Here’s a few hands from an afternoon session at another “big strip casino” I had a few weeks ago.
Perhaps the most interesting one didn’t involve me. Two guys had around $150-$200 behind them, something like that. Pre-flop, there was a raise, a re-raise, a re-raise….well, it actually took the 6th bet before one of them announced “all in.”
Wow, you rarely see that in no limit. After a four-bet, it’s usually all in, if it takes that long. So they both showed before the dealer put the flop out.
They both had Aces.
Huh? How does either one of them not shove a lot earlier than they did? I mean, really? I raise with Aces, someone re-raises me…that’s an easy shove when it gets back to me. You’ve got Aces man, it ain’t gonna get any better than that! If you’re not prepared to get it all in preflop with Aces heads up, you shouldn’t be playing poker, right?
The guy with the Aces next to me actually laughed and commented that he was, I think, “impressed” that there were six bets before the shove. Then he said, “I really thought of only calling that last time.
What did you put the other guy on? Super Aces??? Double Secret Probation Aces????
Whatever, I thought it was weird that it took so long for them to both get it all in. The hand itself was uneventful after that. Neither of them hit a lucky flush and so they got their money back. I just shook my head in disbelief.
Next hand of note did involve me. I called a small raise (as did a bunch of others) with 10/9 of hearts. Nine was the highest card on the flop, giving me top pair. There were 2 diamonds and no hearts. I bet $50, which was about the size of the pot. Only one caller, a guy who had me covered. Gulp. How much do I want to risk with top pair, lousy kicker when top pair is only a 9? I wonder if I should have bet a lot less there?
A queen (non diamond) on the turn slowed me down and we both checked. A King (also non-diamond) on the river didn’t seem to be a reason to bet. But the other guy put out enough money to put me all in if I called. No way I’m risking my stack with a lousy pair of 9’s, so I folded. The guy showed his cards. He had 4/5 diamonds. He only had a flush draw and missed, but had bluffed me off the hand. I was pissed, but figured it was good lesson for me. Hey, that’s poker, you’re supposed to bluff sometime, right? He outplayed me, pure and simple. All I could do is tip my hat to him (except I wasn’t wearing one).
Then there was the last hand of the session. Under the gun guy to my immediate right limped. I look down at pocket Aces. I bet $10, a totally reasonable raise for my position and for this table. It folded back to the limper to my right. He called for an extra $8.
The flop is 10-5-2 rainbow. He checked, I bet $15. He calls.
The turn put a pair of 5’s on the board, he checked again. I bet $40. He calls again. WTF? There’s not a lot of draws out there. He couldn’t have a five, could he? Ace-5 soooted, maybe?
The river is a 4, makes a baby straight possible, but I really couldn’t see that as a strong possibility. He checked again. Hmm……I don’t have a lot of chips left. Maybe around $80. He has me covered. I figured I may as well throw it into the pot and see if I can make a really nice score (if he calls). Or, take my leave if he had me beat.
He insta-calls, which was not good news for me. I show my aces and he turns over…..Jack/5 of clubs. Yeah, I said Jack/Five. But it was soooted!
Seriously, guy, seriously? You called my preflop raise with Jack/5? I don’t give a flying fig that it was soooooted. Jack/5? OK, now if I had had a bunch of callers to my $10 bet before it got back to him, I could see it. Pot odds and all. But with it just being heads up, putting $8 into a $15 pot with that shit? Shirley, you jest.
And how about calling my flop bet with middle pair—and a lousy pair of fives at that?
I couldn’t help myself. I knew I was done for this session, so I softly muttered when I saw his hand, “Jack/five, huh?” I dunno if he heard me, but I’m sure he heard me say this, in my most sarcastic voice possible as I turned away from the table to hit the exit. “Nice hand, sir.” If it wasn't the most insincere "nice hand, sir" in the history of poker, it wasn't for lack of trying.
I couldn’t get that hand out of my mind as I left. I think there might have been steam coming out of my ears. You see, all I could think of was, this wasn’t supposed to happen now that I’m playing No Limit instead of my old 2/4 limit game. I mean, all you hear when you play 2/4 is, “You can never bet anyone off a hand.” And then, “If this was no limit, I could have bet him off that hand.”
Of course, in 2/4, I raise to $4 there and no one who’s already got two bucks invested is going to fold for another two bucks. I’d faint if I ever saw that. But now, he has to put $8 more in there with a terrible hand and only one opponent. Why the hell would he do that?
So….exactly how much am I supposed to bet to get people to lay down Jack/5 (sooooted) preflop when I have pocket rockets? Am I supposed to just shove with them every time, to reduce the possibility of a suck out?
Grrr……it still makes me mad to think about it.
But hey, that’s poker, right? Even No Limit poker, right? Right?