Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The losing streak comes to a definitive end

The other day I mentioned my recent losing streak, and what appeared to be a break in it, with successful sessions at two casinos in one day. The next day I had another good session at Bill's, and I told you I was pretty sure the bad streak was over. Tonight I sealed that conclusion in about as decisive a fashion as I can imagine.

Planet Hollywood. Player A raises to $10. Player B, on his immediate left, calls. I'm just to the left of Player B. I call, too, one off of the button, with 9-10 of spades. Both blinds call. Decent pot already.

The flop is an unbelievable queen, jack, and king--all spades. (See first photo above.) I have flopped a straight flush, and an unbeatable one at that. It is a thing of sheer beauty. This is only the second time in my life I've hit a flop in such a way that I absolutely, positively will win the hand, there being no possible combination of opponents' hole cards and/or cards coming on the turn and river that can beat me. (Story of the first such incident is here.) It's quite a rush, I tell you.

The problem with such a gargantuan monster of a hand, though, is getting paid off, because frequently nobody else has caught enough of such a board to venture their chips.

Tonight, though, that was not going to be a problem.

Player A, the preflop raiser, checked. Player B moved all in. I just called, obviously wanting to lure in anybody else that would play along. It was folded around to Player A, who also called. The turn card was another jack. To my surprise and delight, Player A moved all in. Gee, what should I do here? Well, OK, I guess I'll call.

Player B had A-10 offsuit, and had flopped the nut straight. He obviously moved all in on the flop in an attempt to prevent anybody from drawing to a flush to beat him. Player A had pocket queens, flopped a set, but was leery of the straight and flush possibilities--until the board pairing on the turn gave him a full house.

This is how you get paid with a straight flush.

I turned over my cards as soon as I had announced my call. Apparently Player A took in only the fact that I had two spades for a flush, because he then triumphantly turned over his queens and loudly boasted, "Full house!"

Then somebody pointed out to him the small, painful fact that he had overlooked--at which point he no longer looked quite so triumphant.

PH's king-high-straight-flush jackpot had, unfortunately, been hit just a couple of hours before for something like $220, so it had reset to its minimum/default level of $50. It would be unseemly, though, to complain about this state of affairs, and disingenuous to say that it was a result of my bad luck. They did give me the nice hat shown above, as a bit of consolation. Not that I really needed consoling at that moment....

With that hand, I mentally drew a curtain over the recent past, and declared my bad streak officially, resoundingly closed. Ended. Over. Dead and buried. I know that there will be other ones yet to come. Sooner or later, inevitably, the law of large numbers says that I will hit one even more horrendous than the one that just passed, though at the moment that seems incomprehensible.

So it's nice to be reminded that even the worst losing streaks really do end. All it takes is time and perseverance.

And just a little bit of luck.


--S said...

It's hands like that that almost (but not quite) make me want to start playing poker again ;)

Maybe I'll start playing after the move to Santa Fe. I've heard there is a really good $20-40 game that goes off on a regular basis in Albuquerque!

gadzooks64 said...

It doesn't get any better than that!


SN8 said...

Beautiful hand! Pretty solid announcement from the poker gods that you're back on track. How big was the pot if you don't mind me asking?

Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Love the shot-reverse shot. Whoa! VNH.

Anonymous said...

Not hard to get paid off because you made a straight flush like it is when you flop quads or a boat.

1st of all you had a bunch of players who called raises. Secondly, you had a suited-paint flop that produced straights, flushes, sets, and 2-pair possibilities.

Icing on the cake is that you didnt even have the Ace of spades, which is another hand that someone would come along with.

GREAT hand, and it couldnt have come at a better time it seems!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Oh, the memories! I was at PH playing 2/5 NL. Player A in early position makes a small raise to $15, B & C call. I call from the button with Qh9h, and the BB calls too. The flop comes down 8-10-J all hearts. Betting ensues! All I can do is call.

In the end we had 4 players all in. Initial raiser flopped a set of Jacks, the next guy made the Ace high flush, and the other a set of eights. It was a very big pot, and the SF bonus was an additional $180 or so bonus.


Anonymous said...

The hand itself? A thing of beauty.

Getting paid off by two people? Priceless.


Cardgrrl said...

I know you'll understand the pang that reading this post gave me. I am yearning for the day (any day now, right?), when I can say definitively that my current cold streak has ended. (Lord, let it be soon.)

But I would like to point out that it is an interesting coincidence that you had this stellar piece of good fortune on August 18th. Which is my birthday. And the inaugural day of both my blog and my poker year.