Monster Laydown #2

Wow, tonight was so not the night to play poker. I wish I could go back and recount all of the suck-outs and bad beats that happened tonight, but I can’t remember them all (yes, there were that many!). Even myself, I was knocked out, all in with pockets Aces, beaten by 5-6 of clubs when a 6 came on the turn and a 6 came on the river! Yeah, probability went straight out the window tonight.

But honestly, I didn’t make many mistakes tonight. I honestly think the only two mistakes I made were not going all-in with A-8 offsuit on the button (everyone folded to the big blind, who had nothing), and raising 4 bets with my pocket Aces up front (I should’ve sent it around the table to let someone else raise). I even had a monster laydown tonight that really made me believe I’m cranking my poker skills way up!

To setup the story, the blinds are $25-$50 at this point, and I have roughly $800 in front of me (plus or minus). Jeff, who was in first position and the chip leader with almost $1200 in chips, raises it up, makes it $150 to go. Everyone folds, and I’m in the big blind, so it’s another $100 for me to call. I have Ac-Js, and so I call.

Flop comes down 4h-8h-Jh. I’ve just hit top pair with the best kicker. I figure at this point, I need to see if Jeff’s on a flush draw, so I bet $100. Jeff leans back, thinks, and says “Hmmm, I put you on a draw” and raises up to $500.

This isn’t an all-in for me, but Jeff knows I can’t just call here, it’s either an all-in or a fold. So, I go right into the think tank. At first glance, of course, it looks like Jeff’s got the flush (or damn close to it). But then I started to think about Jeff’s words to me: “I put you on a draw.” It started to dawn on me that Jeff wouldn’t have said that if he was on a draw himself. So he must already have a made hand.

But what made hand? This was the crucial part I needed to figure out. I figured he wouldn’t have raised up front with pocket 4′s or pocket 8′s, so trips are out. Two pair? No, he couldn’t have raised up front with any of 4-8, 4-J, or 8-J.

So with the border-line hands gone, the only possibilities are monster hands. First on the list, the flush. This seemed unlikely for a few reasons. One, if he had it, why would he bet so big? If he has the flush, it’s probably the nuts (because he could’ve only raised up-front with A-K or A-Q of hearts), so why push me out of the pot?

With the flush eliminated, what’s left? Well, there’s only a few possibilities. First, the hands I can beat: pocket 9′s, pocket 10′s, and a jack with a worse kicker than mine.

9′s and 10′s seemed unlikely because a $400 raise facing a flush and an over-card is really out of line (even if one of the 9′s or 10′s is a heart). Jack with a worse kicker? Maybe, but would he have raised with J-10, J-Q, J-K? It didn’t seem likely.

So now we come to the bad part: the hands that have me dominated. These would be the monster pocket pairs: jacks, queens, kings, or aces. Jacks seemed unlikely, since I have one and there’s one on the board. Queens, kings, or aces? Yep, these are a definite possibility, all of which have me crushed.

Eventually, I realized the only hand Jeff could’ve had that I can beat was pocket tens. But, the queens, kings, or aces seemed way more likely, so I reluctantly laid it down.

And what did Jeff turn over when all was said and done? Pocket kings.