If you haven't read yesterday's post describing the decision I had to make, you might want to go back and do so before reading the end of the story here.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
After thinking for a while, I decided to push. This wasn't tilty desperation. It was an educated guess that my top-top was ahead of more of Bill's range than it was behind. The specific table dynamics made that more true than it ordinarily would be with me taking just top pair against the range with which Bill would be expected to play this aggressively back at me.
The shove was somewhat problematic, in that he would mostly call only with the hands that beat me, and fold the ones that I beat. (The exception was if I somehow persuaded him that I had A-A or K-K, he might fold J-J or Q-Q.) But as I said yesterday, I thought calling was the worst of my choices, because it would make subsequent decisions even murkier, and from out of position to boot.
He took less than two seconds to call, which triggered all of my "uh-oh" reflexes. I showed my A-10, and he showed his...
I had misread him. Maybe I had overthought it. Maybe I had given too much weight to the situational dynamics being likely to broaden Bill's range, and too little weight to the simple fact that in years of playing with him, he had almost never been this pushy against me unless he had me beat.
But just as I was filling my brain with regrets and second-guessing, the dealer slapped down an ace on the turn, giving me top two pair, and leaving poor Bill with just two cards in the deck he could catch to win (the remaining two jacks). The river blanked, and I got a very lucky double-up. I wasn't proud of the win, but I wasn't going to give the chips back.
Sometimes in poker you do the right thing and lose, sometimes you do the wrong thing and win.