Why you should keep your promises

Sunday, January 4th, 2004, 5:54 pm

I know I said I wouldn’t play today, but I did some work around the house, vaccumed my den (where I play), rearranged the furniture a bit, did the whole feng shui thing. Didn’t help–I lost $10 in about 30 minutes, and that’s with me winning a ridiculous $8 pot where I had 2nd best pair after the flop and it got checked around on the turn and the river. I’d already abandoned the hand and all of a sudden the chips were pushed my way.

I lost with AQ when a guy won with Q-6 offsuit and he had queens and sixes. And that’s when I started to smell a rat. The table I was playing at was the wildest I’d ever encountered. Raising before the flop almost every hand, and more often than not a re-raise. I hung around a bit hoping to pick up a big hand and win a big pot. Of course, with my recent luck that was not going to happen. I’ve been getting big cards, but I can’t make a hand after the flop. Like the AQ I had, they were spades and I had four to the nut flush on the turn. Did I get my spade on the river? Of course not. Anyway, when the guy turned over Q-6 after two preflop raises I just chalked it up to him being an idiot.

Then I started watching things a little more closely. There were 3 players who kept doing the raising and re-raising. One guy had over $800 at the table, unusual for a $.50-$1 game, but certainly not incriminating. But I started watching these guys closely, and while I don’t think I’m ready to bring charges, I got the hell out of there. The hands they were playing and the bets they made didn’t make sense. The hand that really got me wonder was a $25 dollar monster. The betting was capped preflop, and the flop came 6c-5s-Ks. Bet, raise, re-raise. The turn was the 2s. Three to a flush now. Bet, raise, re-raise. Two of the players were guys who I thought were playing strange with third guy in the mix. The river was the 9c. So there are four spades out there. Bet, raise, re-raise. The first guy, the pigeon, turns over Q-10s, queen high flush. The second guy turns over K-4 offsuit, both red. The third guy turns over the ace of spades.

Now, why on earth was that middle guy raising with K4 offsuit, calling three bets after the flop, after the turn, after the river, with four spades showing? OK, he had top pair, but a 4 kicker? I didn’t buy it. So I really started watching these guys. The pattern was repeated 3 or 4 more times–bet, raise, re-raise, and then keep raising things all the way until the showdown. It was the same 3 guys, they were in nearly every pot, and they always raised it. I saw a guy turn over Q3 of hearts with no heart showing on the board and an ace and king on the board. He had a pair of threes. Another time they got skunked when a guy playing 9-6 made a full house on the river and one of them had a straight. The other had pocket fours.

I don’t think collusion happens much at the $.50-$1 tables, since you can of course make more money at the higher limits. But the novice colluder has to start somewhere, and the low limit tables would be as good a place to start as any. I was at a table the other day where I suspected something funny was going on, because the betting was totally crazy and guys were showing hands that make no sense. Much like today, but today seemed much, much more obvious.

Mind you, I don’t blame collusion for my problems, though I did drop $10 at that table. I had a good hand and got beat by a guy who got lucky. But, boy, would it be nice to get lucky again. I don’t even know what Lady Luck looks like anymore.

So I’m now down to $40. I may have to drop down a lower limit and try to ride this through. Not playing anymore tonight. I’m going to write, maybe here, maybe at my other blog. Get my brother playing so I can get some free cash from Party to plump out my poker-purse. I’m treading water right now, gotta grab a life raft.

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