Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Canary in the Coalmine?

Wheeeee!!!!Had a fairly rocky session this afternoon, but overall the month continues to be profitable. Was two-tabling over on Absolute Poker for awhile. When one of my $1.00/$2.00 6-max limit tables started to break up, I hunted around for another and saw one with two players seated. I opened up the table and eavesdropped for a few hands, noticing that one player -- let’s call him ArmaggedonMan -- was doing what appeared to be an inordinate amount of raising. Indeed, every pot in this heads-up battle seemed to be at least $20 (ten big bets).

Finally I saw ArmaggedonMan show down a jack-high hand (with two queens and an ace on the board). I grabbed a seat faster than Chuck Norris.

(For those unaware, Chuck Norris is so fast he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head. Learn more over at Chuck Norris Facts.)

The table soon filled up and I marvelled at how ArmaggedonMan continued to raise each and every time the action was on him. By the time I got there, his original $50 had dwindled to $29.12. He was getting so much action, though, that when he did hit a few hands he got paid royally. Pretty soon -- I mean within a dozen hands -- he was up around $80. He rammed a pocket pair of deuces through a Q4J35 board to take another medium-sized pot. I tangled with him a couple of times, losing both times. Then I ended up seeing a flop with him and two other players. I had As4s, and had to call three bets to get to the flop which came 3sAc7d. ArmageddonMan bet from early position, I called, and a third player called. The turn was the 5s and ArmageddonMan bet again. With my top pair, nut flush draw, and gutshot straight draw, I decided this time to raise. The third player got out of the way, and the two of us ended up capping it. The river was a much-appreciated 9s. ArmageddonMan check-called, and I took the $33.00 pot.

What did he have? KdJh.

Finally his stack started to dwindle again, and before long he was felted. But wait! Reload! ArmaggedonMan has $50 more! Again he comes with the crazy preflop, flop, and turn raises -- usually followed by a river call and the toss of his cards into the muck. I’ve played with crazies like ArmaggedonMan before, but something told me this was different. Whenever I’d previously encountered this kind of player, the gear-shift downward would usually come eventually, after which the crazy would wait for real hands and enjoy increased action as a result of his maniacal image. But ArmaggedonMan . . . he just kept going. Calling off $20 a hand with no pair, no draw. Highly enjoyable. But a little eerie, as well.

After about 60 hands of this, someone at the table finally couldn’t help himself and began commenting on what was happening. ArmaggedonMan had just won a $27 pot with A8 when he spiked an ace on the river to beat his opponent’s pocket tens. “OMG,” typed the loser. “You won!” “He can’t lose every hand,” typed another. “That’s impossible.” The loser continued, berating ArmaggedonMan for playing “any two.”

I knew once the chat started up that the carnival would be over soon. Indeed, a couple more orbits and ArmaggedonMan had fled.

Once he had reloaded for the third time, I started wondering if perhaps what I was witnessing might not be unrelated to Neteller having pulled out last week. I checked and ArmaggedonMan did appear to have listed an American city as his hometown. Was this his alternative -- albeit improvident -- method of removing the funds from his account? Here are his final stats for the session (click to enlarge) . . . you tell me if this is someone in his right mind:

And you thought you were a donkey . . .

What he lost in those 76 hands nearly equals what I’m currently nursing there in my Absolute account! Could’ve been a high roller, I suppose, just donking off chump change for some weird kick. Unlikely, though. Should we read ArmaggedonMan's disturbing session as the equivalent of watching a canary be overcome by toxic fumes in the coalmine, advance notice for all of us that this baby is about to blow . . . ?

Personally, I prefer to interpret ArmaggedonMan’s behavior as a self-immolation-style protest, perhaps timed to coincide with tonight’s State of the Union address.

Godspeed, ArmaggedonMan!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a juicy fish!
At first glance it does seem like a higher stakes player dropping levels to donk his tilt away..
But maybe there is a darker reason for his play - I hope you added him to your 'buddy list' so that you can ask him one day :-)

1/24/2007 8:20 AM  

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