Protect Your Damn Hand, Part 2
by dtools22 | Published Aug 07, 2012
A few blogs back I posted a story about protecting your hand at the table. To give a quick recap, a gentleman tried to bet into me on a T-high board containing all red cards, and while doing so mistakenly flashed his cards to me showing a black king and another black card underneath. I called and my K-high outkicked his K-high winning me a modest pot. Well yet again the players at Foxwoods Resort and Casino have found a way to screw up the simplest part of the game, don’t let your opponent know what you have. This time the story has a slightly different twist at the end but the message is still the same people, stop turning over your cards.
I was playing in a 1/2NL game at Foxwoods, not having a particularly good night. I’m not stuck a ton but it’s just been a card dead evening and I’ve been forced to really lay low for most of my day so far. We’re approaching the end of the night as I had been playing at this point for around 8 hours and I usually last 9-12 hours in any given session. Maybe an hour before our story takes place a familiar villain sits to my left. I have played with this guy before and he actually recognized me first. As far as hands go, I ran KK into his AA and that was the only big hand I played that night. The night is a bit more significant to me than the poker because it was the night before I would have my emergency appendectomy and need to be carted out of my hotel room. On this night he sat directly to my left and when he first sat down started losing. This lead to him playing wildly aggressive, he began shoving gutter ball draws for 100bb stacks, chasing people down with bottom pair, and he was straddling every chance he got. The hand for today’s story took place during one of these straddles.
Action folded around to the SB who flatted and I looked down at Q8dd with about $110 in my stack to start the hand. Not the most fear inducing hand but I’m not that concerned about the SB’s range here as he has been limping a lot and as we mentioned before, the guy to my left is a nut. As has been the pattern, our villain raises the straddle making it $10 to go and the SB calls. Now here is where I need to be honest before the story continues. I could make some kind of argument here saying I thought Q8dd was ahead of the straddler’s open and the SB just isn’t playing a hugely impressive range of hands either, but that’s not why I called. I was getting annoyed with the straddle and thought I could hit a piece of the board and play back at him big. It wasn’t the most well thought out plan, and it wasn’t exactly great poker but I’m human. I flat call and the board comes out:
The SB checks to me and I was pretty sure that if I lead this flop the straddle would call with any kind of piece so I opted to let him bet and try for a check raise. I also thought it would be way less likely the SB could continue if I started firing. Sure enough the straddle bets $10 and gets called by the SB, I raise ½ my remaining stack to $50. The straddle helps me out a little bit here and starts talking to me. He suggests that this hand is payback for the AA v KK cooler that happened weeks back and maybe getting the notion into the SB’s head that I’ve got a strong hand here. He calls and the SB gets out of dodge. The turn comes down a brick and I check to the straddler. At this point he sits back in his chair, totally confused by my play. He then looks at the dealer and says, “OK dealer I need you to hit one of these cards.” He’s sitting in the 2 seat, I’m in the one seat, and for some reason he thought that if he turned his cards up and tilted them to the dealer that I wouldn’t see them. He was wrong, and even the dealer said, “Alright, but he can totally see those cards now.” I could, and our villain had 6d5d for an OESFD.
The river bricked and I just turned my hand face up, thinking the hand is over this guy must know I didn’t hit. Our villain looks at me and goes, “WAIT WAIT, I didn’t do anything yet…can I still bet?” The dealer says yes and kind of smirks as he looks over at me. For some reason on this day, I had a little compassion for the guy. Maybe because he was stuck a lot, maybe because we had some past history and in general he’s been a pretty fun guy. Good action and always took losing well, never got in anyone’s face or anything of the like. I told the guy that he can still bet but not to bother because I did in fact see his cards, as the dealer mentioned before. Our villain in his infinite wisdom looked at his chips, I guess thinking I was trying to angle my way out of this hand. As he started to reach I looked at him and said, “You had 6d5d, don’t bet.” Once I said that he sat back dejected and just mucked his cards. He started asking me how I saw his hand, I simply answered, “because you turned it up.”
I could have let the guy hang himself but for some reason I had a moment of weakness and decided to show some compassion for my fellow grinders. I don’t know if it will ever happen again, but this one felt a little dirty to me. The thought of him betting into me on the river just seemed a little underhanded. Call it my good deed for the day that day not letting him bluff off $50 more on that river. Moral of the story doesn’t change though, protect your damn hand.