WHAT WAS GOING ON?
Looking at UTG’s remaining chip stack and at Cut-Off’s reaction almost gave me a crick in my neck. They are both essentially committed to the all in by their chip stacks. But their bodies are sending me completely different messages.
UTG looks unreadable, or at least the hackneyed television version of it. Eyes down, focused on the space between his chips, arms locked, head frozen. It looks so incredibly strong. He is acting like there is nothing to contemplate after he drops a hefty re-raise? ALARM BELLS! I briefly wonder if he has been PokerTubing it recently and is trying to emulate a Champion. It does not seem that likely. He has enough trouble working out how to use the Internet for porn, let alone lift poker pointers. So his hand is very good.
Now My man Cut-Off is a whole other animal. He is always providing the entertainment, vocalising his read of the hand, needling anyone in his line of sight, talking some of that trash. The gesticulation, the facial expressions, the man is a master of providing so much tell you didn’t know which one to focus on. But I know Cut-Off. I know him well enough to blow all that away and focus on the REAL tell.
The first thing he did when the re-raise came, the nano-micron that flowed through time so quick neutrino would have been perplexed? His tongue clicked. His tongue became stuck to the roof of his mouth.
He wanted to breathe in to adjust for the need for more oxygen. Only the adrenaline had dried his mouth. As soon as that re-raise was announced his mind was doing cartwheels like an insane drunken cheerleader.
I assume he will just ship it all there and then but in the midst of his gesticulation I notice two things. One, his eyes never looked at me, and two his eyes never went to his chipstack.
How does a man this happy not gaze lovingly at his chip stack?
How does he not engage me in conversation? By seeing a flop that does not make him stronger, but instead a flop that makes him feel safer. I finally put him on a high pocket pair.
By not seeing any scare card combination on the flop and based on the pre-flop action, it isn’t aces but it is bloody high.
So my Jacks are almost entirely dead. I have not even looked at the flop but I must be dead. I close my eyes, squeezing them shut, locking up all the information, jamming it into my brain through my retinas. Motion after motion, Breath after breath, knuckles and chip flicks and chatter and….. I breathe.
And then, and only then do I look at the flop.