A couple other combatants

Wanted to wrap up my thoughts on some of the folks I played with. Got to mix it up with two of the bigger names on the coast and was lucky enough to knock them out. These are a pair of guys who made their poker names playing live poker vs. online poker, and that only made them more dangerous considering the venue. These guys have forgotten more poker strategy than I've learned. This will be a two part post, in this one I'll discuss those hands and in the next post, I'll give you the lessons I learned from playing them.

Captain Tom Franklin who has almost 30 cashes at the WSOP, 2.6 million in earnings and a bracelet also had a pretty decent stack when we were down to about four or five tables. He joined our table and played an orbit or so.

In late position I looked down at KQ o/s. There was a raise from early position from a player that didn't really apply hand ranges to position. I decided to call. Captain Tom from one of the blinds re-raises. The original raiser folds.

I hadn't played any hands with him and normally KQ is kind of like bringing a pocket knife to the jungle. The raise was hefty. I said, "You running a squeeze play Captain Tom?" probably 60/40 on folding despite having the chips to call.

To my surprise, perhaps in response to me assuming familiarity when he had never played with me before, he said somewhat combatively, "Squeeze? I've already looked at my cards, I'm done squeezing." I found that funny. It's a bit of a dated lexicon. I also found it weakish. I ruled out most of the hands that had me dominated and just started thinking Jacks.

The flop came queen high. He opened shoved. Now, at this point given the stack and bet sizes I was pretty much pot committed especially hitting the Queen. However, I stewed a bit, trying to absorb everything about the hand, in case he won and we'd lock horns again, or for some other time we might play, and you know what the bracelet winner looked uncomfortable. Sometimes in these situations I give myself a tiny window if I get a huge read to get away from the hand, but I wasn't going anywhere. Jacks made even more sense.

I called, and he said "I guess you outflopped me."


My KQ held.

Later at the final table, I had a much easier call. I was on Mark Wilds left. Mark is just shy of a million in earnings and has 68 cashes, including a cash in this years main event. To say he was probably the best player at the final table is probably an understatement.

The day before we merged 10 handed to play down to the final table's nine. He open shoved on me from the small blind when I was in the big. I smiled at him and said, "I'll call you pretty light." At that point, I was a little tired of Ricky and Slim on my left taking chunks out of my stack and I wasn't going to let the new guys think I was open for looting, much less the guy on my right.

He said "How light?" with a smile, "Guy earlier told me his minimum was 10-7."

I laughed, "Not that light, but pretty light."

He looked solid, and I stored that interaction away. My hand I think was dog poop and I mucked it.

Anyway at the final table, from pretty early position he shoved as the short stack. I looked down at 1010. It was for 60% of my chips. I thought about how to handle it. There were a lot of players to come. Do I shove over the top or do I flat? I was basically pot committed.

I (probably wrongly) decided to just call, if somebody woke up to AK behind me called me and the flop came out all bigs... I guess I could get off the hand. If the put me in preflop, I'm stuck to hand. I didn't think raising could get any trouble hands out of the pot and a bigger pair is just going to shove on me and I got to call there.

Anyway, as I was coming up with that conclusion, my eyes were on Mark and he looked uncomfortable too. Weird. In this little tournament, I saw both these guys sweating my decision. I called, flopped a set. He turned a gut shot and a flush draw, and rivered a six (thankfully).

He was very graceful on his exit and wished us luck.



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