Poker: Flop a Set... get away from it? Part IV
Flush draw... 109, 10j of spades? Backdoor straight draw maybe?
Hmmm. The guy is friends with a kid I played with all day. They've talked conspiratorially during breaks in the action as my former table mate was on the rail sweating the action. I don't know much about my opponent as the final table was the first table we shared. His friend was a different story. That guy was wild but in a good way. He had carefully cultivated the right image to get action and hammered his opponents for big pots, or he'd fold when our tight table would reveal the strength of their hands by playing back at him. Would they share the same poker strategy though?
He also knew how to get away from a hand and though he was aggressive he had different speeds for different opponents. After I found a spot to "value-check" on him he accorded me new respect and general avoided pots I got involved in. Value Check? Meaning, he wouldn't call a bet from me, but if I check 9 times out of 10 he bets. Most of those nine times he'd do so with air. So, with my top pair small ball was the way to go.
Anyway, I knew he was a good player so I rated the UTG player as also good. Players for the most part tend to run with players of similar abilities. Still, he didn't seem to play the same style as the other kid.
And being a bit of a nit. If I really can't decide I take the Steve Danamen Main Event approach and err on the side of caution. Folding can be a small mistake, calling can be a huge mistake. However... this was not a situation folding was too strong of an option.
Let's review, UTG limped. Okay... might make sense for him to limp a big hand and hope somebody comes over the top and then he shoves. KK, AA are in the range. Felt a little too early at this final table for a play like that, but I've seen people do it at the 25-25 level so who knows.
I look at him and he seems supremely confident. That makes the draw less likely. It also makes JJ, 1010 slightly less likely. Smallish pocket pairs might limp from early position so too suited connectors. Pocket 8s and pocket 5s enter the equation. In retrospect a lot of the few hands he could have crush me. The small blind might have got lucky and flop a straight.
Well, he's telegraphing a fold. Maybe he's trying to be tricky and get me to jump into the pot. Three people tried that move on me already in the last couple of tournaments and all it did was make me gun shy. I took the simple approach. I flopped a set I have a chance to basically double up. Guy could be on all kinds of draws.
I talked to a player I respect a lot after the tournament, when I was licking my wounds from a min cash and as I reviewed the hand in retrospect in my head everything told me he was beat. He didn't look like he was too worried when he put his stack in with the only two stacks bigger than his were at the table.
Hmm... like he had a double up hand. If he's a good player, he might be just a little concerned the flop connected with somebody and his over pair was in risk of getting snapped off. Ugh. He had the type of hand you protect. 8s or 5s.
The player with a ton of money to his name in tournament cashes, basically told me its an instacall absent a huge read. "I'm not looking for spots to lay down sets at a final table." He's right.
I think if in this spot again, I'll probably get snapped again, and only be upset about it because it sucks to go out that way.www.gulfcoastpoker.net