Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mike Matusow has nothing on me...

Hello readers. Time for my monthly-ish post. Thanks for stopping by. Today's topic: running bad. Being the tail of the probability curve. How bad? Come along and find out.

I decided to bring out a cash game graph. Granted, I play more touneys than cash, but these will give you an idea of how I've been running....

This first one is all of my PLO8 hands for the year. Looks like I've made some bad plays and should be down, but I'm about 3bb/100 below expectation. So, let's see what my all-in equity looks like, shall we?

Yikes! Looks like I'm getting all in ahead, and still losing. Not a lot of hands, really, since I'm playing Pot Limit, but still running -3.5 behind expectation. Yuck!

There is also a "probability graph" that it looks like I'm running at the low end of the normal distribution, and I'm about 1 SD off the mean. That's bad. I'm in the bottom 33.3%.

So what made me decide to pull up these graphs? I've had 2 pretty brutal live sessions as well.

Our company gives us Good Friday off every year, so I decided, as a true gamboooler should, to use that day to hit the boat and play some poker. I play at the Argosy in Lawrenceburg, and they have a tourney at 11:15am. I got up and was on my way in plenty of time, but barely missed the start due to a wreck on the interstate and ended up #5 on the alternate list. Argosy has done a great job recently and their tourneys have a ton of play. I didn't expect to get in as the stacks are deep to start, but I stuck around and sweated a guy I sometimes play live with in a home game. I was on the 1/3 NLHE list, and wanted to get some play in. He was doing decently, and nearing the end of the first hour I wasn't going to take a spot even if they opened one up, so I grabbed a pager and went up for some lunch.

Came back and I was #2 on the list. They announced the start of a new table, so I went to buy in and grabbed a seat.

This was the most brutal 3.5 hours of poker I have ever played. I won exactly 1 hand. In 3.5 hours. I was coolered 4 times with a pocket pair vs higher pair situation. None of my draws got there. AK sooooooted, flop 2 of my suit and a gutshot draw. Pair my A on the turn. Lose when a blank hits the river to JTo. Play a middle suited connector in position with a lot of limpers. Stright and flush draws. Nothing gets there. I mix up my play and try a few strong bets in position, some of them bluffs at boards that I represent I have a good hand. Get called down by bottom 2 pair. AA runs into J6 (who played because it was SOOOOTed, he states) who gets 2 pair on the turn and flushes the river. I finally win a hand after rebuying for $200 and I'm down to my last $41. I open-shove after 2 limpers from the Cutoff with A-6 SOOOOTed. Yeah, I'm probably steaming a bit. It holds up to the BB who calls me with 86 offsuit. Yeah, it was that kind of game and I couldn't win a hand. I tightened up after a bit since the table was so loose, and I still couldn't catch a break. Final hand I have AJ hearts and run into KK. Flop is J 8 4, no hearts. No A on the turn or river and I'm done. Worst run at the boat ever, but it happens to everyone, right?

So I shake it off, come home, and play some online poker. Lose 2 buyins at $25 PLO8. I give up. Decide to wait on another day.

Then, last night is my poker league night. I'm out of the running for the main prize, but there is still prize money to be won every night. I play tight, aggressive. I mix it up with some hands. Slide from the initial 10k down to about 4.5k, and then start to see some chips move my way. A few well-timed bluffs, steal some blinds when we hit the 150/300 and 200/400 levels, and I'm back to about 12k. Then I have T2 on the button and decide to raise again. The BB has a lot of chips and decides to see a flop. Flop is T 8 2 with 2 clubs. He leads out 800. I call. Turn is the 6s. He leads out 800. I debate a raise to 2800 but smooth call. River is a club. He bets 1200. I raise to 2500 and he insta-calls and tables 87 clubs. Should have raised that turn, but I was trying to get max value on my 2 pair. Such is life.

I make the FT with about 6k in chips. Blinds are up to 300/600. I float for a while, then manage to pick up AA UTG with only 5700 left. Blinds are 400/800 and I raise to 2400. Folded to a tight player in MP who smooth-calls. Folded around and we see a flop of Q Q 3. I put my last 3300 in and MP goes in the tank. Now I know that he's got a pair, as this player is very tight and would fold anything but a pair here. I go into weakness mode and give him a stare. He says "Man, I think you have AK. Or AJ. " Please! Call me! I look away and he thinks for another 30-40 seconds. Counts out a call and he has me covered by about 1500. He'd be crippled if he's wrong. He finally calls and I show him the AA. He tables 66 and no 6 hits (surprisingly!) on the turn or river and now I have just under 13k. I find AhJh on the button a few hands later when an UTG shoves his last 5200 and Mr 66 calls. Folded to me. I think and make the call. The open-raiser has QT suited and Mr 66 has A6 off. Flop is J J 8 and I take out 2 more. We are now into the points, but not the money yet. The last man to go out loses to the CL and we are in the money.

Final 4 have me versus the big stack with 2 smaller stacks. The 2 shorties are still in the running for the title as was the 5th place finisher so it means something to these guys. The CL is the guy who hit the flush vs me earlier in the T2 hand. I have about 30k, he has about 50k, and the other two guys have about 15k each. I'm in a good spot to win at least 150, if not the 250 if I can make some moves and get even with the CL.

My BB, and I find AdQd. UTG folds, and the CL is the button and calls 2k. Blinds are 1k/2k with a 200 ante. SB calls. I raise to 7k. Button calls and SB folds. Flop is J T 9 with 2 hearts. I bet out 8k. Button insta-raises to 16k. He does this when he has an overpair or a made hand. I think about it and he's played overpairs like this more. There's 37k in the pot. And I have to call 8k. If he's got KK or AA i'm about 30%. The call is good. If he's got QQ I'm probably a bit better. If he's got JJ, TT, or 99 I'm down to 25%. But overall a call here is correct. That leaves me with 7300. I probably should shove, but I call.

Turn is a beautiful 8c. I shove, not caring if he calls or not. He thinks about it and says "I guess you have the straight, but I call". I show him the bad news and he tables Kh Kc. The UTG player says "Crap, I mucked Q3". That leaves 2 Qs for him to hit. And guess what he pulls out on the river? Yep. Qc. GG me. I haven't had a hand tilt me in quite a while. I usually shrug it off and say "That's poker" and move on. This one had me steaming. I'm glad I didn't have more chips as I would have been reckless. I just lost a 60K+ pot, not to mention about $110 in real money (at least) on a 2-outer. I would have had a good chip lead, but instead now this guy has about 80k in chips and takes out the other two in about 8 hands. I get $40 for my troubles.

Other guys are talking about "How sick was that beat?" and "He couldn't fold there!". Why can't he fold there? I've repped the draw or a set with my betting. The draw gets there and I shove. Sure, there is ~53k in the pot and he needs to just call 7300. But if I have what I've repped, and even have just a set of 9s, he's still drawing to 6 outs on the river. Rough math is 6 outs makes 12%. 12% of the pot is ~6200, and he's calling 11oo more. He doesn't have the right price there. If I have the straight (which is what it looks like I have) he's in worse shape. He's down to about 6% (and 4% if we can believe UTG folded a Q, but we don't know that when he's making this decision). Granted, knocking out a player means a lot here. But I've repped the hand I have and he knew I had it (he even said "I guess you have the straight? I'll call"). And STILL made the call. He can fold and still be comfortably in 2nd place and make a run. That is what tilted me more than anything.

So, again, I'm WAYYYY DOWN in the tail of the distribution. Mike, eat your heart out. You've got nothing on me. You're not the "unluckiest man in poker".

Enough whining and moaning. I think I've shaken off the tilt for now. Time to get back to the tables. Hopefully, I can put together a nice run and head out to Vegas with some folks around WSOP time. My BR has taken quite the hit this year, so it is still up in the air.

Meanwhile, I'll cya at the tables.


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