Saturday, August 29, 2009

An Introduction to Jose

Everyone once in a while a hand plays out in such astonishing fashion that the regulars in the game talk about it for days or even weeks. If it happens at The Oaks, there's a decent chance Jose will be involved. Last Wednesday I played a hand there that was still being explained to the floormen Saturday afternoon. It went down just so.

In a full 30/60 game a reasonable player (RP) opened from under the gun. His raise at a ten-handed table from that position demands respect, which, this being The Oaks, it of course did not get. A random dude (dude) called the two cold like two spots later, and our victim also cold called next in from the ten seat. Next to act in the one seat was Jose. I've known Jose now for several months, and he is basically the resident Alpha Lag of the Oaks 30/60 game. Every other hand it seems he's in the pot, hammering away with 3rd pair yet somehow making some pretty sick lay downs. Through years of playing marginal hands in marginal spots he's developed some pretty advanced hand-reading skills, which he uses to great benefit against most of the players in the game.

Back to the hand, Jose 3-bets. I'm next to act in the two seat and peer down at the mother of marginal holdings in this spot, pocket 8s. Against just the opener, my hand would be fast-tracked to the muck. But now I'm in an interesting spot. The two cold-callers obviously don't have much (it's almost impossible to believe either has a pair bigger than mine) and Jose's 3-bet means basically that he does not have 93 offsuit. Against 4 opponents, and possibly more (there are 1 or 2 players left behind me and the blinds yet to act), I can practically play any pocket pair purely for set-mining purposes. "Cap it!" I declare, peeling 12 chips into the pot. In retrospect I wish I'd actually just called 3 cold (gasp) as it would have let me know more about RP's hand. Since I didn't much care of the players behind me came in or not, this would have been an alright spot to take 3 to the face I think (if such a spot ever exists). The 4 other players folded, then the 4 players with money already in called, and we were off.

5d 3d 2h

RP, dude, victim, and Jose all check to me, and I dutifully bet. The chance that I have the best hand is pretty big here, and this bet is strictly for value. I even have the 8 of diamonds. RP just calls, as does dude. Victim now raises, which basically screams "I have a freaking monster!" as loud as possible. Victim is loose passive and really isn't going to check raise one pair or something here. Combined with the preflop action, it's safe to say he has either a huge draw or has already made yahtzee with either A4 or 64. Jose proceeds to take two bets to the face, as is his (correct) custom in ginormous pots, and in my head somebody says "Save Pots, Not Bets!" I realize that my best chance to win this sucker is to raise a safish turn, and I just call. RP and dude also call, so now we have a 31.5 small bet pot heading into the turn.

5d 3d 2h 7h

That definitely qualifies as safe. In fact, it's almost the best card in the deck. RP and dude check, and victim bets. Jose calls quickly and I raise. Jose now turns to me and says "Why do you do that?". RP now calls two cold and I cringe. He's either got a big flush draw (specifically hearts...the lack of flop action kind of rules out diamonds) or, more likely at this point, a pair in the 99-JJ range. This is of course horrible news. Dude folds, and victim 3-bets. Jose is beside himself, and he looks at me again and says "Why do you do that? I don't want to call" and then calls two more bets cold. I actually laugh out loud at this point and toss my hand into the muck, to which the general response from the table is "waht?" RP calls the last bet, and by waiting until the turn in an attempt to win a huge pot with one pair of eights, I have created an GIGANTIC pot and determined that I am drawing dead. We now have a roughly 27 big bet pot, and I don't have cards.

5d 3d 2h 7h 4c

Now that, ladies and gentleman, is one hell of a card. RP checks and victim checks in frustration. At this point Jose, in one smooth motion says "Hee hee!!!!" and slings 6 chips into the pot while turning around to tell a regular "look at this one!" RP calls reluctantly with what I can only assume was like pocket jacks, and victim slings in 6 chips with Ace Four of diamonds. That's right, he flopped a 5-high straight with a redraw to the nut flush. Jose tables 76 of clubs and scoops up the 30 big bet ($1800) pot with much rejoicing. Our victim is beside himself, and tells this tale of sorrow to anyone who will listen for the next 4 days.


DK said...

How do you deal with players like Jose? I've been there myself and it is incredibly aggravating to have a big hand cracked by a 4/2 outer or runner-runner. I know it is probably best to shrug it off and try not to tilt but the anguish has to be hard to deal with short term.

jesse8888 said...

More and more often I am actually able to be zen-like and brush it off. Today I had a bad stretch where I kind of went off (after I had two pair check/raised on the river by a running flush, flopped top two with T9s, bet, and asked "how will I lose this hand?" to see a turn K, get donked into, raise, and have it 3 and 4 bet behind me, and a generally standard 43s flopping Q43 against my AQ in a 4 way 3-bet pot), but a few days ago Nick actually said to me "I admire your ability to take bad beats" (I think I'd flopped top two or something and lost to a gut shot on the river and said "what's he got? the straight? ah yes. nice hand"). Sorry that I failed to answer you question, the short answer is very applicable to life. When something shitty happens, you can either be pissed off or not. It's your call.