I still feel like an sbo idiot looking back at my play.


The dealer begins throwing out the cards and the second one he tosses me flips over, sbo showing the 8 of spades. I quickly glance at my first card to see if I would have wanted that 8, but I see a 5 of clubs, so I wasn’t disappointed. When the second card comes, I find the 5 of diamonds.

For some stupid reason, the superstitious part of my brain (that’s about 75%) began to think that the exposed card was providence. I was supposed to get pocket 5’s. Presto would be a magic hand!

I’m in early position and I raise to T3000. Everyone folds to the big blind who calls the extra T2000.

The flop comes K-4-2, two diamonds. Just one over card, not the worst flop I could see. My opponent checks. He’s a younger player who moved to our table a few levels earlier. He generally played as though he was confused by the cards in front of him. I saw him chase a few pots only to fold on the river. In my mind, I could outplay this guy no matter what he was holding.

After the check, I threw T5000 into the T6500 pot. My opponent pauses before taking another look at this cards. After another moment of deliberation, he called. I immediately put him on the flush draw. I figured him for A-x of diamonds. The K of diamonds was on the board so I didn’t put him on K’s.

The turn was a 6. It was another overcard, but not one that necessarily scared me. My opponent checks again and it’s decision time. If he’s on the flush draw, like I believe he is, I don’t want him to see another card. There’s T16500 in the pot. My opponent has just T6000 left. If we’re both pot committed, I have to push and just hope he doesn’t have the K.

I push T7500 into the pot, and as soon as he calls, I figure I’m beat.

I show my 5’s and say I guess I need a 5 on the river. He flips over K6 for two pair. There was no 5 on the river and I was down to just T1500.

Looking back, I suppose it makes sense. I’m not sure I make the first call preflop if I’m him, but that’s his choice. He told me after the hand that he almost didn’t call after the flop because he was worried he was outkicked. When he caught his two pair on the turn, he was no longer worried. Had he missed on the turn, he likely wouldn’t have called. Does that mean I should have pushed all-in after the flop? Or perhaps I should have just checked the flop and if he bet, folded my small pair.

The bottom line is that I misread my opponent and it cost me.

I was just one hand from the T1000 big blind when I got dealt K4. I thought it was as good a hand as any so I threw my chips in. The table chip leader raised to T3000 so it was just him and I. I thanked him for isolating me figuring I’d at least have outs. Then he flipped pocket rockets. Good night, everyone! I was out in 30th.

I still wonder why I played those pocket 5’s the way I did. I guess my explanation sounds logical, but there’s just something wrong about it. If a small pair doesn’t hit a set on the flop, it’s no good, right? I’ll just chalk it up to a lesson learned. I had a big enough stack at that point that I didn’t need to outplay anyone. I just needed to let the cards do the work. I’ll remember that for next time.

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