So I Folded Quads…

It was an easy fold though, just an interesting tag line for a short blog post. I limped QQ under the gun in the second blind level of a WSoP Circuit event here in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and got two other limpers. A fail on the limp-reraise, but at a soft table I am not afraid of just seeing a flop and trying to make some money post-flop if the move fails. Pre-flop raises were getting five callers, and limps were often being raised, so it made sense at the time even though it didn’t work.

When the flop came AAQ, it looked like my plan had backfired into brilliance. I checked, an opponent on my immediate left bet, and I called. I often lead out into that kind of board, but given the situation and the opponent, I felt the check/call was correct. The turn was another queen, my bingo card! I could now get all-in happily, and he would probably be happy to get all-in with me and assume that we were chopping. He bet out small and I raised big, but was shocked when he only called.

What is he afraid of? He has to have an ace, and we have to be chopping the pot unless he is winning, so he should be happy to ship it in on me and take the freeroll chance, but he didn’t. I figured I would get a big bet in on the river anyway since he couldn’t possible fold his ace, right? I mean… right? I’m about to bust him!

The case ace rolled off the deck on the river. Ugh. There is no possibility that he can have anything but four aces, no possibility that he will fold, and my chance to win the hand is over. I checked and folded to his bet, showing my queens and laughing at the fact that I had to fold quads, something I have never done before. He showed me Ace-Eight and said that he was considering folding the river if I went all-in…


You were considering folding top full house in holdem because you thought I might have both remaining queens? I think he was telling the truth too. Astounding. I am not good enough to make that play. I was a little bummed out that my quads had to go in the muck, but it was offset by the fact that his timid approach to the hand had saved my stack when we should have gotten all the chips in on the turn. Then I would be left with a nice bad beat story, but no chips. I’ll take the chips.

Much of the Play here in Council Bluffs is very soft, with limping happening regularly at the 500/1000 levels and higher. Lots of passive play, and the few solid players are easy to identify. Anyone who knows the standard moves, plays aggressively and in position, and can size their bets properly, is in the top ten percent. Everyone else is playing at the skill level I expect to see in a $35 tournament in Minnesota. Amazing.

Of course, I haven’t made a day two yet, so I may be wrong about all these soft players. Maybe I’m the fish and should be limp/folding at 800/1600 with a 7k chips stack. Errr… No, that probably isn’t it.

My table did think I was an idiot early in the day today. With five limpers at 150/300, I raised to 1,800 on the button with Queen-Nine and had to call it off when a short stack shoved for 5,400. The short stack had Queen-Jack suited (huh?) and I four flushed to bust him. I watched the old guys at my table looking at each other like I had literally just lit a $100 bill on fire. They were baffled.

I forgot how much fun it can be to play with people who don’t know me. I can play up different table images, make different plays, and chat with people who try to teach me all about poker by telling me that King-Jack is overrated. Or this gem –

“This is a big event. You don’t go broke with a junk hand in an event like this, you just don’t.”

Yesterday I made a big bluff on the river to represent a flush and my opponent showed me a ten-high flush and folded. Yep. He folded it. He figured I had the better flush, so he checked and folded to my bet. I like it here. The large number of recreational players makes for a friendly environment too, with more chatting and less hoodies and headphones, though I am occasionally guilty of retreating into a shell myself. I even had free drinks for a few days before they took my expired Diamond card away. I thought it lasted a full year, but apparently my run as VIP ended at the end of March.

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