I’m going to continue to talk about “Lee”, the player I described in the last blog post. I’ll describe a $30-60 limit hand I played with him recently, and how his specific tells changed my play of the hand.
So, it’s a $15-30 pot, and I’d just won the last two hands, making it a kill pot of $30-60. Lee has been playing very recklessly the last hour or so. He’s a very aggressive player; betting a lot, bluffing a lot, checkraising a lot. He plays a lot of hands. He’s also very irritated with me in particular because I got really lucky against him in a large pot just a few hands before. In the mood he’s in, he’s liable to raise preflop with total garbage.
Lee’s in the big blind, and I’m two to his left. Everyone folded all the way around, until it’s just me and Lee. He raises it to $60, tossing his chips in the middle quickly as he usually does (and as described in detail in the last post). I have:
and already have $30 in for the kill. Not a spot I’d call with against a good player, but Lee is an action player who’s pretty bad. Plus I’ve got position, so it’s a mandatory call.
Flop comes down
[5c] [6h] [8d]
giving me middle pair and the gutshot. All-in-all a very good flop for me, considering Lee’s wide range. Lee bets out and I make the call. I have no particular thoughts about his range at this point one way or the other.
Turn is a J:
[5c] [6h] [8d] [Jh]
Now Lee checks rather quickly to me. I start feeling like Lee has something like AK, AQ, AT, KQ—something where he had a decent start but missed everything. This is definitely a spot I’d bet against most typical players, and usually bet against Lee. But I study him for a few seconds and get a bad feeling. He’s looking off into the distance, not looking at me, which is a typical sign of a bad player who wants you to bet. He’s not trying to intimidate me at all. I even pick up a stack of chips and count out 60 bucks, really considering a bet, but he doesn’t react at all, which is unusual for him because he’s the type of player to usually do the whole holding-chips thing if he’s trying to discourage you from betting.
All of these signs lead me to check. (And just so you know, all of this happens in a few seconds; I know it can sound like I’m taking a long time on this decision as you’re reading it.)
The river pairs the 5:
[5c] [6h] [8d] [Jh] [5s]
Immediately Lee bets out very hard, throwing two stacks of chips forward like he’s aggravated. He leans back in his seat, slumping down, just acting very irritated and weird. As I described in the last post, I’d already mostly figured out what his various patterns meant, and realized that when he acted this way, he was strong. I figured it was probable he had hit the 5, either by itself or with two pair on the turn. I laid down my 6 and he turned over JJ for the turned set and the rivered full house.
“You lucky!” he said. “You almost bet! You save money!”
This hand was significant to me because either betting the turn or calling the river would have been plays I was quite capable of doing, just depending on how I was reading my opponent. In Lee’s case, I would usually have found myself calling the river in that spot after checking the turn, but in this case I was reading him well enough to where I saved that money.