I would say that I’m not looking for sympathy when I post bad beat hands like this; I only seek understanding. How is it that I get in “good” and time and time again see the hand go south?
I think the rest of your analysis/advice is well considered and well-said, so not a lot of need to respond to it. I hear it, and I agree. I posted this hand not because I wanted sympathy, but because I was pretty split as to whether the shove was good or not, and I wanted to get some perspectives and consensus.
Outcome aside, I agree – at the time I felt like my opponent’s range should crush A8o, and I was surprised/relieved to see I had his Ace dominated when we flipped up. I only feared him hitting a flush board or his bottom card, and sure enough he hit his bottom card. Whoops, just my luck, once again. Oh well. I was very close to folding this hand preflop, too, but given the SBR and the rising blinds, I felt like I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to wait for something better, even though it wasn’t a premium hand to die on.
This thread started out about that hand specifically, but has taken a turn to talk about my tendency to tilt after bad beats. So I just had a game where I think it illustrates that this is perhaps somewhat overstated, and I’ll talk about it here.
First, yes, I absolutely do rage-tilt way too much. But it’s not predicated on a single bad hand. It’s usually 3-4 game-ending hands in a row where I had my opponent’s hole cards badly dominated and they somehow sucked out. Or when I get someone down to their last couple hundred and can’t put them away, and they come back and win it from me after I had dominated them for 20-25 minutes, by winning 2-3 hands in a row once the blinds had gotten big enough that it meant a lot of the chips were going in the middle.
Anyway, the hand in question. I woke up this morning around 4:30am after sleeping for maybe 2 hours, waking up from a bad dream. I check the lobby and see a guy sitting at a HU SNG 25k, so I jump in and we get going.
I don’t have history with this player, and I’m not too sure of myself, but he seems to be pretty good at winning hands and also at getting me to fold. I managed to get up over him, though, and had a 4k:1k stack advantage when this hand occurred:
Hand # 624625322 – I’m on the button with about 4k, V is in the BB with 1k. I’m holding QTs, and raise to 2BB, to 60. V raises to 210, I call. Flop is 44T, giving me top pair, but a worry about the pair of 4s. I don’t put V on a random 4, so when they shove, I read it as a bluff, and I call. V flips up A9s, they’re bluffing air, and I have them. Except they river an Ace, and I don’t have them anymore.
If I’d been in the midst of a 4-game string of games that all ended in such fashion, I’d probably get increasingly tilted. Here, though, I take it in stride. I absorb the loss, now I’m about 3:2 over him in stacks, so I still have the advantage, I just need to keep my cool and go to work.
I still don’t really know what I’m doing against this guy, I just try to play as best I can and hope that I have a good read on his line post-flop.
I hit bottom pair, 44s with 54s, and it holds up, I win 180 chips. I get KK the next hand, V folds the SB to me and I lose the opportunity to win a worthy pot. I get A6o and raise small, he re-raises from 80 to 540, and I honestly don’t know if he’s just playing weak raises like this for steals, or if he really has something, so I give it up. The next hand I get pocket 22s and shove it; he folds.
The next hand, I get 85o and pair the 5 for middle pair, neither of us puts in anything after the flop, and I win 80 chips. So the mood or tone from one hand to the next is all over the place – one hand we’re super aggressive, the next we’re afraid to put in a chip. I raise A7o, he folds, I get Q6s, and flop middle pair, 66s, check the flop, and he pots it at me. I check the Turn and he pots it again, and I call, probably a bad move. On the river, I shove, and he folds. The board ran out 36J78, so I guess I convinced him that I hit a straight, and maybe it got him to lay down top pair; if so, good. Or maybe he just had nothing and was trying to bluff me with strong bets from position. Either way, it’s the Play of the Game for me: Hand #624625842.
Now I’m back up again to that same 4:1 stack advantage where I was at when I lost the Tens and Fours to a river Ace.
I fold the next several hands: Q3o, 64s to a big raise, 75o, 83o, 62o. I get K9o and raise, he folds. A7o, I call a 2BB raise, and pair the Ace on the turn after a no-action flop, bet it, and take 160 chips. Stacks still at 4:1.
I raise T9o 2BB, and he re-raises to 357, I fold. I get T9s, and he raises 3BB to 120, this time I call; I flop a straight, 7-J, and check it; he shoves A2, pairs the Ace on the turn, but it does him no good at all, he’s drawing dead and I win the hand and the game.
Apart from shoving the 22 there, I don’t think I did anything particularly risky. I think calling with QT for top pair, TT44Q against a shove of the size that he had shoved is probably mandatory, and I would have been pretty unsurprised if he’d done that with a hand like A4s making Trips, Nut kicker. To get beat on the river with his Ace was slightly annoying, and not getting any action whatsoever when I had pocket KKings was too, but I didn’t let it upset me, I just played on and got to a situation where calling the shove was virtually a guaranteed no-lose proposition, got the shove, and took the win that he handed to me.
I don’t know that it means I played especially well, or that I learned anything; but I had a good game, I enjoyed it, and the outcome wasn’t bad, either.