I had cashed out of all my usual haunts the month before to take care of an unexpected car repair. This month, I was back and on a run to end all runs. I'd finished my bonus whoring and turned an initial $200 into just shy of $600. Normally I would have hit up a few more before settling down to the tables, but I was feeling a bit antsy.
This was about a week ago. This morning, I was sitting on about $1150 after a fantastic week multi-tabling the $1/$2 and, here and there, the $1/$2 NLHE. So yeah, I'm on fire.
Now, I'm a few dollars shy of sitting comfortably at the $2/$4. But what is the hurry? They are running a guaranteed prize pool promotion and the $100+9 is looking huge. Drop $109 for a shot at several grand? Why not? My tournament record is solid enough, I'm up.
I buy in, get seated with my 1000 chips and notice two monsters at the table. Now this may be rarified strata for me, but everyone knows the monsters. I'm not overly worried however, as long as I steer clear of them our table is likely to be broken close to the first hour mark. Sure enough, shortly after the first hour I'm a little more than doubled up and our table is broken.
First hand at the new table I get pocket Qs and end up doubling up, second hand I get 10s and end up picking up another 2300 in chips. I'm in the top ten in chip standings now and feeling really good. By the end of the second hour I'm in 8th chip position with 58 players remaining. The tournament pays out to 30th place.
Half way through the third hour it starts.
Our table is broke, I'm moved right in front of the blinds, monster on my left, monster on my right... Okay, I'm sitting strong at about 12k in chips. There is only one guy bigger than me here, two within 4k, everyone else is clawing at the bubble. Big blind comes and "Yeehaw!" I get a pair of Ks!
I'm looking at a king of spades and a king of clubs, my first hand at a new table, I've got 200 chips in the pot for my big blind. There are a few folds, a guy in middle position makes it 600 to go and the rest fold around to me. I don't want to scare him off but neither will I give him a cheap look at the flop. With my 200 already in there, a pot bet would be 1100. I want him in, but I can't make too easy. I make it 1400 to go, and "Yeehaw!" again, he calls. The flop is rags, all low cards, but I note two diamonds. Hmm. There is 2900 in the pot, he's got 5450 left, I set him all in... he calls.
Our cards are flipped up and sure enough, I have an overpair, he has a flush draw, and not even to the ace high. He called me all in with a flush draw, nearly five to one on turn, 35% total - a bad draw in his position. I'm shocked, but optimistic, the odds are on my side two to one with weird runner-runner included. Turn comes a blank, river makes his flush. I feel like I've been sucker punched.
It isn't the end of the world. I'm no longer happy, but I'm not out of it yet. I'm tilted, but alive, with 5630 in chips.
I tighten up, even more so than normal. I let a few small pairs go by when there are significant raises in front of me. I even folded a suited AJ under the gun. We are down to 41 players when the other shoe finally drops.
I am on the button with bullets, pocket rockets, the best possible starting hand.
Deep breath, don't mess this up, there is so much more to think about than than the average duffer might guess. On the one hand, I've been sucked out on once already (stupid #&$@ flush draw)... On the other, I have Phil Hellmuth's admonition rolling around in the back of my brain, "You aren't here to just make the money, you are here to win." Well, let us see what happens in front of me first, they might make my play obvious.
The blinds are 150-300, there are five callers in front of me. There is 2k+ in the pot now, with the addition of the antes, and I've got just less than 5k. Turns out I really have no choice, I go all in. Who calls? My flush loving buddy from before. What's he got this time? A suited A8, clubs. Friggin moron, he has a 12% chance of winning this. I am both loving and hating life right at this moment. I don't know if this happens in any other sport, but it is a common enough occurrence in poker. I am so far ahead I should be elated, I've seen nastier suck outs before, I am pissed he would even call.
Flop comes Q clubs, 4 hearts and 9 diamonds. His odds are now 6%, to win this hand. He needs runner-runner clubs or runner-runner 8s.
Turn comes an 8. He has a 4.5% chance of winning.
River comes an 8.
I'm out. I just spent $109 and four hours to lose to runner-runner 8s. I just missed, potentially, several thousand dollars. At the very least, I missed getting my money back and then some... to a guy who couldn't figure odds with Super/System a calculator and an hour to work it out...
This is tilt.
I spent the next twenty minutes, fully aware of the nature of the chemicals coursing through my brain, ruining the evenings of the kids at the $.25/$.50 Omaha table. I played every pocket, I went all in three or four out of every ten hands in an orbit. I re-bought three times. Win or lose, I was going nuts until I felt better.
I was in no hurry at all.
As it turned out, I finished up $6.50... including my tournament buy in.
I used the odds calculator at twodimes.net for quick odds reference. I refer to my own write ups where other's are not available. What can I say, not many of us are covering poker.