Tunica -- power of the straddle, pt. 3
Horseshoe Casino and Hotel, 4/28/07
TUNICA, Miss. -- I put out a $50 bet on the river with two people behind me. It's about half the remaining stack of the first player, an older guy with crazy gray hair. As he struggles to decide whether to call on a board that has two 7s on it, I look down at the table, shuffling my chips.
I feel nervous.
He goes back and forth and then folds. The other guy folds, too. As the dealer ships me the pot, I exclaim, "Now I can look at my cards."
I peek under there for the first time and there's 89o, which I flip over. Total rags.
"That's the power of the straddle," I exclaim. "I swear I never looked at my cards."
As evidence, check out my July 8, 2006 no-look straddle (in archives, here) that paid off against Metsfan during the $2/4 HORSE ring game at the MGM Grand during the blogger's weekend in Las Vegas.
And, the ultimate classic, another no-look straddle that paid off on my birthday, Dec. 4, 2005 (in archives, here), in Binion's, the Old Course of poker.
Bluffs helped me stay afloat today after my play with regular hands was horrible. I lost chips with AA and AKs, two of the best hands you can have. But both times I was at a main NL$1/2 table at the Gold Strike and was definitely off my game.
Later, I found my groove at a weaker NL$1/2 table next door at the Horseshoe.
I've been experimenting with ways to increase my pre-flop raising percentage, so I decided that every 10 hands, I would raise, no matter what position I was, and Phil Ivey myself into thinking they were aces.
I even developed an Andy Beal-like, semi-elaborate way of counting with chips in my stack when it was time for the 10th hand.
When the 10th hand came at the Horse, I raised with the Brunson, T2 suited. I got two callers, a fishy guy on the button and a fishy guy before me.
Flop was good, 684, two hearts, giving me a 4-flush. I bet it out. The fishy guy calls. The early fishy guy calls.
Turn is a 4. I bet it out again. Fishy guy folds. The early guy calls.
River is an 8. It's checked to me and I bet out $30 more. But when I do, the chips fall away from my hand in a smooth way that is often described in Mike Caro's The Book of Tells as a bluff.
I wince. The early guy folds. I flip up my hand, only to discover that it's not even suited.