Good reads are just half the battle
When we succeed at a difficult portion of a challenge, we’re sometimes so pleased by our success that we lose the focus to see the challenge through to completion. Unfortunately, this happened to me in a fateful hand on Day 2 of this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event.
After starting with a stack of 50,000, I finished Day 1 with 66,000, which put me right at the tournament average. When I arrived at my new table for Day 2, I went through my normal routine. I paid attention to tells and patterns of play from the two opponents on my left and the two on my right. (Those are the players you’re likely to play the most pots against.)
The opponent on my left, an amateur who admitted Alex Outhred’s hand: that he got lucky in two different qualifiers to earn his $10,000 entry, displayed a bona fide tell when he was bluffing: His betting hand would shake ever so slightly when he bet. He had over 120,000 to start the day, built it up to 150,000, then bluffed away 50,000 on three hands where he displayed the tell.
With blinds at 400-800, I raised to 1,900 from late position with As Qd. The player to my left called from the button, and the blinds called as well. Sat.; 8 am-6 pm Sun.-Thu. $7, $15. Countyline Dragway, 19999 Okeechobee Rd., Miami. 305-303-1098. Croquet, National Croquet Center, 700 Florida Mango Rd., West Palm Beach. 561-478-2300. Curtiss Mansion, 500 Deer Run, Miami Springs. 305-869-5180, curtissmansion.org. Free. Tours 10 am Sat. $5. Deerfield Beach Historical Society & Museum, 380 E. Hillsboro Blvd. 954-429-0378. Docent tours of Butler & Pioneer houses, Old School Museum. Deering Estate, 16701SW 72nd Ave., Miami. 305-235-1668, deeringestate.org. House tours 10:30 am, 3 pm daily; natural areas tour. Delray Oaks Natural Area, Congress Ave., 1mile south of Linton Blvd., Delray Beach. 561-233-2400. 8 am-5 pm daily. DivaDuck Tours, daily from CityPlace, Rosemary Ave. & Hibiscus St., downtown West Palm Beach. RSVP 561-844-4188. $25, $15 ages 4-10, $5 3 & younger. Flop:
The flop came Qh 7d 3c. I bet 4,000. The readable player called, and the blinds folded.
Aharmless 2s hit the turn. I decided to check to give my opponent the chance to bluff on a dry board, as he had shown an inclination to do. Bingo. He bet 4,000 with a shaky hand. And then ... my error. I was so pleased with myself for both discovering the tell and inducing the action that I blew past my normal decision-making process. I quickly made it Downtown West Palm Beach, CityPlace, just east of I-95 on Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. 561-366-1000, wpb.org. 561-822-2222, wpb.org. Brothers of Others 7-11pm Fri. Wonderama 7-11pm Sat. Everglades Holiday Park, 21940 Griffin Rd. 954-434-8111. One-hour airboat tours, Gator Boys alligator presentation 9 am-5 pm daily. $15, $28. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables. 305-667-1651, fairchildgarden.org. 9:30-4:30 daily. Fairway Park, 3700 Largo Dr., Miramar. 954-967-1611. Free supervised game room 9 am-5 pm Sat. Flamingo Gardens, 3750 Flamingo Rd., Davie. 954-473-2955, flamingogardens.org. Everglades wildlife sanctuary, Wray Home Museum, wildlife show, narrated tram tours 9:30 am-5 pm daily. $12.95-$19.95; adults $7, ages 2 and younger free Sept. Saturdays. Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum, 1527 SW1st Ave. Turn: 11,000. That was nearly three times the size of his bet — a raise ratio that should work when an opponent does not have a strong hand.
What I forgot to consider was that he had led out for about 25 percent of the pot. By raising 7,000 more, I offered him better than 5-to-1 odds on his money: 7,000 to win more than 37,000 (with implied odds of making more if he hit the river). He called, to my initial surprise.
The 6s hit the river, and I 954-779-7300, antiquecarmuseum.org. 9 am-3 pm Mon.-Fri.; call for weekend hours. Fort Lauderdale Auto Museum, 5300 N. Powerline Rd., Fort Lauderdale. 954-491-6265. 2-10 pm Fri.-Sun., 4-8 pm Mon.-Thu. $5-$25. Fort Lauderdale Fire & Safety Museum, 1022 W. Las Olas Blvd. 954-763-1005. 1927 fire station, exhibits, videos. 9 am-noon Sat., 12-4 pm Sun. Free; donations accepted. Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop & Drive-In, 3291W. Sunrise Blvd. 954-791-7927. Indoor/outdoor flea market, rides, food court. Funderdome, Southport Shopping Center, 1455 SE17th St., Fort Lauderdale. 954-525-1816. Entertainment center with rock climbing, laser maze, sports court. 9 am-9 pm Mon.-Sat., 9 am-6 pm Sun. $10.95-$19.95. Funtastic Fridays, 5-9 pm at ArtsPark at Young Circle, Hollywood Blvd. & US1. 954-921-3404. Glacier Ice & Snow Arena, 4601N. Fed. Hwy., Pompano Beach. 954-943-1437. Skating River: couldn’t fathom that card making his hand. Another mistake. His call had me so confused that I should have opted to check and call any bet. I bet 16,000 into a pot of 37,600 as if I was begging for a call — which I was, albeit incorrectly. My opponent tanked for two minutes, chatting away, saying he felt he was being trapped. Until he called. He held 6h 3h. Two pair.
My opponent had only five outs, so technically he made the wrong play to call. But knowing I was strong, daily, call for times. DJ weekends. Learn to skate, play hockey. Grassy Waters Preserve, 8264 Northlake Blvd., West Palm Beach. 561-627-8831. 8 am-4 pm Mon.-Sat., 9 am-5 pm Sun., 8 am to dusk Wed. Green Cay Nature Center, 12800 Hagen Ranch Rd., Boynton Beach. 561-966-7000. Exhibits, wetland wildlife, boardwalk tour. 1-4:30 Tue.-Fri., 8:15-4:30 Sat., 1-4:30 Sun. Greynolds Park, 17530 W. Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach. 305-945-3425. Sunrise-sunset daily. Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, 1801N. Ocean Blvd. (A1A), Boca Raton. 561-544-8605, gumbolimbo.org. 9 am-4 pm Mon.-Sat., noon-4 pm Sun. $5, $8. HistoryMiami Museum, 101W. Flagler St., Miami. 305-375-1492, historymiami.org. “Hurricane Andrew: 25 Years Later” through Jan. 14. 10 am-5 pm Mon.-Sat., noon-5 pm Sun. $5-$10. History Museum Fort Lauderdale, 219 SW 2nd Ave. 954-463-4431, flhc.org. Noon-4 he correctly assumed I would add more to the pot on the river.
My error was being so thrilled with how the hand was developing that I skipped a critical variable in the decision-making process. All I had to do was bet 20,000 when I checkraised. The pressure would have been too much for my opponent, and I could have secured a quality pot. Instead, I lost over half of my stack.
Maintain focus until a hand is completed, and you’ll increase your chances of success. pm Tue.-Sun. $10. Incredible Ice, 3299 Sportsplex Dr., Coral Springs. 954-341-9956. IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum, 300 Gulf Stream Way, Griffin Rd., Dania Beach. 954-924-4355, igfa.org. 10 am-6 pm Mon.-Sat., noon-6 pm Sun. $5, $10. International Swimming Hall of Fame, A1A southbound, 1 block south Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. 954-462-6536. 9 am-5 pm daily. $4-$8, free younger than 12. John U. Lloyd Beach State Park, 6503 N. Ocean Dr., Dania Beach. 954-923-2833. Johnson PBC History Museum, 300 N. Dixie Hwy., West Palm Beach. 561-832-4164, hspbc.org. “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American.” 10 am-5 pm Tue.-Sat. Free. Historic Trolley Tour 3, 4 pm Fri.; 11:30 am, 12:30 pm Sat. RSVP 561-833-8873. $5. JumpZone Party Play Centers, 10064 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise. 954-703-1330. $9.