3pips   COLD DECKED (8/7/11)

 Cold Decked

I think of a cold-deck as being one where the cards are ordered so that you're predestined to lose the maximum.  I met the granddaddy cold-deck yesterday and was on the losing side.  Still, I got a good laugh out of it, as I was having a winning session at the Borgata and the table was only a $10/$20 limit game.

Here's the amazing confluence that produced my incredible loss in a hand that I'd usually consider garbage, King 4 of clubs.

The Setup: I'd just played the big blind from the table's six-seat, when the nine-seat picks up, and a fellow named Rich says he's moving from the ten-seat into the nine-seat. I really want to play after Rich, as he keeps smooth-calling pre-flop two bets (mine included, as he's playing behind me), with terrible / unpredictable cards.  This brings in many other callers; the let's-play-a-big-pot crew. Rich's action after me has been undermining my play (which favors premium hands). Against 5 players (their win-chances combined), even suited Ace-King type of hands are a serious underdog.

I move to the ten-seat, so I can raise after Rich, when I'm playing high value starting hands. This way, I'll have better control of position and how many players enter those pots.  Having moved as the small blind, I already have $5 posted, when the next hand's action comes to me. Two players - the eight-seat and predictably Rich (now seated in the nine) - have already called $10, so I complete for another $5 and come into the pot with my hand, King 4 of clubs.

There are 2 more smooth callers, when the action comes back to Pete in the big blind. He raises. I give him a big hand but am 'priced in,' so I call his $10 raise - as does everyone.  The flop is the Ace of clubs, 9 of clubs and 2 of diamonds. Pete bets out.  I call - with the nut flush draw. The button raises and Pete calls. I again call.  The turn is the King of hearts. The action is checked to the button, who foolishly doesn't take the free card.  When he bets, Pete instantly raises. Given what's already in the multi-way pot, and still holding the nut draw (and a clearly trailing pair of Kings), I reluctantly make the $40 call.

The river is my worst card, the King of spades.

Pete bets out. I actually whisper to the dealer 'crying-call,' as I throw away another $20. There's a small chance my trip Kings will win, if Pete holds a hand like suited Ace Queen (which he might've raised pre-flop).
Pete opens pocket Aces, and wins with Aces Full.

Ouch! $95 more lost than my initial $5 small blind post. And, there wasn't a point in the hand where I could correctly fold.

Still, I've gotta laugh at the Sting-like scenario, which resulted in my being cold-decked.

- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross