I just couldn’t get a hand. It was the kind of outing where A-3 seemed very strong. When I did have decent hands, they weren’t working out. I had 6-6. The bet was raised, I called. The big blind pushed it another 3x. Everyone else called. I was getting 8-1 on my money, so I called too. The flop didn’t have a 6 so I folded. It was the right play, but that was a good 25% of my stack.
On my right was Klaus. Klaus is ignorant. He understand the order of hands, but he doesn’t know when the action is on him, doesn’t understand the blinds, bets under the minimum, etc. But Klaus is lucky, and near impossible to read (if he doesn’t know what he has, how can you figure it out?). In a 3-way showdown he had a straight and didn’t know it.
I have been very conservative all night. That’s easy when you aren’t getting good cards. It felt like it was time to bluff. With K-8, I raised big pre-flop. Klaus and one other stayed in. The flop was A-9-5. Both of them checked to me. I got a little subtle, and made a big show out of staring at the first player, as if trying to decide what he had. I was trying to represent that I had A with a small kicker and was scared he was checking with an A and a higher kicker. I checked. The turn was another A. They both checked to me, and I confidently went all-in. It felt like a perfect bluff. The good player folded. Klaus didn’t think hard before calling me. He flipped over… J-5. Jack Five! You’re calling me with J-5!!? What the hell are you doing? I was still seething when a gratuitous 5 came up on the river.
Now that is being Hellmuth’d. Getting Hellmuth’d isn’t getting bad cards. Getting Hellmuth’d isn’t getting a bad beat. Getting Hellmuth’d is when the other player is too stupid to play the hand correctly, and that someone screws you. He had no business in that hand. Bottom pair with a bad kicker, two other players in, one guy raises big then goes all-in, you’re not pot-committed, the table talk is telling you that the raiser is a good player who wins all the time… why on earth are you in that pot? Garggghh!!
Not to mention that my table rep has been wounded, by going all-in and having to show a naked bluff.
I rebought. And lost the next hand to give up 20% of it. Nyyyarrgghh!! Just not my night.
Or was it? First, Klaus goes nuts. In two successive hands, he knocks out three players. He mortally wounds a fourth on the next hand. That gets us to five people. I’m thinking might limp into third if I just stay out of his way.
Then my luck starts turning. I get playable hands.
And, I’m playing very aggressive when I do go in. No one sees cards for free.
And I’m bluffing. I stole the blinds with 3-5, did it again later with 8-3.
I climb back. Chips start flowing my way. Klaus loses a lot of chips – all five cards are out on the board, his opponent goes all-in, he calls with nothing. He had four hearts, he may have gotten confused and thought there was another card coming. I get my revenge when my all-in 9-9 holds up against his Q-5. Bye bye Klaus*, I’ve made the final three.
We are now down to three-handed. I have a slight chip lead. I’ve pushed all-in six hands in a row. As dealer with K-9, I should play the hand, but I have to sit one out. It’s mentally fatiguing to be involved in that many hands.
It’s a long slog, but 30 minutes later I have a significant chip lead. We up the blinds, and I continue to push-push-push. I suddenly realize I’m going to win this thing. I now have 26K in chips, there are 32.5K in play.
I go all-in with K-J and get called by A-x. The flop is A-10-x. I am behind, but the queen comes up and the straight knocks him out. Second place!
The next hand I go all in with J-10, I’m called by K-x. The flop is K-9-x. Again I get my queen and the straight knocks him out. First place baby!
This was a big win for me. It’s the first time I’ve rebought in months, the first time a naked bluff has been exposed in months, the first time I was playing from behind, and I somehow pulled it out. The chatter is a huge ego-boost, they seem to accept that I’ll get first place most weeks. I’m starting to believe my own hype also. This is an amazing streak.
Running Total: $418
*Klaus is not his real name. He’s a nice guy and will probably be a good player when he gets through paying his dues. I intend to be his dues in the meantime.