Friday, October 1, 2010

Timing a bit off

Started off down in the Thursday night cash game. My set of queens went runner-runner-four-hearts on the board. Mr. Pietzak made a small quarter river bet that could have been a bluff and I paid off his small flush. Some all-in aggression on the turn would have taken the pot down - it's not easy to turn a set of queens into a bluff in the face of three flush cards, though. It would have been the right play that time.

There should have been many more future opportunities with my position at the table relative to the good players and the bad players, but nothing was happening card-wise. Later in the evening, just as someone left the game and turned it short-handed, I picked up a nice little queen-nine suited and decided to raise it up. My image was spotless from folding for 3 hours. The action behind me went, call, minraise, (I call the minraise), then SHOVE, then CALL (shortstack). So much for queen-nine soooted. I watched ace-king and pocket fives battle it out for my dead $6 instead. My timing, once again, was a bit off.

On the literal last hand of the night, I came close to donking my stack away. I called a Mr. Pietzak raise with nine-ten offsuit from the blinds. Not my normal play, to be sure - drawing hands out of the blinds are a recipe for disaster. The board was jack-eight-rag, and I liked my chances with my eight out open-ender. I checked, then check-raised, Mr. Pietzak's flop bet. He smiled a bit like he knew it was coming, then said "bad timing, Matthew", and made the call. Top pair or overpair for him. I made a quick stack check - about 50 blinds left, about 36 in the pot. I was going to need some fold equity to make this play work. I waited for the bricky turn card, then I shoved my stack in. Mr. Pietzak said "give me a count please, because I'm strongly thinking of making this call". I wordlessly stacked the chips, (mis)-counted them out, then told him the incorrect total. Tony corrected me - and I knew I had probably just revealed my hand due to nervousness. Mr. Pietzak wondered aloud what I was holding - he didn't have to wonder very hard - there was one draw I could have and I had it. His only question was whether I had the club flush draw that showed up on the turn to go with the 9T on the flop. There's always the chance I have a set, of course, but am I pushing so hard with a set here? Don't I want to bet something he will call?

He thought a good while and then mucked it. He later said "I felt like I had him, but I didn't want to get unlucky for $60 on the last hand of the night". Unlucky is exactly what he would have found himself - a rabbit-hunted river would have given me the nut straight.

So my timing was ok after all.

Note to self - make sure to play a set like this from the blinds against Mr. Pietzak. Or pocket aces.

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