Top Five Most Annoying Suckouts in Online Poker
As I sit here still simmering after losing with AKo after getting it all-in preflop versus KQo AND 42 suited (42 was tilting after a bad beat and the KQ called off 85% of their stack after the 42 raised and I re-raised all-in) and losing to BOTH hands in a pot that would have propelled me into the top 10 in chips, I decided to do a quick review of the most annoying pre-flop suckouts that I frequently observe in online Poker. Tell me if these look the least bit familiar to you:
5. The Short Stack Loses with Anything, Big Stack Wins with Anything
The first half of this annoyance is the case of the short stack always losing against a much larger stack, regardless of their starting hand. For example, a player with 900 chips picks up AA and moves all-in in early position. Everyone folds around to the Big Blind who calls with K7o, probably because he has a stack of 8000 and it just doesn’t hurt him that much. Flop is KK7 or 977 and the Aces don’t catch up. However, the only person that usually complains is the victim of the brutal suckout, because the other players actually benefit from their misfortune. Someone types “ouch” or even more annoyingly “nh” or “I folded a 7”.
The second half is probably more easily recognized by the table. Apparently the algorithm in place at your favorite online poker site has randomly selected an unknown player at your table who shall be invincible to any hand they face. You shove with AA and they call with 83o and send you to the rail. You put them all-in on the turn where they need to hit a one-outer to survive and they drop the hammer on you at the river. For whatever reason, they are calling with anything and winning everything. Rigged? No. Poker enthusiasts have a name for these disappointing streaks of bad luck. It’s called variance. More on that.
4. The Dominated Hand Catches
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve raised or re-raised my opponent all-in with AK and feeling very good about my chances when they flip up a poorly played KQ for all of their chips. They are drawing very slim, as my hand has a shared card and a higher side card. That is, until the turn or river brings one of three outs to save the day for the trailing hand and send my thoughts to chip-spewing mayhem.
This unfortunate situation is bound to occur from time to time, but I’m not sure I can feel particularly comfortable with my supposed advantage when leading over a dominated hand when it happens 15-straight times to an array of different opponents…over the course of 1 hour. I know, I know. Variance.
3. The Smaller Pocket Pair Flops a Set
Another amusing happening that typically waits until much later in the tournament, mostly after 2 1/2 hours of hard work have already been logged, is the blissful moment when you once again are the beneficiary of an overplayed pair of 6’s which have fortunately (for you) run smack dab into your steely Pocket Aces. Lock it down, you think. The board thinks otherwise, and it peels out one of the two cards left in the great big deck of random cards to crush your chip-accumulating chances.
Once again, this is bound to happen from time to time. Variance. But you’ll sometimes see this an unbelievable amount of times in an hour on any given day. Playing multiple tournaments at once? Watch the carnage as players flutter out of your tables after having their foes drawing nearly dead…and just hope it doesn’t happen to you. And when it does, just repeat to yourself with an all-knowing smile: It’s just variance, and then glibly sip a toasty cup of your favorite beverage and go about your day, chanting Variancccccccccce.
2. Flopped Flush loses to Single Card Flush (or bigger flopped flush)
So you have a big stack and you’re doing your laggy best (as we all do) by raising pre-flop with hands like 97 of hearts and so forth. You get a flat call from the player on the button and the flop comes out A-6-2 ALL HEARTS. Sah-weet. You bet out with your monster hand, only to face a swelteringly big bet from your opponent. You put them all-in and lo-and-behold they call you with KQ with the King of hearts. Ha Ha Haaaaaaooooo ****. A fourth heart on the turn? Can you make a straight flush? No? I guess you lose then.
Another happy moment is when you have the same situation as before but they just call your bet and the turn actually comes an off-suit club. You bet again but this time you’re raised. Action ensues and you eventually turn up your flopped flush, only to see that their 10-3 OF HEARTS had you all the way. And yes, they did call off 20% of their stack in order to put themselves into position to crush your feeble play. Variance, son.
1. The One-Two Elimination Punch
And then the coo-de-graw (or however you spell it) of all frustrations. Let me set it up for you, because I’m sure you’ll have seen AND experienced this many, many times. You take one of the horrifying beats I’ve just described. Easy to explain, right? Variance. O. K. But what happens then? A mood-saving pair of Kings pops up onto your screen, a gift to rectify this uncalled for abuse you’ve so recently been forced to endure. You think to yourself, “I can bet and overplay these things because the entire table is putting me on tilt. I’m going to get all the action I can handle. Bwah-ha-ha.” So you make your ridiculous shove in the Small Blind and are insta-called by the big stack who flips up 85o. Boom. So slide the chips to….them. 885 flop. Ouch.
What you’ve just experienced is something I call the one-two punch. Watch for it, it’s out there and it’s going to happen to both you and your opponents soon enough. Is it the Poker gods punishing you for calling off all your chips with AJo early in a tournament? No. Is it the devious online poker site you so dearly cherish performing a sweep-and-clear of your now shortened stack in order to move the tournament along at the breakneck speed needed to finish a 3000+ player tournament in only 4 hours start to finish? No. We know what it is. I don’t even need to say it.
But I will…
IT’S JUST VARIANCE!
*editors note: James does not like variance. at all. but he now feels slightly better. apparently it was just “mood variance”. MOOD VARIANCE!