I hate bad beat stories. I don't ever tell them, and I very rarely care to hear anyone else's.
So, of course, this is a bad beat story. I made an incredible read, and that read cost me my first fair-sized tournament victory.
Here's the scene:
It's a Saturday night Empire Poker 100+10 limit hold'em tournament with 56 entrants.
I'm at the final table, playing headsup for the victory. I've been playing well all night, making tough laydowns, good bluffs, and catching the occasional lucky card. With 56k in chips on the table, I fought my way back from 3 handed with an extremely short stack to the headsup chip lead.
I am a force to be reckoned with -- I'm just running over people shorthanded. I'm playing brilliantly and I know it. My reads are spot on. I'm normally humble, but I had my A game, and it was the best game at the table.
Blinds are 600/1200. I have 40k and my opponent has 16k. I've fought back up the mountain and destroyed his confidence.
I pick up AK offsuit in the 600 big blind. My opponent raises. I reraise. We then have THIRTEEN MORE RAISES until I just call.
FLOP: 2 10 8 rainbow. There is already 19,200 in the pot. Based on my read of him, he has nothing. Call it intuition, call it pattern recognition, but I put him on nothing. I bet, and there are three raises until I call.
Turn: Q, which puts 2 hearts out on the board. I bet, and there are 4 raises until I call his all in.
My heart is pounding. He flips over KJo. Going into the river, I'm an 85% favorite.
River: 9, filling his gutshot.
My opponent collects the 32k pot, and now has me outchipped 32k to 24k. He continues to catch amazing rivers, and goes on to win the tournament and $550 more than my $1100 2nd place.