Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Poker: Of Mice and Men

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.


  1. I think the shove was premature. I would've called. If the fourth spade falls on the river then you value bet. I don't know. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    1. That was the plan but when she raised I overthought it.