The benefits of bad Poker players

I love retelling this one story from early on in my poker ‘career’. I had just turned 18 years old and was getting geared up to play in my first live tournament, a fund raiser for a local club basketball team. The buyin was either $50 or $60 with $25 rebuys. This was high stake poker for me (still is) and I was nervous as all hell. I didn’t do too well in the beginning, rebought once, and went on a pretty sick rush. I was moved tables and was dealt KK, AK, AQ, and 88 in one round. Both of my pocket pairs hit sets on the flop and took down large pots.

First, let me tell you a little story about a rookie mistake. I was dealt AK and I knew already (this was the 3rd or 4th hand) that my table was loose … and bad. I had just taken a huge pot off with KK, making a full house Ks over 2s and these people were just throwing away chips. I was dealt AK, raised, was reraised all in, and called. I have more chips than both the other people who had gone all in and was looking forward to making up some chips.

I casually and carelessly flipped over my cards showing AK and one of the players (not even in the hand!) complained that my hand had hit the muck. The corner of my King hit the corner of one of his folded cards. My arguing was pointless, and one of the old guys next to me said ‘tough luck kid, you’ll never do that again.’ Real funny… My two opponents had AQ and KQ and the board ended up K Q J 10, so I would’ve split with AQ, but I was forced to still pay the pot what I owed with no right to the winnings, ouch.

I wasn’t so mad that I had been DQed for that hand (it wasn’t too many chips), but I was really steaming that a player not even involved in the hand had pointed it out, what a bastard. I made sure to knock him out with my 88. The flop was J 8 2 or something similar and he announced all in. I called, he showed J9 and lost, what a shame. I made some remark like ‘my cards didn’t hit the muck that time, did they?’ before he left, haha, oh well, I was only 18.

Later in the tournament we were down to 27 players and only the top 8 or 9 were paid, but I was dwindling. I was in the big blind for almost 1/3 of my chips when I was dealt 34 offsuit. To my astonishment there were 3 limpers, 4 including the small blind, and I was able to check. I asked the dealer to flop me the nuts and the flop came down 3 4 J. I immediately went all in for about 1/3 of the pot and everyone called! I had no idea what to think at this point, how could everyone have a piece of that?!

The board ended up being 3 4 J 8 7 or something like that and the players showed their hands. I stood up and said ‘two pair, threes and fours” and watched each player turned over their hands … AA … QQ … 99 !?!?!?

Two things really struck me during this hand. First, no one raised preflop! The AA was under the gun and tried to be sneaky, and the QQ also limped. I would have let go of 34 to a raise, but they all let me see a flop. Secondly, there was NO betting in the side pot! After my all in the players checked it down … even with queens and aces, they didn’t think to bet into the side pot. I think the person with AA really misplayed that hand by not ever betting, and the QQ or 99 really should’ve raised preflop to see where they were at, but I wasn’t about to complain.

Unfortunately I ended up losing that tournament in 24th place when 77 cracked my JJ on a rivered 7, but I had a good time and realized that the majority of players in those charity tournaments are pretty terrible. They probably watched the WSOP on tv a few times and listened to Norman Chad and thought they were the next Hellmuth, but they were awful.

I look forward to finding another good live tournament where I can show my stuff and take advantage of bad players making bad plays, but it will have to wait until after school. Good luck!

I've been playing poker for almost four years now (well before it was legal for me, woops!) Besides poker I enjoy playing the guitar and I'm very enthusiastic about pursuing Dentistry as a career. I'm currently at The Ohio State Univeristy studying Microbiology, living with three of my close friends. I'm dating a lovely girl from Australia and am looking forward to the oppurtunity to study abroad over there as well.

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