I recently went to the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, MI a few weeks ago to meet a few guys for a bachelor party. I hadn’t played poker in a VERY long time; mostly because I can’t ever get enough people to play live and because online poker has been shut down.
It was a Friday afternoon, say around 4 or 5pm, so the tables that were running were minimal: there were 3, 1-2 tables with a $500 max buy-in. Now, I’m a proponent of and a strong believer in always sitting down with the max. But, after looking around the table at the stack sizes, I just bought in for the typical 1-2 max: $200.
Before I sat down at the table, I watched a few hands. Lots of limping pre-flop, lots of checking post-flop. I figured this was a good table to sit at because I could try to take advantage of all the limping, calling, and checking.
My first hand I’m in the cut-off and fold with crap. The second hand, however, is where things got fun. In the big blind, I was dealt 88. The cut-off limps, and about 3 or 4 more people limp, including the small blind. I figured in the BB with that many people in the hand, and it being my 2nd hand, I’ll just go ahead and set-mine, so I checked my big blind. And, if the flop was scary and I didn’t hit big, I’d just fold and play the next hand.
Flop comes Q55 rainbow. The SB checks, so do I, and so does everyone else. The turn…an eight. Just turned a boat. The SB throws out $5. I contemplate raising here, but there are so many people left to play behind me, I don’t want to scare anyone off just yet. After all, someone could be slow-playing a five.
I call the $5 bet and the cut-off immediatly raises it to $25. Beautiful. Everyone folds around to the SB who calls…even better. I jack it up to around $80 or so. I don’t think flat calling is the right move here because with two callers and one who insta-raised, one of them has to have a 5 and think they’re good (as long as they don’t have QQ or 55!). The cut-off insta-calls me and the SB thinks a bit and calls too, putting himself all-in.
I’m putting the cut-off on a five, but I’m not sure with what hand the SB is hesitant to call. Surely he’s not bad enough at this point to call with AQ? Maybe he has a five too? Who knows.
The river is a blank and I shove the rest of my $200 stack saying, “this is either going to be the quickest poker I’ve ever played, or the best triple up I’ve made in awhile” just to put the cut-off a little bit on tilt in case I win.
The cut-off looks a bit disgusted, but calls me.
Before I reveal what the cut-off had (obviously I had the best hand because of the title of this post), think about my play. If this were a table of semi-decent players, they would have noticed how transparent I played my hand. I mean, I called/re-raised? I’m either really dumb, or have a monster; there’s no way in hell I’m doing that with AQ. I got to at least have a strong five in my hand or something much better.
Anyway, I flipped my eights over and the cut-off flips over 95. 95!!! HA! Really? 95? Couldn’t he have thought I had T5? Anyway, the SB didn’t show his hand, but he said he had a five, too, and I ended up with almost $600 after my second hand at the table.
There are some lessons here. This hand is a perfect example as to a) why you never limp from the cut-off; and b) why you never limp with a hand like 95 from the cut-off when you’re not that good of a player and can’t recognize that your trip 5s just might not be good enough.
$1-$2 tables are a lot of fun and as long as you’re not stupid with your money and paying attention, it’s usually an easy pay day.