The Biggest Mistake I Never Made

Posted: March 5, 2011 in General

Bad Beat BonusSo it’s fairly early into what I expect to be a normal Friday night session, starting early doors at the Empire around 6pm.

I find myself at a new table, being dealt to by Kayshan, one of the guys I’ve got to know fairly well over the last year or two. We shoot the breeze a little before play starts, he ends-up on a bit of a rant about some of the big folds he made in a recent game. We’re of the same mind – the ability to pass big second best hands in poker is as good as money in the bank.

First orbit and I miss-step versus a tight regular player, four-betting bottom two-pair on a drawy board when the majority of his calling range beats me. He calls, his top two hold-up and I’ve kicked-off my night with a very avoidable £150 loss.

Fourth orbit and I’m dealt KcKh in the small blind. The field is already down to four players when I make it £13 to play, and three of us take a flop of JsTs7h. I’ve played fairly tightly apart from the earlier error, but feel I need to c-bet this wet board, despite that this defines my range more clearly. I open for £25, and the short stacked player in middle position quickly shoves for £80. It’s the tight regular player from earlier on the button, he thinks for about half a minute, eyes up my stack and calls – he and I have another £150 behind.

This appears to have turned into rather a bad spot for my big one pair hand. With the middle position player all-in, the button could easily be flatting with a big hand – top two, a set or the made straight, and if I call I’m effectively committing my stack with just an overpair. It’s possible that middle position has AJ, or that both players have a draw, but the button’s body language is extremely strong, and I pick-up three tells in quick succession that all seem to indicate that he has a monster.

I recheck my hand, if I have the king of spades then I at least have two cards to turn a set without putting a flush out there – but no, if I’m currently behind, then versus two players it’s likely I’m drawing to one out, the king of diamonds – and I’m virtually dead if one of the boys has an unlikely Q9.

Reflecting on the conversation with Kayshan earlier, I decide that this is most likely a good spot to show-off my ability to make a laydown, and so I do, offering him my cards for a peek. You can’t play results, but as it turns out I’ve screwed-up, the middle position player has Qs9s for the open-ended straight-flush draw and the button has As7s for bottom pair and the nut flush draw. However I’m still happy that I’ve made the correct fold versus their ranges, and with both flush and straight draws out there I’d only have been a small favourite (40% equity vs 36% (A7) vs 24% (Q9)), so it’s really not a horrible spot to have taken the low variance option of passing.

The board rolls out…

…turn Kd, I would have made a second best top-set…
…river Ks, I would have improved to the monster second best hand of quad kings versus a straight-flush.

I eye the £14,020 bad beat jackpot and somehow manage to smile ruefully.

  1. DS says:

    Should’ve folded the Ks pre-flop, they are evil

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