The holiday crowds were out in full force at the poker tables. It wasn't hard to spot the players who were there to "give poker a try." The lady on my right might as well had a lighthouse on top of her head emitting a I don't know what I'm doing signal. She called three bets on a board of K-Q-3-7-8 with Q-10. The opponent had A-K of course.
In the cut-off, with A♣-Q♠ I bet $13. I got a call from seat 5 who looked like 14, no joke. As soon as I sat down, I thought that he must have a pretty good fake ID. Maybe because I'm getting older, the college kids appear younger than they really are. Back to the hand, the flop was A♥-10♥-2♣. I bet $15 and he called. The turn was an 6♥ and we both checked. The river was a blank and he checked. I bet $40 and he called with 5-7 of hearts.
Few orbits later, I made a flop bet with A♠-8♥ on a board with A♥-9♠-4♠ and only the older guy on my left called. The turn was a blank and he checked. I made another bet that he called. The river was the K♠ and he bet $35. I called and he showed me a queen high flush.
The ship was sinking fast thanks to the flush torpedoes being fired at me. I was down to about $85 and decided to play some short stack poker. In the next few orbits, I found opportunities to shove. I was not called a single time and managed to build my stack back up to $135.
With $120 behind, I got into it with the guy on my left and the lady I mentioned above. I was holding A♠-2♦ in the SB. The lady was on the button and called for $3. I don't remember if I made it $10 or the guy to my left. Either way, the three of us saw the J♠-5♠-9♥ flop. It was checked around. The turn was the 4♠ and this is were things got interesting.
I checked and seat 8 led out for $10. I was going to call. The lady was also planning to call but accidentally threw out three red chips. As soon as she did it, she tried to take $5 back. She said that she was only calling and that the chips were stuck together. The dealer told her that she had to raise. Reluctantly, she put in another $5 chip which turned her action into a raise to $20. This is where I put my thinking cap on. Everything that I had seen suggested that my opponents were not holding big hands. Plus, I was holding the ace of spades for the nut flush draw and also could hit a straight with any 3.
The more I though about it, the more I started leaning towards a shove. I didn't think that my opponents could justify a call here. The pot was $60 and I moved in for $110. The guy called pretty quickly and the lady folded. He flipped over K♠-J♥! The river was no help. Do you like his call? How about my shove?
Of Mice and Men is a story written by one of my favorite authors, John Steinbeck. The story's title comes from a line in the poem To a Mouse by Robert Burns. The line reads, "The best laid schemes of mice and men often go askew." And that's how I felt about this session.