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Sick $2/5 NL hand - a VERY costly mistake

Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino (Harrah's)
lakong I stayed at the Rio the last time I went to Vegas. I had a pretty sick hand come up at the $2/5 NL table. My action on the river still bothers me a few months after the hand. I hope I learned something from this hand and hopefully some of you can too -- or maybe you wouldn't be so stupid to make this mistake in the first place.

The two players in the hand -- especially the initial better -- were action junkies who would raise with a many hands. I had played with the EP guy for many hours and he did appear to be a strong player, not sure about the MP guy.

I have a deep stack, around $1,300, both opponents are much shorter -- see comments on this below.

Dealt JJ on Button. EP makes it $25, MP calls, I bump to $100, both call after some deliberation.

Flop: T86 rainbow (pot about $300)

Both check to me, I make it $150. Both call.

Turn: offsuit 9. (pot about 750)

Early position player makes it $200. MP calls, I call.

* EP has only $65 left, MP has $110 left, I'm deep. I thought about pushing here on the turn, but felt that there was a pretty good chance that I was now beat given the 4 card straight on the board and knew that I would have to see this to the end, so maybe I would save my $110 at the end it was slowplayed to me.

River: T (pot about 1350)

Final board: TT986, no flush

EP pushes quickly, MP beats him into pot with his remaining $110.

What do I do (of course it's only $110 to me for a $1,500 pot)? But I'm trying to play 'smart' poker and throwing $110 into the pot, if I know for sure I'm beat is not smart.

Below is what I wrote about the hand on TwoPlustwo when it happened. Feel free to follow the complete thread here .

1) Sure I could have bet more on flop and normally bet at least 2/3 of pot, but in this game I felt that $150 was about right there. In an online game I always make it between 2/3rds and pot, but this bet just felt right at the time. Perhaps it was a mistake.

2) On turn I would never fold to this player who now is taking the lead. If he really had the 7 or a better hand I just don't see him taking the lead. Perhaps the 2nd guy had the 7, but not the EP guy. I was about to put them all in, but at the last minute I decided that I was 100% calling the river once I put in $200 here, so perhaps I could save myself $110 if I was beat assuming it was checked to me on river.

3) When the T paired and the two guys put their money in so quickly I felt there was just no way I could have won this pot. The 'old' me would have raced to put my $110 in there given that it was a $1500 pot, but I'm trying to play smarter and save bets when it's clear I'm beat. My hope all along was that 1 or both of them had a T, so now that the T paired what could they possibly have that I could beat. So I very reluctantly mucked my hand in disgust.

Of course, the reason for the post was that I would have won the pot. The first guy had J9 (flopped an open-ended and picked up 2nd pair on the turn) and the second guy had A9, flopped zippo and picked up 2nd pair on turn.

There is no logic in why the 2nd guy called any of the bets, other than he wanted to go out to dinner and was gambling. The 1st guy just put his last $65 in the pot when he missed on the river because it was all he had and he would start out with new chips -- no poker logic.

In hindsight: 1) given my reads I should have just put them all-in on turn because if they were on draws and missed (and they were 'normal' players) I could get all of their chips in now while they were still on the draw; 2) of course I should have called on river since I cannot assume that these players are acting clearly and especially in live games people often just gamble with chips they have left in front of them since they will either leave the game so why bother just cashing in a few dollars; or reload anyway.

I really had a hard time getting over this hand. I was just curious if you guys made it to the river, if you would have saved yourself the $110 and folded. About an hour later I limped from the button with Kx and the flop came KKK. I stacked a guy who had TT and just did not believe I had the K, so it wasn't all bad.


Landlord79 says

Tough spot man, a laydown there isn't that bad. What hands could you really put them on that you could beat there?


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