I’ve been meaning to write this a while ago, but I wanted my Vegas trip report finished first. This was about a year ago at a charity cash game. I was sitting on a stack of $300. Villain 1 had roughly $200 and Villain 2 had me covered by a lot, lets say he had $400 or so.
My reads going into this hand were this – Villain 1 was either 18 or 19 and with his dad. He didn’t have a whole lot of live experience due to his age, but it seemed as though his competent father had taught him basic strategy fairly well. Villain 2 was probably the only good player at the table, he had plenty of live experience, knew the basic tells, knew his odds, didn’t make any big mistakes, etc.
I was the big blind, Villain 1 was in mid position, Villain 2 was the dealer. It folded to Villain 1 who raises to $10. Villain 2 called. I looked down to see my favorite hand, Ace-Nine of hearts. Normally in this position, I’d probably fold, but since it’s my favorite hand, and two other players were in the hand, I thought I’d take a stab and call.
Flop comes out 8h 4h Ts giving me the nut flush draw. Not a bad hand for me, so I led out for $20. Villain 1 shakes a bit and calls. Hmmm… he is stronger than he’s leading on, probably hit his ten, and maybe has a flush draw as well. I put him on something Jack-Ten of hearts. Villain 2 confidently raised to $40. Min raise, that’s odd, he wants us in. But why raise so small with a set when there are two hearts on the board? Well maybe he wasn’t as good as I gave him credit for. We both called.
So now there’s roughly $150 in the pot. I have about $250, Villain 1 has about $150, Villain 2 still has me covered with roughly $350. Turn is 2h. I see Villain 1 kind of jump a bit. Yeah, he has Th xh, probably the jack. Villain 2 doesn’t do a whole lot – not surprising for him. I hem and haw and try to figure out how to extract. I decide a small bet will get raised and opt for a $40 bet. Villain 1 calls. Interesting, he wants Villain 2 to call. Villain 2 raises to $100. Okay, he has trips, probably 8′s maybe 4′s. So now I have Villain 1 and 2 figured out for what they have. This isn’t the double soul read part though.
Now I know I can eventually get Villain 1′s money, but I’m still vulnerable to Villain 2 if the board pairs. I know Villain 1 hasn’t read “Caro’s Book of Tells” and whether or not Villain 2 has, he would see right through what I’m about to do. I pretend to tank for a bit knowing exactly what to do. I say, “aww F it, I’m all in.” Villain 1 hears what I say and since he isn’t familiar with deception, he thinks I’m on a draw and probably have a pair as well. He decides to call, which pushes him all in. Villain 2 is quite familiar with Caro’s rule #1 whether he knows it or not. He sees my overtly obvious attempt to look weak, which means I’m strong and puts me on the ace high flush and since Villain 1 called, puts him on the lower flush. Villain 2 still tanks for a while trying to figure out if it’s worth calling knowing that at the very least, one of us has him beat and he has 10 outs for his boat or quads, but probably one or two less since we may have had pairs as well. He ends up folding and shows his pocket 8′s.
We both flip over our cards. He sees my nut flush against his Jack-Ten of hearts and mumbles about how he thought I was on a draw and looks at his dad almost as though it was his dad’s fault for not teaching him about obvious deception. Isn’t Caro’s first rule something like: “determine if the player is being sincere, if they aren’t, then do the opposite of what they want you to do?” Anyway, Villain 2 nodded his head when he saw the nut flush as though he made the correct read. Then the river card was a 4 pairing the board and giving Villain 2 the boat had he stayed in the hand. Villain 2 kind of let out a “crap I should have stayed in” type expression and I scooped up the $400 pot.
So the first soul read was knowing if I pushed, Villain 1 would call. The second part was knowing I could get Villain 2 to fold by pushing, AND that the board would pair on the river, because that’s what always happens to me. So, why put people on ranges, when you can read right into their soul and put them on an exact hand? Now if I can only do that on every big hand that I’m in, I could quit my day job!