was important to list every one of those frustrations, every one of those things that went wrong, in order for the story to be complete.

So that’s why a day of really crappy poker ended up being a really long two-parter.

But I always intended to save the straight flush beating a straight flush story for another time, so here it is.

Now, as long as we’re talking about the Quantum Reload tournament, let me discuss it some more, and explain why I probably won’t be giving it another try.

One of the appeals of the tournament for me was the possibility of winning a whole lot of money for a really small buy in.  I mean, I won around $1,700 for a $125 buy-in at the Aria recently (see here).  But this tournament had a $30K guaranteed prize pool, and I could enter it for as little as $65 (assuming I took the add-on during the first two levels and also took the $5 dealer bonus).  I really wanted to see what the pay structure would look like but I assumed that finishing in the top 10 or so would be a really, really nice payout. 

Wanting to see the payout structure was one of the reasons I was ambivalent about busting out before the 20-minute break.  It would have been convenient, but I would have left before they posted the payouts.  As it was, I left so soon after the tournament resumed that I left before they posted the payouts, so I didn’t even get that piece of information that I wanted.

But a couple of days later, I remembered that the Bike had a blog and I thought I had seen tournament results listed there for some of their daily tournaments.  Sure enough, I found a tournament result for a Saturday Quantum Reload.  It wasn’t the same one I played, it was from a month earlier, but I think the info they posted gave me enough information.  You can see the results here.

If you click the link, you will see a pic of the guy who won the tournament that day.  As an aside, I’m pretty sure that guy was at the first table I was at.  Just an interesting coincidence.

Anyway, that tournament had a final prize pool of nearly $35K.  I’m assuming that’s in the ball park of the tournament I played a month later.  And you will see that first place was $8,500. 

I dunno, but to me, that’s a bit disappointing.  Not that I wouldn’t love to win that, but it’s like only a bit more than double what the first prize was in that Aria tournament I played in, for a prize pool that was almost three times the size.  The buy-in was smaller for some people but you could have actually bought in for more that the Aria ($145 if you bought in late, took the dealer’s bonus and the add-on).

But what’s even more disappointing is the scale downwards.  Only 7 players got over $1K.  I dunno, but to me, 10th place for a tournament with that big a prize pool should be worth more than a measly $465.

It seems contradictory to be complaining about both the small size of first place and the small payouts to those further down the scale.  But that’s what it feels like to me.  I wonder where all the money went?  I would say this: The first place money is surprising, but 10th place is incredibly disappointing.

Again, I get it that buy-in is smaller than Aria, at least for most of the players.  But still.

The other thing is the time invested.  On that blog, there was a previous entry that they still had 33 players left at midnight!  I assume all of those people got paid, but how much?  If 10th was $465 was 33rd place even $100?  I bet a lot of people who got paid got less than they paid to enter, even if they didn’t re-enter.  So imagine playing poker for 10 hours and making maybe $10—or perhaps losing $25.  That doesn’t make sense to me either.  That player who got $465, he might have been there to 1-2 in the morning, and may have started at 2PM.

I suppose this is really a good argument against tournaments in general.  I mean, any big MTT is going to be like that, right?  In order to make it worth both your money and your time, you need to go really, really deep, and if come up short and cash without getting paid much, you have to wonder if it’s worth it.

Sure you got to play poker for a long time and hopefully that’s fun.  And sure, if you played cash for that many hours you could have lost buy-in after buy-in after buy-in.  Maybe you would have lost $1K playing a cash game for that long.  But if you are looking at it that way, you probably shouldn’t play poker at all.

I dunno.  I sure liked taking that big cash at Aria back in January.  But the more I think about it, and think about the other issues with tournaments (having to adhere to a schedule, issues with meals, etc), I think I might be playing less tournaments in the future.

Or not.

What do you think?  Am I wrong to think that the payouts at that Quantum Reload tournament are disappointing?  I’ll tell you what, I’m sure glad I didn’t last to 11PM only to have left empty-handed.


Regarding the accompanying graphic, I really couldn’t even think of anything to look for to tie into this post, so I just decided to put a totally gratuitous picture of this rather attractive young woman here.  Trust me, the pic has nothing to do with this post.  I hope you don’t mind.  Oh and by the way...she want's us to guess?  My guess is 32F.

29 comments:

  1. I keep getting spam at the top of your blog wanting me to update my flash player and another to install a java plugin. Has your web site been hi-jacked?

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    1. Sorry, MOJO, no that is not spam and I have not been hacked. Those are from my new source of advertising for the blog.

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    2. Your Adverts are spamming us. Such is life.

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    3. Not really spam, Anony.....it's embedded on the website and can easily be ignored. Not even a pop up/

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  2. It's absolutely terrifying that you actually do drafts (rough draft, first draft, etc)... :) In all honesty, when I woke up from the nap that I took after work and saw that you had posted, I popped a bag of popcorn before sitting down to read, so don't take the grief about your long posts to heart - type away Rob... ;) Since your biggest poker cash ever was in a tourney, good luck with your peace of mind if you decide to stop playing them... :)

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    1. Yeah, I know, and even as I drafted this post, I was thinking about all the tourneys I want to play this summer. I'll play them, just have to make sure I have the right attitude going in.

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  3. @Vegas724 here. a couple of years ago at the Mardi Gras Casino in Hollywood Florida, I lost to a bigger straight flush and we both played both cards in our hands. I also lost for $250 high hand of the hour bonus. That ended my night.

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    1. Oh man, that sucks. A true bad beat...and I assume there was no bad beat jackpot, otherwise you definitely would have been happy to lose that hand. Sorry.

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  4. Replies
    1. Yes, anger, I know the content was A+, but did you like the pic?

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    2. A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  5. Rob, do any of your female "friends" look like the ladies you post? Curious to know what kind of women you actually date...

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    1. Ha. The women I date make the woman in this picture look homely.

      That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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    2. wht is a date??????? it is all FWBs and random hookups at bars/Walmarts/libraries/coffeeshops

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    3. I get all my action just sitting home waiting for some chick to ring my bell trying to sell me tamales.

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  6. T-minus 4 days to Vegas, baby!

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    Replies
    1. Awesome. You;ll probably find it just like Macau.

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    2. I've never been to Macau . . . but damn, Macau is costing me far (FAR) more money lately than Vegas ever did!

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    3. But that's only on paper and can easily be turned around, right?

      How much are the Jets gonna cost you this year?

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    4. RAIDUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHS!!!!!!!!!!!! i feel P3 pain i was involved in a major trailer park resort in Macau and it fell thru. who knew the Chinese didnt live in trailers and put their cars up on concrete blocks and sheeeeit

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  7. Use your time wisely. In the time you could make a deep run in a tournament (ten hours or so), you could probably knock out the first several thosand words in one of your average posts.

    You are welcome!

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    1. Oh, that's a good idea...just take my laptop with me and ignore the game, just type away. I've seen people do it, but I don't think it's for me.

      Good suggestion tho.

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  8. Nice pic and blog, Rob! Straight flush no good, wow.

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    1. Thanks! Just checked out your blog, looks promising. Welcome to the world of bloggers!

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    2. Thanks, you are an expert! I can't imagine writing posts as interesting and as long as yours, consistently!

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    3. Thanks for the kind words, I'm blushing.

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  9. 1. Your story of losing with a straight flush reminds me of playing on Party Poker years ago when I folded my 77 to a huge River bet when the 4th diamond fell. Only as I clicked did I realize my 7d gave me the straight flush.
    2. I share your sentiments about tournaments. I play them for fun and have had success, but assume I will only make good money playing cash.
    3. My Guess is: DAMN!

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    1. Thanks and sorry I didn't approve your comment sooner. For some reason I didn't get notification of it waiting for approval. This happens with a few people, dunno why.

      Folding the straight flush is a major bummer. I hope it wasn't a big game.

      Yeah, my thots on tournaments change from one moment to the next. I just need to make sure the structure, potential payout and time & logistics make sense.

      Damn right!

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