My Turn to be the Pinata

The win streak is over at 12.

Last night it was my turn to be the piñata.

With 88, I flopped top set on a board with two spades. Another spade landed on the turn. When the villain raised all-in, short stack sizes dictated a call. No help on the river. It didn’t escape my attention the he had called my 8 BB pre-flop raise with 9♠3♠. Whack! The piñata is weakened.

With 99, I flopped middle set on an Q9♣2 flop. Concerned about straight and flush draws, I bet aggressively on the flop and again on a blank turn card. Looking at my turn bet, the villain said “I think I’m supposed to go all-in here, but something doesn’t feel right so I’m going to fold instead” as he laid down AQ face up. My turn to swing at the piñata… whoosh! Nothing but air.

Houdini Draw

With T9 on the button and the table short-handed, I raised and Houdini in the SB called. The flop was 876 rainbow. I checked behind to give him a chance of catching up a bit. He check-called on a turn 6, then led out aggressively after a river K. Did you see that coming? We need a new term for this sort of backdoor bullshit… how about “Houdini draw?” Whack! The piñata hemorrhages, candy spills out.

With T8o on the button and still short-handed, I called a small raise and saw a flop of QJ7. Everybody checked. The turn 9 gave me a straight. Houdini bet and the next player (same guy as the first hand above) raised. I re-raised. After Houdini folded, he went all-in. On top of one shoulder, a hologram of Tom Petty gently sang one of my favorite tunes, I Won’t Back Down. And why should I?

At the same time a little gremlin tried to get my attention, whispering urgently from the other shoulder that the villain doesn’t ship it in that spot without the absolute nuts. I only have the 2nd nuts. It would be amazing to someday be a good enough poker player to fold there, but I’m not. And the gremlin was right.

Whack! All the gold coins come pouring out of the piñata. The boys are happy and celebrate.


BONUS CONTENT: I’m now a regular contributor at PokerNews. Here is a link to my articles!

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