Thursday, August 9, 2012

How a Fold Lead to a Win

I know it's been a little over a week since I've posted anything, and while I could go on about what's been happening the last week - bad back, horrendous start to August & the rebound - I want to discuss a hand that played out a couple of days ago.  Matter of fact, I only remembered this hand about 15 minutes ago & felt the need to write about it.  OMG, poker content!

Anyway, I was at the Mirage playing a 1-2 game.  I don't usually play there due to bad rulings/bad results, but word on the street was the games were really soft this week, so I decided to check it out.

I will preface the hand I want to talk about with a hand that happened immediately prior.  I was in the 4 seat & raised to $10 preflop with QQ, & only the 5 seat called.  The flop came J high rainbow, I bet $15, he calls.  Turn was a baby, I checked to pot control/induce a bluff, he check back.  River paired the board.  I just knew villain had a jack, so I value-bet about $40, he calls.  I show the QQ, he shows JT, and I scoop.

Now the hand of note, which was the very next hand.  UTG limps, all fold, I look down at KK & raise to $12, only the limper called.  Flop comes down J76 rainbow.  Perfect!  He checks, I fire $20, he thinks for about 5 seconds & calls.  Turn brings an 8.  He checks, I fire $45.  Villain now thinks for about 10 seconds then shoves another $125 on top.  What the hell?  I get TWO premium hands in a row & this guy wants to shove on me?  So I tank.

I think about all the possibilities of hands that he has.  I realize he has played kind of solid and hasn't gotten out of line to this point.  I take about a solid minute, finally apologize to the table for taking so long, then I did something I rarely do.  I started talking to the guy.  I wanted information.

"Do you really have 9T here?  45?"

"Did you flop your set?"

"Are you on a draw?"

The entire time the guy sat there looking away in the distance in front of him with his head resting on his hand.  But the more I talked to him the more I thought I saw him turning red.  Now I had to interpret what this meant.   I took a few seconds with this and finally determined that he was reddening because he wanted a call.  I also figured there would be better opportunities at this table to make money.  So I sighed really big & said "OK, you got it" & folded my KK face up hoping to get a show from him.

And he turned over 9Tcc for the turned straight.  I smiled & turned my head to the heavens, thanking God for helping me find a fold there.  It also dawned on me that, as with the hand prior, my reads were spot on.  As the villain was stacking his chips my neighbor in the 3 seat turned to me & said "that took a little chunk out of you, huh?"  He wasn't intending on being cruel, he was genuinely trying to be nice.  But I looked at him and said "yeah, it might have.  But if I keep making reads like that, I'm going to make some money today."

Needless to say, I left a couple of hours later up a buy in.  This leads me to 2 things.  1) A quality fold can be profitable later on, & 2) NEVER let your opponent know he made the right decision.

Thanks for reading & run good!


  1. The key wasn't getting a reaction from the villain. Instead, the key was proper interpretion of it. Good job.

  2. It has been said time and time again that the difference between a pro and an amateur is a pro can lay down the big hands. Great job Playa.