Poker

THOUSAND-POUND CHIPS were stacked up in the pot like chocolate biscuits. Last card on the flop in the big Omaha game was Q! making three hearts on board. Dave "Devil Fish" Ullyott bet pounds 4,500 all-in.

Across the table Corky stared at the pot. He knew Dave might have the flush, of course, but he also knew he could be "at it". Finally, after long thought, he folded his hand. Dave flashed over his hole cards - he had absolutely nothing. "Go for it, baby doll!" he exulted.

I just happened to be strolling by the big game at the Grosvenor Victoria and saw the coup. It was no fluke. Sitting on the button, three players having bet the opening pounds 25, Dave raised pounds 75 on 5# 64 7# 94. Not a great hand but he wanted to play it heads-up.

Sure enough Corky re-raised the pot, pounds 275. The others folded and Dave called.

He had two advantages. One, he was sure Corky had a pair of aces. Two, as last to act, he had position. And a third point was that his opponent had no clue as to Dave's own hand.

The flop came down 8! 42 K!. Corky bet the pot pounds 825 and Ullyott called. He has nine cards to make a straight - three fives, sixes or sevens, but possibly only six cards, in case a heart came down and Corky had a flush draw.

The turn card was 2# which looked like nothing but in fact gave Ullyott another shot at a straight if a three came on the river. Corky immediately bet the pot pounds 2,500 and Dave called again.The key to this play was that both of them were playing "deep" money. Dave was looking either to hit his straight or bluff the pot. If a pair or an ace came down he would have thrown his hand away.

Last card was the Q!. Corky to act first, now checked! He obviously did not have two hearts. Dave, who is not called Devil Fish for nothing, bet pounds 4,500, all in.

He knew Corky only had aces and, at that price, had to fold. The bluff looked like a lucky shot but was, in fact, based on very precise evaluation of the cards.

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