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I Am Not a Poker Player


Playing Your Hand Face Up

By: JoeStapleton @ 03:42 (EST) / 1392 / Comment ( 2 )

Recently, I was London doing some voiceovers for EPT Season 8 at the PokerStars offices.  Other than the fact that all the vending machines are totally free (I drank soooo many sodas while I was there! Wut.), the trip was a bit of a drag as my schedule is really rough, and while I’m in an amazing city – I don’t really have any free time to go see it.
I did have a few hours off on two separate nights…and what did I do?  I went and played poker. Ok.  To be fair, one of those nights I SHOULD have been working, but all work and no play can make Stapes a dull boy.  So.  A PokerStars employee, we’ll call him John, cajoled me into playing a (fairly) deep stack poker tournament at the Fox Poker Club.  It was only £50 to play (plus £10 to join the club), and I figured if I cashed in the thing, it’d be worth staying up all night for. 
(Funny side note:  another PokerStars Employee (we’ll call him Tarantino), tried to get Liv Boeree to come out, using me as a selling point.  First and last mistake.)
Anyhoo.  Cut to the tourney.  We started with 16.5k in chips (I have no idea either), and I was a bit late to arrive, so blinds were already at 100/200.  I was actually already down to about 14k after getting bored and calling a shortstack’s all in with 10-8 off.  Before you start losing your mind – there is an option for one re-entry.
A short while later, I am dealt a hand in the highjack.  I’m going to keep the hand a secret, as my whole point of this blog is to talk about how I think my hand it completely face up in this spot.  I’ll try to give you little clues along the way! Like Encyclopedia Brown!
So, there’s an under the gun raiser, and the very next player calls.  Action folds to me, where I call, and somehow end up in position.  It wasn’t an insta-call, and I thought it should probably be a fold, but yeah, the hand was marginal to an UTG raise, but I was bored, and you can’t fold your way to the money in these things from level three.  The blinds go up every four or five minutes.
The flop comes Jack-Nine-Four, two diamonds.  There’s about 2700 in the pot, and the original raiser leads for 2k.  I immediately call.  Which was wrong.  Not the wrong play.  The wrong turn.  Not my action.  Don’t you remember I said there was another caller!?  Sheesh!  Pay attention. 
I acted out of turn.  I know everyone makes those kinds of mistakes, but I am super embarrassed when it happens.  “Big TV Man doesn’t know how the game works!”  “Whoops,” I say.  I’m not really sure what the ruling would have been, but the guy whose turn it was to act decides he wants to raise.  He makes it 4800. 
Well, that puts a whole new paintjob on things.  Rather than call like I was going to before, I decide to ship it all in.
At this point, I think my hand is totally face up.  Do you know what I have?
To get into my rationale a little bit – the raise was a little too much for me to just call and then miss the turn, so I decided I wanted to get it in while I still had a ton of equity.  Most of you most know what I have now.
The original raiser folds, and the raiser thinks FOREVER.  He asks me if I’ll show him when the hand is over.  I asked him if he really wanted to know or if he was just trying to get a read?  I love being in spots like this, because I CAN’T give off any tells.  I genuinely don’t care whether he calls or not. 
Yes, I have Ace-Five of diamonds.  Ok, maybe you didn’t nail the five, but I think it’s pretty obvious.  I felt dumb for a second for making my hand look so face up, but then I also realized that it still was probably the only play I had.  I mean, I could have folded, I guess, but come on!!!  Fold!  Ha!
The fellow eventually mucked – showing Jack-Ten of diamonds (top pair and a flush draw).  Turns out I was REALLY glad he folded, as I wasn’t doing great against him).  I showed him my hand, which he took as a needle and said “I was only asking you to get a read.  I didn’t want to see.”  Whoops!
I honestly played really well the rest of the tournament.  Maybe a few spots I didn’t get max value, but I mostly just push/folded my way to the top 14.  Which is exactly where I went out.  14th.  KK < AQ.  They paid 9.  I lasted until 2:30am, pulled an all-nighter with work, and I made no money.  Classic.
Previous Bankroll: $320 – Current Bankroll: $200 – Net Profit/Loss: $120 LOSS

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