Tuesday, July 10, 2007


CorneredPot Limit Omaha. Blinds a dime and a quarter. $25 maximum buy-in. Bought in for $15 and after a few dozen hands have chipped up to $27.45. Only the bruno to my right -- SamFrancisco -- has a bigger stack ($41) when the following hand takes place.

I get Td8hKs3s in the big blind. There are eight seated at the table, and everyone limps in save the player on the button, MrPill. So there is $1.75 in the pot when the flop comes ThTs4s.

Not bad for me. I’ve flopped trips and the second-nut flush. But remember, there are seven players in this hand and my position is lousy. SamFrancisco quickly bets $1.70 -- almost pot. I should mention I’ve played with SamFrancisco before and have observed him to be a solid player who rarely pulls much monkey business. His pot bet therefore signals pretty loudly to me that he’s got the other ten (at least), and perhaps has even flopped the boat. Betting to protect tens full of fours actually makes sense here.

I’m next to act. Question No. 1: What would you do (and why)?

Looking back, I can see arguments for raising, for calling, and for folding. I’ve got trips and the second-nut flush draw (if a flush is even worth anything anymore). I’d like to see a K or 8 on the turn, of course. A trey on the turn might just get me in worse trouble.

I ended up calling the bet. The table folded and me and SamFrancisco were the only ones left. The pot is $5.15. The turn was no help for me, the 6h. SamFrancisco fairly quickly fires out $4.90, again a nearly-pot-sized bet. Incidentally, I have noticed that the nearly-pot-sized bet is often a mark of a decent, thinking player. The practical consequence of the bet is almost identical to the pot-sized bet -- it creates what are usually poor odds to chase draws. Yet the fact that he’s chipped a nickel or two off of the bet often induces the call anyway (in my opinion), there being a psychological pull of sorts to stick around if the guy hasn’t actually bet pot.

Question No. 2: What would you do (and why)?

Again, he may have either flopped or turn his boat. His bet really doesn’t tell me one way or the other, frankly. He wants me out of the hand, clearly. Here I think a raise would be a foolish play, as I’m probably behind and I also am up against a player who likely isn’t going to fold to a raise. Folding would make sense here, but I couldn’t do it. I called. The pot is now just about 15 bucks.

The river brings the Jh and SamFrancisco checks. Question No. 3: Now that I’ve gotten you into this mess, what would you do here (and why)?

I’ve missed my boat. And the flush (if a flush was worth anything). Perhaps he doesn’t like that river, but then again, SamFrancisco is a decent player whom I think capable of a check-raise ploy here. I’ve got trips with a king-kicker. Is there any amount I can bet here that can make him fold, perhaps?

I meekly check, and we turn over our hands. He has the case ten, of course. But no boat. And an ace. Which out-kicks me and takes the pot.

Was already mildly bummed at the hand when MrPill suddenly pipes up, typing “funny shi* right there” as the chips glided up to SamFrancisco’s seat. MrPill adds: “pot bet pot bet check.”

I stew for a moment, then type “all right, MrPill. thx.” And he leaves me alone. I actually end up showing a bluff later after stealing a smallish pot from him. A reward for his smarm.

Screwed is how I felt playing the hand, though I’m sure a better player than I could’ve figured a way not to feel so cornered.

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