A Suckout Story (Annotated)
Here's an annotated version of my last post for my dumb friends Heff and Uncle Bull.
I played in my fifth $1 + .20 (I had to pay $1.20 total to play) MTT (Multi-Table Tournament)on Pokerstars tonight. I was in the groove, playing the cards right, and being agressive when I needed to be. I made the final table. (MTT had 45 people it, final table means I was in the top 9) There were still 9 of us left when I was dealt A4c. (The two cards dealt to me were an Ace and a Four of Clubs.) I called a small raise in late position (a person ahead of me raised it to 800 total, which is above the 400 that I normally would have had to put into the pot to continue playing) and the flop had two clubs. (The flop is the 3 community cards dealt in the middle of the table after the first round of betting. Two clubs in the flop gave me four clubs, which is only one club shy of having a flush, which is a very strong hand in Hold'em Poker) A smaller stack (someone who had less chips than me) pushed in (went "All In", putting all their remaining chips in the pot) ahead of me and a larger stack did the same. I thought about it a bit. Two cards to come and about a 1 in 3 chance to draw the nut flush. I called. (Two more community cards still had to be dealt. I needed one of those to be a club to give an almost unbeatable hand. There were 9 clubs still left out there somewhere, so I could estimate my chances roughly by multiplying 9 * 4 = 36% chance of getting one of those clubs with the two remaining cards to come. A nut flush means I would have the best flush possible since I had the Ace. I "called" the bet by pushing all of my remaining chips in, meaning the guy with more chips wasn't technically "All In" anymore.)
Small stack had nothing. Bigger stack had 3 nines. (Three of kind, which is a pretty strong hand.)
The turn was the club I needed. (The turn is what the 4th community card is commonly called.)
Yes! I pumped my fist in the air.
The river (the fifth community card) paired one of the other cards on the board, giving the bigger stack a full house. (So he had 3 nines and another pair on the board.)
Out in 8th place.
Yes, one position out of the money. (The top seven got at least some reward for playing.)
I told myself when I made the final table night that I'd play really tight until I made the money. I'd still make the same call given the same chance, though. I knew the bigger hand liked to bet big with dubious cards. I had already put a note on him about it. Not a lot you can do when your nut flush gets busted on the river by a boat except swim to shore and wait for the next tournament. (Conventional wisdom in poker says to play really conservatively when you start the final table, letting other people bust out first to make sure you get into the money.)
(The term "suckout" refers to the situation where someone is virtually beat in a hand, but draws a very unlikely card to beat you. In this case there were only about 7 cards in the deck that would help the other guy after the Turn card, so he had about a 14% chance to beat me on the River.)