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playing poker and teaching science: December 2013

playing poker and teaching science

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle school science teacher, wrestling coach, poker player, scuba diver, aikido black belt, amateur writer, and student of life. In the past I have tried to give back a little by volunteering at a children's home in Belmopan, Belize, Central America. I also love Frosted Flakes. I have taken a year sabbatical from my teaching position in order to sail the Caribbean. Does that sound crazy to you?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Why would you do that? Why would you do that?

I enjoyed another winning session at the local American Legion Friday evening with a fun hand that had the entire table laughing and sent one player into a downward tilting spiral. I had lost 1/3 of my buy-in when my two pair was out flopped by the nut straight so I was sitting on about $68 when this hand occurred:

I called a $10 raise on the button with 7c9c and saw a flop of Ad8c6c with four other callers. Soon-to-be-tilted guy bets $10 and gets two callers. I have a flush and straight draw but am also happy to take down the $80 pot right there. I carefully count out my chips, put my final $13 on my cards because I had forgotten my card protector, and announced a raise to $47, a little over half the pot.

Honestly, I was raising that amount simply because it was a little over half the pot. That fact was lost on the one player left. He fixated on me holding $13 back and couldn't let it go.

He'd placed himself in a poor position by raising with a weak ace. Any solid player would fold here because I must have a better hand, right? Unless he reads me as a complete bluff, he's a dog to win the hand... But he couldn't let it go.

"Why would you do that?"

"Why would you keep $13 dollars behind? Why not push all-in? Aren't you afraid of the flush?"

Then he flashed the ace of clubs, which told me he DID NOT have two flush cards. The ace high flush calls right away. So he has ace-no-kicker and that makes me the favorite, even though he's currently ahead.

"I read a book that said this is the correct play," I told him. Now the entire table is laughing and talking about the hand and what he should do. In a casino this would be frowned on, by this is a group of guys largely just out for a good time.

That pushed his button and he called. The next card completed my flush, I pushed, he called saying "now I have to see" and I raked in a nice pot.

Showing the flush sent him over the edge. He didn't even notice that I had a straight draw as well. He went on to tilt off two more buy-ins, and every time someone made a big bet they would leave a few chips behind and bring it to the attention of the entire table.

It made for a great time, as well as profitable!