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Poker : Misplaying A-7 at the WSOPE
Just before the dinner break at the $17,000 buy-in World Series of Poker Europe Main Event in London, I was in full control of my game, sticking to my game plan of playing super-tight and reraising opponents every thirty minutes or so, or whenever I sensed they were weak.
My tablemates kept giving me credit for having a strong hand whenever I did reraise because I played so patiently. And my reading skills were spot on, too. I won almost every pot that I reraised pre-flop, and often with squadoosh n the technical poker term for nothing at all!
Picking up those free chips really kept me in the game and gave me the chance to play some bigger pots later on when I did get some real hands.
Okay, so I was sitting on about 34,000 chips, with the blinds at 150/300, when the following series of hands came up.
First I picked up A-A and won a small pot. I made sure to show my aces to reinforce my tight table image. Then, on the very next hand, I picked up J-J and won another nice-sized pot.
Now, with 40,000 in chips, I looked down at Ad-7c and opened for 800. A kid behind me called as did the player in the big blind. The flop came Qs-7d-5d and I bet 2,000. The kid called and the third player folded.
The 9h fell on the turn. I paused for a long while before betting out 4,000. The kid took his sweet time before finally making the call.
The river was the Ac. I led out with a 10,000 bet with my aces up. The kid quickly called, tabled his pocket fives, and scooped the pot with a powerful set.
Let's take a closer look at this hand.
I don't like my 800 opening raise with Ad-7c. See, I'd been on a good run of cards and thought the time was right to deviate from my super-tight plan. As it turned out, my timing couldn't have been worse.
The kid's call with a small pocket pair was by the book.
On the flop, I like my 2,000 bet because there was an excellent chance that I actually had the best hand at the time. But I really love the kid's smooth call with a flopped set.
Now it's true that the kid could have opted to raise it up to protect his hand since there were flush and straight draws on the board. And by raising, he would have gotten some more of my money into the pot.
But I still like the kid's smooth call. Why raise and risk the possibility that I would fold, or deny me the opportunity to bluff off more of my chips with the worse hand?
My 4,000 bet on the turn was a bit sketchy. I failed to adequately consider that the only hand I could have realistically beaten was a flush draw. I should have checked instead.
The kid's call on the turn was a really good play even though most top players would have raised it up to protect their hand from all the possible draws. While I don't have a major beef with that philosophy, I still prefer the check.
My 10,000 bet on the river was a bit weak. It didn't give me the chance to pick off a possible bluff nor induce the kid to fold a possible queen. I should have tossed out a smaller bet, say 4,000, to give the kid a chance to call if he did have a queen.
Oh well, even a top pro like me can misplay A-7 with the best of them!
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