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Why I Suck Out on You

I’ve missed at least one session so far, so I’ve given up on posting about every session. Maybe next year I’ll try posting a weekly summary.

Last night I played a ten hour session. Poorly. Very poorly.

I don’t know what would have happened if I didn’t suckout on the river to win two monster pots.

I’m in the big blind and check a family pot with 78o. The flop is 567 rainbow.

Under normal circumstances this is a monster flop where I’d look to check-raise all-in. I want to have the maximize fold equity and for the situations where I don’t win right away I have 13 outs and two chances to hit them against an over-pair, top-pair top-kicker, or as little as two over cards.

This is not a normal situation. I’ve got about six players to act behind me which means I’m likely to be up against a set, a straight, straight draw, or two pair. No one raised pre-flop so I am not up against an over-pair, anyone who feels the need to continuation bet, or two over-cards that want to gamble against me.

If I check, there is a good chance the hand will be checked around, some one will hit an over-card or worse on the turn and I’ll lose the pot. (An example of worse is a 9 that makes me a 9-high straight, but makes their T8 a ten high straight good enough to take all my chips.)

I bet about three-quarters the pot; $30.

The field folds around to a late position player who min-raises.

The min-raise is usually a giant red flag, set on fire, and accompanied by a symphonic orchestra playing “I have a monster hand and want to get as much money in the pot as possible” (by Tchaikovsky. It’s actually reminiscent of the 1812 Overture). In this case it could also just be a probe, or a small value bet.

The only hand that’s safe right now is 89, and I have one of the eights. All of your other possible monsters have to be really scared of a straight card coming out.

On top of that, any hand I have short of a set could be spooked by an over card on the turn. If you really have a monster now is your best and quite possibly only chance to get money from me.

On the other hand, if you just want to see if I’m taking a stab with bottom pair or nothing at all, this is a cheap way to get me off of it.

I call and pray for a nine. Instead the turn is something irrelevant, probably a paint card.

I check and she bets $120 all-in.

I don’t know much about this woman, other than the fact that she’ll limp with any two from middle to late position. I admire her thinking, but this game forces you to start with only 40 big-blinds. Even if she could get all-in against one player on any flop she wanted she’s still not deep enough for that limp to be profitable with most cards.

I am in a tough spot here which I should have anticipated better. I have to call $120 for a chance to win $280.

I really think she is semi-bluffing with the straight draw and maybe a pair to go with it. It’s possible she has the straight already. I can’t believe she made a min-raise on the flop with two-pair or a set, both very vulnerable hands. I also don’t think she hit the turn, as it didn’t appear to affect her decision at all.

I call. The river is nine, and I felt the poor lady and her 34.

She called preflop with 34. Yes she had position, and yes it was only $5, but she started with less than $200. I don’t think this was a good idea.

She didn’t get maximum value from her hand on the flop. I had eight outs, almost enough to make that call correct.

My turn call might have been silly, depending on what you consider her range. I’ve got a lot of outs if I’m beat, but I still need to be ahead maybe 25% of the time, for that call to be correct.

A couple hours later, I’ve got Q6 in the big blind, in another family pot with a Q63 flop.

I’ve got $400 in action and I do not want to play a large pot here. I’m not going to get a flush, or a big diamond to fold now. I hope to check it once and then maybe get a little bit of action from a queen or a smaller two pair on the turn.

Everyone checks. Another 3 comes on the turn. The small blind bets $30.

This is probably very good for me. No one bet the flop, that means no one has a small flush. Someone behind me might be slow-playing the nut flush, but I’ll find that out real soon now. Small blind might have a three, which would be unfortunate, but wouldn’t cost me too much money.

It’s folded around to the same lady in late position, who raises to $100 leaving $215 behind. Small blind called all-in.

I don’t know how to explain the lapse of judgement that caused me to call too. I don’t know what hands I could imagine them having. On the bright side, I know I’m not going to be putting another dollar into this pot, so my idiocy is limited to this one call.

But it only takes one card to turn an idiot into a genius. In this case it was the 6. I didn’t expect that at all and I have no idea what to do about it.

I eventually figure there are only two important questions; If I check will she bet? and If I bet, will she call?

Her possible hands are a three or a flush. If I check she’s may or may not bet a

  1. She will probably not bet a flush. If I bet, she may or may not call with a flush, but she’ll probably call with a 3.

I throw $215 in the pot and she calls quickly and turns over 23. Small blind also has a 3.

I drew out on this poor lady twice, for two really big pots. But when you play 23 and 34, that sort of thing happens.