Prior to this particular hand I’d been having a fairly forgettable session – nothing overly good or bad had happened in about an hour or so since I’d sat down and I was hovering around my initial buy in level. I was sat next to a nice guy on my right and we’d been having a few beers and a chat about both our travels – he was due to visit London soon and I’d been giving him some pointers for a first time tourist.
I don’t remember the specific details pre flop but I was in the BB with A-10 off. I think I called a bet from UTG+1 which had also been called by 2 other players – including the SB on my right. The flop comes out 10-10-2. SB bets and I call, the original raiser calls and the other player folds. Turn is a 5 which brings 2 diamonds on the board. SB bets, I raise, original raiser folds and the SB looks at his cards before calling. When he looked at his cards he accidentally exposed one of them to me – not on purpose and it was only the briefest of flashes that no one else could have seen it or even realised that I’d seen it. It was a black K. This guy was a decent enough player that he’s not called from the SB with KK, he’s not calling my raise on the turn with A-K so the only other hand he can have is K-10 – which figures given his post flop action. The turn is an 8 – not a diamond so there’s no flush or straight possible to represent. SB leads out about 30% of the pot – what do you do here knowing that you’re good?
I decided to use a couple of factors before making my decision:
He was a relatively nice guy – sure I’d only just met him but I always think that someone’s persona at the poker table is actually a pretty good mirror of their true character. Sure people can act aggressive with chips but those who win with grace and lose with humility are those I like to be around. Someone who berates his opponent whether he’s won or lost at the poker table is probably a jerk away from the poker table too. If this guy had been a jerk I’d have raised.
He could afford to lose the money – basically anyone at the table should be prepared to lose their chips but this guy had told me what he did and losing another $100 or so would have been inconsequential. Not that I’d not raise if he told me that he needed the winnings to buy a hot dinner for freezing orphans.
What if I’d not seen his card – I’d already raised on the turn before I saw his card. Another raise here doesn’t look suspicious and I’m probably getting a call.
In the end I just called – I tried to play the hand out as if I’d not seen his card and I wouldn’t usually raise in that position just with trips albeit a strong kicker, there’s too many SB limped hands that “could” have made a full house albeit I knew he didn’t have one. He turns over K-10 and asks about my kicker. He says “nice hand” with genuine sincerity and we get back to chatting as if nothing has happened