Thursday, April 06, 2006

Developing paranormal powers

I'm in THAT stage, the stage of a bad run in poker when you develop psychic powers; it's precious, so funny and pathetic. You can predict with a remarkable accuracy which cards are coming. Sometimes it's really easy, as when you are all in with top pair/overpair versus flush draw, you know the flush is coming. Sometimes you have the top pair + the flush draw as in AcKc in a AdTc8c flop and you are all in versus a Qh9h; now the tricky part is to know which J will come, the Jh,Jd or Js. You know it's coming and you know it's coming in the turn, so you can see how you miss the river. These days every time I'm involved in a 80-95% "flip", I call my wife, and start singing a salsa song I wrote for the occasion "Ahi viene el bad beat, ahi viene el bad beat, agarrense todos, que ahi viene el bad beat".
I said, "Look honey, the donkey reraised me 2500 all in with his A7 in the BB and 20-40 blinds, because he thought I was stealing with my raise to 120 in the button; but I have AA, a 93% favorite", I say proudly, "what a favorite I'm about to lose" and, shazammm!!, 2 sevens in the flop; ohhh how we laugh, or the time this guy raised in LP with 3s3c, I called in the BB with KdQd, flop came JdTdTh, I bet, he raises, I reraise, he went all in and I called; "Look honey, I have 23 outs twice !!!"; "Is that good?" she asks, "Nah, I'm only a 71%", we look at the 6s in the turn, and I told to her, "I'm still a favorite with 25 outs", she says, "really?", "well, you know honey in a Mathematical sense, not that it matters though, lets see that 3d hit the river"; and of course after leaving the table with my nice hand comment, I still have to read the other guy "I knew it, I knew he had NOTHING".
I think I'm even in a superior stage about my ability prediction; I mean, any player in a bad run can predict which card is coming, but what about predicting what is going to happen the next four hands ehh!!!!, this happened to me this Thursday in the $300 Limit Holdem Masters event in Paradise, with 54 players left, they paid 50 spots, and 1st prize was a cool 40k, I had an average stack of about 23k with 600-1200 blinds. I was dealt AQc UTG, and after I raised I had THE feeling, the only way I bubbled this thing it's to play AND lose the next 4 hands in a row since it was limit; and that is precisely what happened, lost the AQc, lost with QT in the BB, lost with AKs in the SB and then lost with AK in the button and I was out 53rd, yeah, yeah, I know probably some of you think it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I think I played all 4 hands optimally; I didn't care about the bubble and I played the hands to the best of my ability.
These days I wonder if I'm losing my humanity; I mean, even a dog, no matters how much the dog loves you, he moves out if you keep beating him; but we as poker players are stoic creatures; day in and day out, patiently waiting for our share of bad beats; specially if you play tournaments, as a winning cash game player, most days you win, and even if you are a winning tournament player, most days you lose; sometimes even when you win money you feel terrible, last December I won $34k with a 4th place in a Bellagio event, and I felt really bad and depressed all that day, that was the reason, I didn't even write a blog entry about it; how sick is that?; the only time you don't feel kind of disappointed it's the time you win the tourney, but this will happen just once in a while, most of the time you lose. Yeah, yeah, I know, you are suppose to feel good if you played right, no matter what; I'm just not tough enough; as Barry Greenstein said in his excellent book Ace in the River; the number one trait of a winning player is to be psychologically tough; "The best don't give in, no matter how severe the psychological beating".
And as I use to say, "This is the business we have chosen".


neeeeko said...

Viva Mexico, Something to cheer u up. No te sentas mal. I am going to the DYNAMO's game tomorrow. If you where here, te invitara. I've been on a bad beat road my whole life, Y aqui ando.

Viva la raza,

neeeeko on PP, ; look me up sometime.

AJ "The Triple Threat" Martino said...

Ouch man, some brutal stuff.

I was in a tourney on Party and raised UTG from 60 chips to 180 with A/A. Donkey in MP pushes for 1800 with K/6 offsuit. I make the call and the flop gives him a King, and the turn is his third King.

I then proceed to lose Q/Q to J/J and J/J to 8/8 all-in pre-flop in two other events. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it pours.

I know what you mean about that feeling of dread. What helped me was to reflect on some of the live beats I've suffered (so that I don't assume that online is rigged) and also look at times where I've been way behind but came out ahead. Helps keep things in perspective.