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My Worst Weekend Ever

February 18, 2019

I can’t pretend like I’ve faced a lot of adversity in the 15/30 game at Palace. This is what my lifetime graph in the game looked like before Friday night:

A little bit of a slow start, a long period of absolutely crushing, a somewhat sizable breakeven stretch and back to more crushing.

It’s not like it’s a small sample either. This is nearly 700 hours running at 1.95 big bets an hour. Sick numbers.

I usually live blog my Friday sessions but I was feeling uninspired this weekend and, well, I’m glad I took a break.

This is what my Friday night blog would have looked like:

I raised with this hand and whiffed.

I raised with this hand, flopped top pair, and lost.

I lost. I lost. I lost.

I don’t remember winning a single hand of consequence.

I do remember going 0 for 6 against Flea at showdown and half of those hands was me opening from late position and him defending from a blind – a highly advantageous scenario for me.

I basically lost every hand I played for seven hours and decided to quit at -$1651 and went home before midnight on a Friday.

Pathetic.

Amazingly, Saturday started off even worse. Rather than mostly whiffing every flop, I was either starting with big hands or connecting hard with the flop… and then losing. That’s the hemorrhaging kind of losing rather than the slow, steady drip type of losing I did the previous night.

Needless to say, I wasn’t in the mood for that shit. I started my session at 4:30 and I was ready to quit by 6:30, already stuck $800 and losing in horrible fashion. The Leak was telling to go home.

I didn’t though and things started to turn around. I had JJ against Part-Time’s AA and after exchanging multiple bets pre and on the flop, I called down on 9832 before betting a river jack when he checked to me.

Unfortunately, there was a third player in the pot and he had T7 and rivered a straight, meaning I was drawing completely dead. Even though the third player is an action guy, I resisted the urge to 3-bet the river and accepted the fact that he probably had a straight.

Here’s how you know it’s time to leave: there are limpers and a raise in front of me and I 3-bet with AQo from the cutoff. Flea caps the button, a mostly tight-solid player takes all that action to the face from the small blind and then donks right out on a Q97 rainbow flop. I already hate it. Then the action player calls and Part-Time raises. This is what I meant when I said it might be time to go home: I tanked and I seriously considered folding. Is there merit to folding here? Maybe. Two different players are betting and raising right into the preflop 3-bettor and capper. That’s pretty strong.

But if I’m folding AQ on Q97 rainbow in a 4-bet pot, what the fuck am I even doing playing poker? This is LIMIT Hold’em. I just have to hang on and call down and hope I win. This is not a spot I think I should be raising.

So I do end up calling and I’m happy to see the small blind just call. He’s not the type of player that would flat with better than AQ here and try to check-raise the turn.

The turn is a jack and that is not a good card for my hand and it’s made even worse when the action player donks out. Part-Time calls and I could be drawing dead but I can’t fold now. Small blind also calls.

The river is a 5 and it goes bet and call in front of me. I don’t think I have the best hand, but if I folded here and was wrong it would be catastrophic so I make the overcall and the action player shows J9 for two pair and Part-Time has 86 for a straight.

Cool.

I already have a bad case of the MUBS (Monsters Under the Bed Syndrome) so when I open AK, get two calls and the flop comes down AAQ, I’m practically begging to lose the hand. I want the pain. Two opponents? Two blind defenders? Deck crippled? I can do it. I really think I can.

I bet and they both call. Good start.

Turn is a 7 and they both call again.

River pairs the 7 and I get check-called by A3.

I mean… it’s kind of like losing, right?

This is my best result in my first four hours of play. I’m already down over $1000.

A short while later, I finally catch a break. I 3-bet the action player with 55 after he opens from MP and then I c-bet the KT3 with two hearts flop. He calls.

I catch a magic 5 on the turn and then I get check-raised. Before I get too excited it is worth noting that the turn is a heart, putting a three flush on board. Against some players I would just call here, but against this dude, I have to put the raise in. He calls.

Whatever worries I had about him having a flush are alleviated when the 3 pairs on the river. I bet and he calls.

Holy shit. Finally. A much, much needed substantial pot.

I feel a minor weight released from my shoulders.

And then he turns over pocket tens.

How? How is that a thing?

The guy even says he thought I had a flush so his river check-call has to be born out of pure pity.

I’m disgusted.

Then I beat Flea at showdown for the first time in two sessions and things actually did start to turn around for me. For real this time.

I bottomed out at -$1600 and slowly rallied back to -$400 and then I flopped the nut flush draw in a big pot that would have had me in the green, but… I whiffed. And then I got cold again.

In the midst of this new downward spiral I got the KT8sss flop with AsK in a 4-bet pot and ran into pocket kings and failed to improve.

A half hour later I was back to -$1600.

Then I flopped an ace with AJ in a 4-bet multi-way pot and I was -$1850.

I had like ten chips in front of me. I took a break and thought about whether I wanted to quit or not. Most likely, I was only going to play for an hour or so longer, so making a full reload didn’t make a lot of sense. But I also wasn’t about to sit back down and try to play 15/30 with less than $150 front of me.

The game was good. Very good. And we had two cars at Palace.

I was hurting. For sure. I wanted to quit. Just accept defeat and leave. Come back and fight another time.

But the game was good and after some stretching and breathing, I decided to commit.

I sat back down with another $1800 and text my wife that I wasn’t going hiking the next day, nor was I going to be productive in any sort of way.

I was going to play deep into the night and fight for my chips back.

I actually started to make a comeback, maybe getting as low as -$900, but it just wasn’t meant to be for me this session.

The wheels fell off again and at 5:15 AM, this hand came up:

Guy on my right playing hyper-aggressive opens from mid and I 3-bet to isolate with 55. Flea caps on the button and we both call.

The flop is J82 rainbow. Flea bets and the other dude calls. I’m getting 14-1 here and there’s some chance I have the best hand. Flea will cap light and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him not c-bet with the betting lead, so I’m not giving him tons of credit here and the other dude is check-raising 100% of the time he has a pair of 8s or better. I peel.

The turn gives me a set and now I get a check-raise in and two big bets from both my opponents.

The river is an offsuit 6. I bet, Flea calls, and the other guy check-raises me.

Unreal.

This seems like a spot I should be 3-betting but while this guy is absurdly aggressive, he’s not clueless. I don’t think he’d even check-raise 86… and if he’s not check-raising that hand… then I can’t really imagine what hands I want him to call three bets with.

I don’t think he would show up with 66 here so I actually call out “97 of spades” (because there are two spades on turn) and decide to just call.

Sure enough, that is the exact hand he shows me. Not that it needed to be spades. I’m sure he’d continue on turn with all the suited 97s.

I was already racked up and prepared to leave on account of being tired, so I played til my big blind and quit around 5:20 AM.

I finished at -$1746 in 13 hours.

That put me at -$3397 for the two days and while I knew it was my biggest cash game loss in a 2-day period, I wondered how many times I’ve ever lost 50+ big bets in back-to-back sessions.

I did have back-to-back losses of 44 big bets as recently as December of 2018 in the 15/30 game.

In April of 2017 I followed up a 47 big bet loss with a 56 big bet loss. That basically counts, but doesn’t meet the terms exactly.

In December of 2015 I had a four session stretch where I lost 40 big bets, 45 big bets, 57 big bets, and 73 big bets. That is insane.

I found one! In October of 2015 I had a 69 big bet loss and I went out and lost 55 big bets in my very next session.

So I guess this weekend’s loss is not without precedent, but you can see how often this kind of thing happens. About once a year?

So yes… an epic bad weekend, but really that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Since that disastrous trip to Las Vegas on Super Bowl Sunday I’ve gone on a -$9146 spiral over my last 108 hours.

I’m pretty sure that’s my worst cash game downswing ever, over any stretch, and it is such a super small sample size.

Hopefully it isn’t just the beginning.

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