Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oklahoma Trip Report, Part 2

About this time, there is a really loud commotion as some players on a nearby table have hit the bad beat jackpot for about $19K. I lose some small pots and decide I need to reload (yes, for a 3rd time). Soon, after open betting and getting called in three places, I flop an OESD and 2nd nut flush draw with K-Qs.
I make my flush on the turn and get all in with another player that had flopped a set of Jacks. Can you guess what happens? The river is another 10 (there was one on the flop) and my flush takes an unpleasant boat ride. I am not tilted although the suckouts are killing me. I take a short break and walk around thinking about my play and my breathing. I evaluate my play and my competition and decide to reload for a 4th time. I play for several orbits without getting anything decent. A friendly guy from Dallas to my left had been betting 5xbb every time he had a small or middle pocket pair so after I limped my A-10s and he bet his usual 5xbb, I smooth called. The flop is Ah-7c-2h. I check planning to check raise since I had him covered. He politely accommodates me by betting and I CR him all in. Sure enough, he tables 5c-5h. I table my Ac-10c. He says, “nice hand” and prepares to reload. BUT, wait! The turn is the 9h and the river is the 10h giving me top 2 pair and him a runner-runner suck out flush. WTF?
On top of the crappy luck, it is 1:40am I am now advised it’s last call. Huh? Last call for alcohol in a casino? Is the casino closing? Is this some sort of bad joke? I really need to talk with the business people that run this place about the money they are leaving on the table. I am shocked but compose myself and call the lovely waitress. I generously tip her (for the umpteenth time) and ask her to bring me several beers. I go on, over the next 3 hours to surreptitiously sip my well concealed cup(s) of beer and re-build my stack from $60 to $300. Oddly enough, after losing repeatedly with good hands, I won all of these pots with top pair crappy kicker hands and C-bets on missed flops. Go figure. I suppose I had developed a table image of showing nothing but great hands so my bets were finally getting some respect. There were over 15 tables still going strong at 5:30am when I racked out.
Overall, I had a good time but would leave the Winstar Casino one buy in lighter than I had arrived. One thing I didn’t like was that they rake the small blind before the pot is confirmed for the flop. This made the SB often wonder what happened to their blind when it was time to complete their blind pre-flop. Even though I did not win this time, I proved to myself (again) that I can endure some bad beats without tilting, read and outplay my opponents, recover from crippling early losses, and enjoy myself in spite of getting unlucky. Moreover, following the sage advice of Tommy Angelo, I had quit well. I smiled inwardly, to myself, as I boarded the shuttle back to the motel to get some sleep.

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