Before you get your hackles up......this is NOT a typical "bad beat" story. No, I mean it, it really wasn't a bad beat! Nobody "sucked out" on me. Let me explain:
I was playing in a small tourney at one of the local casinos. We were about four or five levels into the tourney and I had about twice starting chips with still about 80% of the entrants still alive.
The under the gun (UTG) player limped. Now, this makes me nervous. A lot of times when someone limps UTG they have a really nice hand and may be waiting for someone to raise so they can re-raise. I was in UTG2 position and found myself with KQ suited. I just called. Several more people just called and we went to an unraised flop.
The flop was 5,6,8 rainbow with one of my suit. UTG checked and so did I. The last person to act bet the flop. UTG called. I figured the late position bettor was just taking a stab at the pot so I called in the hopes of getting a K or Q on the turn or possibly another of my suit or maybe even stealing the pot if the late position bettor checked the turn. I called. Everybody else folded.
The turn was another six and didn't hit my suit so I was probably finished with this hand if someone put in a bet. If nobody bet the turn I was considering trying a steal on the river. Nobody bet so we saw the river.
The river was a Q. At this point I figured I was probably ahead. Then the fun began. UTG moved all in for about 1 1/2 times the pot.
I recapped the action in my mind as follows:
1. The all in bettor was UTG so I would expect that he at least had some big cards. If any of these cards on the board had hit his hand it was probably the Q on the river. Unless he had AQ I had him beat under this scenario.
2. He had checked both the flop and the turn so I was unconvinced that he had either two pairs or three sixes.
3. I concluded that he either had AQ or was on a total bluff since the turn was checked all the way around.
4. There was something about the way he bet the river. I can't explain exactly what was strange about it but something about the way he bet made me think he was bluffing.
While I generally won't call an all in bet with just one pair I was convinced he was bluffing so I made the call. The late position bettor quickly folded.
UTG threw his cards down face up and said "You got me. All I have is nines." I thought he meant he had pocket nines since I knew there was no nine on the board but looked at his hand and saw only one nine. It turns out that he thought the eight on the board was a nine giving him a pair of nines.
He had misread his hand and thought he had a pair when, in fact, he didn't have a pair. I was dead on right......he was bluffing.
This is where the story should end, right? I made the right call. He was, indeed, bluffing. He thought he only had a pair of nines but in actuality didn't have a pair at all. I should be reveling in making a good call and starting to stack chips, right?
Of course by now you know there's a catch. Well, here it is.
What he actually had was 7,9. He had flopped a straight and didn't know it. He had been ahead all along.
I'll never know for sure but like to think that if he had known about the straight I would have seen it in some sort of subtle change in his behavior and wouldn't have called off most of my chips on an all in river bet. I'm gonna believe that whether you do or not.
See you at the tables.