Chapter 3: King 9 The Nightmare Scenario
You may think this next story is a rare occurrence but I have seen it hundreds and hundreds of times during the course of my career.
I was playing with a typical group of friends who get together on regular occasions to play a .25/.50 cash game. the buy in is $20 and being a cash game unlimited rebuys of up to $40 are welcome all night long. Me and a friend of mine are the best players in the game and on this night we shuffled back and forth with the chip lead as the big stacks at the table. The night was winding down to 5am and only 4 of us were left. I had taken a slight chiplead of about $20 or so with my stack now towering at $320 dollars and his at $300. The two shortstacks had around $40 each and were not much of a threat to either of us. I could feel his impatience growing as the original standard raises of $2-$3 were now $5-$10 and were becoming more frequent. As the shortstacks folded around to us in the blinds he flat called in the sb .25 and I did something that ended up costing him all his chips. I checked ace king in the big blind keeping the pot small and disguising the strength of my hand. The flop came JT8 and he led right out big betting $5 (keep in mind the pot is only $1) and I called because with two overcards, a gutshot straight draw to the nuts, and tons of money I wanted to gamble and suck out to a huge pot. This plan came to fruition immediately when a queen came on the turn giving me the nuts. He checked and I decided to represent a queen so I put out what I like to call a bear trap. I put a suck in bet of $3.50 out and I think at that point he wanted to suck me in so he checkraised to $9. (a very smart amount mind you, this bet will induce a 9 to re-raise and a Q,2 pair, or a set to call) Now I hatched part 2 of my trap. At this point I could re-raise him, but he is way to smart for that and would be scared a little of the third raise as this is a sign of extreme strength. So I once again disguised the strength of my hand my flat calling once again. My dream card popped on the river. A 9 counterfeitted the board and made a queen high straight. This meant with no suits present his king high straight could only be beaten by one hand and he could easily disguise the strength of his hand by putting a huge steal bet into pot knowing that a counterfeited hand would probably have to call to try and get his money back. He put a really smart bet of $50 into a pot of $29 and I raised all in immediately and strong making it appear like I was bluffing. He instantly called and turned over his king 9 expecting to see a hand like KQ or maybe even a counterfeited hand but instead I turned over Ace king. He was devastated but commented on how well I played it calling on the flop and the turn and the strong all-in play on the river. You see he just couldn't put me on the hand and never did, not even after it was too late. My friends this is the dream cash game scenario. You buy-in once for $20 and finish the night breaking a big stack and walking away with just over $600. While it wasnt my friends fault he played K9 (anyone would in his position on the small blind and he played it perfectly the entire way, he just got incredibly unlucky) these hands are known as 3-gap connectors and face the possibility of being destroyed by the high end straight. The higher the three gap connector the worse the danger, I have outlined the order of danger below.
62 can actually be a big hand especially since people like to play any ace and I have destroyed a wheel with my six high straight before... I'll explain more on this later...
So in conclusion folks, avoid K9 like the plague. It has a negative expectation and can really put a hurtin' on your stack.
"King nine is the biggest donkey hand, ever." - Mike "the mouth" Matuzow