As I get ready for the 2010 World Series of Poker I’ve been playing some poker at the local casino, Potowatomi Casino, which is located near downtown
I don’t have details from every session, but I can give you some of the highlights of some of the larger hands. I had a session that wasn’t going particularly well for me one night. I was in to my second buy in and only had that $400 in front of me, so I was down about $400. I was in seat 6, and the player in seat 2 was playing at me aggressively because I had shown him a bluff earlier and I think he was trying to “even the score”. In this hand I was dealt 8-8. I had limped, and was able to see the flop cheaply along with 5 other players, including seat 2. The flop came 8-7-4, giving me top set. Normally in this situation I would check the flop and hope for someone to bet, but since seat 2 was in the hand and was raising me almost every time I bet the flop since the “bluff” hand I decided that betting here would also prompt that same response. I led out for $65, and when he repopped it to $155, I moved all in for the remainder of my chips. Seat 2 had me covered (he had approximately $1300 in his own stack). He called almost instantly, which actually startled me momentarily in to thinking that maybe I got unlucky and he was holding 5-6 (which would be a straight), but he was holding 9-6 for an open-ended straight draw. The draw didn’t get there, and I dragged home that pot.
Winning that pot got me just back to the “plus” side, even though I had just over $800 in front of me. I got involved in a very large pot almost immediately after that. In fact, it was only two hands after the hand I just described, which is partially why it’s so shocking. In this hand I was dealt 5-5 and was in early position. I had limped with the hand, and the player in seat 9 made it $20 to go. Seat 9 had been playing very tight. I suspected he might have a large hand, but since it was only another $15 and other players were also calling I also called when it got to me. There ended up being 5 players who saw the flop, including seat 2. The flop came 6-5-2 with two hearts. I had once again flopped a set. This time I decided to check it, figuring that seat 9 would bet and it would give me an opportunity to check-raise him. He only had about $300 in front of him, and since the pot was about $100 already, almost any bet he put out there would pot-commit his stack if he had a big hand like A-A or K-K. Well, the player in seat 8 bet before seat 9 got the opportunity. I had played with seat 8 before. In fact, he was on the losing end of the largest pot I ever won, which I talked about in a prior post. He bet $35. I knew he was just fishing for information with that bet. Well, he got his answers very quickly. Seat 9 raised, making it $125. This is pretty much what I expected, and I suspected he had Aces. I didn’t expect what happened next. Seat 2 reraised, moving all in for approximately $900!! The player between seat 2 and I folded and I looked back to make sure I had the set of 5s I thought I had. I didn’t think long, but I figured if he actually had 3-4 (for the straight), or 6-6 (for a better set) that he wouldn’t have played it like that. I said, “Well, I call.” and moved my $782 in to the middle of the table. Seat 8 folded, and seat 9 was thinking about it for a while, but while he was thinking about it I could hear seat 2 mumbling/whispering, “Oh, wow, he busted me.” I’ll be honest, I was glad to hear that. Seat 9 eventually gave up the hand, stating that he had Aces. Seat 2 turned over the Ah Qh, for a flush draw, so I still had to fade some cards. No heart got there, and now I was raking in a +$1700 pot! I understood what seat 2 was trying to do, but I think he forgot to account for the other players and their stacks when making his move. I think he figured his “all in” declaration was only putting about $300 in play (which would have covered either seat 8 or seat 9). He could have reraised to $300, at which point I would have still moved all in, but he might have been able to throw it away and save almost another $500. He still might have called with his flush draw, but by moving all in he gave himself no option to do that, and as it turned out, I was just fine with that.