10/20 table, Texas Hold’em no limit, Grand Lisboa, Macau.
I looked down at my hand: K Q suited. I was up about 2 buy-ins and I was hungry. I was on the verge of mucking my hand to get some food when I thought (as I now realize most amateurs like me must do): “I’ll just stay for one more hand.” I limped in at early position along with Glasses-Guy and Red-Shirt-Guy. The flop was K Q 7 rainbow. My heart skipped a beat, and involuntarily blinked to double check that I had got the flop right.
My gut told me Glasses-Guy had missed with either a small/middle pair or suited connectors. Red-Shirt-Guy was a little less predictable, so I checked to him to see if he would try and steal the pot. RSG checked, and Glasses-Guy bet 100. [On a side note – a 100 bet is considered spare change at Grand Lisboa.] I thought: “100! Are you kidding me?” I raised to 300.
RSG insta-folded. Glasses-Guy thought long and hard about it. The dealer called time twice. Finally, with one hesitant look he pushed 2700 all-in.
I was in one of those moments known colloquially as a “What The F*ck Just Happened” moment. I had pictured in my head at most a hesitant call from Glasses-Guy, and maybe, if all went well with the cards, calls all the way down to the river where I would (very stylishly) flip over my top two pairs and rake in a couple hundred bucks. And there I was staring at a full stack all-in holding top two pairs on a rainbow flop.
Was this guy crazy? I had been in about two hands with the guy. He had folded early so I never actually saw what cards he was playing with. I asked myself whether this guy knew what he was doing. Was he a fish? Then I asked myself whether I knew WTF I was doing. There was no pre-flop raise, so I ruled out KK/QQ. In fact I was hoping he had pocket aces and limped in, but that would have been hoping for too much. Did he hit a set with pocket 7’s? If so, why go all in on a rainbow flop? Why not string me along? Perhaps he has AK. Yes, that’s it. He hit his top pair and is going for broke.
I called with a third of my hard earned stack. The turn and river cards were a blur – because it was over so quickly. Glasses-Guy (very stylishly) flipped over pocket Q’s and victoriously raked in the money. A set of Q’s versus my K Q two pairs. Needless to say I was floored. It was a brilliant play by him, and I fell for it completely. I sat there trying to keep up a cheerful demeanor, mouthing “Nice hand, very well played” as if on autopilot, but on the inside I was beating myself up for falling for something that must have been so obvious to the other players. I took my leave and shuffled off to dinner.
About two hours later I returned to the table feeling recharged. Glasses-Guy was still there, now with about double the amount of money he had when I left for dinner. The next thing I did would probably be frowned upon by the regulars and the pros – I consciously made the decision to win back all of my money from Glasses-Guy. For the next few hours I played a couple hands here and there. I waited, and folded, and waited, folded…
About 3 and a half hours into the session I looked down at my hand. What I did next was (at that point) unprecedented in my poker playing track record – I limped in at middle position. Glasses-Guy called. Old Geezer called.
The flop was K Q 3 rainbow.
Old Geezer checks to me. I bet 100. Glasses-Guy raises to 400. Old Geezer folds.
Gee, doesn’t this look familiar?
I wondered to myself whether I would be able to pull off the exact same stunt on the guy who had taken a third of my stack just hours ago. I re-raised to 900. I could see in his eyes that he was weighing the possibilities. Was I on tilt? Did I have KK/QQ? Wouldn’t I have raised pre-flop? Did I have a small set? “Tell me you have pocket Aces” he says as he pushes all-in.
I call instantly, and (VERY stylishly) flip over my pocket Kings. My set of Kings holds up all the way against his K Q two pairs and I rake in his entire stack along with the 3000 I had deposited earlier. He comes over and we shake hands. It had been a huge night, and we both enjoyed the rivalry. I bathed in the victory, knowing that it could easily have happened the other way round – and did – but for that one fleeting moment I didn’t give a sh*t.
And that is why I play poker.
Interesting poker stories? Leave me a comment! Let me know if you play poker at Grand Lisboa too.