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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

The Back Room – The Wimp Bet

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The only mouse you’ll find in the back room of the Farm Barn is one that scurries away from the light and the sound of a poker game that runs late night once a week – no computers, no internet poker, no electronic gadgets allowed.

“Grace for grace given. Thanks for assistance rendered.” As Mary’s voice died away a few throats were cleared; a few mumbles rumbled. One of Clovis’ kids dropped a fork and we all got on with the meal.

A few of The Back Room’s regulars had gathered at Mary’s home for a shared holiday dinner. The TV in the other room was playing the football game, a game which I had refused to prop bet with Mary this year.

I’d lost last year and as yet owed her a home cooked meal, which had been the stakes. Still, the group was good, being mainly single people except for the Clovis Clan.

“All right,” Eddie the Droop said, helping himself to three quarters of the Cranberry sauce, “just what did DD mean last week about me being a wimp?”

As me and sharp objects have an understanding, and as I was carving the bird, I let the remark pass. But Seamless picked up on it.

In true Seamless fashion, he stated: “You’re a lousy lover, Eddie. No follow through.”

Eddie downed his fork (although he didn’t move his hand very far from it), looked Seamless in the eye and said, “That! Is no explanation.”

We all busted out laughing.  So Seamless went on as if Eddie hadn’t uttered a word.

“What he was trying to say is the End Betting in the Limit Game.”

“There wasn’t a lot of that,” injected Clovis, “hardly any, really.”

“And that is exactly what the man was trying to indicate,” Seamless said nodding, “The great fault of the amateur limit player. No aggressive play at the end. Most of us are decent in protecting our hands and charge a price for seeing the next card and that stuff.”

“Pass your plate, Eddie.” I told him, waving a healthy piece of turkey at him.

“If,” Seamless continued, “you’re first to act in the end, bet a healthy amount. Forget that “the pot is big enough for me” stuff. A reasonable amount is…well, reasonable.”

“Okay,” Eddie said, taking his plate back, “but what if I just check?”

“Which is what usually happens,” Clovis said.

“Yeah,” from Seamless, “and that is what we’re talking about. There are only two things a check can do for you: The first is to induce the bluff from the opposition; and the other is if he or they were going to raise you.”

Mary grinned at my glomming onto the mashed potatoes and turkey noodles. I love the stuff, and these were whole egg noodles.

Seamless said, “Remember. The check/caller is probably weak. Outside your average Tight Aggressive, or slow player. Then, the money you receive on the end is free money. That is, the winner at the end is collecting money that didn’t have to be in there. If you’re playing Hold’em, then it is quite possible for no one to have a reasonable made hand after the flop. Because of that there’s a lot of bluffing in Hold’em. The very nature of short handed pots is to miss the flop, so everyone likes to pick up the antes and keep coming at you.”

“I guess the last thing is; you don’t have to pay off to a raiser or re-raiser in the end if you get check raised.”

“So! The next time you raise a pot and have a check/call on the flop and again on the turn and he knuckles the table on the river, bet into him one more time. That’s probably especially true if no ace or king is on the board.”

The whole ruddy bunch at the table, including the kids on the side table, started telling Mary how great a meal this was and how much work must have gone into it and Mary just glowed.

I piped up with; “Hey, I helped, you know.”

I guess Mrs. Clovis said it, “You did. But it still isn’t the pay-off on the prop bet , is it?”

Find the ongoing Back Room Tales in our Poker Wall Section - or type The Back Room in 'search.'  And for the sake of discussion, you'll find The Back Room tales in this thread in the forum.

*Editor's Note: Most of the poker rules/ideas stated are from Bob Ciaffone's 'Improve Your Poker.'

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