Saturday was just one of those days. At least, that's the story I'm sticking to. I refuse to believe I am as bad a player as the results would suggest.
After a losing session Friday night at Showboat, I rolled over to Borgata Saturday around noon, and immediately got a seat. About 10 minutes in, some dude that resembled Johnny Depp from Fear and Loathing (Sunglasses and Hawaiian shirt and all) sat down with his girlfriend. The dude didn't know how to post, and made a huge production of it. His girlfriend sat silently (apparently, at least smart enough to know that anything she said would target her as an even bigger fish). They both bought in for $100. Within a hand or two, it was readily evident just how bad they both were. Hunter lost his first $100 when he called flop, turn and a $55 river bet on a T 9 K 2 T board with . . . a 9. He reloaded and lost his second $100 about 20 minutes later when he again called down with middle pair. His girlfriend, for her part, lost a quick $100 and reloaded as well. I was just foaming at the mouth waiting to get into a hand with either. I ended up getting into a hand with both. Neither ended well for me.
My first hand was against the girl. She limped and I raised to $10 with AQ. She called. Heads up to the flop of 337. She checked, I bet, she called. Turn blanked. She checked, I bet, she called. River blanks. She checks. Now, I know she was calling down light with everything. Still, she had put $60 into the pot already. There were no draws. She could have a mid-sized pocket pair. But, something just didn't smell right. I checked back, and she tabled J3. Good times.
Later, it was Hunter's time to best me. I raised to $12 preflop with KJ and Hunter calls. The flop was A Q 7 with two spades. I bet, Hunter called. Seems familiar. Turn is a T hearts. Broadway. I bet, Hunter calls. River is a spade. I bet, Hunter calls and tables T2 spades for the flush. Yes, he played T2 heads up for $12 pre-flop. Well, I guess they were suited.
I played 2 hours without winning a hand. Several of my losses were big hands. This screencap of my notepad reflects my contemporaneous suffering:
Of the hands above, the Cowboys was the most interesting. As indicated in the notes, I raised to $12 preflop and got calls from two limpers, one of whom was a solid player. The flop was 8 T 9 with two diamonds. He donks out for $15, and I re-raised to $45. He shoves $165 on top. My gut told me he had a monster draw. I really felt like I was ahead . . . at least for the moment. Ultimately, I folded. He showed his flopped straight.
I reloaded twice -- a sign that I felt I was not playing bad poker, but rather, just getting unlucky. I had just topped off again (in for $500) when I finally dragged my first pot:
I'm sitting on $289 or so, and looked down at QQ in the hijack. A woman raises to $10 from early position and gets a call from a solid player. While I'm thinking about how much to raise, the button slides $10 forward and calls out of turn. Interesting. Given the two calls and his inclination to enter the hand, I decide to repop to $55. The button is the only caller. Again, interesting. He was inclined to only call $10 in position; then he decides to just call $55 with two people behind. And, I did not think he was a particularly bad player from what I had seen.
The flop comes down K 7 2. Yes, it's fun playing QQ post flop out of position. I opt to check, and button checks back.
Turn is a 5. I check again. I figure I'm either way ahead or way behind, so I want to keep the pot as small as possible. Button bets out $50. I insta-call, trying to look unafraid.
River blanks and Button bets out $100. There's $330 in the pot, and I'm getting 3/1 for a call. I fairly confidently rule out AA or KKK, as I have to assume this player would have four-bet preflop with that strong a hand (particularly with two players yet to act). AK might make sense. But, even here, is he calling $55 preflop hoping to hit his hand? In the end, I make the call, and he tables TT. Nice to get a little bit back . . .
I ended cash play for the weekend down $435. Not the weekend I was hoping for.
Saturday night, I decided to spare my ego any more destruction, and opted to play the 7:00 at the Showboat. It got 150 runners (factoring in rebuys), which is about par for the course. I played well, and built a decent stack. With blinds at $2,000/$4,000 and around 50 players left, I looked down at 99. After one limper, it folds around to the woman on the cut-off. She raises to $24,000. Pretty big raise from that position. I read her as not wanting much action. The way this tournament works, you really need to run deep to make any real cash. I don't want to play 7 hours to win $100. I want to be busting out or chopping. I opt to shove my 99. The woman calls and tables AQ.
Flop is KJ 4.
Turn is a 9. Set. Nice! She's down to 4 outs.
River is . . . of course . . . a T.
A fine finish to a brutal weekend!