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Big Hand In Cash Game

August 15, 2012

I played in the River Rock Casino poker room in Vancouver the other day, and it was late into a long grinding session, somewhere between 2 and 3 a.m. As the saying goes: ‘Play big pots with big hands’ and I would even add to that ‘and with monster draws’, and that’s exactly what I did.

The pot was played against a local grinder – a sharp, young, Chinese guy. He was the table captain the entire night. I was careful, especially in pots against him, since I felt that he plays in a different league than I do. We both had the biggest stacks at the table, you can start with 150 BB in those cash games at the River Rock, and we were both over 300 BB deep.

I was dealt pocket sixes and opened the pot for 11 BB since there were too many limpers, so I did double my standard raise in this case in order to get rid of all the limpers and play one player heads up. Sure enough everyone folded except Mr. Sharp Asian Guy, who called me into position. My strategy was easy here since I was out of position and against the best player at the table, and most likely in the entire poker room, so if I did not hit my 6 on the flop for a set I would fold the hand.

The flop came 6-7-8, all hearts, as wet as a flop can be. While this was a dangerous flop, it gave me trip sixes and thus a hand that will stand up most of the time. I was first to act and bet a half-sized pot, about 13 BB, and got immediately raised to 50 BB. I did not believe that he had a made flush already, since why would he raise me so much with a made hand? It would make way more sense if he had a flush to just call and let me bet all the way and then put down the hammer at the end. So my best guess was that he was on a big draw and I was fairly certain that he had a heart in his hand and in his best case 2 cards that would somehow connect with the straight that was present on the flop. So in the worst case he might have had 17 outs twice (9 hearts and 8 lower cards to complete his straight), but more likely he was not open ended and had the straight draw just from one side, reducing his real outs to 13.

So I was fairly certain to have the best hand right here and thus being a favorite to win the hand. And when he missed the turn, I would then be a huge favorite, around 4:1 (if my reading of the situation was correct, of course). So I tank-raised him all in for another 200+ BB on top of his raise. He was visibly surprised, and since he did not snap-call me I was fairly certain that my reading of the situation was correct and that he had not made a flush (and even with a baby flush he would have difficulties calling this bet since he could easily be dominated with a big heart or even worse with 2 hearts, one bigger than anything he was holding).

He went into the tank for a while, and what looked to me like a sure laydown he started to talk, and said that he is tempted to call but that he has no heart in his hand…oops, that changed things for me entirely since without a heart in his hand how can he ever be thinking of calling a bet for all of his money? Even pocket aces are far behind my trip sixes and an open ended straight draw is very unlikely due to the connection of all 3 cards on the flop. So knowing that really made me feel good about my play and now I wanted a call from him. So I then replied that I don’t have a heart either!

Wow! That changed things in his world big time since he for sure put me on a flush draw (why else would I raise that much on such a wet flop?). So his belief of the situation was that I was either bluffing or that I had flopped a monster. Good thing for me that he was leaning more towards the bluff and called for all his money!

The turn was a 10 (no heart), the river was another 10 (no heart), giving me a full house sixes full of tens, so I flopped him dead. Even if he had made a straight with a holding like J-9 or 5-9 (but why would he call first hand pre-flop which is such an off-suit garbage hand) or if he was lying about the hearts (which I didn’t think since I was all-in and there was no reason to fool me, I had made my decision and it was up to him, and in those situations you always tell the truth, if you speak, since telling lies or funny stories is absolutely pointless at this point).

He mucked his hand and left the poker room after a lousy play, most likely he only had 4 outs twice for a very weak straight draw, like a gut shot with J-10 or so, a hand he can call pre-flop and raise with. And as the hand played out, those 4 outs were not even there after I made my full house, so all and all a very questionable play from Mr. Chinese Shark and a solid play for my side. I scooped up the 600+ BB pot and left as well and flocked tired but happy to my bed in the hotel…

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