The Cards Don't Change - Except When They Do
My very first WSOP event ever was the $1,500 Limit Hold'em Event at the 2006 World Series of Poker. I will always remember this for several reasons, the biggest being that it was the largest live Limit Hold'em tournament of all-time.
Anyone that has played a limit tournament knows that it is the ultimate grind. Being a newbie to the World Series, there were times I would "check out" when I wasn't in a hand.
It was pretty easy to do. At my table was Erik Seidel and the table behind me Phil Ivey played the entire time I was in the tournament.
One particular hand of interest came up in the fourth of fifth level that I will never forget because it taught me the importance of paying attention at all times.
I was dealt pocket aces in late position and waited for action to come to me. During the wait, I notice that Phil Ivey was in a big pot and was keeping an eye on that.
Not paying attention to how much time had passed etc, someone tapped at me that it was my turn to go and I raised.
Now my attention was back to the hand and the flop fell A-10-8. I flopped a set. Great.
Action checked to me. I bet. He calls.
The turn falls a queen. He checks, I bet and he check-raises.
Does he have King Jack and just hit Broadway? Maybe he has J-9.
If he just hit a straight, I could still win with the board pairing. However, maybe he has something like K-Q or even A-Q and I am still ahead.
I look down to my cards thinking, "My set is probably good."
Just one problem. My cards were 7-6 offsuit. Instantly, I go into a slight panic mode.
Instead of having a set and a solid chance of winning, I was somewhere around 8% to make my hand.
Not able to think straight at this point, I folded.
My neighbor asked, "You were bluffing there?" I tell him that I had looked down to pocket aces on the deal but when I looked back, they were 7-6.
"You missed the misdeal didn't you?"
As my grandma used to say, you could have bought me for a nickel after he told me that.
My lack of focus resulted in my missing my cards getting mucked and cost me 2.5 big bets. Not a lot at that point, but something that reminded me to pay better attention to my cards.
The cards never change....except when they do.