Monday, December 23, 2019

Two Boats, But One Capsized

On paper, my session from Saturday in Ventura sounds pretty good.  I flopped a full house not once, but twice.  On top of that, I had my unimproved pocket Aces shoved into and the Aces held.  Sounds like I should have made some decent money in such a session, right?  Well…..

After about 45-minutes of card deadness at the 2/3 game (I bought in for the max, $300), I looked down at a couple of Aces.  I was in early position, so I opened to $15.  I got three callers, not quite ideal.  The flop was something like Jack-9-3.  I bet $35 and only one guy called.  He was one of the blinds. The turn was a blank and we both checked. On a King river, he lead out for $80.  I called.  He said "Ace-high."  Well then, I guess my two Aces were good, huh?  It was a nice pot and suddenly I was up around $130.

A while later, I got pocket 8's.  In early position, I limped and after a few more callers, one of the blinds made it $17.  I called because I knew most of the limpers likely would.  Sure enough, it was five of us seeing the flop.

And what a flop.  Jack-Jack-8 to be exact.  Easy game, right?  Well the preflop raiser checked.  I checked too, as one tends to do when one flops a monster.  No one bet.  The turn was a harmless looking 5.  This time the preflop raiser bet, but only $25.  I was going to raise but I noticed the guy on my immediate left was already grabbing chips.  Hmmm.  I decided I could maybe make more money just calling and not scaring anyone away.  So I called.  The guy on my left did indeed bet—but it wasn't a call, it was a raise.  He made it $75.  It folded back to the initial bettor who tanked a bit and then folded.  Here's where I made my mistake.

The guy on my left had a bit less than his $300 buy-in, so I had him covered.  I decided that since he wasn't going anywhere, I could get more money from him on the river.  So I just called.  It was really dumb move, especially when I saw the river card, another damn 5.  Damn it.

I checked and he put out $100.  I figured he likely had a Jack and my goose was cooked. But, the pot seemed too damn big for me to fold a flopped boat for "just" a hundred bucks.  I shrugged and made the crying call. He might just show up with Queens or Kings or even a total bluff at least some of the time. Of course, he showed me Jack-10 and I had gotten rivered.  Yuck.

Now in my opinion, there was no way he was going to fold trip Jacks at any point in this hand.  So had I been more aggressive earlier, I don't think the outcome would have been any different, except that maybe I would have lost even more money.  But I know that is not the lesson to learn from this little misadventure.  Raising on the turn was always the right play.  In fact, I should have raised the original bet of $25 and made it $75 myself.  The guy with the Jack might have raised but he also might have just called.  But no matter what, I was destined to lose a big pot there.  Of course, I have written many times about how you don't get a lot of practice playing monsters.  I should have played this one better, though.

My poker odds calculator tells me I was an 84% to 16% favorite heading into the river.  That's poker.

Later, now down to around $165, I limped in with pocket 10's.  My buddy Don keeps telling me I need to raise with pocket 10's, but I seldom can bring myself to do it.  This was another one of those times when I couldn't do it.  There might have another caller or two and then one of the blinds made it $20.  He didn't have a big stack, much less than mine, and I probably should have let it go, but having made the mistake of limping with the 10's, I wanted to continue making mistakes on this hand, so I called.  Well guess what?  I flopped another boat!  This time it was 10-4-4. 

We were heads up and he just shoved.  I didn't even bother asking for a count, it looked like slightly less than $100. It seemed like he was going to expose his hand so I flipped my cards over.  He froze in his tracks and kept his cards face down.  The last two cards didn't help him and he just slid his cards face down to the dealer and actually left the table.  I'm assuming he had an overpair. 

I commented to anyone who was interested (and probably no one was), "That's the second boat I've flopped today, but the first time I won with it."  One or two of the other players nodded.

That got me close to even but I never could get over the hump.  I had a few hands that required me to call raises preflop and never went anywhere.  By the time I was finished, I ended up dropping $75 for the day.  Not a great result for flopping two boats, huh?


  1. Yes is sucks to get beat with a bigger full house on the river. Nothing you could have done differently to change the outcome other than lose more money. I must say light blue does bring out the best in a good tan now doesn't it??? Merry Christmas Rob!

    1. Tan? What? Oh, is there a person in the pic? I hadn't noticed. I just picked that one because I liked the BOAT.

      Merry Christmas to you, Lester!

  2. Merry christmas rob. Sorry for being late there is some problem with my com that prevent me from posting comment. Finally able to do it by phone .

  3. I've been a fan of your blog for a long time Rob. Check out my article on bad beats and how to deal with them. Think it might be useful ;)