I was a bit frustrated when I left the poker table at Borgata. I had made a poor lay down to Pauly. Folded at the river after I told him exactly he had. My read was right, but I didn't act on it. It was actually the culmination of a number of times I hadn't gone with my gut instinct.
Pauly had raised from EP. With J 10s, I called either in the cutoff or the button. I liked my position and that there were going to be at least 4 people in this pot. If I hit, I take down a big one. Flop came 5 2 2, with 2 spades. Nice. Pauly bet out again, and I believe I raised. He either capped or just called, I am not sure. Turn was a 5, no spade. Pauly bet out again. I just called. River was a 5, putting a full house on the board. Pauly quickly bet again. Hmm. I stopped to think. I missed my flush, but did Pauly have a pair? I thought about it and actually said to him, "I think you have A K."
I then mucked my hand. Yes, a terrible lay down with what was in the pot. Pauly showed me the A K of hearts. That tilted me. Not only because I should have called 6 more bucks with the odds I was getting, but mainly because I didn't go with my read.
Too many times I haven't trust my gut instinct. Losing that pot to Pauly also reminded me of the last hand I played in Vegas in June. A hand that haunted me for the last couple of months.
It was either 1/2 NL at Ballys. I was in the BB and looked down to see A A. EP raised it to 10, the standard at the table. It folded around to me and I made it $25. He called. Flop was K Q x. I bet out $50. He made it $100. I stopped. My head was screaming that he had K K. I thought if he didn't have the Kings, then it was Q Q. I went into the tank. How could I lay the aces down? The more I thought about it, the more I was certain he flopped a set. But then I started to think that maybe he just had A K because he hadn't re-raised the flop. He was an older guy and wasn't trying to make moves so far. I ignored my instincts and pushed all in. He gave me a look of shock and asked if I had pushed. I immediately knew I was screwed. He turned over the Kings and I was done. Turn and river didn't hit my miracle outs and I had dropped a huge pot.
I went for a walk at that point, feeling a bit sick. It wasn't the money. It was that I hadn't trusted my instincts. One of the best things about watching some top pros like Phil Hellmuth or Daniel Negreanu on TV is when they call out exactly what their opponent has. They are able to take all this data on how the hand was played out, think of why someone would make the bet they did, and compute out their next play. I had been close in these two instances. In both, I made the wrong bet. Each one cost me.
Is learning to trust your reads the hardest thing to do? If so, at what price?
I dabbled in some $100 NL on PokerStars last night. Was up just $30 in 30 minutes before I had to stop. Last hand I played was of interest to me. Person had just sat down and posted the buck. UTG, I am dealt J J. I raise to $5. It folds to the poster and he goes all in for $60. WTF? The SB calls with just $5 behind. I tossed the Jacks because I had no idea what this guy was capable of. I was thinking he sat down, got a pair or maybe A K, A Q and wanted to double up early by bullying. My gut told me that I had the better hand, but I wasn't willing to take the chance against someone who just showed up. Turns out he had A Ks. Short stack had K Q. Board ended up being Q high. I would have taken down a nice pot.
Would anyone have called that with J J?
Maybe if I was trusting my reads, I would have.