Could I Have Gotten Away From this Hand?

Last nite, at BSC, I had a hand that I can't stop thinking about.  I dunno if I played it badly or not.  Did I blow it or did I just get unlucky?  In one sense, I actually got a bit lucky that it didn't cost me more.  This is the not the first session I've had this trip that's worth blogging about, but it is really fresh in my mind and is really sticking with me, so I'll cover it first.

After my $200 buy-in had slowly dwindled to just under $100 left, I started coming back, winning a  few smallish to mid-size pots that put be back in the black.  I guess I had about $240-$250 in front of me, and was getting near the end of the session, hoping to get some more but more or less satisfied with leaving a bit ahead after being down earlier.

Sitting in Seat 9 (it is 9 handed), I was the small blind and had pocket Aces.  Four people limped in before me, so I made it $16.  At the risk of giving away my play, lately when I raise preflop, I use a standard raise of $8 (regardless of my hand) unless the table is radically different than "normal."  Then I add $2 for each limper before me.  So that's how I got to $16.
The table had been pretty tight, and a lot of preflop raises went uncalled.  One woman was complaining about not getting her raises called and actually started raising to only $4 or $5 to get action.

In other words, I thought there was a really good chance I'd take the pot down right there.  When I raised, I was more concerned with that than with getting a ton of callers.  However, the Big Blind called, the player under-the-gun called, and one person in late position called.  Gulp.  I didn't really want to play my Aces against three players.  I was surprised and not happy. 

According to the odds calculator at--where else?--Ante Up Magazine, you're only a 64% favorite to beat three players preflop with a couple of Aces.  Heads up you're a 85% favorite.

So the pot was over $60 and the flop came Queen high, two spades (the Queen was the non-spade).  I doubled checked and indeed one of my Aces was the spade.  I led out with a bet of $40, about 2/3's the pot.  Big blind folded but UTG put out a min raise to $80.   Hmm.

He was the newest player at the table, unfortunately, and the only one I didn't have a read on.  He had bought in for $300 and I hadn't noticed him in many hands at this point.  But he apparently had won a nice pot when I was away from the table using the restroom, as he now had at least $400 in front of him, so he had me well covered.  It was unfortunate that I hadn't seen that hand where he'd gotten those extra chips.  Just from the way he had handled himself when he got to the table, I had a feeling he wasn't a particularly experienced player, but that was more a gut feeling than anything else.

It folded back to me and I called.  I guess of all my decisions, this is the one I'm thinking about the most.  Should I have folded there?  Was he just luring me in with the min raise?  Should I have put him on the flush draw and shoved to make him fold or make him get his money in bad?  Should I have made a pot sized bet in the first place instead of the 2/3's bet?  I thought the most likely hand he had was a pair.  Of course I could be behind to a set or a lucky two pair (the two spades were 10/6, so it would have been a bad call of my raise to have two pair--but a set of 6's or 10's was certainly a possibility).

With the pot close to $200 I decided to call.  At the time, the only other option I strongly considered was coming over the top, most likely a shove.  but I just called.

The next card was the 8 of clubs.  I wasn't worried about a crazy straight, but the flush was still out there and now I had no chance for my Ace of spades to make a four card flush.  I checked.

New guy bet out $50.  Fifty?  Into a pot that big?  When we'd both put $80 into the pot the previous street?  Now I was totally confused.  Was this guy a really, really good player setting a trap?  Or was he just a bad player?  For the size of the pot, it was an easy call, and I wasn't confident enough about my hand to shove.

The river was the 9 of spades.  Again, the straight didn't really concern me but of course I was concerned about the flush.  I checked.  BB tanked for awhile.  Then he asked to see my stack, to see how much I had behind.  Gulp.  Clearly he was going to put me all in.  For the size of the pot, I'd be getting nearly 4 to 1, so I was probably pot committed there.  I think I would have called if he had bet.  I couldn't dismiss the possibility he was overplaying top pair.  Not for 4 to 1. 

But after thinking about it for a few more moments, he checked  I was relieved, and assumed briefly if he had checked, my Aces were good.

Nope.  After I showed my rockets he flipped over Queen/Jack of spades for the flush.  He had flopped top pair with the flush draw, a very good hand.  He took down a nice pot that cost me $146.  I was in shock.  No, not from the flush, I certainly feared that.  I was shocked he hadn't made a value bet on the river.  I even said to the dealer, "Why didn't he bet there?"  I wasn't complaining, believe me.  Just surprised.  With no pair on the board, I guess he was concerned I had a bigger flush.  Yeah, I could have raised preflop with AK of spades.  Or a smaller suited Ace and raised pre trying to steal all the limpers' money.

I was both upset and relieved at the same time  As grateful as I was I didn't get stacked, I just kept replaying the hand over and over in my mind, wondering if and where I went wrong.  

Anyway, when I cashed out, I ran into the dealer.  He finally answered my question.  He didn't think the guy was a very experienced player, that's why he didn't bet the river.  I guess so, the way he played the hand. I wished I'd seen his play more before the hand.  So, I assume because I still had over $100, he didn't want to risk another $100 on the hand where he didn't have the nuts and he was going to win a nice pot even without the risky value bet.

But the fact that he was an inexperienced player only makes me more upset that I didn't figure out a way to outplay him and take his money.
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Could I Have Gotten Away From this Hand?
Could I Have Gotten Away From this Hand?
Reviewed by asiana
Published :
Rating : 4.5