5. July 2005 | Category: 50outs

Another Vegas trip ahead, tomorrow morning Katja and I will meet in Frankfurt and fly non-stop over to Las Vegas for the main event madness. I must say that I never liked it so less to go to Vegas like this time, I almost passed the event. I lost any hope to make something in the sidegames or smaller events and right now I don’t think I can make any money in the main event.

Not that my game is off or somethink but the bad-beat-mania that takes place since a few months in finally getting into my head and soul. In every all-in situation where I was right about my read or estimation and be therefore ahead I now fully expect the worst to happen. Want an example? Last weekend, $300 NLHE saturday tournament on stars, 16 players remaining (18 in the money) and I have above average chips. I am in the BB with AJo, the button raises like he did always, I re-raise and he calls. Flop comes JT3, no suits. He bets agressive, I put him on QJ or KJ and re-raise all-in. He has me slightly covered and calls. He shows KJ which is a big dog to my AJ, top pair/top kicker. While I leaned back and mumbling “no king, no king” a Q peeled off followed by a 9 that gives him the straight and I am out in 16th place instead of having the 2nd chip-lead. I have stories like this to tell about every time I play these days. I went thru my pokertracker-db and looked how many times I sucked out in big pots and how times somebody sucked out on me (online tourneys >$100 buy-in only):

Since May 1st I discovered 134 all-in situations. 29 were coin-flip situations with AK/AQ against an underpair or vice versa. I lost 21 of those. In 76 situations I was ahead when the money went in (like in the situation above), I lost 52 of those. In 29 situations I was behind when the money went in (like QQ against AA or similar). I won a stunning 7 of those.

This analysis boosts my confidence on one side that I still play (more or less) good (and really, I don’t doubt that honestly, I feel my NLHE tournament game IS very good). On the other side that confirms me that I am in a very bad streak since some time. If my memory serves me right since 9 months now, when the desaster started in Baden. This is also shortly after I started to write this blog. Actually my very first entries were written in Baden. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

So, I don’t have have any high hopes for the upcoming trip. Kind of new feeling. My friend Frank tried to qualify until the last minute but failed. I would let him go playing under my name if this could work out there but it would most likly not. So I go.


Speaking of the rare suckouts that I inflict there was a very good one. Let me tell the story. It was the $1500 WSOP limit holdem shoutout event. I had seat no. 4, in seat no. 6 was englishmen Garry Bush and in seat no. 2 was Barry Greenstein. Yes that Barry Greenstein that is playing in the highest games available and doing the open-challenge games against Daniel Negreanu. When the first players busted out including seat no. 3 I was sitting right next to Barry. I have never talked to Barry before although I have seen him on many of our travels. I was unsure about if I like the guy or not. Reading some of his material he comes around pretty arrogant at times although I feel that nobody has that much respect both in the recpoker and the 2+2 community like him (well, except Doyle Brunson and Phil Ivey, both have never posted as far as I know). Anyway, he had a draft of his new book “Ace on the river” which I browsed shortly. It was looking nice but what impressed me more was the 2 hours talk that we had there. I won’t go into any details here but it included the challenge matches and poker, both high stakes and tournament wise. I found that I actually like the guy very much and got confirmed some of my thoughts about how to approach the game and the poker lifestyle in general. I was impressed when Barry told me he learned german and russian just to be able to read the right learning material for his studies when he was younger. You know how difficult german and russian are? If you my dear reader are the typical american “english only” guy then you have no idea – how to play AQ in a raised pot is a piece of cake, compared 😉

Ok I got carried away a little. My suckout. It went down like this. 6 players left, I was UTG with Barry in the BB. I found AK of diamonds and raised right away (limit!), I guess the limit was 100-200 at that time. Everybody folded (Garry Bush had a very bad tournament, he was card dead the whole time) and Barry called. Flop came down K-7-3, one diamond. Perfect I thought. Barry checked, I bet, pretty sure to take it down right there. Well, Barry raised me! Honestly I gave no credit to that raise, I watched him changing gears to perfection before and thought he was trying to outplay me. I re-raised. He re-popped it to 4 bets and I still gave him no credit. Wouldn’t I do the very same? (Well actually not until I play 100-200 cash game or higher). The turn was an ace and I almost feared to get no more action on my hand now but boy was I wrong! He check-raised me, I re-raised. Think of my surprise when he 4 bet me on the turn! I remember my surprise very sharp. Now comes the problem, I simply got carried away. Instead of going onto the tank and re-think the whole hand I simply re-raised and got called. The river brought another ace, giving me a full house. Barry checked and I throwed out a bet. Now think of that: Barry said “well, I hit the flop myself pretty nice”, showed KK (!) and mucked his hand without calling my bet. Think of this! Throwing away your kings-full for one single bet in limit holdem on the river. How damn sure was the guy about my holding and how damn correct was he! I was serious embarrased. Barry never recovered from that and went out in 5th place, I myself made also no good use of those chips and was eliminated in 3rd spot. I apologized to Barry when he left about that suckout and he simply said “oh no problem” in a way that sounded like he already forgot about the hand – and I believed him. What a great lection I got there. Again, in case you read here Barry, sorry for the suckout. In my analysis now I am pretty sure that I should have folded on the turn when Barry 4-betted me. Ahhh, a lot to learn. Still.

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