Drawing Dead and Making It

The concept seems simple enough and yet the application is less than flawless. If you are going to draw to a hand in Hold’em you better be sure it is good. I have always had my own belief that if I draw to a hand and make it I am going to bet it.

The problem comes in the execution of the concepts that I know all too well. I was playing in a $1-2 blind no-limit hold’em game when I was deal 87 suited in hearts on the button in a five way limped pot and I threw $2 in and saw the flop. The flop came Q 9 6 with two hearts giving me an open ended straight draw and a flush draw. This looked like a great flop for my hand.

The bet was $10 and there were two calls in front of me and I called also and all five players saw the turn. The turn card was the ace of hearts giving me a flush. The players all checked to me and I bet $50 into a pot of $60. I was called by two players and really had no idea where I was in the hand. My opponents had not revealed much about the strength of their hand and I did not know enough about the players to know if I was beat or not. I know that I was not in love with my eight high flush with two callers. I made up my mind that if they checked it to me on the river I would just check and show the hand over.

The river card was the king of spades which really changed nothing about the hand. The first player bet $100 and the middle player folded. This left me with a decision to make. I would have to call $100 in a pot of just over $300. The bet felt like a value bet and I was really not sure what hand I could beat at this point. I could beat AQ if he was betting two pair. I could not put anyone on a 5 high flush so I was pretty sure I would not see a smaller flush.

I stalled for way too long and I finally convinced myself that he could be making a blocking bet with a hand like a set. He would not want to call a pot sized bet if I had a flush and could have made a blocking bet to slow me down. I made the call and he showed me JT of hearts and took down the pot.

I played a questionable hand and I played the hand very weak from good position. Yet I failed to capitalize on my position. I made a flush and I was afraid of it. If I am going to draw to a hand and make it I need to be able to raise with the hand. I lost $162 and worse than that I thought I played the hand very poorly.

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