Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Take That, Pocket Kings!

This goes back to July, in fact, it happened on the evening of July 4th.  I was playing at BSC and I was a bit frustrated.  I started out doing pretty well, got up a bit over $100 and then slowly found myself going into the red.  The table had started out pretty tame and then went aggro.  I was trying to keep up with the table’s mood swings.

At this point, I was down to about $130 from my $200 buy-in.  And I could see that I was either going to have to lower my standards a bit or just sit there twiddling my thumbs waiting for Aces or—dare I say it—the dreaded pocket Kings.  So when I was dealt 8-7 sooooted (spades) on in the cut-off seat, I figured I might just call the inevitable raise in front of me.  Sure enough the guy to my immediately right made it $8.  Surprising that no one had entered the pot until then.  Also surprising that no one came in behind us, it was just the two of us to see the flop.
The guy who raised was not one of the bigger aggros at the table, but he seemed more than willing to play along with the other action players.
The flop was 6-5-4, rainbow, which I figured was pretty good.  The only suit not represented on the flop was spades, but I was pretty happy flopping the nut straight instead of some mediocre flush draw.

The guy led out with a $15 bet, and I raised to $45.  OK, I’m not inclined to slow-play a straight.  Even on a rainbow flop, a straight just seems too small a hand to slow play.  Am I wrong?
In this case, it didn’t matter.  His response to my raise was to re-raise all in.  He had me covered.  Of course I snap-called.  The turn was an 8 and the river was a low, meaningless card.  There were players at this table who easily could have raised with 9-7 but fortunately, not this guy, at least not this time.
He flipped over pocket Kings!  I have to admit, it was especially sweet to beat that dreaded hand.  I enjoyed it more than if I had cracked his Aces.  Finally, finally, I was on the other side of a bad loss with that freaking hand.  I mean, nothing against the guy who lost, but it seemed to me like the poker gods owed me that one.
The other fun thing about this hand was the dealer.  It was my pal Mike, who, as I’ve mentioned before, always cracks my Kings.  Actually, the joke with him goes back to my days as a 2/4 limit player.  He had observed one time that it seemed like every down, he dealt me pocket Kings.  Pocket Kings is not that big a deal in a 2/4 game.  You can raise with them, but it won’t do much good, you’re not getting anyone to fold.  Especially someone with an Ace.  So many people see the flop that you pretty much have to catch a set or better to win with them.  And of course when you lose you don’t usually lose much.
But when he cracks my Kings in a NL game, it can be painful (see here).  So this was extra nice.  As I stacked my chips, I said to Mike, “Hey, you cracked somebody else’s Kings!” 
He laughed and said, “I do it all the time.  I did it just earlier tonight.”  And then he said, “You cracked them.”  About 10 minutes later, when he was pushed out by the next dealer, he said to me, “I’ll get your Kings tomorrow night.”  I said he probably would but, fortunately, he did not.
An hour or so later, as I was starting to think of wrapping up the session, I did get pocket Kings myself.   I was in early position, so I opened the pot for $8.  Three players called me.  The flop was 10-9-x.  I bet out $25, and no one called.  Phew.  A totally successful night with my cursed hand.  Good for me, bad for my opponent. 
There was a hand that didn’t involve me that I’ll mention.  One guy who came to the table was ridiculously aggressive to start out.  He bought in for $300 and raised, three-bet or four-bet almost every hand.  He won a few pots with his sheer aggression, but it didn’t take him long to lose his initial buy-in.  As he re-bought, another player at the table, a regular I’ve seen many times before, told him, “You’re too aggro.  You can’t possibly be getting hands all the time.  Your range is much too big.”
Anybody think it’s a good idea to tell a player that?  I believe that’s what’s known as “tapping on the glass.”  Why not let him keep betting like that with nothing and wait for him to give you some of his money?
Anyway, when he bought in a second time for another $300, he was a total different player.  I dunno if it was the other player’s comments that had affected him, or it was because he had gone through his first buy-in so fast, but he was much less aggressive this time.  He limped a lot, seldom raised, never three-bet. 
Except this one time.  The guy to my left raised, and the reformed aggro shoved.  He had nearly $300 and so did the guy who raised first.  The original raiser had pocket Queens and the guy on his second buy-in had Ace-King.  I guess he didn’t mind being in a race for nearly three bills.
The flop was all blanks, but there was a King on the turn and, for good measure, an Ace on the river.  That didn’t seem fair to me, but then, poker is seldom fair.
Just ask the guy who ran into his dreaded pocket Kings into my flopped straight.


  1. true, hate that shit when ppl tap the glass. let the chip burner burn. i thought the idea of poker was to win the other players chips not give lessons.

    1. Thanks, anger. "Lessons are extra." Or should be.

    2. i always thought after the session ,if a person is asking about a hand or two and that person isnt a total tool. u may and i repeat may say something but not during the game.

    3. Thanks, agree completely. If a player is a good guy (or gal), I might tell her about a hand we had after one of us leaves the table.

  2. Kings is such a powerhouse hand, cant believe how much you underestimate it

    1. Yeah, so they say.

      As Grump said, it's just my "kryptonite" hand.

    2. idont think he underestimates the cowboys. it is just so hard to lay down .even when u know u r beat.or the hands that end up beat u just make u sick like ace/rag and such. imo.

    3. Actually anger, these days, whenever I look down at pocket Kings, the first thing I think of is, "Oh, here comes another blog post."

  3. The best thing in Poker game that start with high value other wise too much late and you will loose