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I got up to Jackson at about 3:15. Two 1/2 games were full and they opened a third at about 3:30 so I was able to sit down in a equal to or greater than everyone else situation which I like.

I knew it was coming. I knew I was overdue for a nightmare session at Jackson after a recent run of reasonable fortune. But that still didn't prepare me for just how miserable it would feel.

I experinced the coldest of cold spells. In 7 hours I never a pocket pair bigger than 88 and that was the biggest of 3 pocket pairs that I got. Had AK twice, both from early pos (blinds) and AQ once again from the blinds. None of them connected in anyway. Had KQ 3 or 4 times and I never chose the right time to call the pre-flop raises I faced with it every time.

First time I had it, pretty early in the session, I was on the button. Still trying to get reads on players so I was playing things pretty tight. There was a raise from EP and a re-raise from mid. pos. Calling one raise with KQ is not one of my favorite moves so it was pretty easy to let it go. The preflop action resulted with one of them all-in, so I got to see cards: EP had AJ, MP had AA - good laydown, until, I watched a KxK flop hit the board. No biggy - right decision, but that was pretty much my story for the night.

About 3 or 4 hours in, a mid age woman sat down. I usually have a pretty good sense when a new player sits down (for some reason especially women) if they have any clue, or if they are just there for fun. My first impression was that she was a seasoned vet who had some moves up her sleeve. She made a small pfr and I decided to call with A9s, prepared to let it go if I didn't get my flush draw. THe flop came AKK. She checked. Hmmmm. I fired $30 at the $40 pot and got a solid player to lay down his AQ (so he said later) and then she just called. When she called, the bells went off in my head that she had AK or even AA or KK and she was just setting me up for a big hit. The turn brought a blank. She checked again and just checked it through. The river was an 8 (which looked like a blank to me) and now she shoved. Stil on my AK or better read, I let it go. She flashed 88 for a rivered boat. I don't know how in the world she called my flop bet with that. but I was immediately able to adjust my read on her: Straight forward, no tricks, little sense, calling station. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to put that read to use as the cold cards prevented me from getting involved too much.

There was a kid at the other end of the table, who had been running bad most of the session, but went on a "do no wrong" tear for the last few hours. I had the honors of starting him on his way with my second KQ, this time suited. I went in from early position and was able to see the flop on a rare non raised pot. Flop came K56 with 2 of my suit. Pretty good flop for me. I bet the pot and chased all but the kid out. He called. Turn was an 8, which looked pretty blanky to me. I fired $40 and he went all-in for another ~$35. I had been hoping he was on a flush draw as well, but I knew immediatley that he hit his straight - he was playing lots of hands, but up to then hadn't been making any big bets without a strong hand. I figured I had a 9 out redraw and way due for a little good luck and cllaed most of my stack. Indeed, he flipped up 74s (I hate suited cards!) River refused to bring me any good fortune and I was down to $25 in chips. I should have just left it was adding up to be one of them nights where nothing would go right, but I decided to fight my negative thoughts and throw some more money at what should have been a very good situation. I pulled out anohter Benjamin and shoved the $25 in chips in my pocket. I was now $260 into the game.

Another memorable time I had KQ (several hours later), I called a PFR again from late pos. Flop came QxT . PFR bettor opened the flop for $4. WTF!? This just stunk of a "I flopped the nuts" bet, but again I was facing a new player and had no idea what his game was, so I raised it to $24 to see what was going on. He raised me back another $20. For some stupid reason, I called; his raise confirmed my "I flopped the nuts read", but for some reason, I wasn't rtrusting my new player reads after the debaucle with the lady a few hours earlier. Before I could get my call in the pot, he went all-in in the dark (~$50) before the turn, further confirming my feeling. The turn brought a blank (I was kind of hoping for a J - I might have called his bet with an open ender) so I let my read stand and I threw my hand away. (He later confirmed that he had QQ, assuming I want to believe him.)

I think I drug about 7 or 8 pots for the whole night. most of them pretty small (no action) and a couple of decent ones. I think I won 2 showdowns. The table was full of sherriffs with no clue so buying pots was not a real option. I did steal a couple small ones, but it was rare when there was no showdown. It seemed like every time I was in a decision making moment, I was against a new player, so I was just scrambling for cover all session long.

If running cold is not bad enough, about half of the good laydown decisions I made, would have resulted in drug pots had I called them all the way to the end. I'll make the same decsions every time, but it is still excrutiating to watch that happen time after time. The flush draws I folded on the turn hit oin the river and the ones I chased wouldn't hit. I'd hit gut shots and 2 outer shots on the river after I folded, but couldn't hit an open ender for the world. Brutal.

And to make matters even worse, the entire session was dominated by the worst hand coming from behind to win. Lady luck was shining on the worst players, making the worst decisions and just punishing any of us who were playing "correctly". Just the way it was. I was able to get pretty good reads on players after a couple of orbits, but never got in any favorable situations to use that info, once I was comfortabale with my recon effort.

My $260 had dwindled to about $35. Not willing to put any more money on the table, I was looking for a reason to get my money in (I seem to have a tourney mentality, even in a cash game, sometimes which I need to fix). I had forgotten about the $25 in my pocket, which may have made a difference in my final hand!

I was in SB with A6s. The kid at the end of the table had been doing a lot of raising and playing late position pretty well. But I knew he ws over playing a lot of hands. He raised to $12 before the flop got cold called by a new fish, that I hadn't "trained" yet (he wasn't aware of my very tight table image) in late pos. I decided I was gonna try to get better with this hand, so I called, planning to go all-in with my last $21 on the flop if I hit any piece of it. I really liked the flop K6T with 2 hearts. I hit bottom pair and had nut flush draw. I shoved. The kid decided to "give me some money" and made it clear that he didn't have a strong hand. (I hate it when people talk out loud about they're hands in a multi way pot.) The late pos player then decided to shove his last $19 on top of my all-in and the kid called. We flipped up. The kid had AQ and the late pos player had K2s. Unbelievable. How he could call a PFR with K2 is terrible and then the fact that he'd risk his last few dollars with no kicker is impossible for me to grasp. I think that he would have gone away if the kid hadn't been so obvious about having a waek hand, so K2 guy figured he had just one player to beat. I was in great shape though: 2 Aces, 2 6s or any heart would ship the pot my way. 14 outs. Turn was a spade giving K2 guy a flush draw. All my outs were still good (kid had A spades). River was the 2 diamonds. Again, the worst hand drug the pot.

I'd had enough. Rapped the table wishing everyone good luck (can't say that it was the most sincere "good luck" I ever said). I found the $25 in my pocket when I was gearing up for the ride home. After scolding myself for being so stupid as to not get those chips into play when I was so short-stacked, tried to make the best of something and figured that it was $25 not lost. So insread of the $260 I thought I left behind, it was only a $235 loss for the session. I just hope it's just an expected short term bump in the road and not the start of another extended bad run.

If that living nightmare wasn't enough em otional torture for me, I awoke from a real poker nightmare a few hours later. the scenario there wasn't playing but while cashing out. I think some of the players in my dream were some of the players that gave me fits during the session. At cashout time, these new players were coming up with all kinds of wierd "chips" to get paid out for. None of these things even looked like poker chips, but for some reason I was confused, trying to remember if I had put these things into play. (They were familliar to me in my dream as something that may have been used as poker chips at some point in my past and had been stuffed awy in a shoebox somewhere.) Why I thought these were chips, I'll never know; the ones that I can recall today: some were white square chips with a yellow border, other were flimsy blue rubbery-plastic peices in all kinds of wierd shapes. Some of them were even 3 dimentional (like Monopoly peices). Very wierd. I finally realized that there was no way these were put into play and tried to tell all these kids that I wasn't giving them money for them. I tried looking for some of the BYOC regulars to back me up, but they had all left and for some reason there was about 15 of these kids all bouncing off the walls and just being rowdy and rude and loud and I was just freaking out. Sure gald I woke up from that one - just wish I could have woke up from the earlier session!
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