Saturday, March 31, 2012

Check in the dark!

I sometimes make a move known as "check in the dark", where you're gonna be first to act and you announce "check" before the card comes out.  People debate whether this is a good move, for example in this forum.  On the one hand, you are acting before you have all the information available to you, so you're giving up some control.  But on the other hand, you make your move before your opponent can get a read on your reaction to the card.  And, your check in the dark (sort of) puts you in last-to-act position instead of first-to-act.

I like the move, even though it didn't work for me today.

We were in the mid-to-late stages of a no-limit tournament.  The blinds were 300-600 and I had about 10,000 in chips (thanks to a recent river flush that tripled me up).  In the small blind, I have 10-J off suit.  Everyone folds, so I limp in to go up against just the big blind, who checks.

The flop comes A-10-2.  I like my pair of 10's but as always I'm worried about the Ace, so I check.  The big blind checks as well.

Now I "check in the dark" for the first time.  My opponent bets 2BB, or 1200.  I figure since he checked the flop he doesn't have an Ace and he's trying to steal it, so I call.

I check in the dark again, and to my surprise, he BETS in the dark!  He throws out 4000 into the pot.  The river is still not yet dealt.  So I'm thinking, oh well, I was trapped.  He has an Ace and I'm about to fold.

But the river comes another 10 and I now have a set of 10s!

Knowing he bet in the dark, I figure the chances are this 10 didn't help him, but it helped me a ton!.  In retrospect, I should have thought long and hard about what he might have that made him so confident.  I just assumed it was a pair of Aces.

I push all in with my set of 10's.  He CALLS!

So I turn over my 10-J and say "I have a set of 10's".  He turns over 10-2!

Aw damn..  He flopped two-pair and rivered a full house with that 10!  He had me covered, so I was out of the tournament.

Could I have seen that coming?

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