Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tell It To Me

So last night in the home poker game, I'm in the cash portion of the evening, since the tournament has become a bad joke. (Seriously, when you are 0-for-6 on your last six all-in bets, it's time to adjust your expectations.) And I'm in a hand with pocket sevens in middle position, at a table with players who are likely better than me. Or, at the very least, ready to tell me that I have tells.

Ah, the poker tell. The conspiracy theory of the poker world, in that whenever you are called down with something and suffer a wretched fate, it must be the tell; that little thing that you are doing that makes you open, John Malkovitch in Rounders-esque, to losing all of your chips and looking like the biggest chump that ever walked. It's a lovely thing to suspect, really.

A week ago at a roast-like event at my old job, an ex-coworker of mine took me to task for my terrible poker face, doubting that I ever make money at such things, since I had reacted with obvious disappointment at company-wide meetings when I didn't receive an award. (At which point the only response is that you are allowed to react when the hand is *over*, jackass.) Afterward, my best poker game regular, who was also in attendance to a workplace connection, complained that he had convinced me over the years that I didn't have one, and here goes this guy, spilling the beans.

Being funny, of course. Real funny. I'd have done the same thing if the roles were reversed. But still, now I kind of want to bust his ass and take all of his chips. Just a little more than usual.

So with my over but not crazy raise getting called by two players, here comes the dream flop of the ages: 2-2-7. The Love Boat, right there on flop, the second nuts behind only a pair of deuces, which really doesn't seem too likely, because really, you'd have to be running pretty bad to have the only better hand for that flop dealt and still in the hand with you. And I know they are ready me for tells, and I want this hand to get paid.... so hand on the mouth to show how weak I am, and scared of smirking as I try to bluff this pot? Oh yeah, you're getting that. Nervous look-off stare moment? Sure, suck on that, too. Hesitating and disgusted check that shows my Ace-Queen has missed yet again, and that I know that if I continuation bet this, I'm just going to run straight into someone else's two pair or trips? But of course. My target thinks about betting the flop, but doesn't. Slow play for pay is not yet the way.

The turn is a 6, making a straight and flush draw alive, and hopefully pairing someone up enough to come bet. That's what happens, with the target going for it. I smooth call him, again out of disgust, since I've got those six pretend outs for my ace and queen on the river and just can't give this up yet, because I'm stubborn and stupid.

The turn is an 8, opening up the straight (huzzah!) and giving my target enough reason to bet. I min-raise, trying to look stealish and weak; it works with an all-in bet, which I snap call for the payoff that fuels a good night in the cash game.

Tell, indeed. Suck on my tell. And rock on...

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