Saturday, December 30, 2017

Paying Attention

This is a "True Confessions" blog.  My confession is that I don't always pay attention to everything that is happening.  I suspect that we all are guilty at times but I KNOW that I certainly am.

It usually happens when you put your opponent on a straight draw after the flop and concentrate so fully on what cards would complete his straight and whether they fall that you miss the board flushing or you put him on a heart flush draw and concentrate so completely on whether or not another heart falls that you fail to notice the board straightening.
A similar but different lapse happened to me the other day.

It was mid-tournament and I was running low in chips.  I found myself on the button with pocket sixes.  There was an early position raise indicating a pretty good hand.  The action folded around to me and the question was:  "Just how good is his hand and will he fold to me if I push?"

The early raiser was a good aggressive player and we all know that it is easier to get a good player to fold than a poor player.  He certainly fit the mold.  I was concentrating on him to the exclusion of all else around me.  I payed attention to his body language when he made his bet and then I watched carefully as he showed increasing relief as each person folded toward me.  By the time the action folded to me I was convinced he had raised a bit light and would fold to some pressure.  Since I had about a dozen big blinds I could exert said pressure.

So, I pushed all-in.

He immediately tensed up and I knew he was going to fold.  He went through his required Hollywood routine then reluctantly folded with the comment:  "I have you beat but I don't want to be the bad guy."

This comment confused me but all that mattered was that he had folded so I started gathering chips.  That's when it happened!

The guy immediately to my right said "Well, I guess I'll have to do it" and shoved his stack.  He had quietly called the early raise and I missed it while concentrating so fully on the early raiser.  He turned over pocket queens and they held.  I was done.

I said something to the effect of "I didn't realize you were in the hand" and he actually apologized.  I told him he needn't apologize because the fault was all mine for not paying better attention.

I knew the guy to my right that made the stealth call.  He was the type player that would not call an early raise without a big pair or AK and would certainly call my all-in push.  If I had known he was in the hand I would have definitely waited for a better opportunity to make my move. 


I'll try to do better next time.

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