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Sunday, September 06, 2015

Poker Stories: Paying Attention

In response to my column about poker players who mucked the winning hand because they weren't paying attention, Stuart Snyder emails:

In addition to protecting your cards and not mucking prematurely, even commenting out of turn can cost you. This happened on my last Las Vegas trip:

I was under the gun with the queen and jack of hearts and limped. The cutoff raised, modestly, and the button and the big blind called. I called, too.

The flop was king of hearts/ten of hearts/eight of diamonds, giving me an open-ended straight flush draw. I checked.  Cutoff bet. Button folded. Big Blind (who had at least $400 less than Cutoff and I each had) shoved. I called, and Cutoff made a weird raise, leaving me with $26 after I called. Thus, there was a substantial side pot.

Turn was the 4 of spades. I checked. Cutoff checked. River was the 2 of clubs.

Before I could do anything, Cutoff said, “Argh. I missed.” I hesitated for only a moment and then threw in my last $26. Cutoff quickly folded his ace of hearts/nine of hearts face up.

I lost the main pot to Big Blind’s set of eights, but I won the side pot with king high on the strength of my $26 river bet (and paying attention).
Nice!