Sometimes I try extra hard to cultivate an image as the tightest player at the table. This comes somewhat naturally, and at its extreme creates some extra chip stealing opportunities with players who are paying enough attention.
Last night was one of these nights.
I thought it was working. My stack was down a little, when I saw an opportunity.
A younger, aggressive player raised to 4 BBs from early position. For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Vince.” This is a very loose private house game, an most initial raises are larger than that. With premium cards, Vince would make a larger raise to avoid having too many callers. I think his range largely consists of suited Broadway cards, suited connectors and gappers, and medium pocket pairs. Any pocket pair JJ or higher would not raise this small.
There are two callers before the action gets to me, on the button with Ad 6d. The standard play here is to call, but I think I’ve established the right image for a steal here, and think Vince’s range and the two callers ranges are weak enough for this to work. I raise to 16 BBs. I had intended to raise slightly larger, to 18 or 19 BBs, but tossed out my chips without announcing the bet size and realized my mistake when the dealer counted and announced.
Foiling my initial play, the small blind calls. When it gets back to Vince, he has a pained look on his face. He was a late arrival to the game, so my tight image building may not have had enough time to work on him. Vince’s stack is short… he only had 41 BBs to start the hand. Instead of folding, he shoves all-in!
After the initial callers both fold, the action is back to me. On the one hand, I feel like I got my hand caught in the cookie jar. On the other hand, even against a hand as strong as KK (with the king of diamonds), my equity is 31.5%. I have to call. On the other hand, Vince’s body language didn’t look confident at all; it looked like he was frustrated and wants to gamble. On the other hand, since I’ll be the last caller, Vince will have to show first after the board is dealt. If I’m not good, nobody will know that my raise was really a light squeeze. On the other hand, if I win and have to show, I’ll gladly take the chips and figure out how to adjust to an alternate image.
The small blind folds, leaving some dead money for one of us to win.
An ace comes on the flop, Vince doesn’t look happy at all, and after the board is complete, he sighs and says “Jack high.”
Yes I got caught with my hand in the cookie jar. Now I get to eat the cookies.
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