Of all the poker I played this past weekend, there are two plays that really stick in my mind. Both were the calls to big bets. You may think both were asinine. I am sure my opponent did on the one I made. But the other was what you hope and pray for when you sit at the table at the IP.
Falstaff and I had sat down at the 1/2 NL game at the IP. There were two young guys on both sides of me. Good players, knew their stuff. Talkative and funny, really enjoying the busty young waitress. I thought they were buddies but they weren't. Apparently they were not because one was Canadian. Who admits to being friends with a Canuck?* Anyways, the Canadian gives it some thought and raises from the 8 seat. Some dude in the 5 seat raises. Canadian thinks about it and raises another 100 on top. At that point everyone on the table knows he has aces. Maybe kings, but it is screaming aces. 5 seat thinks for just a bit and goes all in. I believe it was maybe 30-40 more. Insta call from the Canadian kid.
Now you must be thinking we are looking at A A vs A A, or at the very least A A vs K K, or possibly A A vs Q Q (that would be ugly but people overplay those ladies). Nope, instead the 5 seat shows A K offsuit. A stunned silence comes over the table. The flop is nothing, the turn a rock and the Canadian scoops a nice pot. Eyes blink in amazement that the 5 seat got it all in with A K off. Best yet, the 5 seat reaches into his wallet to rebuy! But then his buddy comes and pulls him away from the table as he wants to leave. I should have tripped the bastard on the way out. He took the biggest fish out of the game.
I played some pretty tight poker over the weekend. It was hard to keep mucking like that when the tables were on the loose side. So I tried to loosen up and made a raise to $15 with K Q off in MP (standard raise was anywhere from 10 to 17. I blame Falstaff for this). I got a call from the 10s who was in the cutoff. Both blinds called as well.. Flop was K 8 3, two hearts. The action was checked to me and I made a continuation bet of $25. The 10s seat called while the blinds dropped out. My thoughts on the 10s were varied. Initially I thought he wasn't that good when he made some aggressive plays early and rebought a couple of times. But then I noticed he was playing some good aggressive poker so he wasn't quite the chump I thought.
The turn brought another 8. I bet my two pair, $50. He smooth called again. Did he have an 8? Was he chasing the flush? River was a heart, a deuce I believe. Crap. Not what I wanted to see. Someone had just crapped in my Cheerios. At this point I checked. 10s now bets $75. Great, he craps twice in my Cheerios. What to do. Part of me wanted to toss those cards into the garbage behind me with all of my beer bottles. I then began to think about what was happening. Was he chasing a flush or did he have trips? I don't think he had the flush. He didn't appear to be one of those guys who would chase hoping to get lucky on the river. Could he have an 8? Not likely. He made a call from the cutoff. The only hand that would make sense then would be 8 8, call and hope you catch your set. Possible. Could he possibly be playing A 8 of hearts? Not likely. I doubt this kid would have called 15 with a suited ace. He was better than that. He could possibly have A K but I believe he would have raised on the turn with such a hand to squeeze out the flush draw.
Finally, I decided to call. All of his actions weren't adding up to me. Sure he could have been slow playing with trip 8s or chased a flush but it wasn't making sense. I figured he had K J and I pushed my chips in. When he asked if I had an 8, I felt good and told him I had the K. He mucked and they slid a nice pot to me. Unfortunately I did not see what he had. I guess he had a pocket pair and thought I was trying to buy the pot myself.
It was a good feeling to put things together and make such a call. We all like to be right. It also feels good when the players around you make comments about it being a sick call, how they would have folded etc. It was a moment that makes one feel good about some of the intricacies learned in this game over the years. Making a tough call like that is just about an equal as making a big bet like that to steal the pot. Just nice to be on the winning side of one of those hands.
*Please no Canadian hate mail. It is a joke. It isn't like I said "who admits to being friends with a Canuck, ay?"