Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a pair of twos

... as in two second place finishes.

I watched a good player make an isolation raise over a limper in the middle levels, and I figured the chance was good that his range was wider than normal. I shoved over the top of him with AQs, figuring he would fold all but his best hands, which I suppose was true - he called with AKo. Oops.
The poker gods gave me one back, though, and brought me a queen on the flop to knock out a good player and double me up.

I had one of those "clarity" moments where I thought I could see about 5 levels deep into the "what does he think that I think that he thinks that I have" type of deals. It was a blind vs. blind battle - I had K3 in the small and open limped in. (My opponent was passive and I thought the chances low that he would raise, plus my stack was in the awkward 12-15 blind stages where stealing can cause problems if you're called, so a limp felt better than a raise this time around).

I hit a king on the flop but checked with my awful kicker. He checked behind. The turn went Bet/Call, so I figured he had a piece or a little draw he was willing to take a shot on. The river completed a goofy straight draw but nothing else. Bet or check? I decided (in that split second decision time) that I couldn't put him on a king because we both checked the flop, and he furthermore couldn't put me on a king either for the same reasons. He probably thought that he was ahead, or maybe he could bluff a busted draw. I checked to induce a bet from him, and he obliged. The bet was a bit bigger than I wanted to comfortably call with a 3 kicker, and of course I could be behind all kings of odd two pairs in this unraised pot, so I typed "ugh" into the chat box and went with my read. I called and won a decent pot against his second pair.

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