The third nuts...
What do you do when you're first to act and you flop the third nuts? This hand came up on my last night in Las Vegas:
In the small blind I call a small raise with A2 of clubs; One of those hit it or get out hands. The flop falls an amazing 345 (rainbow). THE NUTS! goes off in my head, but then I realize I'm losing my stack to 67 which is easily a hand that would call a small raise. I can't fall to the monster under the bed syndrome, but I check the flop knowing that the young raiser will bet out.
He does: check, check, bet $15, call, call: Now there is about $60 in the pot.
The turn is a harmless king but I need to see where I am. I bet out $50, just under the size of the pot. Call, call...
At this point I'm thinking that if I had 26, 67, or a naked 6 (66?), given the texture of the board, I would have only called there as well. There is no flush possibility.
The river is a queen and I'm left with the third nuts and a pot of +/-$210. I have both players covered but with two callers am I ahead here? Check.
Player two pushes all-in for about $90. Player three tanks for a good two minutes then CALLS all-in for about $80... At least with his call the math is right for my call, even though I don't think I can win. It's a cooler, right?
I call and say, "I guess it's a cooler. You have 56, right? I have a wheel."
I don't know how you play, but if I call or get called in a big pot I just turn my cards over and state what I have. No game playing. No slow rolling. No showmanship. Just here's what I have. This is one of the fun parts of the game: The other players' reactions.
Player two looked at me and said, "No. Ace King." Really? Player three mucked his cards. A set? A draw? I'll never know. Player two however called a bet on a board with three small straight cards holding two over cards and then got unlucky and hit his king. As I stacked chips he said he pushed because I check the river, thinking I was just betting on a small card on the turn.
I bet $50 into a $60 pot with only a 3,4, or 5?? That's a two pair bet at least, right?
It's hard to understand how others play. I thought both must be on some type of draw or at least two pair or a set, but top pair (on the turn) top kicker only? I never guessed that.
How would you have played this hand?