Vij was staying with us at the weekend and I’d left him in front of the TV whilst I went upstairs to play some poker. I’m a fantastic host, as you can tell, but he knows where the kettle is, and that’s all that really matters.
When he wandered in I had four tables running and almost straight away I fell into this hand. Instinctively I began talking through my thought process, which made me look like a genius (naturally) and also made me wonder whether thinking through hands out loud was a good strategy. If I have to justify every decision to someone else, I should make good decisions.
I made a pretty damn good laydown here, and for the right reasons, but I’m still not convinced by my flop play. It was a little bit on the random side. Should I be thinning the field with a good but vulnerable hand in a multi-way pot, or should I wait for a safe card or to improve and then re-evaluate? I opted to call, not really knowing whether I was trapping or going fishing.
Still, I folded a set and I was right.
Preflop: Hero is UTG with 9c, 9h.
Hero calls $0.50,
We’re talking about something else, and I limp in on autopilot.
“Chris, you’ve got a pair of nines on that table.”
He points, but knows better than to get too close and risk getting a sweaty fingerprint onto my monitor.
“Yep, I already called, look.”
“Didn’t you want to raise with that?”
“No, I’ve got poor position and I want to keep the pot small…”
UTG+1 raises to $1.5,
“… so I can still play if someone raises. Like that. ”
There was an actual smilie at the end when I spoke
MP1 calls $1.50, 2 folds, CO calls $1.50,
“Any more callers? This will be easy then. If I don’t catch another 9 I’m done, but if I do I should be laughing.”
Vij nods. He didn’t actually nod. He’ll have said something, because that’s Vij’s way, but I wasn’t exactly listening. I was waiting to see if I would be able to show off by winning a nice big pot. In fact I don’t really remember what else he said at all. Hell, I’m struggling to remember what I said myself and just making up stuff to fill in the gaps.
1 fold, SB calls $1.25, 1 fold, Hero calls $1.
Flop: ($8) Tc, 9d, Js (5 players)
“Yes! Oh, wait. That’s sort of good”.
SB bets $0.5, Hero calls $0.50,
“Right, let’s see what happens.”
UTG+1 calls $0.50, MP1 raises to $4,
“Hmm. What’s he raising with?.”
CO calls $4,
“Oh. This one’s got something then.”
SB calls $3.50,
“So somebody could have the straight. I’m not scared of him, but he’s a worry. This guy probably has a draw, probably just a queen.”
I wiggle at MP1, then CO, then SB in turn using the mouse pointer, then pause to work out the pot odds.
“But I do have odds to draw against the straight, so I can call even if I’m behind”
Hero calls $3.50, UTG+1 folds.
“OK, pair it!”
Turn: ($24.50) 4s (4 players)
“That doesn’t help anyone, so let’s see who’s still interested.”
SB checks, Hero checks, MP1 bets $14,
“Right. I’m not afraid of him.”
CO raises to $36.25, SB folds,
“Now we have a decision, don’t we?”.
Vij nods, or something, and I press the button for some extra thinking time.
“OK, I don’t care what the first guy has, it’s probably not much. This is the one who has a hand. He could have the straight, but I can’t say for sure. Aaaaagh, what do I actually beat? Anything? Would he really push there with two pair? No.”.
I’ve come to a decision. Folding a set is excrutiating, but there’s no way I’m winning.
“He’s got two tens, two jacks or a straight.”
Hero folds, MP1 calls $22.25.
“God I hope I’m right.”
River: ($97) 2c (2 players)
Final Pot: $97
Main Pot: $97, between CO and MP1.
MP1 has Qh Jh (one pair, jacks).
CO has Ts Th (three of a kind, tens).
Outcome: CO wins $97.
My hands thrust themselves into the air.
“Oh yes. I’m good”.
And Vij is less impressed than he should be.