Passing the second nuts

Posted: September 2, 2010 in General

The action as best I can remember it from a hand at GQ last week (net +£525 over 6 hours of running broadly over expectation):

I limp in middle position with J7s, five other limpers including Joe in the cut-off who is playing tight aggressive and who has previously shown a fair degree of thought in his game. The rest of the table are passive donkeys.

Joe and I have been eyeing each other’s stacks up for a little while. He incorrectly believes he made a bad pass to me a while earlier, and I know (in a friendly / respectful way) that he’s looking to take vengence.

Flop comes 895 rainbow, I have a nice disguised double-gutter. First three players check, I put out a pot-building £8 bet and all call. Turn is a fairly blank 4, board still rainbow. All check (I don’t want to bet myself off of the hand).

River comes a lovely 6, giving me the second nut (one card) straight. First three check, I value bet £25 hoping to get looked up by 2-pair, and after a little thought and eyeing of my stack Joe makes it £110 to play (with £150 behind, I have him covered). Other players pass and I have to give some consideration to the situation.

I’m only beat by exactly T7, but the situation smells odd. My thought process (which I verbalise at the table) is as follows. Joe is quite TAG, there are lots of sevens in my range and so at best I think he can only believe he’s chopping. With just a 7 I think he has to play for the over-calls from the other three players. However, their lines suggest this is unlikely, so if he does have the mortal nuts he’s actually better raising it to get guaranteed value from my likely second-best hand (he’s has nothing to lose if we’re both chopping).

In the end I figure he has to have the nuts about 80% of the time. At the very best I’m calling for a chop, and so reluctantly I pass, face up. The table doesn’t comment on it, but I think Joe is quite surprised. At the time he claims K7 (chop), however later he admits to the T7. I’ll never know for sure, but I’m pretty convinced that he was being straight-up in the later conversation, and offering his grudging respect.


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