Friday, June 29, 2007


Went to the bank. Got my hair cut. Put gas in the car. Air in the tires. Yep yep yep.

I finally made it to the Rio by 3:15 pm. I bought in for tomorrow's tournament.

Then I got on a list for the 2/5 game. It ended up taking around an hour to get seated.

It was alot of the usual stuff: Two pair or sets taking down huge pots from top pair top kicker.

Only two hands worth mentioning. The first one I wasn't involved in.

Tight guy to my left limps. Aggressive guy raises to 20 preflop. I fold. Guy to left calls.

Flop comes queen, queen, jack.

Aggressive guy bets something. Maybe 40. Tight guy calls.

Turn is the third queen.

Aggressive guy bets again. Something like 60.

Tight guy raises. Maybe 120ish.

Aggressive guy calls.

I'm fascinated. They can't both have the queen. And if you are not holding a queen there I'm not sure how you reraise. Or call a reraise. One of them is about to look really dumb.

The aggressive player seems like the better player. So it's hard to imagine him not having the queen and calling that bet.

Yet there's no way the tight player reraises the turn without it. Unless he's so bad that he's holding a pocket pair and thinking he has a full house and completely ignoring the threat of quads. Hey it's all possible.

River comes and aggressive player checks. Tight player bets 150.

Aggressive player is counting out the chips. He's really thinking about the call.

Oh dear. I am shocked. And the fact that he's calling (and not reraising) is damning evidence that he sure doesn't hold the 4th queen.

Aggressive player puts the 150 out there. And turns over pocket jacks. Poor guy flopped the full house and then lost track of all time, space, and dimension when the quads hit.

And of course the tight player turns over the queen.

Ridiculous. It's one thing to hit quads. It's another thing to get paid off on them.

And the real genius here is the tight guy doing the wrong thing at the right time. In this case it was the reraise on the turn. Because once the tight guy reraised on the turn the aggressive player was able to say to himself "There's no way this other guy has quads. Anyone with quads would obviously smooth call the turn and hope I bet again on the river."

I of course would have checked the turn. And then the aggressive guy wouldn't have put another penny in there.

This is such a key poker concept. Disguising your hand. And often that is done by thinking about what a player with your hand would do....and then doing something different. I get myself into trouble doing this. But sometimes I also win huge pots because the other player cannot put me on my hand.

Some young kid then joins the table and tells me "You look like you're good at math."

"That's because I'm wearing my math outfit" I say.

At this point it's my big blind and I have around $900 in front of me.

There are 5 limpers. I look down at pocket aces.

Yep. Here comes the hand I lose every session.

I decide not to joke around and raise it $50. I kind of hate this move. I do it to isolate and not play 6 handed. But I use the word "hate" because I feel like my raising to $50 screams big pair here. And I hate letting my opponent know my cards.

So when the tight guy to my left (from the quads hand) calls I can't say I feel great.

He knows my hand. I don't know his. And he has me covered with over 1k on the table.

Despite his call opening up all sorts of interesting pot odds, everyone else behind him folds.

We're heads up and he has position.

Of course I fully expect my usual paired queens flop.

Instead the dealer at the Rio offers me a 2,6,9 board.

Not so bad looking.

I fire a half pot sized bet of $65.

Tight guy to my left starts counting out chips and shoves $150 out there.

Shit. Damn it. Cracked again.

I calm down. I am probably beat here. This is the same guy who bet his quads on the turn rather than calling. He is not making a move. He thinks he has the best hand.

It's very likely he has pocket 9's and has hit a set. Or pocket 6's.

However he could also have pocket 10's, jacks, queens or kings. And still think he has the best hand on a 9 high board. If I have a hand like ace king he's forcing me to fold.

I have to call $85 if I want to continue to compete for the $345 that's presently out there.

That's over 4 to 1 odds. So if there's at least a 20% chance I'm ahead then calling isn't horrible.

As I'm sitting here deciding what to do that young kid makes another joke to me about how I'm figuring out the math. I give him a big smile as if everything is honky dory and I don't have a worry in the world. And then I toss my $85 out there. I'm hoping this intimidates the guy to my left. Lets see if he fires another bullet on the turn.

Turn is a 10. I quickly check. Shockingly, he checks behind me.

Huh? Is he scared? Maybe he has jacks or queens and fears kings or 10's?

I raised to $50 preflop so he certainly can't be slowing down because I might have 7,8.

Dealer turns over an ace on the river.

Yes he does.

I bet $100 into the 400 plus pot. I actually wish I had gone all in here. Cause making the extra $100 was nice. But the chances of him calling my all in if he has a set are decent. And perhaps the all in would look desperate. Or like I had ace king and finally connected.

However $100 was my bet because I wanted to get called. It was a value bet. It also was small enough to give him the chance to reraise me to something like $300.

But he didn't reraise. He just called. With pocket 9's.

He had me crushed on the flop. And if he bets the turn I probably fold. But he let me back into the hand by checking.

Afterwards everyone at the table was asking him "Why didn't you bet the turn?"

His explanation was that he was being greedy. He figured if he showed weakness on the turn that I'd bet the river and he'd get more money out of me. He was scared I'd fold on the turn if he bet.

Meanwhile if that ace doesn't come on the river I check.

What a gift that pot was.

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