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Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

May 27, 2011

Last night we played the first Pokerati game of the 2011 WSOP season, and it was a good one. Having Kevmath, Merchdawg and Timtern in the game made for lots of fun and laughs, as well as some pretty good action.

As for me? Well I got off to my usual start, losing a few pots early and quickly finding myself down a buy in when my huge draw failed to improve in Omaha. No matter, I reloaded and began the process of rebuilding. And it went well, as I made all of my money back – and then some – when I turned quad 8s in Hold ‘Em and got paid on the river.

For the rest of the night, my stack stayed about even, hovering between $800 and $1,000. And then, disaster. I got felted. By Dan.

The hand started innocently enough. I called $5 with 6c-8s-8c-Js. Not a great hand, but one with some possibilities for $5. The flop was beautiful, coming 4h-8d-4d. Merchdog bet $25 and I flat called, as did Michalski on my left. The turn was a blank, and Merch checked and I made my big mistake by checking behind. (I assumed that Dan, who has never seen a pot that he didn’t think he could steal, would bet behind me. He didn’t.)

The river was an innocuous looking 10 and when Merch checked, I put in a pot-size bet of $100. Dan quickly re-raised another $100.

Now, I’ve played with Dan often enough to know that he’ll make this play with all sorts of hands. Busted flush draws. Two pair. Complete air. Whatever. In this case, I had pegged him for holding a 4 and flush draw on the turn, and I figured he may have rivered 4s full. Thinking there was no way I could lose, I shoved for an additional $600. Dan snap called.

I turned over my house and was stunned when Dan tabled his hand, which held pocket 10s. He’d rivered the bigger house. Ouch is an understatement.

Needless to say, I’ve been replaying the hand in my head constantly since that debacle and, try as I might, I don’t really see a way that I don’t go broke in that situation. Like I said, I did make a mistake by not betting the turn, but against Dan, I don’t think it’s a massive one because:

  1. He’s likely to bet in that spot most of the time, giving me the chance to check raise, which is what I wanted to do.
  2. With an over-pair to the board in his hand, he’s going to call there 100% of the time when I do bet.
As for the river? Sure, I could have played small ball and just called his min-raise, but I feel like I’m giving up value there way too often to make that a smart play. Like I said, woulda, coulda, shoulda.
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rakewell permalink
    May 27, 2011 2:20 pm

    As Michael Craig said, “Poker’s a bitch mistress who exists to break your heart.”

  2. joel Tasman permalink
    May 31, 2011 8:13 am

    “how do you not go broke?” the better question is why do you go broke? of course you have to bet the turn, but when you dont, and facing a big raise when 2 hands beat you in omaha, a call, not a shove is the right play, on the river. shoving there makes no sense at all. just sayin.

  3. katkin permalink*
    June 2, 2011 2:16 pm

    In general, I agree with you Joel, but there are other factors at play in this hand. Specifically, the person I’m playing against. Dan and I have a fairly long history of playing together, and I know he’s going to make that min-raise with a huge variety of hands ranging from a busted flush draw (which he held), to two pair or something like 4s full, which I also thought was a possibility.

    The way the hand played – and the bet he made – gave me no reason to think he was holding pocket 10s. He knew this as well as I did, which is what the made the play successful for him.

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