A Perfect Storm

straight v set v top two pair

The title to this post pays homage to Hurricane Florence, which made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, NC (about 140 miles SE of here) earlier this morning.  It’s bad, and I pray for the safety of everyone in its destructive path.

Fully provisioned at home, I did venture out to play poker last night.  Well into the session, the player on my right raised to 5 big blinds (BBs).  For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Tony.”  Tony has a stack of approx. 220 BBs.

I call, with Jd Td and a stack of about 310 BBs.  The button calls too.  For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Zach.”  Zach has both Tony and me covered.  There is one other caller.

Flop:  Kh Qc 9h.

Tony bets 10 BBs.  I’ve flopped the nut straight, which is awesome.  On the other hand, my hand cannot improve.  If anyone is chasing a flush, or has a “boat draw” with a set or two pair, I’m going to make them pay for the privilege of drawing.  I raise to 30 BBs.

Now Zach ponders this a bit, then starts counting out a re-raise.  He can be very, very aggressive at times, and has been a bit splashy this particular night.  Maybe he’s worked up about the hurricane.  Maybe he has a nut flush draw.  Maybe he flopped a set of 9’s (less likely a set of Q’s or K’s, as I would expect him to 3-bet pre-flop with either of those hands).  Maybe he has the same hand as me with JT, or even worse, has JhTh and is free rolling.  Zach does re-raise, to 90 BBs.

Without any hesitation, Tony announces “all-in.”  As loose as he is at times, he’s got enough sense to fold a one-pair hand against my raise and Zach’s re-raise.  I really don’t need to do much analysis, because I HAVE THE NUTS.  There’s not much to think about, other than puckering up over the flush draw and/or boat draw.

I push in all of my chips and Zach instantly calls.

flopped straight vs set vs top 2-pair


With a pot over 800 BBs, we reveal our hands to see how this flop created a perfect storm.  Perfect for me, that is, and perfectly awful for both Zach (with a set of K’s after just calling pre-flop to trap us) and Tony (with top 2-pair, theoretically blocking sets of K’s or Q’s).  Both of them realized a flopped straight was possible; both ignored the mandatory evacuation orders.  Tony’s only hope is a backdoor flush, a flood I suppose in this tacky metaphor.  Zach literally needs a boat to rescue him from this metaphorical natural disaster.

And yet Zach actually had the right odds for his call.  The pot had Tony’s 220 BBs, my 310 BBs, 5 BBs from one other pre-flop caller, 95 BBs from Zach (including his pre-flop call), for a total of 630 BBs.  Calling my over-shove will cost him another 215 BBs, so he needs equity of 25.4% or greater (215 / 845) for calling to be +EV.  Even with Tony counterfeiting two of his outs, his equity is 28.3%.

The turn and river don’t help either of them and my straight is good.

I was asked to kindly refrain from any further complaining about running bad all year, and that seems fair.


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