“You don’t need to push, if donkeys are pulling.” I heard Phil Hellmuth quoting this in TV show Poker Ater Dark. This quote describes my Saturday evening poker game at Ho-Chunk Casino. I didn’t have any big hands, but I won some big pots when other players decided to donate their chips. Here are two examples.
Most of the hands I raised pre flop $10, so I did it again in small blind with A,10 off suit. I had a few callers that “know” how I play. On my right was Bud, local player. Flop was 10,8,4 rainbow, and I made the continuation bet $15. Two players folded, and I was surprised when Bud made it $45. Most of the time it’s easy to read Bud’s hand when he has a big pair. This time I felt something is wrong. It didn't look like a set, so I pushed $100 into pot. Bud looked at his hand for only 3 seconds and said ‘all in’ for remaining $116. I called and showed my hand. Bud had 8,6. No comment.
We got a few new players at the table. Two of them old guys with white hair. It’s easy to play with older guys. Usually they are tight and play only aces and kings, so I’ll fold if they raise me. They over bet their big pairs and most hands they will be pot committed, so if you hit the flop … Again in the blind I had a pocket pair of black sevens, so I raised $10. Quiet older man on my left raised to $40. Everyone folded, and I knew he has one of the top three big pairs. At that moment I was up about $1000. I know I’m behind, but I’m playing with other people’s money. I looked at his stack of about $350, and I knew it’s mine if I hit something on the flop so I called. Flop was 9,9,5 with two spades. I checked and he bet only $15 (first mistake). I looked at young player Ben on my right, showed him my hand and said “it’s going to be two $15 bets to see the river”. I need running cards for straight or a flush, or one of two remaining sevens. I called aloud “six of spades” but the turn card was 7 of diamonds. I pounded the table with a sad face and the old guy made another dumb bet of $15. I looked again at Ben and commented “what did I say, two $15 bets”. I had in my hand a stack of chips and put them in the pot, $65. My opponent instantly said “All in”. When I called and showed my sevens he flipped pair of jacks and walked away without seeing the river card.