I was laughing at E-Honda last Friday while I was dealing his $1/$2 NL game and he was playing. He was complaining that he’s always playing Catch-Up when he gets in the game. Get stuck early and spend the rest of the night just trying to break even.

I was laughing ’cause I can relate.

Played at Steve’s aquarium last night and damn near lost my mind. Keenan was there as well and played just as bad, but for a much shorter period of time. I bought in for $150, and just couldn’t win a hand. I was very impatient. Reloaded another $50 to get back to my original buy-in. Dropped down. Finally won a pot, only stuck like $20…

Then I lose a big one. Rebuy.

Rinse. Lather. Repeat (even if not desired).

I blink, I’m stuck $600.

Somewhere in the night I got it all-in on the flop for $200 with a pair and open ended straight draw. Yeah… I had three real outs… to chop. Other guy flopped the nut straight and third guy in the hand had bottom two pair. Nut flopper had us both covered, so it was irrelevant that I made a smaller straight on the river.

Rebuy. Stuck $800.

Flopped the nuts against a “I don’t know how to play post-flop so I just like to go all-in, even when it’s a gross overbet” player. Five players saw the flop for $12. I was bb lead out $30 into $60 on a QT9 two clubs board. Raiser doesn’t flinch, doesn’t think, just bangs his stack in there. I was a little glad he pushed out the flush draws… but jeez.. let ’em put a little money in the pot. He calls out “you have to fold, no pot odds to call on your draw!” Two players behind him deliberate, finally fold. Gets back to me and I calmly say “I’m all-in, too, I call.” Pot is about $120 if he just calls my $30 bet, but I’ve got like $182 behind that, of which he has covered. After I call, he turns over AQ w/ no flush draw. Loosey goosey nice guy calls out, “Trav’s got KJ, he flopped the nuts, dude.” Turn card has AQ drawing dead (not that it was very live on the flop), so I say, “Good read, yeah, nuts.”

At this point I feel as if I’m mounting a comeback.

There’s some old saying about eggs, chickens, and hatching sequences…

Same overbetting player is now on ubertilt. He had been trying to leave for over half an hour now, and that hand against me made him feel oh-so-better about staying. Few hands after colliding with me, he’s UTG+1, and he limps in. Action continues, he says, “Next hand I’ma go all-in in the dark.” Turn card comes off in the current hand, and he’s check-raising and getting his whole stack in the middle. I call across the table, “How are you gonna bang it in the dark if you lose your stack in this hand?”

He takes down the pot. Blind-straddles to $9 UTG. I’m a big fan of the double-the-blind live straddle. $1/$2 blinds, straddle to $4, $8, $16, $32, etc… but I’m not sure how I feel about the live “any amount” straddles. Player two to my right makes it $18. I toss out $40. Folds to ubertilter. I’m not even sure if he looked at his cards, he goes all-in for about $90/$100. $18 guy pouts, finally folds. “I call.” I don’t bother completing the raise, feel it’s bad luck sometimes. If he sucks out, I’ll complete it. River rolls off, I really don’t even remember what he had, but I think he said “I got nothing.” I showed my pocket kings, took his last few chips.

Chickens, Eggs.

Superdave made an omelette out of my eggs. I raised, Pete the banker/bartender called, superdave did a little more than three-bet it. I call, Pete calls. $28 x 3 + blinds in pot = $87. Flop is 7h5d3h. I check, Pete bets $50. Dave is all-in for about $163 / $213… one of those two. I got nut heart draw (and I’m guessing a live Ace). Pete’s got about $300 in front of him at this point, me… roughly $400/$450. I go all-in, hoping to hit.

I don’t hit. Dave’s kings hold up. My stack is back down around $200, maybe a little lower.

Somewhere in the midst of this madness, I added on one more $100, for a total of $900 stuck.

It’s about 2:00 AM when Dave’s Kings hold up, and I’m beginning to feel like I might have to take a loss. Somehow, over the course of the ensuing three hours, I went on a sick rush.

Remaining players were JesseY, Andrew “the Tattooed Tight Guy”, Steve, Myself, Pete, and Superdave. Maybe one more, but not that I can remember. Short-handed, end-of-session is when I usually capitalize.

I limped Qd8d. Five of us see the flop. Td7dXx. Gutshot and flush draw, cool. JesseY called my $7 bet. Turn was a black nine. I bet like $15 into $24, JesseY took it up to $45. I call. River, J of non-diamond. I now have 89TJQ, when any eight makes a Jack-high straight. Grabbed my red chips and pushed ’em in the pot as soon as that river came off, tried to make it look like a bluff. JesseY called the $105. He turned the nut J high straight with J8, but the river killed him.

Few hands later I catch aces. Few hands later I make two pair.

And then the evener.

Ah! How could I forget! When I rattled off the players, I forgot to mention Pops! He was on my right. I raised my button, four of us see the flop. Pops bet $30 into ~$33 pot when flop was a red Q, 9 spades, and another small spade. I took it up to $75. Folds to Pops… and I’m not sure what I want him to do. He’s confused as well. He hems and haws and I really couldn’t tell if it was Hollywood or genuine. He calls. Pot is now roughly $180. Turn card is a non-spade 7. Overall board is like Q947, two spades. He checks. I’m confused. I’m not giving him a free card, but the last thing I want to do is bet when I’m destroyed, and should be taking the free card myself. I bet $90. He hems and haws some more! He finally says “What, do you got Kings? I’m All-In.” His raise was not a small one. I bet the $90 and had maybe $300 behind it, barely covering him.

Against many other players, if they call out my hand, I’m pretty quick to fold, ’cause many would do that so the other play can say “YES! I DO HAVE KINGS!” and they can say, “Good, I can beat that…”

I was a little worried Pops was doing that to me, but it’s generally not in his nature. I wince-called. He turned over AQ, no flush draw. Five outer didn’t come on the river, and I answered his question.

It’s about 4:15 AM, and I’m stuck $900…

But after that hand, I started counting up my chips. Four $125 stacks of Red, a $250 stack of blue… couple of green chips.

I had all but like $20 or $40 of my buy-in on the table.

Game finally broke around 4:30/5:00, and I had lost $20.

This game is sick.

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