Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Solid Read

I recently played the following 2-5 NLHE hand at Ameristar:

Two limpers to me OTB and I’ve been very quiet in a tight game so I decide to splash around a little bit with Kh-Js. I know that this hand sucks but I have position and typically play well post-flop.

Five of us see a flop of Kd-9s-3d. It checks to the 10 seat (I’m in the 1 seat) and I lean around the front of the dealer to look at him. He just sits there for awhile so I ask, “Did he check?” The dealer responds, “He checked.” I toss out a $20 bet into a $25 pot and immediately the 5 seat looks at me and says, “I thought you checked?” The dealer says, “No, he asked if he (pointing to the 10 seat) checked.” The blinds fold and the 5 seat, who is the loosest player at the table, is the only caller.

The turn brings the 7c and he checks to me. I bet $40 into the $65 pot and he raises $40 to $80. At this point I’m sick because playing a big pot with top pair decent kicker is never my game plan in a NLHE cash game. I go into the tank and tell the table, “Sorry guys, this is going to take a minute or so.” I run through his possible hands and rule out strong K’s because he would have bet those hands on a flush draw board. I also rule out 9’s because he would have raised preflop, and 7’s were looking pretty unlikely as well. So I decide that it is either a set of 3’s or a flush draw. Now I look up at him and he is STARRING ME DOWN. That’s a weak tell. Then, I thought about his “I thought you checked” comment on the flop. That’s weak too – he wanted a free card. So putting the pieces of the puzzle together I decide to make him pay for his draw and move all-in for another $140 or so. He took a deep sigh, made the dealer count the money and then called. The river was the 4s and he said one of the most beautiful things, “I missed.”


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