Poker: Damn You Pocket 10s

I folded every hand for the first two rounds of a tournament at the Borgata until I looked down at Pocket 10s on the button. Everyone folded in front of me so I raised the standard three big blinds then watched the little blind and the big blind both fold. I pulled in a very small pot. I went back to folding as one player took control of the table. I played with him before and took to calling him Biff, because he not only looked like the guy from Back to the Future but he also always messed up jokes as in “make like a tree and get outta here.”

Biff raised almost every pot he entered and began to build a good size stack. He raised in early position and a player behind him, probably sensing Biff had nothing, went all in. I looked down at Pocket 10s. I didn’t want to be the third player in with only a medium pair so I folded. Biff called the all in and they turned over their cards. Pocket 9s for Biff and Pocket 8s for the all-in player. Biff won the pot and raked in the guy’s chips. I kicked myself for folding but knew it was the correct play in the long run.
Biff slowed down his raising and I got into a few small pots, gradually building my stack until I was second in chips to Biff. I was in late position and looked down at two black 10s. I put in the standard raise and it was folded to Biff in the big blind. He looked at his cards and calmly said, “All-in.” I went in the tank for a few minutes. Did I really want to call off all my chips with Pocket 10s? I put Biff on something like Ace-King or maybe a pair in the neighborhood of my pair but I was pretty sure he didn’t have a bigger pair so I made the call. Biff turned over Ace-Queen of spades.

The Flop came down all low cards, but all hearts. The Turn was another low heart and the table started to grumble. The River brought the Ace of hearts giving both of us a flush on the board and we split the pot.

Biff went back to raising almost every hand and I went back to folding. I was in the big blind when Biff came in for a standard raise. Everyone folded to me and I looked down at Pocket 10s again. I thought about going all in but was pretty sure Biff would call with two overs and I didn’t feel the need to get into a coin flip situation so I only called. The Flop came down 9-9-7. Biff bet small and I was pretty sure he missed the flop. “All in,” I said and Biff called immediately. “Damn,” I said, “you must have that nine, huh?”

“Yeah, I’m pulling in on runway Jack-niner, last stop, watch the gap,” Biff said turning over Jack-9 of clubs. Neither the Turn nor the River brought me either of my two outs, the two remaining tens and Biff pulled in all my chips. I picked up my things to leave and offered my hand to Biff. He shook my hand and said, “Don’t let the door hit you in the face on the way out.”