Recently I blogged about a totally donk move made by a player in a tournament that saved my tournament life. If not for his absolutely bone-headed move, I would have (and should have) been eliminated from the tournament long before I was in position to cash. You can read that story here.
That happened in one of the AVP weekly showdown events. This current story took place in the AVP XVII Meet & Tournament at the Stratosphere last Saturday, and explains (partially) why I didn’t last very long in the tournament. This particular donkey cost me chips by making a play so bad I couldn’t have conceived of it before I saw it. It wasn’t a loose call, it was the opposite. It was the weakest play I’ve ever seen in a tournament.
A new player had just joined the table as an alternate with the blinds 25/200/400—the third level. I had close to my starting stack at this point, maybe a little less, having won no decent pots, just a couple of preflop raises not called and one continuation bet on the flop not called. And I’d lost some chips playing a few speculative hands that didn’t pan out.
So now in early position, I had pocket 8’s. First in, I limped. One other limper and then the new player made the min raise to $800. I don’t think he’d played a hand before this but as I said, he had just gotten into the tournament within the past five minutes. It folded to me and I added the $400 hoping to mine a set. The other limper called too.
The flop was 7-4-3, rainbow. I suppose I should have bet my (slight) overpair. But I thought there was too good a chance that the preflop raiser had a bigger overpair, so I checked. Next player checked and the preflop raiser checked.
Yeah, he checked. I thought that was interesting. What kind of hand could he have to check that flop? Any overpair and that’s an automatic bet, right? If he has AK, AQ, AJ, it’s an automatic continuation bet with that flop, no?
But he checked. My first thought then is that he was slowplaying a set of 7’s. It’s really the only hand that would make any sense. But I didn’t really get the feeling he had that big a hand. It was just a gut feeling.
When a 6 hit the turn, still rainbow, I decided to take a stab at the pot. I didn’t think he was likely to have a 5 for the straight, so I bet out. I put out $1800.
The first player checked and the preflop raiser thought long and hard about his move. Now, if he indeed did have a set, that would be the perfect time for him to raise, right? Then I lay down my hand. But it really seemed to me like he was deciding whether to call or fold, not call or raise. He finally called, with what appeared to be great reluctance.
The river was a 10. That was finally an overcard to my pair, but I didn’t get the feeling he had a 10 either (Ace-10?). So I put out some more chips, $2500 I believe. I thought there was a slight chance I was gonna lose to a big hand, but I really felt I was likely good there.
He thought longer and harder this time. Then he finally said, “I guess you’ve got a straight, huh?” Of course I said nothing. So, he couldn’t beat a straight, but then, neither could I.
Finally he meekly, hesitantly, called. I flipped over my 88 and he flipped over….pocket Kings!
Pocket Kings??? Are you freaking kidding me? I’ve got a million stories on this very blog of how I’ve been burned by KK and even I don’t play them that meekly.
How does he not bet that flop with pocket Kings? Seriously, how? I mean, with pocket Kings that’s about the best possible flop you could hope for that doesn’t contain a King (or two). Give me that flop every time I have pocket Kings and I’ll die a happy man.
I suppose you could say he was slowplaying those damn Kings? Well, he was, but on purpose? That would certainly be a bad move, slowplaying an overpair. I’m pretty sure I’ve never read that strategy in a poker book.
I just shook my head in disbelief, wondering how I’d lost so many chips to such a bad play.
So a few minutes later, a dealer I know from BSC sits down as the next alternate in the seat immediate to my right. Ugh. I’d played in a cash game with him at BSC not that long ago and knew he was a tough player. And because of the hand I’m about to described, I’m too pissed at him to give him a phony name. He is unworthy of one. So I’ll just call him “BSC dealer.”
Within one or two hands of BSC dealer sitting down, I was dealt pocket Jacks under the gun. My stack was low, but not low enough where I had to shove there. I had a move or two left. So I put out a big raise, about 3-1/2 times the big blind. It folded around to BSC dealer, who was the Big Blind. The one guy at the table I didn’t want to call. But of course he did.
The flop came 9-9-8, which I thought looked pretty good for my Jacks. No paint cards. BSC dealer checked and I just shoved. BSC snap called and I suddenly had a pain in my gut.
The turn and the river were blanks and I was out of the tournament.
All I could think of was, if I hadn’t lost all those chips to the guy who so timidly played those pocket Kings, I probably wouldn’t have shoved there against BSC Dealer. I might have been able to get away from that hand without losing all my chips.
So this time, a donkey burned my ass instead of saving it. And once again, those dreaded pocket Kings got to me, not because I didn’t play them right, but because someone else didn't have a clue as to how to play them....and was rewarded for it.