When A Bad Beat May Be Worse Than You Know
I have a policy of not writing about my bad beats. We all endure them, and there's nothing worse than listening to someone bitch about the moron who pulled a 2-outer outta his ass to beat your straight. It's like hearing someone talk about that CRAZY dream they had last night, and you're sitting there for 20 minutes bored to tears as some nut unclogs his/her psyche. Although, if you'll give me a moment, I had another Howard Lederer nightmare last night. I rarely dream about poker, but when I do 'ol Howard seems to pop up to annihilate me. Odd, I'm much more afraid of Annie Duke...
But anyway, lets get back to my story. I'm play $25 Pot-Limit after getting knocked out of an SNG and I'm dealt KK on the button. I raise the pot, but the guy in the small blind calls. The flop comes 6-7-8, not at all good for my cowboys, but would this guy really have called a $2.25 raise with 9-10? I bet the pot...and he re-raises me the pot. I'm starting to think this guy has aces. Should I fold or toss in my remaining eight bucks and see if maybe he just has a draw or maybe something goofy like A-8? He could easily have trips. I may be really screwed.
I have one hope--the guy I'm up against is a player I've gone up against before. I've uploaded his stats from PokerTracker, and I can see that he's a pretty aggressive player, at least for Party/Empire. He puts money in over 55% of the time, he raises a fair amount, and I also see that, over the 93 hands I have info for him, he's down like 55 BB. He could easily have QQ or JJ or 10-10...or 9-9. Or that goofy A-8. I decided to push in my chips and see what happens.
The turn is a deuce, the river an ace. And my foe turns over...AQ. I'm stunned. I bet the pot, and he re-raised me $15 bucks...with nothing. I couldn't see this as a bluff, I mean, I raised the pot, bet the pot after the flop...what the hell was this lucky bastard doing?
I reloaded, intent on winning back my money from this jerk. But the cards were cold and I had to wait for my revenge. And this gave me time to think. Why the hell did he re-raise me? I had his stats right in front of me, he's an aggressive player, but he's not a loon.
And then I froze. I had his stats in front of me. What if he had MY
stats in front of HIM
I don't think I'm giving any secrets away when I say that I'm a cautious player. I like to think that I play a smart, tight, aggressive game...but of the three my aggressivness is what definitely needs work. I can be bossed out of pots when I don't hold the mortal nuts, especially in Pot-Limit, where one tough hand can wipe out 2 hours of happy cards. Even if I know that I'm almost certainly in the lead, it's the word "almost" that weakens my knees. It's something I've been working on, and with my bankroll the healthiest it's been since I started I've been a lot more confident about playing with my head instead of my wallet.
But it's entirely possible that, every so often, I'm playing against people who use PokerTracker the same as me--or, to be honest, who use it a lot better than me. When I see that I have info on a player at my table I check it out, and I usually type some brief comment to sum up his play. It would not surprise me if some players--and maybe even the guy who beat me that one horrible hand-- has a note about me that says "If you raise this guy all-in he'll go away".
It's not a good feeling. I've looked over my stats in PokerTracker and I've identified some areas that need improvement. But I honestly didn't care before if someone out there had a book on me. Pride goeth before the fall. Then again...it might have just been your typical Party bad-beat. And if you think THAT one was bad, just wait till I tell you about this one...