Poker: How Not to Play a Flopped Set

Last week I won a seat in the PokerStars $1 Million Dollar Guaranteed No Limit Texas Hold Em tournament. I sat down and promptly played the best round of Poker I have ever played until this hand. I was at a fairly weak tight table and had been building my chipstack by stealing from the two monster stacks to my left. I had watched them miracle limp into the huge stacks they were. I was slobbering at the mouth to catch a monster against these two since they would surely double me up with top pair no kicker. I waited and waited until my moment came……..

With about 20 players to go until the money bubble was broken I minimum raised with pocket 9s. Both monster stacks called. The flop came down 579 all rainbow. Since the flop was beautiful for me I got fancy and just checked the flop hoping for a bet from one of the monsters so I could maxmize the haul on my beautiful hand. However no one bet and it was checked around. The Turn card came a Jack. Beautiful!!!!!!!! I knew in my gut one of these two had something like QJos and I was going to get paid. So I checked again waiting for the chance to check raise and yet again the hand was checked back around. Here came the flop.

I was so nervous I was shaking. I had never ran so deep in such a big buy in tournament. The feeling was like playing an intense poker online. There is a fierce competition and everything is so challenging. All I had to do was take this pot down and I could sit out for a $4 or $5 thousand dollar win. Well the flop comes down a King and I knew one of these morons had at least a King!!!! They were not that bad as to call a raise on the bubble with anything less so I bet out half the pot. Suddenly the Big Blind wakes up and goes ALL IN. I think HA HA you just slow played Pocket Aces or Big Slick your mistake DONKTACULA and I push all of my chips in. Suddenly to my surprise and utter terror the Small Blind wakes up and Calls both ALL INS!?!?!?!?!??!?!??

My heart sank as I watched in horror……….. The Big Blind player had indeed slow played pockets but they were Kings. What was even worse the Small blind had called my minimum raise with 68 suited and flopped then slow played a very hidden Straight. I busted out furious but not near as furious as the Big Blind player. Who stayed at the table and ranted for 15 minutes. Very poor poker etiquette if you ask me. I looked up both these players on a free online player database and found the one with the pocket Kings was a very good and well known player. The Small Blind who slow played the straight was literally a brand new signup.

I learned three very important lessons that Sunday:

  1. Never ever ever slow play anything short of the absolute nuts. Someone will catch up.
  2. If you think you are ahead in the hand especially with good position BET!!!!!!!!!
  3. If you get raised and then reraised, unless you have the absolute nuts, FOLD even if you are pot committed. Chip and a Chair

 

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