Part One of “I Played That Right, Didn’t I?” described a two online poker hands where I was all-in and way ahead, only to see the villains hit a 2-outer and 4-outer, respectively, to win big pots.
After reading the blog, Mrs. asked me how I could be sure the online poker room (in my case, Ignition Poker) wasn’t cheating me somehow. Perhaps there is an algorithm that identifies you as a winning player, then intentionally [bleep]‘s you over to keep you from cashing out? How can you know?
This led to a long discussion about variance and Sklansky bucks, among other things, to explain that these things happen in live games with real cards that I can see being shuffled with my own eyes, all of which Mrs. found quite boring.
At a live, private game Saturday night, there was a 3-way all-in on the flop. I was just an observer in this one. One player had pocket aces, another flopped middle set, and the 3rd guy had top pair and a good kicker. I was sitting next to the guy with a set and told him “nice hand!” Then another ace fell on the river. Ouch.
Last night, at a different private game, it was me again. This game uses the Mississippi straddle rule, allowing any player to post a live straddle of any amount, in any position. I’ve been experimenting with straddling more frequently on the button, especially when my stack is reasonably deep. On this hand, I started with a little over 180 BBs and posted a standard straddle.
The SB called blind, meaning he didn’t look at his cards before calling. For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Rob.” I won’t try to explain Rob’s reasons for doing this… he later referred to himself as a “fish/donkey.” Another player in middle position raised to 7 BBs (not quite 3x the straddle amount), there was one caller, and I called with T7 off-suit. Rob also called.
Normally I wouldn’t call 7 BBs with T7o, but part of the reason for straddling on the button is to maximize the leverage of being last to act post-flop. If you’re going to pump up the volume by straddling, you need to stick around for the action in more marginal spots.
Flop (29 BBs): T77.
As I was saying, when you are last and flop a monster, the effect of the straddle is there is already a larger pot, making post-flop bets also larger coupled with the positional advantage that allows you to manage the final pot size. With this flop, that’s a good thing.
After Rob check, the pre-flop raiser now bets 9 BBs, and the next player folds. I don’t need to raise yet. With a full house already, I don’t have to worry about a straight or flush draw hitting, and I want to see if anyone else wants to keep playing. I call and Rob also calls.
Both players check. I bet 18 BBs. Rob takes his time, then raises all-in, a total of 52 BBs. The pre-flop raiser folds. I call and turn my hand over immediately, showing my full house.
Rob winces in pain, then lets out a sound like a badly wounded fish/donkey. He turns over one card – a seven – and starts walking away from the table. Obviously his kicker is lower than my ten, so he’s drawing dead and knows it.
River (160 BBs): Another K.
Wait a minute! The dealer studies the board. I study the board. This can’t be happening. (“Oh it’s happening, sweetheart!”) Rob comes back to his seat. He never surrendered his other card to the muck pile, and turns it over to show an eight. The king on the river gives us both the same hand, sevens full of kings.
I didn’t lose any money here, but it feels like a loss. Having a zero percent chance of winning the pot when he went all-in, Rob quietly stacks his 80 BB portion of the pot.
How do I tell Mrs. that I want her to listen to a “bad chop story?”
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