Every Poker Hand Tells A Story

In a tournament Saturday I made a lay down that seemed a little amazing to the average player but was relatively easy to do after watching the entire story unfold.

Blinds are 50-100. My hand: Kh-10h. Villain: X-X.

I raised to 800 under the gun (UTG) +2. An 8x (eight big blinds) raise is a too big here, but this is a tournament where a lot of “fishing” goes on. Players try to get into pots cheap and hit a flop. A big raise scared away the fishermen. After two folds a player raised to 1,800. Everyone else folded to me. I called. The pot has 3,750 chips in it (1800+1800+50SB+100BB).

This is a bad call with a weak hand (K-10) by me and I am out of position. However, I had not seen this player in a pot yet. I wanted to feel him out a little. The flop: As-9s-2c.

Since I missed the flop, I checked. The villain checked. The turn card was Kd. With a pair of kings I checked. The villain checked behind.

The river card was a Kc. I made three kings and wanted to see where I was in the hand. I decided to make a very small bet of 125 into the pot. The small bet can accomplish many objectives. It may get raised and let me get away from the hand cheaply. The raise might freeze a better hand from reraising because it is so suspiciously small. If I am ahead in the hand the bet is so small it will get called my most hands that raised preflop and went all the way to the river. This drags a few more chips into the pot.

The villain raised to 850.

This is where we start to dissect the story. Since my preflop raise was so big, to reraise me the villain must have a huge hand. That already eliminates every pair from J-J thru 2-2, and all A-x hands including A-Q. Why? If the villain were holding 10-10, 6-6 or A-Q he would not reraise me preflop, he would either flat call the big raise or fold. The reraise eliminates every hand except four: Q-Q, K-K, A-A and A-K.

The villain elected to check both the flop and the turn.

When I made three kings on the river and bet, the villain raised me. We know he doesn’t have quad kings because I am holding a king. Q-Q is out since the villain is not going to raise on the river with an Ace and two Kings on the board. A-K is probably out because the villain would likely bet the ace on the flop or two pair on the turn, but A-K is a small possibility. The only hand left is A-A and that makes the most sense here. If the villain is holding A-A he flopped a set and made Aces full of Kings.

A folded my king face up and told the player, “I can’t beat your full house.”

After a few gasps from the table that I had open folded three kings, the villain turned over two aces for a full house. A poker story read perfectly.

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