A Player Who Should Lose, Does

Yesterday, I played the 25-pesos/50-pesos no-limit Hold'em table (that's about $1/2 no limit) at the Metro Card Club in Davao City in the Philippines. I was dealt into a hand where the under-the-gun player had straddled to 100 pesos and JJ (the tight player seated to my right), as sixth to act, had called 100 pesos.  He likely held a hand like a small pair or suited connector, which only plays well if it's cheap preflop and folds to a respectable raise.

My hand was the Ace and Queen of clubs, so I raised to 500 pesos. I played to either take down the 275 pesos already in the pot or to control the hand as the preflop raiser, with last-to-act position.

I got a smooth-call from Ray, a marginal player in the cutoff seat.  So, he'd play after me.  Everyone else folded.

We both saw the flop, the 10 and Jack of clubs and an irrelevant off-suit 3. As first-to-act, I went all-in for another 1100 pesos.  Of course, I liked the flop, with my two overs, any King for a straight, the nut flush draw and a royal-flush draw.  When Ray stalled the game 'thinking,' from impatience and believing he was folding anyway, I said 'big flop.'  Ray looked my way, postured a bit more, and reluctantly open-mucked pocket 9s. I showed my hand and said, 'good laydown.'

Beyond the fact that I had previously outplayed-him in the session (Ray's not very good), his hand's math sucked against mine, with both the turn and river cards coming. Also, if my hand had been a pocket overpair, or had already connected with the board, he'd have had far worse odds.

Here's the ridiculous part: Ray grumbled for awhile: 'I should've called.'  Then, he convinced the dealer to rabbit-hunt the as-yet unshuffled stub of the deck.  So, he saw he would've won.  [The never-to-be-dealt turn and river cards were bricks, and his pair would have held.]

Ray probably still thinks he played it wrong. What a dope: doesn't matter to him that he'd have been putting basically all his money in as a 37 percent underdog.  All that Ray appreciated is he would've won, so he should've called.

Postscript:  Ray re-bought several times in the session, always losing his stack.  Not surprisingly, he left broke.


- E. Mark the "e-Shark" Gross