Today I’m gonna tell you the story of the worst angle shot I’ve ever seen. It went down at the M8trix Casino in San Jose, California while I was playing $10-$25 uncapped NLHE. The game was fairly prestigious, the biggest the M8trix regularly spread (Three days a week, if memory serves me correctly), and was roped off from all the other games.
The hand in question involves a well-known Silicon Valley fish whose name I don’t care to remember (we’ll call him Nemo) and an uber aggressive crusher named Zack. Some backstory on Zack:
He traveled down to L.A. to play at the Commerce for the first time around the same time I was battling against him in the Bay Area. He ended up playing Garrett Adelstein (One of the best live nosebleed cash game players in the world) heads-up for many hours.
Later on I asked Garrett Adelstein (one of the most insanely aggressive players I’ve battled against) what he thought of Zack.
Garrett’s exact words: “That guy’s a fucking psychopath.”
Talk about high praise from one of the best in the world.
So psychopath Zack and angle-shooting Nemo are playing $30k deep when the following hand goes down:
Zack opens to $200 from the button in a straddle pot. Nemo three-bets to $850 from the big blind. Zack four-bets to $2,400. Nemo five-bets to $3,225. Zack goes deep into the tank. The minutes tick away…
1 minute, 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 7 minutes…
This is obviously shaping up to be a pot so no one would dare call the clock on Zack for taking his time.
Finally, Zack calls Nemo’s five-bet and then the chaos erupts…
“My raise isn’t legal! I want the Floorman!” exclaims Nemo as soon as Zack’s chips hit in the felt.
Nemo explains to the Floorman that his five-bet wasn’t a full raise (it was one $25 chip from being a legal raise).
Enforcing one of the worst rules ever, the Floorman declares the raise was, in fact, not legal and forces both players take their last bet back.
You see, in an effort to gain more information about the strength of Zack’s hand, the Fish had purposefully broken the rules. If Zack had tried to 6-bet, Nemo would know he needed to flop huge because Zack had a monster. If Zack just called, Nemo would know Zack didn’t have ace or kings and could proceed forward with that information (Nemo had pocket Jacks).
Unfortunately for Nemo, Zack is not your average poker player…
Zack knew exactly what Nemo was up to because he knew the rules of his local cardroom and did the math in his head.
All that time he was “tanking”, he was really just hoping the dealer would catch Nemo’s shenanigans so that he wouldn’t have to give anything away.
When he was positive the dealer wasn’t going to catch what was doing on, he did the next best thing he could think of:
He simply called the fake raise with his AA instead of 6-betting.
Zack told me afterwards, “It was kind of the perfect set-up. If I was bluffing I would have just 6-bet massively, but I had a real hand so I just called”.
Zack went on to win a massive pot against Nemo (who inadvertently gave away the strength of his own hand because of his failed angle shot attempt).
The moral of the story? Instead of dreaming and scheming clever ways to get one over against his opponents, Nemo should have been investing his time into learning how to actually play poker with confidence in his own ability.
There are no cheap tricks that will help you when you’re in the pit with a hungry Lion.
I hope you enjoyed today’s blast from the past and if you’d like spend some focused energy on becoming a future Lion…
Talk to you tomorrow,