Monday, October 28, 2013

Battle of the blinds

Here's an absurd hand from a $1/3 NLHE session I played a few weeks back at The Meadows' new upstairs poker room. I was dealt Q-Q in the big blind. It folded all the way around to the small blind, and I sort of relaxed myself and started to lift my cards off the felt, preparing to offer him a chop, as that's what most players prefer to do when all the non-blind hands have been folded. (More on chopping and why I always do it, even with a hand this strong, right here, in both the post and the comments.)

The other player, an older man who had just recently sat down, was fiddling with his chips, and before I could offer the chop, the dealer said to him, "It's just you and big blind, sir." Undeterred, the man said, "I raise," and put out $15 worth of chips.

Well, that was unexpected.

So I was sitting there with pocket queens, which I didn't even think I'd be playing. But now it was clear I would be playing them, and I had them heads-up against another player. Obviously, I was going to reraise, although there was good reason to be somewhat concerned about the strength of this guy's hand. If he was a novice poker player and didn't even know you could chop, then a raise here wouldn't mean anything different than a raise from any position. But if the guy knew he could chop here and STILL decided to put in a raise, that could mean he considered his hand just too strong not to play. So maybe kings or aces were more likely than normal here.

Still, I had pocket queens, you know? I raised to $35. He flat-called fairly quickly, which would be odd for aces, as he didn't seem like the type to trap. And even if he was, wouldn't he have to think about that for a minute? I put him on K-K down to 10-10 or A-K.

The flop came K-7-3. The king sucked, but I did have the second-nut flush draw. I was debating internally how much I wanted to bet when he led out for $50. Bleh. I took a minute, but ultimately folded the hand. We both had $250+ back, and I was not going to lose all my money on this stupid blind-vs.-blind hand against a player who I didn't know at all. If he had A-K, he just smacked it, and if he had the A, my flush draw was no good. The whole thing just felt bad.

He never showed his cards, I ended up cashing out $80 to the good, and, according to my buddy who I was playing with, guys at the table were still talking about this hand after I had left the game.

"Were you here when those two idiots got in a raising war from the blinds?"

"Yeah, what was that about?!"

BUT I HAD QUEENS!

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