Tonight I had the distinct honor of meeting the one and only Julius Goat. He and Shamus and I had plans to meet for dinner at the Rio, followed by Wednesday night pub trivia at McFadden's. So I decided to get in a couple of hours of poker before dinner.
Besides--and here comes the part for which you are free to mock me mercilessly--I had a feeling. Normally, when I hear players say that they made some decision based on a statement like that, I just roll my eyes and sigh at the stupidity, so I'll understand and forgive in advance if you do the same to me. But I had a rather strong premonition that if I folded this hand, I'd regret it. This is a distinctly uncommon kind of experience for me. It's not like I'm getting such impulses on every hand. It probably means nothing more mysterious than some random neural firing, but I decided to go with it anyway. Again, not my usual approach to poker decision-making, and I won't try to justify or defend it further. I'm just telling you what happened.
As expected, both other players called, giving us a $100 pre-flop pot.
Flop: 4d-6c-7d, giving me both a flush draw and an open-ended straight draw. Assuming nobody else had a bigger diamond draw, that meant I had two pulls at 15 cards that would make me a winner. Not bad. In fact, it's precisely the kind of flop one most dearly hopes for when playing suited connectors in a multi-way pot.
Small blind bet $55--surely a big pocket pair, to be have reraised from out of position, then lead out into three opponents. Pot was now $150, after the rake. I had about $250 left behind. I spent maybe 20 seconds deciding whether to flat-call or shove. I couldn't get any read on what the other two were planning to do. I finally decided to risk losing customers with a shove, primarily because if any of my desired cards hit on the turn, it might then be hard to get any further action. I declared myself all in.
Middle-position guy was taken aback. He was visibly ambivalent about what to do, but finally said, "OK, let's do it," and pushed his stacks forward. He had me covered. Late-position guy, who had around $175 left, likewise shrugged, said, "OK," and moved his chips in. Small blind quickly folded, saying, "One pair is never good in that situation."
Middle-position guy had 6d-3d, for middle pair, baby flush draw, and gutshot straight flush draw. However, he groaned when he saw my cards, because the 5 to make his straight would give me a bigger one, and any diamond for his flush would also give me a bigger one. He had to hope that neither one of us improved and that his lowly pair of 6s would hold up, or that he got some runner-runner full house or his miracle 5d for the straight flush. The other player never showed.
The turn ended the drama quickly: 10h, giving me the nuts. The river was the ace of clubs.
The pot totaled $828. I don't keep track of individual pots, so it's possible that I've forgotten something bigger, but I believe it's the biggest pot I've won so far this year. It also gave me a win rate for today's session of $352/hour, just a tad above my average. I'll take it!