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Waiting For A Lucky Streak

Poker player Carmel Petresco of Las Vegas geta a massage during play Sunday, June 26, 2005, at the World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Petresco was one of more than 600 women competing in the first no-limit hold 'em tournament as part of the World Series. The finals of the tournament begin on July 7th. (AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta)
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This report by Ken Adams is part of a series for CBSNews.com chronicling his run at the 2005 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.
The last report I sent you was late Thursday night. Let me catch you up on what has transpired since then.

I did not do particularly well in the $2,500 No Limit Hold'Em tournament on Friday. I picked up very few playable hands during the first hour, and had to throw them away when they did not connect at all with the flop.

When I was dealt the jack-ten of clubs in late position I raised, hoping to pick up the antes (called the blinds, as you will recall). A very aggressive player in the small blind raised me. I thought a bit, and came to the conclusion he was trying to push me off my hand. I had a pretty conservative image at the table, and he undoubtedly thought he could push me around. Well I decided to show him a thing or two about whom he was messing with. I re-raised all in! He called with a smile and turned over a pair of aces. So much for my ability to "read" my opponents.

But wait. After getting my pocket aces cracked repeatedly for three days by lesser starting hands, it was finally my turn to inflict a "bad beat." The flop came ten-four-two with two clubs! I had 14 ways to win – any jack, ten or club would do it.

It was eerily reminiscent of the hand in which my friend Russell Rosenblum was eliminated at the final table of he $10,000 championship event in 2002. He moved all in with the jack-six of diamonds in hopes of stealing the antes. The player in the big blind called with ace-ace. The flop came with a jack and two diamonds and Russell had 14 "outs." Unfortunately none of them came, and he was eliminated.

Well I don't profess to have Russell's talent, but on this particular hand I had more luck. A ten on the river doubled me up.

It felt like the travails of the first 48 hours had finally ended, and I would now get my share of good luck. Actually, all I was hoping for was to avoid getting unlucky. I don't look to put bad beats on other players; I just want to avoid getting outdrawn when I am the favorite.

Poker players are always whining about the bad beats they take. I try not to do that. One of the top poker tournament money winners of all time put it in the best perspective when he claimed that no one suffered more bad beats than him. He said that he never puts his chips in the pot when he is not a favorite. The only time he loses a pot is when someone puts a bad beat on him. So for two days I tried to think like TJ Cloutier, and keep telling myself that if they keep calling me when they have the worst hand, eventually I am going to do great.