Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Question Mark

Question markWas talking to Vera Valmore yesterday about a hand I’d played -- another one of those “Hand of the Day” conversations -- and she said something at the end that made me laugh out loud. Not sure if I’ll be able to reproduce the story in a way that will be as funny -- probably a “had to be there”-type tale. But I’ll try.

This story is a little like the one I told last week, in which the “Hand of the Day” actually involves two hands. And again, in the first one I lose a small pot, then that hand appears as though it might well have affected how the next one went.

Was playing six-max., pot-limit Omaha ($25 max.) and had been at the table for a half-hour or so, chipping up to $33.95. It folded to the cutoff, GLTirebiter, who limped, and I limped behind with Tc2h6cKh from the button. Both blinds stuck around. The flop came 9h5cKc and when it checked around to me I bet 95 cents to try to claim the orphaned pot. The blinds folded, and GLTirebiter called. The turn was the Jh and when GLTirebiter checked I decided just to check as well, although given my multiple draws, I really should be betting again there.

The river was the 7d, and when GLTirebiter checked I decided he didn’t have much and so bet $2.20 -- just over three-fourths of the pot. He called and showed TsKs4sAc. Like me, all he had was a pair of kings, but he had the ace for the better kicker.

As the $6.95 pot slid his way, I was compelled for some reason to type “?” in the chatbox. Just a question mark. Not sure why I typed that, other than the fact that I genuinely was a bit surprised he’d call so light there. Once I’d typed it, though, I realized how ambiguous that question mark really looks in the chatbox. Am I questioning his play? (I guess, a little.) Am I confused? (Sure, sure.) Am I just a moron who doesn’t understand what a kicker is? (Who knows?)

Anyhow, I’d explained that hand to Vera, including my inconsequential musings about The Great Significance Of The Infinitely Interesting Question Mark, then came the real “Hand of the Day.”

It was the next hand, and I picked up the very nice 8sKc7cKs in the cutoff. GLTirebiter limped in, and I quickly raised to $1.00, hoping perhaps it looked like I might be steaming. The big blind called, as did GLTirebiter, and the flop came Js3hKh, giving me top set. Both of my opponents checked, and I hesitated about five seconds before betting pot ($3.90). The big blind folded, but GLTirebiter called, obviously holding some sort of draw.

The turn was the 8h, completing a possible flush. GLTirebiter checked, and I waited a bit before checking as well. Wasn’t really sure what I’d do on the river. Probably fold, unless I improved, as I was reasonably sure my neighbor had a flush.

Luckily the river came the Jd, pairing the board and giving me top full house. GLTirebiter surprisingly bet $8.75. I lingered for a long time, then pushed all in for $25.65. He thought about it for a few seconds, then called, leaving himself just a buck behind). He showed KdQd9hAh for the nut flush. I’d won a $60.20 pot.

As I wound up my self-congratulatory narrative to Vera, I said “To his credit, he typed ‘nice hand’ afterwards.” That’s when Vera cracked me up.

“Did you type a question mark?” she said with a smirk.

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