February 28, 2005

No One Likes A Bad Beat Story

I decided to play in a $50+$5 no-limit hold 'em tournament on Party Poker over the weekend. A total of 490 players entered, putting the prize pool at $24,500. I started out poorly, losing a hand with AK and then with JJ, but minimized my losses with a couple of nice post-flop laydowns. I slowly built my stack back, and then doubled up a couple times to get into a comfortable position. Then I found myself in a pivotal hand.

With two players having already limped into the pot, I looked down and found two black kings out of the big blind. Sitting with about 10,000 in chips with 55 players left in the tournament and the blinds at 300/600, I raised it to 2,000 and got one caller. The flop came Q73, rainbow. I bet out 2,500 into a pot of 4,900 and was quickly called. The turn was a jack. I bet the rest of my stack, which was around 5,500, and was called after a slight hesitation. My opponent turned over J8 unsuited.

That means he called a 1,400 raise before the flop with a horrible hand and then called 2,500 after the flop with absolutely nothing. It also means I had a pair of kings against his jacks with one card to come, giving him a grand total of five outs in the entire deck. In other words, unless he spiked one of the two remaining jacks or one of the three remaining eights, I would double up to a little over 20,000 in chips.

I'll let you take a wild guess as to what happened next. A jack hit the river, giving him three-of-a-kind and knocking me out of the tournament five spots from the money. I was too stunned to get upset at the time, but it has really been eating at me ever since. I played the hand in what seems to me like a smart way, my opponent played it absolutely idiotically, and I was in a position where I had all my chips in the pot with an 88.6% chance of winning with one card to come.

Had I doubled up, I would have been in excellent position to finish high up in the money, where first place got over $6,000 and second place got almost $4,000. Instead I got nothing, and as I left the table, the moron who sucked out on me and took all my chips said, "Thanks for holding my chips for me."

What a cruel game.

On a less infuriating note, I participated in a roundtable discussion previewing the American League Central over at the new Rich Lederer/Bryan Smith combo blog, Baseball Analysts. Bryan, Rich, THT's Brian Borawski, and I chatted about baseball's worst division and the end result is hopefully pretty interesting to read. Plus, it's a promising new site from two of my favorite online writers, so go check it out.

Today at The Hardball Times:
- Closer (by Studes)

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