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    Monday, July 17, 2006

    More Poker Boringness

    Yesterday was a pretty fruitful poker day for me. I placed 60th in a satellite tourney of 1,200 players, qualifying me for a tourney in August where first prize, indeed the only prize, is a entry package for a WPT event at the Red Rocks Hotel in Reno. I also did fairly well in several other tourneys. So what stands out for me? A hand I lost, which would have brought out the Mr. Rant in me if it hadn’t dumbfounded me so.

    It’s in Full Tilt’s daily 500+25 chip tourney. We are down to around 70 players from the 900 that started, and we have all placed. I’m sitting about 20th with over 15,000 in chips when I get dealt A-K spades in the big blind. I raise 3,000 pre-flop, get two callers. The flop comes down Ac, Kh, 3s. I check, the second person to act bets 2K, next person calls. With the antes and the blinds, there is now over 15K in the pot. With my bets and the blind, I am down to about 11K. There is a straight draw on the table, so I decide to just take down the pot right now if I can. I go all-in. The first person to act, who had bet the 2,000 after the flop, calls. She has about 9,000 in chips, so, as they say on the WPT broadcasts, her tournament life is on the line. The other person folds and I get about 2K in chips returned to me. Our cards are flipped over and I show my A-K. She shows pocket 7s.

    That’s right, pocket-fucking-7s. Pocket-fucking-7s when there is an A and a K on the board and someone has just reraised you all-in. It was a mind-boggling, stunningly-insane call, which of course paid off for her when a 7 came up on the turn. There was no A or K on the river, and I was effectively crippled.

    Using the poker odds calculator at shows that I still had better odds of winning the pot after she made her set (my odds of winning at that point were 9%) than she had of winning when she made the call (her odds of winning at that point were 8%). Even if I only had an A or a K instead of both, she was still only a 9% to win. The only way she becomes favored is if she thinks I have a pair smaller than hers or if my two cards include neither a A, K, or 3. There is no other scenario. The only way she makes that call is if she is, as Goth said in a comment to the last poker post, only playing her cards and not giving any thought whatsoever to what I might have.

    It’s one of the most aggravating things about the game. A person makes an absolutely idiot call and gets rewarded for it. Nine times out of ten – correction – eight times out of a hundred – she loses that hand and is knocked out of the tourney. Yet she won’t remember that, she’ll remember that pocket 7s paid off for her very nicely one time and she’ll continue to bet them in the future.

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