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Poker News: July 13, 2008

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Copyright © Los Angelas Times

HEADLINE: Sometimes you just have to fold

Hard poker truth (courtesy of young, aggressive pro Joe Sebok): "You're going to have a lot of tough hands where you're going to lose money."

The trick is to lose as little as possible.

At the World Series of Poker $10,000-buy-in main event at Las Vegas' Rio Hotel in 2007, Sebok drew pocket kings in the cutoff seat. With blinds at $300-$600 plus a $50 ante, he made it $2,000 to go. The player on the button called.

"Generally, you should raise with the hand instead of just calling because you get to take the lead with the hand," Sebok said. "He could have anything because of his position. You're not going to put him on a big hand like A-K or two aces or two kings, but people will call with two jacks in that spot, two 7s, suited connectors."

The two players took a flop of 9-7-2, two spades. Sebok led out for $3,000 with his overpair. The button called.

"The first thing I think is that he's on a flush draw because the board is pretty disconnected," said Sebok, who teamed with his father, accomplished tournament and cash-game player Barry Greenstein, to win the World Poker Tour's Father and Sons event at Foxwoods, Conn., in 2006. "He was a little tighter, so I didn't figure he would be playing a hand like 6-8 and calling a raise. If he had jacks, he'd have to raise, but he called, so I have to take him off that hand. I put him on spades at that point."

The turn came the 3 of diamonds.

"Now, if I put him on spades, I have to bet a little bit more so he pays for his draw," Sebok said. "At this point, the pot's about $11,000, so I have to bet something that's going to get him off. I bet $9,000, which is a pretty big bet. And he still calls.

"At this point, I'm thinking my hand is still good. I still think that he has spades. I didn't think he had a set because any time he had a big hand, he'd raise. He was pretty A-B-C."

The river came the 10 of spades, completing a possible flush draw.

"What I'd like to have in that situation is a showdown because if I bet and he raises me, I can't call," Sebok said. "If I check and he doesn't have a flush, he can bluff. I checked, and he thought for about 35 seconds.

"Now, when your opponents who don't play a lot think for a long time, they have a huge hand. So he sat there and sat there and bet $15,000. I just folded immediately and he showed me Q-J of spades. He made the flush."

Sebok got rivered, but he managed to minimize his loss.

"There's just no point in betting," he said. "You're never going to get called by a hand you have beat. It's just one of those hands where you're going to lose some money. Bonus Code
Related: See U.S. Poker

Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on July 13th, 2007

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