So in my last blog entry I shared a hand I played with a tight, conservative guy where I took a bit different line than normal to create a profitable situation out of one that in terms of straight hand value is not a good spot.   At the end I promised to share another hand I played against this villain, and something I did which I almost never do.  And talk about why.   So here it is:

It was the very next hand, and we are now UTG and UTG+1.   He is still a bit upset visibly by the hand against me, I think a bit annoyed that I didn’t reciprocate the showing of hands and show in kind.  I’m in the process of stacking the pot when the hand is dealt, and he opens again to $20.  I pull my 2 cards around the unstacked pile to behind the wall of stacked chips and curl up the corners to see AA looking back at me.  Nice timing.

I came right back out with the same 3-bet as the previous hand, and made it $60 to go.  “What the ****?” (yes, he said it).   Clearly he was upset now, and of course I’m hoping I have him coolered and he decides to come back over the top of me.   The action folded quickly back around to him, and after glaring at me strongly, he angrily said “fine” and folded AsJs face up.  This was a bit looser than I expected  to see him opening from UTG, but I’m not surprised that he folded it. 

So then I did something I almost never do… I showed him my aces.  I almost never show my cards except in extreme circumstances, and I felt this one was appropriate to make an exception to the rule.   Now I know you’re thinking, why, let him think you bluffed him, he’s on tilt now!   Yes, he seemed to be tilted with me for sure.   And that’s exactly why I showed him.   I’ll explain. 

First, this guy’s likely reaction on tilt was not going to be punting his stack, reloading, and punting again.  It would probably be to tighten up even more, or just to leave.  Even if he did punt the rest of his stack the chance I’d be the one to get it wasn’t great anyway, it’s a full table after all.  And I was pretty sure he was not going to go off for multiple buy ins either.  Second, I expect to be playing with this guy again in the future, likely multiple times, and he won’t be on tilt the next time I see him.  Remember from the last blog entry how I used this guy’s regular game against him to create a nice edge.   I don’t want him catching on or even getting suspicious, because then there is always the chance he will correct the problem and I won’t be able to keep exploiting it.  While the profit margin against him is not huge, it’s consistent… there’s no reason to risk killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.  By showing here my ultimate goal is to remove any suspicion or tilt against me, and keep him behaving exactly the way I expect him to behave when I’m in the pot with him, so I can continue extracting golden eggs in future encounters.

He did end up stacking off about an hour later.  He didn’t punt it, the stack off was legit… he flopped a set and got the money in vs. a LAGgy spewer who was overplaying a straight draw, and the guy hit his straight.  He didn’t reload, he called it a night and left.  I look forward to the next time I see him at my table. And I’ll be vigilant for good opportunities against him, which I believe if not abused to the point of recognition and awareness, will continue to present themselves over and over again.