The scene: I am playing the $200 max NL game, which means lots o' fish. I am sitting in the 2 seat, the button is in the 5 seat, which means the small blind ($2) is in the 6 seat, and the big blind ($5) is in the 7 seat. I've got about $600 in chips accumulated. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, the seating is numbered in order, and the person to the left of the dealer is seat 1, and then it goes around clockwise. Basically, I'm sitting in late-middle position.
Here we go: The 8 seat, who is under the gun, or first to act, raises to $15. Seat 10 (to the right of the dealer) calls, seat 1 (my friend T) folds. I look down at my hand and see the King of hearts and Queen of spades (KhQs). This is good enough for me to call $15 with, so I put my money in. Seats 2-4 fold, the button calls, the small blind folds, the big blind calls. We now have 5 people in to see the flop.
The flop: Ks Qh 2h. In poker lingo, this flop hit me smack on; I've got the top two pair, and the only thing that can beat me is a set. Since someone with KK or QQ in the hole preflop would normally raise at least $25 or $30, I'm positive that I've got the best hand.
So imagine my surprise when the 8 seat (initial raiser, under the gun) makes it a HUNDRED to go. Since there is only $77 in the pot, this is an overbet of the pot, and is screaming "I don't want to be called!". Too bad, everyone reading this should know that I'm going to at least call this.
Now imagine my confusion and surprise when the 10 seat calls this too. Actually, since he only has $180, I'm somewhat surprised he merely calls instead of pushing in right there and getting to see the last two cards and maybe knocking someone out with his raise. But as I said above, lots of fish, and this is definitely a fish-type play.
Well now, I'm still pretty positive I've got the best hand. I mean, I've got the damn King of hearts, so I've got top two with a pretty decent redraw. I put the preflop raiser on AK without hearts, because that heart draw scares him and he's trying to get people out. I put the 10 seat on a flush draw, with maybe a Q in his hand. So, I'd much rather take this pot down right now, and get the draws out while I can, or at least make them pay dearly (and wrongly) for their draws.
So I say "I raise. Make it $300 all day." Poker lingo: all day = straight = total. At this point, anyone who has half a clue at the table know what I have (I counted three of those people at this table).
The 8 seat quickly says, "I call", and starts counting out his chips. When he realizes he's just committed about half his chips (he has about $200 left after the $300 call), he asks, "Can I raise?" The dealer (and everyone else at the table) says "No, that's a string bet." This really doesn't phase me in the least - maybe the turn card will scare him somewhat and he won't push his chips in, but unless some big card comes down that scares me, I'm going to put him all in on the turn anyway. Keep in mind, I'm pretty positive he doesn't have a heart in his hand.
What does make me blink and go "what the hell?" is when the 10 seat pushes his remaining $80 in. Sheeesh. Of course, if you're on the short stack, you're getting odds to call a lot of hands - if he's on a flush draw, this is the right call, even more so if he has a pair.
The turn card is a Jh, making the board now: (Ks Qh 2h) Jh
The 8 seat is the first to act, and pushes all in for about $230. I've got the Kh, so not only do I have top two (which I think is good), if a heart comes down, I have the second best hand possible. This is an easy call, so I do. I flip up my cards, showing top two with the redraw.
The 8 seat flips his cards up, showing: the Ace of clubs and the Ace of diamonds. I am overjoyed to see this, because wow, what a fish to not realize he was totally beat on the flop, and I couldn't believe what a dog he was. He only has 10 possible cards that he can hit on the river to beat me (1 Ace - the Ah gives me a flush, 3 twos (to pair the board and give him a bigger 2 pair than I have), 3 Jacks (same deal as the twos), and 3 Tens to give him the straight (again, we take out the Th, because that gives me the flush). That means I'm a 4 to 1 (80%) favorite to win.
Then the 10 seat flips up his hand: Ah Jc. This is good and bad news. My odds to take the side pot just went up (one less Jack in the deck), but it means I lose the main pot if any heart comes down. But considering the side pot is something like $500, I'd be okay taking just that if it came down to it. (for those of you counting, the 10 seat has 16 outs (8 hearts (I have 1 in my hand), plus the same 8 that seat 8 now has) to win or split the pot. He's close to the favorite in this game.
The river is, of course, the Tc, giving both of my competitors the Ace high straight and beating my 2 pair. Yarrrrrrrr. I think my reaction is really just, "Wow."
It gets better, though. My friend T in the 1 seat is so amazed, as this is the worst beat he has ever seen, does what I really wanted to do and asked the 8 seat: "What did you think she had that you could possibly call that raise on the flop?"
The 8 seat replies: "Well, I thought she had 2 pair or a flush draw."
T blinks and says, "Really? So when the heart came on the turn to make the flush and you knew you HAD to have been beat, since she now either really does have a flush or 2 pair to your aces, you pushed all in?? I mean, I'm really trying to understand this here, because I just don't get how you justify calling and pushing in."
Seat 8 gave the typical fish reaction: "Well, I just couldn't lay down pocket aces."
So the tip for you poker players: pocket aces DO lose, and they DO win. But really, if you think you're beat, you're going to lose money in the long run (80% of the time here), if you keep calling because you can't lay down the aces. It was a costly hand, but I would seriously play this the same way every time, and 80% of the time, I'm the one raking in the pot.