I always enjoy seeing a good fold! There are precious few opportunities to see the folding of a good hand, in a big pot, when the player knows he’s beat. Usually, we as limit players, pay off way too often.
Two hands occurred recently at my 8-16 game. Both times it was me versus the same smart observant opponent.
The action folds to me in middle position, and I look down at A-5 of clubs and decide to raise. My opponent calls me on the button, and the blinds fold. The flop comes down Qc-5d-4c. I, obviously, love this flop. I bet, and he calls.
The turn is a 4h. I once again bet, and this time, he raises me. I just call. The river is the Jc. I think for a moment and bet my nut flush. He, without hesitation, raises me. I turn my cards face up and say, “nut flush, in the muck!” as I fold. There really is no way he could be holding a hand I can beat. He would not have raised the turn with a flush draw, and cannot raise a river bet with simply a 4. He has 5-5 or maybe even Q-Q. He looks at me and smiles, flashes the 5-5, and scoops the pot.
This time, no more than an hour later, I look down at A-Q under-the-gun and raise. The same opponent calls me, as does the big blind. The flop is A-10-4, rainbow. I bet, get called by my original opponent, and get check-raised by the big-blind. I three-bet, establishing my hand, and attempting to figure out where I’m at. My opponent calls, and the big-blind four bets! By this point, I more or less hate my hand, figuring the big-blind for A-10 or A-4, and my other opponent with some sort of large Ace. We each call the four-bet.
The turn is a Q, giving me top two. The big blind bets again. I raise. I figured for sure my other opponent would think for a few moments, and muck. Instead, he three-bets! The big blind thinks… thinks… thinks… and folds his hand. (He later revealed he had A-10, and I believe it) I also go into the tank for a moment, thinking that there’s no way this player, intelligent and savvy, would have called four-bets on the flop with K-J, a gutshot! He must have 4-4, slow-playing the flop! Dammit, I’m screwed! I just call.
The river, lo and behold, another Queen. I fire without hesitation. My opponent, a good natured player, smiles, justifiably annoyed, and turns over his 4-4. “Well,” he says, “I sure can’t beat A-Q!” and throws away his boat.
“I knew it, and I’m sorry bud!” I say, as I flash him the A-Q. That was brutal. But what a fold! Even if it did only save him $16…Jacob "Jaymind" Westlin is a semi-professional limit hold'em player with a strong, sarcastic wit. Jaymind also frequently contributes to Minnesota Poker Magazine's monthly publication. Email Jaymind at email@example.com