Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Still four players

I played for about 4½ hours at Palace on Monday morning, taking a nice spring vacation day. I played well in the tournament, but when the blinds were getting high and my stack was getting low, I got knocked out before the money when I called an all in bet with AKo against QQ.

I then went to the $3/$6 game, and played some of the best poker I've played in months. A big part of it, I think, was I was in a seat that didn't have a good view of a TV screen. I hate those things; they're so distracting.

I held my own for a while. Up $20, down $20, then hit a couple of big pots (like AJ on JAJ flop) to bring me up +$116. A few blinds and a badly played pair of pocket fives brought me back down to +$96, and I left when my brain felt exhausted.

The best hand of the day, though, didn't earn me a big stack. Nope. Here's the situation. I'm in the small blind, and I'm dealt A♦K♥. The big blind to my left only has $2 after he posts his $3 blind. The under the gun player, who seems to be a good player but plays his draws too long, calls the $3. A few callers, and it folds around to the button, who raises to $6. The button's a crazy old Asian guy who has built a pretty good stack by paying whatever it takes to see the flop, and then getting out quickly if the flop misses him, but winning big pots with hands of two random cards.

I re-raise it to $9, the big blind is now all in, the under the gun player calls, and it folds around to the crazy button caps it to $12. I call, the UTG calls, there's $41 in the pots already. Main pot is $20, side pot is $28. Four players.

The flop is K♦T♥J♠ I've got top pair top kicker, and I really only fear AQ. I bet $3, UTG calls, and the button raises. This tells me that he's got a hand, and that UTG probably has a face card. I like my hand though, so I re-raise. UTG calls again, and the button caps it. I call and UTG calls. $85 in the pots. Still four players.

The turn is a Q♣

I'm gleeful, thinking one of the players hit two pair, and the other may have three of a kind, losing to my straight. There's probably another ace out there though, so we'll be splitting the pot. That's OK. If we can keep the third player in, we'll split his money. I bet $6. UTG laughs "I'm good," implying that he's got the ace. He raises. The big blind, who has been sitting back wishing he had more money in the pot, says "I'm good, too." The crazy button laughs and calls. I raise, UTG raises, we all call, and I say "I'm good, too." No way that the four of us have all four aces. $156 in the pot. Still four players.

The river's a rag. We're all laughing now. I bet, UTG raises, button calls, I re-raise, UTG caps it, we all call, and the grand reveal:

It's a four way chop. We each get our money back. The money from the people who limped then folded pre-flop paid for the rake and the tip. I thought this kind of crazy hand only happened online.

(And I'm still not sure why the crazy Asian was calling instead of re-raising. The rake had already maxed out when the pot hit $30.)

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