Friday, September 07, 2007

Diamonds are a tart's best friend.

Is it wrong to be happy when you suckout a flush to a made straight?

I came in second in the final league game of the season last night – but I should have been out in the second level. I was on the button with Ad9d and called along with several limpers. The flop was 9c, Qd, 10d. Checked to me so I bet with my pair & nut flush draw. The BB check raises me.

As Banky discussed before, there’s not a lot of play in the league structure. If we were deeper stacked, I probably would have just smooth called with position. But a call here was more than a 3rd of my stack. If the diamond doesn’t come on the turn, I have to fold to another bet. My opponent is a smart, sometimes tricky, player – and I thought he could be doing this move with a straight draw, as well as with 2 pair or trips. I’m losing to the stronger hands – but with the exception of the made straight, I could see him folder.

As I thought more about it, I really felt that I’d rather bust here, than call and be crippled, or fold what is a strong(ish?) hand. So I pushed. He insta-called with the J8, and my diamond came on the turn.

There was a lot of talk about what a suckout it was – but I feel like it was the right move at the time.

I maintained this big stack for quite a few more levels. I was determined not to lose my early lead like I usually do. When it was down to 5 handed, my big stack was now average, and I lost a chunk of chips with AK (preflop bet, missed flop, continuation bet got called by tight player – had to fold when he bet out on turn). I was shortish – but doubled up when I went all-in with Jh10h, got called by AJo (yikes) but flopped a flush.

Unfortunately, I ended up heads-up with a strong player who had a major lead on me. I doubled up once, and then a few hands later, had an open-ended straight flush draw on the turn when he pushed all-in. I called. He had two-pair, and my gazillion outs didn’t come through. I don’t regret the call.

I really enjoy the league and the people I’ve met there. But I’m not sure if I can continue going. The games have gotten really small – we’re lucky to get 9. And with the prize pool being split 3 ways, it’s very hard to break even. Before last night’s game – Banky had 2 wins, a 2nd, and a 3rd out of 12 games – cashing a third of the time – and he’s barely breaking even. I’ve cashed 3 times a 1st, a 2nd and a 3rd, and I haven’t broken even. We still have a chance to make some money next week with the “free roll” ($10 per player, per game comes out of the prize pool each week…at the end of the season, we play for that money). But without a cash there, this season will be a bust.

It was different when the games were bigger, and we had a lot of new people coming in and out of the game. But now the game has gotten stale. I know Banky and I aren’t the only people who feel this way…I’m not sure what the prospects are for the future of the league.

At least the friendships will live on. That's gotta be +EV ;)


BamBam said...

IMO..... The call in question would normally be considered a "personal choice." There is no right or wrong. Of course you'll hear the "suck-out" B.S., that's natural.

Last time I checked, the object of the game was to get paid by others for making a better hand than them.

As I said to the "Mr." earlier, the format your league uses is forcing play that can be considered "questionable" at times. You need to build a stack to survive the lower end of variance, in order to survive.

Poker = Gambling. It's that simple. You gambled in a good spot and got paid. At the end, you made the same gamble and took the loss.
In my mind, you made a decision and it worked out. Good on you !

Quote of the day going around up here....

Bad beats only happen to good players.

-- Joe Crow (1998)

Tell the "suck-out" antagonist that he was ahead, you made a calculated gamble and it worked, and that these things sometimes happen to good players.

Mr. Bankwell said...

You made a move early and it paid off, because of that you basically made it into the money.

It was a gamble like Bam Bam said but you decided that you wanted to win and to win you need to take chances like this.

RaisingCayne said...

No, it's not WRONG to be happy when you suckout a flush to a made straight!? WTH? Of course not!? That's crazy talk Tart!? If you allow feelings of guilt to get in the way of pleasure when getting lucky at the felt, this game is the wrong hobby. Congrats on the 2nd place finish!

Bummer about the demise of your league game. Hopefully it can be replaced with a routine poker get-together with the new friends!