Saturday, May 21, 2011

Playing with a honey badger

MGM Grand tonight. Two seats to my left was a rather clumsy bully of a player. It was easy to predict what he would do in most hands. He would straddle, and if he got several callers, he'd put in a prohibitive raise to take the limpers' money. He floated blatantly. He was not particularly skilled in these things. The fact that I could usually predict his moves in advance meant that he was being much too obvious and repetitive, not mixing it up. He was like the crazy nastyass honey badger, attacking everything, not caring if he got stung by a thousand bees or bitten by a cobra, as long as it got him a few chips.

Since he was to my left and was usually going to have position on me, I had to adapt accordingly. After an hour or so, the perfect situation finally came up. I raised to $15 after several limpers with a suited A-Q. He called from the button. I had been playing mostly straightforwardly, continuation-betting frequently, but not firing second barrels without good strength. I was sure that he was a good enough player to have noticed that pattern, and I suspected that he was planning to use it against me here.

The flop was A-6-5 rainbow. I bet $25. He called. This was exactly the scenario I had hoped for. Against most opponents I would bet again on the turn, because that's the obvious, straightforward, and usually most profitable thing to do. But against this particular guy, I thought he'd find an easy fold if I fired again, and the only way to get his chips was to feign weakness and let him pounce. No matter what came on the turn, my plan was to check, anticipating that he would bet with any two cards to steal the pot, and I would either flat-call or check-raise, depending on the board texture and whether I judged that his bet had him pot-committed. If he concluded that I had raised with any pocket pair 10s to kings and hated the flopped ace, he absolutely would represent having an ace every time.

Turn was a 3. As planned, I checked. He did better than I had hoped--he instashoved. It was $95 to call, which I did gladly. He didn't show, so neither did I.

River: 4, completing no flushes. He just sat there, apparently waiting for me to show. No way, dude. You bet, I called. After about ten seconds of inaction, the dealer addressed him: "He called you, sir." The guy finally turned over his hand: 7-7. Gutterball straight draw had hit.

So I got the combination obscene suckout plus sickening slowroll. And yes, he knew perfectly well what fifth street had wrought. He was simply maximizing his own sense of drama. Honey badger doesn't give a shit.

It will come as no surprise that he continued his shenanigans with renewed vigor after his double-up, nor that the rest of the table adjusted to his transparent tactics, and he gave away all the chips over the course of about three big hands--all bluffs that got called very thinly. He slinked away from the table to sleep off the cobra poison.

You may think I just used my blog to tell a bad-beat story. I beg to differ. It was a badger-beat story.

(Somebody sent me the link to that honey badger video a couple of months ago. It made me laugh, and I knew right away I needed to find a way to use it in a blog post. This is how long it took me to work it in.)


Anonymous said...

Well done - the way to mixed in the HB video! That player was a real jerk.

Anonymous said...

Now this is a honey badger.....