Winning then Losing

Tests of patience on the low-stakes Vegas grind

by , Oct 15, 2011 | 5:27 am

Hey, at least the Lions are winning.

We had high hopes coming into the 2011 football season but to see them run out to a beautiful 4-0 start is outstanding. And the Tigers are up too! As I write this they currently hold a 2-1 series advantage over the Yankees after stealing home field advantage in NYC. One more win and they advance to the next playoff round. Life is good these days for my hometown teams.

Little did I know that the hole would only grow bigger and deeper as the day went on, culminating with me somehow losing with KQ vs 55 after c-betting a K-6-4 flop. I booked a 4-figure loss and called it a day.

As for me, I find myself in a nice little losing streak. Four straight sessions of posting a loss has me feeling not so outstanding. I’ve been playing for about a week and a half since the end of my two-month break and even though my returning session at Red Rock didn’t go so swell, I was able to shake it off and recoup the loss pretty quickly. I put in a two-session day, booking a win at the 1/3NL game at the Palms followed by a small win in a short Bellagio 2/5NL session. In between sessions I drove out to Summerlin to root on my girlfriend as she ran a 10k race. (That’s kilometers, not thousands, for you lazy gambling degens.) The next day I went back to the Palms and won a little more than two buyins in the 1/3 game.

With my confidence back and really feeling excited to be rounding the Vegas cardrooms again, I made my way to the Bellagio and jumped in a 2/5 game. The table makeup seemed to be what I expected for a Monday afternoon game, consisting of some older gentlemen, your standard well-dressed Euro tourist, and maybe one or two decent youngish players. I was dealt into my 2nd hand when one such youngish player put a straddle on and it somehow folded all the way around to me in the small blind. I looked down at AdKs and raised it to $35. The straddler called.

Flop: Qd-Jd-8h

It’s a super wet board that my opponent could have connected with in myriad ways. I c-bet $45, though, because A) I have equity against lots of hands, B) I don’t want to give up the lead and allow my opponent to take the pot with a worse hand when I also get some better hands to fold, and C) I don’t want my hand to be face-up. My opponent calls.

Turn: 8d

It’s unlikely that this card helped either of us, and since I have the lead and additional equity with the nut flush draw, I bet $85. My opponent calls. At this point he seems most likely to have some sort of pair/combo draw hand, and I’m unlikely to have the best hand at this point. But I have several options available going into the river.

River: Ac

This looks like a good card to me as I assumed it unlikely my opponent would be drawing to a straight on a 3-flush and paired board. I’m beating most pair/combo hands and I can go for value, hoping my opponent views me as betting a scare card. I bet $105 and my opponent calls rather quick. I show and he goes to do the same, which is never a good sign, and reveals the AsJs. His flop call is standard and he made a good call on the turn, knowing what I knew regarding the 8 being unlikely to change anything.

So while we both played the hand well and it was relatively standard, that put me in a hole right off the bat. Little did I know that the hole would only grow bigger and deeper as the day went on, culminating with me somehow losing with KQ vs 55 after c-betting a K-6-4 flop. I booked a 4-figure loss and called it a day.

I was able to put in three wins out of my next four sessions, stepping back down to $1/2NL and $1/3NL to lick my wounds for a while. I think it’s important to not feel like I have to immediately win back what I lost in a particular session, especially as I’m still finding my groove again. I put in a long session at the Pokerati PLO/NL game — damn it was good to see 4 cards again — and though I was stuck early, I grinded out a modest win. I followed that day up with another win at the Palms, but that would be the last of my winning ways for the next 4 days. Tonight I even discovered a way to lose after getting all-in on a Qc8s2s flop with 22 vs KcQs.

I’m heading to Michigan this weekend for a college friend’s wedding and am really looking forward to getting out of Vegas for a long weekend. Hopefully I’ll be watching the Detroit teams continue their winning ways with my hometown compadres. You know what else I’m looking forward to? When the days of this Full Tilt drama are behind us and I can possibly picture someone finding this blog interesting instead of salivating in anticipation over the next bullshit press release.


Andrew Neeme is a low-stakes grinder in Vegas, trying to live a good life with poker. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewNeeme.


4 Comments to “Winning then Losing”


  1. Hemmacuda
    says:

    Sorry to see the downswong continue. Love the blog.


  2. Hemmacuda
    says:

    Sorry to see the downswong continue. Love the blog.


  3. Hemmacuda
    says:

    Sorry to see the downswong continue. Love the blog.


  4. Jerry Morrell
    says:

    I know how you feel.  I am currently in the middle of my biggest downswing ever, so this article hit home for me.  I play 20/40 limit poker but I’m sure we are experiencing similar feelings.  From my experience with downswings, you just have to ride them out and keep playing good poker.  If you feel tilted, leave.  This can be difficult at times, but trust me, it will save you money.  Good luck in the future.  Hopefully we can both pull out of the slump and dodge some rivers.