July 25, 2007


Last night I made the sweetest $15 I've ever earned.

I was sitting at the most competitive $1-$1-$2 table I've been at in Colma. Every hand was being raised and raised large. In the first orbit, I saw two pots that had topped $100 before the flop was dealt.

More impressive than the dollars being flung around were the players doing the slinging. This was a serious bunch of folks who seemed to be playing way below their level.

I was looking forward to seeing how I'd do against this tough group (mistake #1) but I was folding every hand. I picked up 7-2 four separate times during the first 30 hands. The other 26 hands were not much more remarkable. As a result, my table image was squeaky tight.

At the beginning of the 4th orbit, I'm in the small blind when an aggressive player with $600 in chips raises to $15 from middle position.

It's folded around to me and I look down to see J3. Now this hand is a stinker. In fact, according to one dataset the expected value of this hand is in the bottom 10% of all possible starting hands.

But here's the thing. The small blind is an excellent place from which to make a huge pre-flop bluff. Since you are first to act in all subsequent rounds, your terrible position lends credence to you having a real hand.

I read about this move in Sklansky & Miller's "No Limit Hold'Em: Theory & Practice." And the specific hand they mention as being a good hand for this maneuver is J-3. You make the big bluff with your worst hand so as not to "waste" a hand you actually stand a chance to improve with on the flop.

Of course, they also recommend doing it against an unraised pot with several limpers, not against one player who bet 7.5x the big blind (mistake #2). I kinda forgot that part.

But this is, in general, a good move for me to pull off once in awhile. I'm a tight player so a pre-flop bluff is highly unexpected. Also, my opponent was playing a lot of hands aggressively and I didn't give his $15 raise that much credit.

I announce raise and throw in two black chips for a total bet of $40 making it $25 more to the raiser. And he starts thinking. And thinking.

He asks me how much I have left and I tell him $120. Then, he starts counting out chips.

At this point, I'm hoping he's gonna put me all-in so at least I can fold. What the hell am I gonna do if he just calls and I've got to play an $80 pot with Jack-poopy-three.

It's also become evident that the guy has a real hand. A-Q or a high pocket pair. The only hands I can rule out are AK, KK or AA figuring that he certainly would have called with those.

Finally, after a lifetime, he says "Forget it" and folds his hand. Before he does, he flips his cards to show QQ. I was over an 8-to-1 dog against him.

The table is amazed that he'd fold his queens, the 3rd best possible starting hand. He figured there's no way I'd make that raise with anything but AA or KK.

And I'm dying to show my hand. If I'd known that I was gonna switch tables an hour later to find an easier game, I probably would have. But there's no value in giving away information like this.

But I stack my $15 profit and briefly consider myself a legend of small stakes poker.


Anonymous said...

i cant even believe that you think that stupid story was worth no doubt the 20 minutes it took you to type it (i say 20 minutes because after reading that pathetic over dramitised story, it becomes evident that youre a complete and utter neanderthal who probably couldnt even pass 9th grade if you gave your teacher a blow job, thus assuming a post of that length would require considerable thought and overuse of the F7 button)I have made higher raises with less credible cards and had pocket aces fold to me...but I dont consider that innocent internet surfers would want to be bored for 3 to 5 minutes by reading about a hand that should have been forgotten as quickly as it was played. Mistake #3 - thinking people actually give a toss about your stupid raise which only made you a profit of $15 anyway.
A legend of small stakes poker PLEASE !! LOL meter --> {-|||||||||+} Get a life loser!

goldman said...

Wait, I can't tell where I rank on the LOL meter.

Can you please provide a more detailed graphic?

Lane Collins said...

So... I think the moral of the comment is that supposedly better things have happened to worse people.

zomg TROLL METER!!@! ||||||||||||+++8==O

timoni said...

I had no idea there was a correlation between between long posts, relations with your teachers, and the F7 button.

That may well be the best comment I've ever read.

goldman said...

Oh yeah, I was afraid to admit my ignorance lest I fan the flames, but I don't know what the F7 button does.

Steve Jenson said...

F7 raises your lol meter.

Eugene said...

If you did that to your 9th grade teacher, what did you have to do to graduate from college?

whatever, this fool probably blows themselves for less than $15.

Anonymous said...

I wont argue with idiots, you'll drag me down to your level then beat me with experience.

goldman said...

That's a very principled stand, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

oh and eugine (what kind of gay name is eugine anyway - i would have gone to the registry and changed that shit as soon as i was old enough to understand what my cruel mother did to me) of COURSE I blow myself for less than $15 dollars ! Why would i pay myself ? So I can spend my money ? If you losers are going to attempt insults please at least try some sort of creativity!

Anonymous said...

oh, and im a girl so its more like finger myself not blow!

Anonymous said...

And, I think you owe me $15 just for explaining that Poo-gene.

Get it straight! My finger is like your mouth if my vagina were your penis.

Which it isn't.

'Cause I'm a lady.

Eugene said...

Actually, my mother intended to call me Mangina, so in a way I was blessed by being named "eugine"-which could be construed as gay, or at least the sort of name a pederast would have...maybe i've gone too far...

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should just sit in a corner and cry because your cruel mother gave you no chance to be remotely successful in life by giving you a name like Gaygene which is just asking for bigger, nastier kids in school to spit on you and repeatedly pull your jocks over your head.
Or you could lose your mind with a shotgun and kill everyone including her.
But then you would have to kill yourself too cause I cant imagine serving a life sentence in prison with a name like Eugene! LOL !
LOL meter --> {-||||||||||||+}

Unknown said...

Jesus CHRIST, I need to play some extra small stakes poker just to wash the brine of these comments off.

P. Sternberg said...

Don't you people understand the point anonymous is trying to make? The blogosphere is a sacred place! Think of the innocent internet surfers, please! They deserve better than to be bored for 3 to 5 minutes.