Monday, May 01, 2006

Guys Week: The best hand I ever played

Inspired by 37 hours of NFL draft coverage on ESPN, ESPN-2, and ESPNews this weekend, I decided to usher in the first-ever Guys Week on the NaturalBlog. Here on Day One of Guys Week, brought to you buy Milwaukee's Best Light, I present The best hand I ever played.

I took this idea from a segment on ESPN's World Series of Poker coverage, where they talk with poker pros and amateurs about, not coincidentally, the best poker hand they ever played.

Mine came about two years ago in a friendly No Limit Hold 'Em game with about 10 people, during a ski trip in Maine. I was in the big blind holding 10-7. The game was about two hours old, and the field had thinned to five or so people.

The novice player to my left called the big blind, it folded around to me and I checked it.

The flop came 10-10-3, giving me three of a kind, a big hand heads-up. Aginst my usual instinct I checked it to the novice, who made what appeared to be a feeler bet, though because she was a novice I thought maybe she'd paired the three. I raised something more substantial, living up to my table image as someone who likes to push other players off of draws and weak hands.

She called, indicating maybe she had a 10 as well, in which case I was probably outkicked and therefore beat.

The turn card was the third 10, meaning I had four of a kind and was bullet proof. I checked it again. She made another small bet and I just called, hoping to let her catch up in the hand. I think this gave the people at the table the impression I was on a draw.

The river was another rag, maybe a jack. I wanted to extract maximum value, so I made a small bet in case she was going to check it on the river. She made a substantial raise, and I came way over the top, going all in.

There was a lot of hemming and hawing at the table, and the consensus was that I was trying to bluff her out of the pot. So I got a call, she turned pocket 6s, and I took home a substantial pot.

Thing is, had she raised before the flop with the 6s, I would've folded and she would have won a small pot instead of losing a big one.

Tomorrow on Guys Week brought to you by Milwaukee's Best Light: A cigar is a smoke.

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Anonymous Gloria Steinem said...

While Freud would deem cigars a 'guy thing', what is it that qualifies the game of poker? Seeing as the novice who made the story possible was female-regardless of the fact that she lost-it seems poker is also a gal thing.

May 01, 2006  
Blogger NaturalBlog said...

Just wait until I appropriate shoe shopping for Guys Week's Friday entry.

May 02, 2006  

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