Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Dangers of a BBJ

Last night I was at Harrah's and the BBJ was up to $120,000 and if it wasn't hit it today, it is much higher than that. It's so enticing to think about hitting that BBJ, getting about 60K (before taxes) if your aces full of queens loses to four of a kind.

But, really, how often does that happen? I've been playing poker for a little while and have logged a ton of table time. I have never had a royal flush and I have never seen a hand in any casino that would have resulted in winning the bad beat jackpot that is established by Harrah's. I am not saying it's not possible, obviously it happens, but to me the reward just isn't enough of the risk.

The dangers are few when the bad beat gets this high. Suddenly the room is packed with cheap skates, who are only going to call you with hands that can be a bad beat hand. You have to be wary of the 5-7 of diamonds calling your preflop raise. Or a bad pocket pair calling your $100 reraise preflop. That has happened. Playing at the Showboat when the bad beat was pretty high, a guy called with me with pocket 10s after I reraised him to $100. I bet the flop, he mucks and shows his tens and says, "i only called for the bad beat."

Of course, in that situation it worked. But that's not always the story. I have seen Kings get beat by 2-3 suited because the person was calling for the bad beat and flopped two pair. People end up playing out of character and that's not even the least of the problems when it comes to bad beats.

The clientele the bad beat brings is horrible. You would think that Harrah's was located next to the Taj Mahal based on the type of people that show up. There are cheaters, cheapos and people who think they know everything about poker.

My problem is that I enjoy playing at Harrahs and the Showboat, so I don't really want to play in a room that doesn't offer the BBJ, and it has nothing to do with the BBJ. I like the atmosphere, the games and - most of the time - the people that come into the rooms. They are usually pleasant with the occasional wigger.

It's not just the way other people play. Last night, as I played for 20 minutes (I really only sat down for 20 minutes) I played two hands that I normally wouldn't play in hopes of hitting something big. It wasn't for the bad beat, at least I thought so. As I think back, I played 5-7 diamonds and 7-8 hearts, in position and for close to the right odds, but not exactly.

I thought about it and decided last night was not the time to be playing. I shouldn't change my game. Although, sometimes I make a play that is out of character only to change my game up. These two calls were neither of those situations. It was me putting money into the pot and then hoping for the best. There was no reason or logic behind either call.

Bad beats are fun if you hit, but not fun while others are just fishing for the big score.

I won't even get on how cheap the players are that come for the bad beat are toward the dealers. But that's a whole different tirade.

(Sorry if there are any spelling or grammatical errors. I'm working while writing this and not really looking at the screen.)

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