Words from the Wolf
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Tuesday
Mar012011

Bad Luck Bonzer

WARNING: Charlie my fangs are dripping tiger blood Sheen inspired this post! ☻

ODESSA99 hit the jackpot on Monday, February 28 9:51:11 PM CST and received the highest portion, $340,875.15 of the BBJP. The jackpot reached a record high of $1,048,383.80 before ODESSA99 hit it. The entire jackpot was divided among the players at his table as well as any player playing at the same table stakes, the $.50/$1 Limit game. Those players received $150 for each $.50/$1 Limit table that they were playing when the BBJP hit.

Less than an hour before OdessA99 was dealt the bad beat I walked away from the electronic table, exhausted and vowing never to return.  I signed back on at 9:49 p.m. CST to see if it had been hit while I was taking a shower.  It had not been hit yet. I signed off and went to bed. The BBJP hit 2 minutes later.

I had been playing for 18+ hours a day since last Wednesday. I would have received $300 table share for playing on two tables which I was doing for the last hour that I played. But its even worse than that, as I was playing on 4 tables most of the day prior to dropping down to two tables, then dropping out , less than an hour before the JP hit. The payout for playing on four tables would have been $600  for a $380 pay check versus a $220 loss for my work week.

I was dealt 10,200 poker hands over five days.  You would have to play ten hours a day for 34 days to be dealt that many hands in a brick and mortar poker room.  I had four of a kind (quads) twice and one straight flush.  So out of 10,000+ hands, I only looked down at quads .02% of the time.  The mathematical expectation for having quads after playing that many hands is 18 times, at the rate of .18%

I lost $220. To put that in perspective, playing $4/8, my normal table limit, during this chase would have amounted to a $1,760 loss over 34 days of brick and mortar poker room play.  I was able to play 34 days worth of brick and mortar hands because you can multi-table online.  Some pros play up to 20  tables simultaneously online.  I played a maximum of four tables at the same time during the five day chase.

Like working as a criminal investigator,  I had many good years playing poker.  I enjoyed the adventure. I have no regrets. I made a lot of dollars from one and a few from the other.  But just like working at ICE,  the last two years playing poker have not been very profitable.  I can make more money sitting at home!

On the last working day in June 2008, I unexpectedly walked out of the ICE Palace , vowing never to return. I have not set foot there since. I retired from the comfort of my home. As a final FU to John Chakwin, I made ICE officials come to MY house to pick up THEIR shit (government vehicle, radio, raid gear etc).  Retirement is sweet!

Uncle Sam sends me a big check every month. I am living proof that eating shit for over 32 years, does in fact pay off in the end.  I hit the lottery in May 1976 when I began working for the FBI as a $6,000 a year fingerprint clerk.  Poker, which had also been paying me for over ten years quit paying me when I retired in August 2008 for some unknown reason.  Maybe that former Cuban tennis player, turned cocaine smuggling witch put a santeria hex on me after we seized $300,00 from her at U.S. Customs?  She told me that I was going to be cursed but she didnt say it would kick in at the poker table, twenty years later.

My biggest payday from (video) poker, was three royal flushes in 24 hours.  I used that money for Lasik eye surgery.  That was the best $5,000 I ever spent. I went from 20/400 to 20/20 vision on the back of video poker! Being able to see when you wake up each morning without putting on glasses or contacts is the gift that keeps on giving.  There were other smaller purchases along the poker journey including an Omega watch and recently an iPad, the best $500 that I have ever spent!

I started playing video poker with a $2,000 bankroll. I earned that money officiating high school basketball and volleyball.  When thousands of profitable (100.76%) video poker machines in Las Vegas were downgraded to negative expectation pay tables, I decided to switch to Texas Holdem.  Texas Holdem was not popular before 2003. Most casinos in Las Vegas had closed their poker rooms years before.  Casinos began re-opening rooms to meet the demand generated by the WSOP  being televised on ESPN, after I started playing.

I will never forget the first time I bought into a $2 poker game at the Excalibur, which was the most popular low limit poker room in Las Vegas. The Stardust and the Excalibur had the only low limit games in Las Vegas at the time.  

I bought in with $40. I lost that money in less than thirty minutes.  I told my wife that I would never be able to play live poker for a profit.  The game was just too fast for my mediocre math skills.  She encouraged me to study the game, as I had video poker, which was profitable before the pay table downgrades.  I purchased the book, Winning Low Limit Holdem by Lee Jones. I started playing $2/4 limit, $2/6 spread limit (my favorite game), $3/6 limit and eventually went on $4/8 limit and enjoyed a ten years of playing and winning. I went five straight ears , never having a losing trip to Vegas (at the poker table) before last July.

My $2,000 poker bankroll had grown to $8,000 in August 2008, even though I had spent some of the wins on Lasik surgery and an Omega Seamaster.  My first losing year was 2009.  I lost over $3,000 in 2010.  I lost $1,000 in a single week last July at the Orleans, chasing a bad beat jackpot.  I had a record losing day of $600 the next month at Winstar.  I never won more than $320 in a single day in 2010. I had three $500 losing days in 2010. Prior to 2010 I had never lost more than $400 in a single day.  I had many $400+ winning days over the years but none since 2008.

Ironically, my biggest single winning day was in the Excalibur $2-$6 spread game in 2003 after I had studied Lee Jones strategy.  Believe me, I had studied it but I had not learned it well enough to play as well as I do now.  But I had memorized the hands to play and the hands to throw away before the flop.  I started that day at 3:00 a.m. and by sunrise I was down $400.  Then I started winning every hand that I played (I dont play many hands). I turned that $400 loss into my single biggest single day Texas Holdem profit of $640. (I won over $3,000 once in 24 hours playing video poker and had many $1,000 winning days, hitting 15 royal flushes in ten years).

My poker bankroll peaked at $8,000 in 2008 and is down to $4,400 after chasing this bad beat jackpot.  I feel like a loser but in fact, I have more than doubled my bankroll (from $2,000-$4,400). I had a hell of a lot of fun playing poker for over a decade. 

Now I cant see the small numbers, up close, on Omega Seamaster but I can see the numbers on my Omega Ocean purchased with my annual leave retirement check! By the way, I can still see the clock on the wall perfectly thanks to the Lasik.

Its been fun but Im done (for now).  Im a retired from poker now because its no longer fun for me to play. But I will be writing about the game in general and this bad beat chase in particular.  I think most readers except the suits at UB poker will find it interesting.  Who knows?  I may unretire as many times as Brett Farve has when it comes to poker!

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