Dec 27, 2010

Bad Beat Poker

It was in my early days as a poker player and I had a fairly small bankroll to fall back on. One of my friend  had asked me to come with him to the casino in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. Poker is a very popular game here, but the tables at the casinos seldom see full ring games and those attending the casino often play a crazy game with a lot of attitude. We sat down at a no limit table with six players. Blinds were $3/$3 and the maximum buy-in $300.

One of the guys had just lost a good-sized pot and was cursing his luck loudly, yelling at the winner of the pot. With this upset guy in seat 6, I sat down in seat 5 and played a very tight game. There was a subtle war going on between the guy who lost the big pot and the guy who won it. The loser of the pot commented on every play made and was generally disrespectful. My friend told him that perhaps he shouldn't play poker if he couldn't handle bad beats. The loser made big bets and won most pots on the table, often with an annoying grin to his face. He was either in a constant state of tilt or simply a maniac without a trace of social manner. No matter what, it was his stack I was aiming for.

About an hour into the session and a close to breakeven game I picked up K J off suit on the small blind. It was folded to me and the battle of the blinds began, with Mr. Talkative as my opponent. I raised it up to 4x his big blind. He placed a big grin in his face and told me, just like Teddy told youngster McDermott, to "stay away from this one, it's not good for you" whereupon he came over the top on me, making it another 8 big bets to go. I called and the pot was $72 with the flop to come. The dealer flips up the three cards, showing a rainbow of Q 10 9. 
I was jumping up and down on the inside before I got to my senses and put in a weak bet of $16, yelling for a playback. He looked at his cards and pushed in another $40. It was a big moment for me and eager to keep him in the pot, I doubled his bet, making it another $40 to go. He looked me in the eyes and said "some people never learn", pushed his remaining $300 in the middle and leaned back. Satisfied enough, I call with my remaining $200 and flipped my nuts over. A bit angry he turns his two cards face up, showing J 10 without a trace of flush draw. Certain that I couldn't lose, I watched the turn. It revealed a Q. Still sure there was only one outcome to the hand. The river shows a third Q and my former nuts were worthless.

Admitting a little luck but claiming it is something you deserve rather than randomly get, he scooped the pot of $640 home in front of my eyes. As I left the table, I let him know how I felt about him and his play. Beaten and broke, I headed home.