Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Bad Beat Stories Aren't Always Sad

On Saturday I ventured over to Ventura for some poker.  I almost didn't go.  You've no doubt heard about the fires here in Southern California.  Well, the fires were conveniently located between the poker room and me.  Before I even thought about going, I confirmed with Google that all possible roads to get me there were indeed open.  But with the 101 closed near the area where I would catch up with it, I knew there'd likely be more traffic for me getting there.  And I'd get to see plenty of smoke on the way there and back. But the winds were calm that day and I didn't think it would get any worse while I was out there.  In other words, I figured I'd be able to drive back.

I knew I wouldn't play long.  I woke up later than usual, left later than usual and of course did indeed have more traffic than usual.  And I also wanted to leave fairly early, because of increased traffic and just in case things did worsen.  Really, I shouldn't have bothered going out there.  But I really needed to get out of the house and do something somewhat social.

So I arrived late but caught a break when they started a new 1/2 game within a few minutes of my arrival.  The very first hand, I was the big blind and looked down at pocket Jacks. But it folded to the small blind and he asked if I wanted to chop.  They say there are three ways to play Jacks and they're all wrong.  Well this was a fourth way….chop the blinds with them.  I think that way's the winner.

I had seemingly gone a long time without winning a pot—and rarely playing one—when I got Ace-4 of diamonds in the big blind.  Someone had raised to $6 and with a suited Ace I called, even though it was just heads up.  Hey, that was the best hand I'd seen since the Jacks.  The flop was Ace-Jack-X and so I led out for $8.  He folded.  Monster pot there for my first one of the day.

Then I got the dreaded hand a few orbits later.  There were some limpers so I raised to $8.  I know that's small but it seemed like the right bet for how the table was playing at this point.  I guess it was too much. No one called.  But for me to take down a pot with Kings uncontested is a big win.

It wasn't my day.  That was pretty much it and it looked like I'd be going home in the red for the day.  I guess I was down to about $55-$65 and wasn't about to rebuy as I wanted to get on the road.  I wasn't getting cards, and when I did get something playable, I wasn't connecting with the flop.

As I was thinking about whether this was my last orbit or not, I looked down at pocket Queens.  I raised to $6 and got four callers.  The flop was 10-9-3, rainbow.  I c-bet $10 with my overpair.  Only the guy on my immediate left called.  The turn was an Ace.  I checked, and he bet $15.  I considered folding.  But I also thought there was a good chance he didn't have the Ace and that he bet because I had shown weakness by checking.  Maybe he only had a 10, or a 9?  I figured if I called, he might check the river and get me to a cheap showdown.  So I went ahead and called.

Well the river was rather nice—a Queen. I glanced over and he had his hand near his chips and I thought he might be eager to bet.  So I took a chance and checked.  He put out a bet, I'm not sure what it was and I didn't ask, but I guess it was around half my remaining stack.  I looked at my chips and realized I really couldn't raise without jamming so I moved all-in.  Yeah, I knew that King-Jack or Jack-8 was possible, but I really didn't think either was very likely.  Ace-10 or Ace-9 seemed more likely.  Anyway, he snapped called and as I showed my set of Queens, he flipped over pocket 10's!  Oh man, did I suck out on him!

I mean two-outers are fun, when you hit them, right?  I kind of half-heartedly apologized while I dragged in the pot.  Set-over-set is bad enough (if you're on the losing end) but for me to get it on the river when he was crushing me on the flop and the turn—ugh.  I mean "ugh": for him.  For me it's great.

Of course been on the wrong end of that situation has happened to me plenty of times.  Hell, if you play poker, it's happened to you plenty of times.  That's poker, right?  A bad beat in your favor is really a good beat, right?  Of course, it's just human nature to forget all about hands like these next time you run into a few bad beats in a row.  And the worse thing would be for someone to tell me, next time I whine about a bad beat,  "Well, it evens out.  Remember that time you rivered the set of Queens against a guy's set of 10"s?"  I might be tempted to tell someone who did that precisely where to go.  In the meantime, I'll just enjoy this "good beat",  thank you very much.

I stayed another orbit and a half and was actually able to book a fifty buck profit based on that lucky hand.

Since this post is relatively short, let me close it with a little note I received from my buddy Don—a slice of Vegas life and a "woman said."  Here goes:  "Riding down the escalator towards Cromwell and I hear the woman behind me say to her friends about someone else, 'Well that's classy. You can't buy class.' Said woman is about 50 pounds overweight, wearing yoga pants and a crop top, drinking some cheap iced alcoholic beverage from a straw out of a plastic cup, and has a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. I think 'yeah toots, but if they tried to buy class, then it's a hell of a lot more effort than you made.'"

I responded that she's got class she hasn't even used yet.

Now, you may wonder what the pic below has to do with anything.  Well, the young lady below is exposing her tummy much like the woman in Don's story was.  Of course, this woman doesn't look (to me, at least), to be quite as overweight as the one Don described.
So I am really running this pic because it was obviously taken at a recent Lakers game, and you all know how much I love the Lakers.  Yeah, let's go with that.



  1. She sells brass poles for a living and does demos upon request.