Subscribe to Cigar Aficionado and receive the digital edition of our Premier issue FREE!

Email this page Print this page
Share this page

The World Series of Poker

Our Gambling Expert's Trip to the Big Leagues Ends With a Lesson in Hardball
Michael Konik
From the Print Edition:
John F. Kennedy, Nov/Dec 98

(continued from page 3)

Unless he has aces--and I don't think he does, or else he probably would have reraised me--I've got the best hand before the flop. I figure him for something like ace-king, possibly of the same suit. As long as the dealer doesn't put an ace on the board, I figure I'm good.

The flop comes 10-6-4, with two hearts. It's a flop I like. Not wanting to give my opponent a "free" card, a chance to improve his hand at no cost, I bet $1,600.

Larry thinks for a moment, looks at his pile of $24,000 in chips, and says, "I raise." He matches my $1,600 bet and puts another $3,000 in the pot.

Before I do any analysis, my first instinct is to fold. There's an old saying in poker: "If you can't sometimes fold the best hand, you'll never be a winner." I think I probably have the best hand--but I'm not sure. Given my position (first to act), Larry can exploit my uncertainty. I have about $18,000 in front of me. I can fold, accept my $2,400 loss and live to fight another battle, when I am sure of where I stand.

But. And yet. However. . .This is the best hand I've seen in more than seven hours of poker. I may have Larry drawing dead to two or three cards, making me a big favorite to take down a monster pot. On the other hand. . .

I run through the possibilities:

* He has aces, and he slow-played them before the flop, hoping I would bet out: Possible but unlikely.

* He has a flush draw, ace-queen of hearts maybe, and he's running what's called a semibluff, raising with the worst hand but knowing it can improve to the best hand if called: Possible. But very courageous.

* He has three-of-a-kind and wants to shut me out of the pot in case I have the flush draw: Could it be? Would he call my raise from early position with a pair of fours, sixes or tens? Possibly. But if he has indeed improved to trips, or three of a kind, with the flop, wouldn't he merely want to call and let me blow off more money on the next round? If I knew my man better, I could make a better decision.

* He has the same hand as me, kings, and he's exploiting his superior position: Highly improbable.


< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >

Share |

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log In If You're Already Registered At Cigar Aficionado Online

Forgot your password?

Not Registered Yet? Sign up–It's FREE.

FIND A RETAILER NEAR YOU

Search By:

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

    

Cigar Insider

Cigar Aficionado News Watch
A Free E-Mail Newsletter

Introducing a FREE newsletter from the editors of Cigar Aficionado!
Sign Up Today