Wild-man rep­u­ta­tion pro­vides a pay­off

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - South Broward - - POKER - By Dar­rell Dier

At the poker ta­ble, I have a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing a crazy man. Maybe it’s the fact that I live in a tent near an air­field so that I can sky­dive any time I want. Or maybe it’s be­cause early in my poker ca­reer, I would bet just about any hand in any sit­u­a­tion.

I’ve tight­ened my game and am a much bet­ter player now. But my op­po­nents still see me as the crazy guy — which works well for me now that I’m no longer playing that way.

At t he $1,100- en­try WPTDeep­S­tacks Main Event at the Win-River Re­sort and Casino in Red­ding, Cal­i­for­nia, last November, I had chipped up from the verge of elim­i­na­tion to 50-60 big blinds, giv­ing me am­mu­ni­tion to play more Dar­rell Dier’s hand: ag­gres­sively. With blinds at 10,000-20,000, I was on the but­ton with Ah 10s. I raised to 44,000. In the big blind, Dann Turner, a qual­ity cash game player, called.

The flop came 10d 8c 7h, which was great for me. The only thing mak­ing me ner­vous was the straight draw. Any 9 was now playable, and at a four-handed ta­ble, the range of open­ing hands was sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased, so Turner could have had just about any­thing. But with my rep­u­ta­tion, I also could have had just about any­thing. Flop:

Turner checked. I bet 65,000. If I’m in a heads-up pot and I’m the pre­flop raiser, I have to look for a rea­son not to con­tin­u­a­tion­bet, be­cause it’s so ef­fec­tive — es­pe­cially late in events, when people are look­ing to cash higher and will get out of a hand rather than risk their en­tire tour­na­ment. He called.

The turn was a 4h that brought a long-shot flush draw. It was a pretty in­con­se­quen­tial card, al­low­ing for back­door outs that were pos­si­ble but un­likely. He checked. I bet 165,000. He Turn: called.

With Turner check-call­ing on the flop, this card changed noth­ing for him un­less he had 5-6, but it was un­likely he’d just check the flop with that hand. I thought he could have had 10-9, 8-9, any kind of pair or a straight draw. If he had a stronger hand, he would have check-raised. In­stead, he check-called. Maybe Turner had a good value hand that he could call ev­ery street, but I had top pair, top kicker, and that’s tough to beat four-handed.

The river was a 7d that River: paired the board. Turner checked. I bet 420,000. I had about 850,000 at that point. He had me cov­ered by a lit­tle bit. If I shoved all in, I prob­a­bly wasn’t getting called. I wanted to size my bet so that if he re-raised all in, I could fold and still leave my­self a work­able stack.

Turner thought for about three min­utes and was shak­ing his head. At that point, I knew I was good. The only hand I was wor­ried about was 7-9, but if he had that, he wouldn’t have taken so long. He called, flip­ping over Js 10c. He had top pair with a busted gut­shot. He’d called hop­ing to catch a bluff. But I didn’t have a bluff; I had the bet­ter hand.

I’m still us­ing my rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing crazy to my ad­van­tage. Turner stayed in be­cause he thought I might play just about any two cards.

Win­ning this pot gave me 40 per­cent of the chips in play, and I was able to pick my spots and put pres­sure on ev­ery­one en route to win­ning the cham­pi­onship. I have my rep­u­ta­tion to thank for that. People haven’t ad­justed to what I’ve done. Let’s not let them in on our se­cret. Dar­rell Dier has won more than $325,000 playing in live ac­tion tour­na­ments. He has cap­tured three Deep­S­tacks Poker Tour ti­tles.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.