Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Flopping Trips Can Be Bad For Your Bankroll


This was a session where virtually the same thing happened to me twice in a very short period of time.  It wasn’t a good thing.  I mean, it wasn’t like flopping quads, which you’d love to happen repeatedly in a session.

It wasn’t like having Charlotte McKinney (pictured below) come up to me and tell me that she absolutely loves my blog, and she has her heart set on thanking me for all the entertainment I’ve provided her by catering to my every fantasy for the night.  Hell, I’d settle for that happening to me even once.  Damn right.

No, this is something that’s happened to all poker players and it’s not good.  Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?  After about 90 minutes of an up and down session—nothing especially noteworthy—I found myself looking at King-8 of hearts in the small blind.  I had a few bucks over my $200 buy-in at this point.  I completed and four of us saw a flop of 8-8-6, rainbow, one heart.  I led out for $6, the guy to my left called, the table’s designated aggro made it $21, the last guy folded.  I called and then the guy on my left surprised me by raising to $70.

We need to give this guy a name since this won’t be the last we hear from him.  Let’s call him Zelig.  Zelig had not especially impressed me with his play to this point, but he had been running good and had a much bigger stack than I had.  The guy who raised to $21 took a long time to fold, but he did.  I decided to just call.  I figured Zelig was going to do the betting for me.

The turn card was a Queen and I checked.  Zelig shoved and I snap-called. I certainly felt I was willing to get my stack in when I called the $70.  He flipped over Queen-8.  Ouch.  The river blanked and I had to re-buy another $200.

Not all that long later, maybe two orbits, I was in the big blind with King-9 offsuit.  No one raised.  Four of us saw a flop of 9-9-3.  I bet $5 and someone made it $15.  I just called.  I suppose one of the lessons I should have learned from the earlier hand was to play my trips more aggressively.  But I was shell-shocked from it and just called.  We both checked a Queen turn.  I checked a 10 on the river and he bet $40.  I called and he showed me 10-9 for a rivered boat.

So twice I had had trips, had the best hand, and lost to a boat, once on the turn, once on the river.  At least this one didn’t cost me my entire stack.  Zelig, who was not in the hand, noticed the similarity to the hand where he had stacked me and kindly pointed it out to me, as if I needed the reminder.

Those were the only two hands from this session involving me worth mentioning.  They kind of obliterated everything else.

But there was an interesting hand involving Zelig that was quite noteworthy.

This took place after he had felted me and had a nice big stack of chips.  Probably over $600.  And I don’t remember all the details, I wasn’t really paying attention until the turn.  I’m pretty sure I was tapping one of the hands I was involved in into my phone, so I was late to the party.

The board by the turn was Queen-Jack-9-9.  The paint cards were both diamonds and the 9 on the turn was also a diamond.  So there was potential for all kinds of big hands, including a straight flush.  There was money in the pot—it had been raised pre by someone other than Zelig and there were four players alive.  There was a smaller bet on the turn and then a player went all in for $100, and all three players called.  The river was a fourth diamond.  Zelig led out for $200 (he still had plenty of chips behind him). I don’t believe he had led out on any other street until then.  The next guy was already all in, and then the next guy—the preflop raiser, I’m pretty sure, put all of his chips—it was about $220.  The last guy had a bigger stack than that, similar to Zelig’s.  But after tanking a bit, he folded saying, “I hate to fold this but there’s no way I’m good here.”  Of course Zelig threw in another $20 bucks to call what was now about a $900 pot.

Zelig flipped over Ace-Queen offsuit, but the Ace was a diamond for the nut flush.  The other guy showed pocket Queens for a boat.  The other big stack said he had the King of diamonds but knew his flush couldn’t be good there.  The short stack who shoved the turn had flopped a straight.

Zelig explained his logic to the guy who was stacking chips that once belonged to Zelig (and had once belonged to me, for that matter).  “I couldn’t put you on Queens cuz I had a Queen.  I thought you had pocket Kings.”

Um, really?  How about Jacks?  Couldn’t the guy have had pocket Jacks?  I was pissed that I hadn’t followed the action from the beginning.  My gut told me that Zelig played it poorly but I wasn’t sure.  Was there any point in him leading out on the turn?  I guess considering the size of the pot, the guy with the Queens would have likely shoved anyway, and Zelig, with his logic, would have called.  But maybe The Queens guy doesn’t bet it all.  I know the pot was like $500 so how could he bet less?  But from the way the guy took his time shoving in the face of Zelig’s $200 bet, I think he was worried about either a straight flush or quad 9’s.  My gut told me that he wouldn’t have shoved if he didn’t have to.  The other logic he might have used there is that he couldn’t get a call with a shove, so maybe bet less and get calls from both the other players with chips.

And then there is the question of Zelig should have called if he had checked instead of bet.  I know it’s pretty hard to fold the nut flush, but with all those high cards out there and the paired board, it’s kind of likely that someone has a boat at least. Plus there were two other players in the hand with chips, plus the short stack.  Against three other players, on that board, and can he really believe his hand is good?

But Zelig said, “I’m never folding there.”  Not sure I agree with that.  Hmm.

Anyway, I never got anything the rest of the night to attempt to make a comeback with.  It was a lost night where my trips twice lost to three-outers.  Again, it happens to all of us, but twice in just a few orbits? 


  1. "and she has her heart set on thanking me for all the entertainment I’ve provided her by catering to my every fantasy for the night."

    Oh my goodness -- the things running through my mind about what your "my every fantasy" would consist of ...

    1. Heh heh.

      Let me give you just one hint:

      It involves a whole lot of whipped cream.

  2. Lmao. I once was hanging out with this chick for 2 or 3 months up in Manchester New Hampshire. She didn't stop at whipped cream and I'll leave it at that lmao.

    1. As long as it didn't involve mayonnaise, I'm cool with it.

    2. Even if mayonnaise was on McKinney's tits????

    3. That would be the very definition of "ambivalence."