Saturday, January 07, 2006

The spoiled brat of poker (and it ain't Phil Hellmuth)

At the risk of sounding like Veruca Salt, who wanted another pony the moment her father handed her a golden ticket, I'm going through the worst winning streak of my poker life.
It's a pristine mountain filled with a glacier of AA and four callers, fields of KKs and a K on the flop (with the other guy having a lower set), and forests of two pairs that actually hold up. I've had J,J that actually won, K,K that didn't get sucked out by an A and Q,Q that didn't lose me a lot of money.
Except my base camp is littered with piles of bad beat shit, the kind that make you double over and puke.
Two days in a row, I've started slow in my .25 ring game, worked my way up to a $50 profit and left with a $25 profit one day and $10 the next.
Why? Well, no, I'm not one of THOSE players, who just gets lucky and then variance takes over and depletes my winnings. I have a healthy bankroll (for me, anyway) stuffed with winnings on both sites (Hollywood Poker and Pokerroom). I have finished every month with a good profit.
But I've had J,J,5 with my J,A lose to 6,2 when they got their runner, runner, runner flush. I've had A,A,3 with my A,K lose to another flush, yes, another runner, runner, runner, only with another runner in there. A Q,Q,J with my Q,10 lose to, you guessed it, runner, runner, runner flush. I've seen more runners than my Wednesday night track group.
I've had more people draw against me than the cast of Deadwood. Have I ever, this week, hit one of my draws? No.
And let's not even talk about the SnGs, OK? But just as a small example, I had A,A lose to A,J when he got his straight on the river. That cost me a cash.
Because I'm a poker player, the losses have stung far more than the fact that I'm seeing great hands and cashing them. It feels like a horrible losing streak, even though I'm ahead this week.
Because I'm only ahead by a small amount, and it could be so, so very much more.
It's almost worse than a losing streak, because you count those chips as yours after you've won them, even though Kenny Rogers tells you not to. You begin to question whether you are just greedy, even though Mike Caro has a great response when someone asks why you didn't just quit when you were ahead - the game was good, the players were loose, and I was getting good hands. So you question if you called loose because you were winning. No, I had great hands and cautiously bet when I saw that third (or fourth) spade or heart or club because I knew I was in trouble.
I am bonus clearing, and that has something to do with it, because I don't want to hit and run, I'd rather stay with my big lead and earn my points. But, then again, many times last week that helped me, because I was down and would have stopped, only I hit with a few hands and finished up, long after I would have stopped.
I tell myself that, if someone asked me if I would like to finish a session $10 or $25 ahead, I would, of course, scream yes yes yes like a porn star.
I remind myself of that as I turn off the computer, grumbling all the way to bed.
Sometimes, it actually works.

No comments: