My best fold ever

I played the Sunday night tournament at Artichoke Joe’s, and got put out when my pair of tens ran into a pair of Aces.  I re-raised, and the Aces made a minimum re-raise, and all the money went in and I was put out.  Does this sound familiar?  I made this same mistake a coupe of years ago playing the $1,000 event at the WSOP.  I wonder how many times I’ll have to learn this lesson before I learn to fold.

Speaking of which, my mom’s in hospice so I’m home in St. Louis with the family.  I spend my days cooking food for my stepfather, helping him out, and talking to my mom.  My evenings are spent playing cards at Harrah’s and keeping myself distracted.  Mahatma Gandhi’s longest fasts were about three weeks each.  Before you think that my mom will be leaving us by Christmas, the hospice lady told me she’s had patients who have made it for three months on water and orange juice, so nothing is predictable.

The last two evenings I’ve been at Harrah’s and have made back the money I spent on Sarah’s boots, thankfully.  Two hands were notable at my $1/$2 no limit game.

I’m second to act after the big blind with a pair of Aces.  The under the gun calls for $2.  I raise it to $15, which at this table usually discourages callers.  ($12 just makes them call)  I get one caller in late position and the blinds fold.  We see the flop of eight-five-three, two clubs.  Under-the-gun checks, I bet out $30.  My late position callers folds.  The under-the-gun pushes $120 into the pot and I go into the tank.  I look at the board and then at the player.  He could have anything from a flush/straight draw up to a set.  However he’s calm, collected, and hasn’t been playing a lot of hands.  I start ruling out all the draws.  He could have two pair or a set, but it’s definately not Ace-Eight or middle or bottom pair.  I figure I’m up against two pair, or more likely a set.  Either way I’m behind.  I’m sitting there with $60 left and a pot that will be $135 or before I call.  Do I call?  I think not.  I tell him that I may be making one of the best folds of my poker career, and if he shows me his hand, I’ll tip the dealer a dollar.

He shows me his set of fives and I toke the $1 to the dealer.

Best. Fold.  Ever.

I run to the window and buy $100 in chips, miss one hand, and then sit down to red Aces in middle position.  There’s a raise before me to $12, then two calls, then it gets to me.  No calling, my Aces will be beat.  I raise it to $61 and get four callers.  (!!!!)

We see a flop of Ace-Ten-Three, with the Ace-Ten of spades.  It checks around to me and I shove in my last $100.  I get two callers and two folds.  I was up against KK and QQ (a shorter stack), and my aces hold up.  One of the two players that folded reveals he had JJ.  The last player had Ace-Queen.  I rake a $500 pot and tip the dealer $10.

Another player says to me, as I’m cashing out about $560 two hours later, "Most of that came from one hand, huh?"

"Yeah", I say, "That was a lucky hand, no talent involved.  The talent was in not giving it all back over the next two hours and knowing when to leave."

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