the poker chronicles: f**king runner-runner ...

everyone has suffered bad beats while playing texas hold'em. and even though they suck ass, i believe we secretly love them. in fact, i'm convinced bad beats are the reason we all enjoy and continue to play this great game of poker. they're heartbreaking to one player yet lifesaving to the other. unimaginable to one yet very plausible to the other. the sigh of defeat vs. the "whoop-whoop" of triumph. jumps of joy vs. jumping out the window. bad beats make you go home cursing the gods (or in saran's case, the horses), swearing you'll never play again, only to wake up with a deck in your hand, a smile on your face, and an urge to say, “i’m all-in bitches”. bad beats, my friend, are the lifeblood of hold’em.

now the mother of all bad beats is the "runner-runner", otherwise known as the "f**king runner-runner". while regular bad beats sting (like when kings beat aces), the runner-runner will pour salt, lime juice, pepper, and tabasco sauce on your wounds and rub them w/ sandpaper. ouch. believe me, nothing hurts more than when your DOMINATING hand becomes even more DOMINATING after the flop, but still loses because of some retarded, probability-defying, two-card combination known as the "F**KING RUNNER-RUNNER". oh it hurts.

recently, i witnessed (and was on the non-ass end of) one of the worst runner-runner bad beats i can remember. on the fourth of july, joe, ranjit, joanne, and i got together for a "friendly" (i.e. it didn't count as an official season game) game of NL hold'em. it got down to heads-up with me vs. joanne. the following was our final hand:

(photo courtesy of joanne pons)

i held A9 off while joanne had Q2 of hearts. she raised preflop, and with an approximate 3-1 chip lead, i seriously contemplated putting her all-in. i decided to just call. the flop came A-4-3, all hearts!! i liked my top pair w/ decent kicker until joanne announced "i'm all-in". i felt like i was probably beat, but not by much. maybe she had an ace w/ a better kicker? with her chip stack, i had to call. when she flipped over her made flush, i knew it was over. i was drawing dead right? i almost started collecting the cards, when i said, "it's over ... well, unless i get a full house." and you know the rest. the 9 comes on the turn. and the beautiful ace appears on the river. runner-runner bitches.


(to help sooth some of the pain, joanne did go on to win "friendly" game #2.)

***** season 1 update *****

win leaders:
joe - 9
saran, joanne - 8
'new' jamie - 7
rich - 5
sky - 3

after returning from their trip to thailand (where btw, saran desperately fed lettuce to horses, which apparently brings good luck. nice try saran. you'll need more than just luck.), sky and saran hosted the potential final game of season 1. the players were sky, saran, joe, rich, joanne, and myself. let me just say, it was one of the most intense, entertaining, well-played games of the season. the game lasted 3 hours. strong play. excellent bluffs. 4 pocket aces. f**king runner-runners. i think everyone had the chip lead at one point of the night (although after being knocked out, joe constantly insisted that we were playing with "his" chips). after a long grueling 3-way fight between joanne, saran, and i, it came down to heads-up between me and saran. after several lead changes (with me doubling up saran 3 times), i finally won when my AK held up against his K9. that gave me victory #8, and 3 out of the last 4 as "new" jamie.

and season 1 continues ...