3 A.M. in Las Vegas. I couldn't sleep and wandered over to MGM poker room for another late night session of $2-$5 no-limit hold'em. I found myself involved in a tough situation only fifteen minutes after I sat down.
Player A was a middle-aged guy without a wedding ring. I couldn't tell if he was a local or not. He wore khakis and a golf shirt. Based on his tan, I pegged him for a golfer. The one time he showed down, he had called a big raise in position with A-10. He flopped trips and cracked someone's jacks. He had about $650 in front of him and was sipping coffee.
Player B was in his twenties. He wore sunglasses, had a slew of tattoos, and never stopped shuffling his chips from the moment I sat down. He had a halfempty Corona in front of him and I never saw him take a sip. He had two stacks of red chips in front of him.
Player A raised to $25 from under the gun. Action was folded to me on the button. I found [Qc]-[Qh] and reraised to $80. Player B was in the small blind and he quickly announced all in. Player A asked for a count. The dealer said $240 and change.
Player B looked at his stack a couple of times then said, "I'm all in."
He had me covered. I went into the tank for five minutes and tried to figure out which guy had a better hand than me. Maybe I was ahead of one of the guys, but figured that I was a long shot to be ahead of both. I replayed the hand inside my head. Player A raised. I re-raised. Player B moved all in. Who squeezes with a raise and re-raise in front of them? I had to give him some credit for a decent hand. I'm ahead if he had A-K and any pair of jacks or less. Would he shove with 10-10 or A-Qs? Could he be making a move with total junk?
Player A worried me just as much. He originally raised. Facing a re-raise and an all-in raise in front of him, he moved all in. If I had A-A in that position, I would have just flat called to try to get more action. But the all-in re-raise got me thinking that he had kings.
Player B looked like he didn't have me. He tried to stare me down, but I was more concerned with trying to get a read on Player A. My gut told me that I was at least tied or ahead of Player B and behind Player A. I had no other choice but to fold.
Player A showed Qh-Qd. Player B, the short stack, flipped over Js-Jc. Bad read on my part.
I cannot recall the exact board, but there were four clubs including the ten of clubs on the river. The short-stack won with a flush and cracked queens. If I called, I would have won the main pot and side pot when I rivered a queen-high flush.
If that exact hand happened online, I would have quickly called. I usually peg my online opponents for a wider range of hands. Online players tend to bluff more and play much more aggressively. The anonymity of the internet allows players to make bold moves that they would not otherwise make in a live setting.
Also, when you play a cash game online, you can rapidly reload your chips in the blink of an eye. You do not have to experience those humiliating moments after you get felted in a casino. Nothing compares to the torture that you endure when you sheepishly peel a couple of bills out of your roll and ask the dealer for a rebuy.