A day after getting stacked at Charles Town, I set out for the Delaware Shore, seeking redemption at Dover Downs. If the Chuck is the Wild, Wild West, Dover is the place where nuns go to die. The game is usually filed with locals and quite tight. Tonight was no exception. At least six of my nine opponents knew each other on first name basis. None were particularly good at poker.
Once again, I was card dead for the first hour or so. A few weak Aces were the best hands I saw, and they all hit the muck. While I tried to be patient, boredom ultimately set in and I couldn't help myself from making a move:
I limp in with 33 from UTG+1. One caller - a regular who I've seen at the $2/5 tables from time to time. We see a 77J (two hearts) flop. Reg bets $8 and I call. Turn is another J. I check. Reg bets $20. I raise to $55. Reg thinks about it and calls. River blanks. I lead for $85. Reg folds.
I think I told a decent story on this hand, and figured it would be hard for Reg to call without a jack. Fortunately, he wasn't living the story I was trying to tell.
An hour or so later, the hand of the night went down:
I'm sitting on $290 and limp call $12 three ways with 88. The flop comes down 89Q (2 spades). Big stack -- one of the regulars -- leads the flop for $25. I call. Third player calls as well. Turn is a red 4. Big stack bets $45. I raise to $145. Third person folds. Big stack shoves . . .
WHAT WOULD YOU DO HERE?
I've got a set. I've also got $182 in the pot already. JT flopped it. QQ has me crushed. If Big stack is holding one of those two hands, I guess his stack is going to get even bigger.
I snap call. Big stack flips JT for the flopped str8t. Ouch . . .
And then the dealer lays out a beautiful red 4 on the river, pairing the board and doubling me up. I tip the dealer a red bird and stack my chips...
Now, to say Big stack did not take it well is an understatement. First, after expressing his disbelief multiple times and commenting to his five or six friends that he "can't believe I snapped him in that spot," he says to the dealer, "Marco, if I had won the hand at least I would have tipped you well . . ." Sort of uncalled for, particularly given my $5 tip.
Then he starts asking me whether I thought about if he might have had JT or a higher set.
Not through being a dick quite yet, he asks: "If I had shown you my straight would you still have called?" Yes, I got lucky. It happens. Get over it.
Could I have folded in that spot? Sure. I've folded sets many times before. But I wasn't folding in that spot -- with $180 or so already invested in the hand, $100 give or take behind, and getting approximately 4-1 on a call. I can live with my decision.
For 15 minutes or so after the hand, Big stack continued to bitch, and his friends openly talked about what a "bad call" I had made, and what a luck box I was, right in front of me. And, just when the talk started to tail off, I won the poker room raffle for a free HP LazerJet printer, leading to more eye rolling over my naked good fortune . . . . Fun stuff.
I left the free printer behind . . .