Just a Cooler?
It’s early in a deep stack Saturday NL hold 'em event with 30K to start and 30 minute levels at my local casino. I missed the first couple of levels and started in level 3; the following hand occurred in level 7 with blinds at $400/$800/$100.
The game had been going well and I was right on track; I hadn’t yet really got any cards but had been playing well and making the most of situations. Then a player got moved to my table that I didn‘t know but immediately knew at the same time. He was an older man, about 60-65 years old, and had the largest stack at our table with about $75K. That’s a red flag to me immediately because I know he doesn’t have a clue. He is not a rock pre-flop, but after the flop he certainly is since he must have something to continue and is unable to bet on the come; yet the biggest thing I can pull out of my description for this player is that he is position ignorant.
I had about $55K and my opponent had about $75K.
From UTG he raises for the 3rd time in 5 hands to $3K; his previous raises were to $2,400. When he did this he exhibited several very standard tells
. Not only was his bet sizing a little large for the $800 level –and larger than the amount he had previously wagered in the same level, he made a loud grunt as he threw the chips in the pot and literally threw the chips in with many of them sliding all the way across the table. He did all this while simultaneously fully extending all his fingers with special emphasis on his index finger.
Now we all should know what this means; he opened light!
I took AQ+ and through all those hands out of the window immediately. This leaves very small pocket pairs (22, 33, 44) and Kx, Qx, or Ax in his range in my opinion; really that’s a small range at this stage.
Everyone folds around to me on the button where I find
I’m not that far behind his range here and see an enormous opportunity developing should the flop hit my hand. With position, I flat call the $3K, both of the blinds fold and we go to the flop.
Being first to act my opponent bets $6K. I think this guy is a total rock post flop and I am nearly sure that he has an ace here. Most of the time, I think I raise the flop in this situation, however, doing so doesn’t gain me much value since he will likely fold. I mulled it over for a few seconds and decided I wanted more value so I flat called with plans to extract value on the turn if no club comes.
Shit! However, my opponent was immediately dejected, yet I watched his eyes bounce down to his chips and then back up again really quickly as if he liked that card. Could he have A9? I was nearly sure of it, maybe he already had two pair on the flop, but I was pretty sure by this point what he had and whatever it was I knew he had outs; maybe he had a set here too. What a golden situation – you know the kind that just doesn’t come around very often; my opponent dejectedly checks and I knew that he was also afraid of the flush.
How should I proceed?
There’s ~$20K in the pot and I still have ~$45K back. I move all-in, hoping to seem weak and like I don’t have the flush he thinks I have.
My opponent him-haws around for a while and finally calls.
That was a dagger right through my heart and the worst part is that this guy has absolutely no idea how lucky he just got. He’s over there giggling, “I got a full house” and I’m just thinking that if only he knew what was going on he may have a greater appreciation!
Now, obviously if I just raise the flop like I should have, I win a small pot, which is much better than losing a big pot and my entire stack. Yet, all that considered, I felt I had this guy nailed; and I was right!
Is this just a cooler?