Monday, November 12, 2012


This is a hand from my most recent visit to Vegas, early in the trip.  It’s always nice to face a player who plays a hand horribly and pays you off in the process.  Especially when you didn’t notice something potentially damaging until it’s almost too late.  Or to put it another way, I screwed this hand up somewhat, but the other guy really totally butchered it.
I guess it was my third night in town and on my very first hand of the session, I was dealt Ace Queen of spades under-the-gun.  It was a brand new table so nobody had a read on anybody.  Hmm… I explained here, I’d rather not get such a playable hand right off the bat, before I know anything about the table or the other players.  Nevertheless, I made it $8 and only one guy called.
The flop was K-6-3, but two spades.  So I bet $12, thinking that might take down the pot right then, and if not, I had a nice draw to the nut flush.  The other guy called.
The turn was a five of spades—or so I thought.  I hit the nut flush, nice.  I bet $15 and immediately wondered why I had bet so small.  I can’t explain it.  My first thought as I waited for my opponent’s action was, “Damn, what am I thinking, betting so small?”  But I was pleasantly surprised when he raised me!  Just to $30, the minimum raise.
Hmm…..maybe my small bet was a good idea after all.  I decided, since I had the nuts, to min-raise him back.  I made it $45.
It was only after I put out that bet that I noticed something.  Staring straight at the board, with what I hoped was a totally blank expression on my face, it suddenly became apparent that the turn card was not the 5 of spades.  It was the 6 of spades.  There were a pair of 6’s out there.  Ooops.  That put a possible full house—or even quads—in play.
My opponent just called.
The river card was a red 5, and yes, this time, it really was a 5.  I made sure.
I sure considered just checking then.  If he had me beat, the most logical hand he had was pocket 6’s for quads.  I thought that was highly unlikely.  Nevertheless, by default play there is not to value bet….to play it safe.  He’s not gonna call me if he can’t beat the nut flush, right?  Well, maybe he has a lesser flush and will indeed pay me off. 
So I bet $40.  Seemed right.  If I have the best hand, I want it to small enough for him to call.  If he’s got me beat, he’s gonna raise whatever I put out.
He thought for a long time.  I figured that was a good sign, although it was possible he was trying to figure out how big a raise to put out.
Nope, after awhile, he finally called.
I flipped my card to show my nut flush.  He looked at my cards, heard the dealer say “Ace high flush,” looked at his two cards in disgust.  It was clear he was beat, unless he was about to give me the ultimate slow-roll.
Which I worried about for a milli-second when he did indeed flip his two cards face up.  And his hand was……..

Pocket deuces.
Really, pocket deuces?  A pair of ducks?  That’s it?
Wow, what a badly played hand.  By me, somewhat, sure.  But especially by him!  Ok, you call a raise preflop with a low pocket pair, you should be prepared to toss it right away on the flop if you don’t hit your set (or luck into a great draw).  Not sure I understand the call on the flop.
And the raise on the turn when the board paired and a third spade showed up?  Ok, maybe that was a bluff on his part.  But he probably should have bet more than the min raise there if he was bluffing, no?
And then he calls me on the river when all he has is the lowly pocket pair?  Really?  Ok, I guess he thought maybe I was bluffing.
Whatever.  Nice of him to help me out like that, first hand of the night.  Also nice of him to show his hand, to demonstrate how badly he played the hand. It reminded me of the hand where the guy misplayed his 2nd nut flush to my turned full house that Lightning witnessed here.  Unfortunately, I didn't stack this guy.  But not surprisingly, he didn’t last at the table too long.  Regrettably, he lost the rest of his money to other players, not me.


  1. He obviously put you SPECIFICALLY on Ace Queen with only one spade at best.

    Not a range of hands, nothing except Exactly Ace Queen and he was right - he just got unlucky in the fact that you happened to have two spades to bale you out.

    1. Nice theory, grrouch, thanks. Not sure he was capable of putting me on a hand, any hand.

    2. I try to believe that there was at least a convoluted reason to stay in the hand and call the river.
      The other theory is the TBC theory where someone is just so afraid of getting bluffed that they'll call anyways just because it hurts too much When They were actually ahead.

    3. Or....he was a total donkey.

  2. Man it's really hard to concentrate on poker while looking at such a hot ebony.

    1. Sorry, poker guide. I have NO IDEA how that picture got on this blog.

      I shall endeavor to remove it once.

  3. Arriving in Vegas on the evening of December 18th, leaving the morning of the 24th...

    1. I just read the post (only stopped by earlier to make sure you have my travel plans)... Maybe you did give off a visibly sick expression after misreading the turn and he thought that you were bluffing...

    2. Thanks Coach. I should almost definitely be in town the entire time you are, so we should definitely get together. Maybe this time, we can even play some poker together.

      I dunno if your theory is correct, but I do want to work on my "it's good news but I want him to think it's bad news" expression.

  4. Just looked at your blog and noticed no posts since 9/20. Not true of course. Then loaded it in my Google reader instead of normal RSS feed and same date was newest. Looks like something is broken.

    1. Maybe it means No worthwhile posts since 9/20?

      just kidding rob!

    2. Thanks for the heads up, Ken. Not sure exactly what you're saying blog shows up fine in my Google Reader and it gets updated on other blogs that have me on the kind of blogroll that updates with new blog posts. But I guess on your RSS reader it isn't updating? I did some research cuz I noticed this problem on my Kindle Fire too, and I thought it was Kindle issue. Maybe not. Anyway, my research resulted in a bunch of computer jargon which is beyond my level of understanding. But I have a theory that it might be due to a font I started using around that time. I've changed all the posts, and we'll see if that does anything.

      Grrouchie....let's face, I haven't done any worthwhile posts since I started the blog.