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My Head is Still Spinning

August 19, 2010

Before you read any further, let me tell you this is a bad beat story. The reason I’m telling it, however, is because it’s so ugly that my head is still reeling. In short, I just don’t understand how it happened.

The game is $1-$2 NL at the Hard Rock. A player in middle position opened to $10 and the 10 seat, who had already called off two buy ins, called. Action folded to me in the small blind and looked down to find pocket 5s.

Since I hadn’t played a hand in a couple of orbits, my image was reasonably tight and I decided to thin the field by re-raising to $50. The big blind and the original raiser folded, and the 10 seat took a few seconds to consider his action before making the call. When he didn’t three-bet, I figured he didn’t have a monster hand like Aces, Kings or A-K, and figured his range might be somewhere around 9s, 10s, or Jacks.

The flop was about as good as I could ask for, coming  2-3-6 rainbow and I continued to represent a big hand by leading out for $80. The 10 seat called and the turn brought the As, which was a great card for me since it didn’t add any flush draws and made it look like I may have connected if I was just continuation betting the flop with something like Ace-King or Ace-Queen.

I pondered my action for about 10 seconds before shoving for $200+. Yes, I was bluffing, but I felt pretty comfortable that it would get through since the story I was telling made a whole lot of sense and I was fairly certain my opponent wasn’t holding an Ace. When he called without much hesitation, though, I figured my read had been wrong and that he had called my pre-flop three-bet with some sort of suited Ace-rag.

I wouldn’t have been happy about my mis-read, but I could live with the consequences if it turned out that I had bluffed into a better hand. In fact, I thought I had gotten lucky when the 5s hit the river, and I said “I think I just got you,” before turning over my set.

His response, however, left the whole table stunned when, after a couple of seconds, he said “Wow, I had fewer outs than I thought,” before turning over 4h-7h to show that he’d hit his gut-shot on the river.

As he scooped up the pot, I looked at him incredulously and asked the only question I could; “How the hell were you in that pot?” His response? “I’m stuck and I like to gamble.”

Normally, that’s an answer I’d love to hear and, if it was earlier in the night, I would have reloaded figuring that money would be coming back to me some time later on. But, with the clock nearing midnight, I just didn’t have the energy or the will to try and bounce back from that brutal beat.

Now, I understand that bad beats happen. They’re part of the game and I’ve certainly dished out a few of them in my time at the table. Still, what baffles me about this particular hand is not only how my opponent found his way into the pot, but how he rationalized sticking around after the turn.

While I probably wouldn’t even call $10 with 4-7 suited pre, it’s not all that uncommon in a $1-$2 game. But, calling an additional $40 into a $70 pot? I don’t get it. Nor do I understand how my opponent could justify calling $80 on the flop with nothing more than a gut-shot draw. Even if he thinks his 7 is somehow good, he’s only got 7 outs (three 7s and four 5s) against any hand worse than pocket 2s.

And, if he puts me on a hand like Ace-x, his call on the turn makes absolutely no sense since he has no flush draw and is putting all of his remaining money at risk to try and hit what is essentially a four-outer.

Like I said, bad beats happen, but this one just has me baffled.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 19, 2010 7:31 am

    Obviously villain has no rational reason to stick around given the description of the hand, but it sure sounds like this was a great live game to be playing in if you can induce mistakes like that for 150+BBs. I would only say, though, that you said that you had observed this player getting stuck for 2 buy-ins by calling off his stack on multiple times. So it would follow that trying to bluff him by overplaying pocket fives – even though it was the best hand in this instance – is *not* the right strategy since he’s not even a level one thinker.

  2. August 19, 2010 11:00 am

    You want players like that in your game, but it sure sucks when they do something that dumb and it works.

  3. August 24, 2010 8:11 am

    physical tells.

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