Last night we were back to our normal game of 1/2 pot limit holdem, and boy am I glad. But it was a very odd night all the way around. Out of 8 players, only two finished with any money left at all, 6 had busted out completely. Thankfully, I was one of those two, the other being Jeff, who got run over by the deck as completely as I have ever witnessed. He simply could not lose, and if you know Jeff, you know he tried his damnedest to do so. He was staying on crap hand after crap hand and hitting the cards. He’d stay on 3 9 offsuit and hit two 9’s on the flop. It was simply unreal to watch. He won over $600. I was fortunate enough to stay out of his way most of the night, and I won $175.
There were 3 hands that made my night. The first one would have knocked me out if I hadn’t won because I was all in and I was not going to buy back in if I’d lost. I was in the big blind with 4 7 suited and no one raised. Flop came 2 4 8 rainbow. I checked, checks around to Travis, who makes a small bet. Everyone folds except me. Turn is a 4. I check, he bets, I raise, he reraises and I put him all in. He turns over pocket 2s for a full house and I’m rather unhappy, until the river brings the case 4 and my four of a kind beats his full house. Okay, still in the game.A little while later, I have As5s and the flop brings two spades. Jeb bets out big on the flop and three players call, including me. Turn brings a third spade and I’ve got the nut flush. Jeb goes all in, two other players called and it’s around to me. I raise big, knowing Jeb probably has a flush as well but mine is higher. Everyone else finally folds and sure enough, he flips up Ks7s. Jeb was done for the night.
The last hand is a perfect illustration of why pot odds matter. The basic rule of hold em is that no starting hand is more than about a 4:1 underdog against any other starting hand, so if you have 4 or 5 players in the pot, you probably should play almost any two cards because if you hit the right flop, as you’ll do maybe 20% of the time, you can win a big pot. I had Jd6d with 5 players and a $10 raise before the flop in late position. I decide to call based on the pot odds, but fully prepared to fold after the flop if I don’t see a lot of diamonds. The flop instead comes 66Q. The original raiser bets out $20 and I put him all in. Everyone else folds and we flip the cards up. He has AQ. Beautiful. I love this game.