I was sitting at a poker table, playing $1-2 No Limit Hold’em. I was new to the table, only having played for 30 minutes. The action was pretty high and I had already bet away half my stack of $100 without ever seeing my cards through to the end.
When I was done to a measly $36 dollars I went all in and finally won a hand. I won a bit more over the next fifteen minutes, including one pot of $6 when everyone folded.
I played another hand, starting with J - 9 of hearts. I bet $20 and one person called. The flop came Q - 10 - 5. I checked, he checked. Fourth Street brought an A and there was no chance anyone was going to catch a flush. I bet again, $20. I checked my cards to make sure what I had. The other player called. Fifth Street hit and it was another blank (3), no good for anything. I bet big and with confidence. I push $50 in and the other player studies the board. He figures I have two pair and folds. I throw my cards out and say straight.
Of course, there was no straight. I only had four cards to it. But I thought I did, so I acted with confidence and won the pot. The table laughed and most of them figured I was stupid. Some of them thought I was bluffing. I let them think what they want, saying just enough to encourage both thoughts.
A couple hands later I’m sitting on over $170. I’m two from the button and the seat to my left has put in a $10 straddle bet. This is a bet you make before the deal. It means the minimum bet has moved from $2 to $10, and he gets the final option to call or raise before the flop. To make matters more interesting, this is the same guy I got my “straight” on and I’m pretty sure he’s steaming about my play.
I’m dealt a pair of twos and I raise from $20. Everyone folds but the guy who straddled. The flop comes Q - 2 - J, I’ve hit my set with three 2’s! It’s my read that he’s on tilt about my earlier play and he’ll probably want to run me off the pot if I show any weakness. I decide to check-raise him to get a bit more action. I check and he bets $30 dollars.
Wow, it worked! I say “Raise” and put my first $30 on the table. Hmm, how much more to put in? I say “50” and I start stacking my chips. Next thing I hear is him saying “All in.” I’m so excited my chest is thumping loud enough to hear over the TV on the wall and the people laughing at the next table. I say “Call.”
As he pushed me around early and then I bluffed on the straight he says “You got the Queen?” He went all in with just a pair of Jacks??
“Nope,” I say. “I’ve got the twos,” and then I throw them on the table. The guy who believed I was bluffing earlier starts laughing, the guy who is about to lose most of his stack is choking. He’s got a K - J, but even he isn’t all that hopeful. The next two cards are blanks. I tip the dealer, play one more hand, and ask for a rack so I can leave.
Some days are good days.