VETERAN PRO Amir Vahedi is known as an aggressive player who doesn't have to have a hand to win a pot.
But then a young, aggressive player got moved to his table in the 2008 World Series of Poker $10,000-buy-in main event at Las Vegas' Rio Hotel.
"The minute he sat down, he tried to run over the table," Vahedi said. "I backed off and had to change my game and trapped him."
With blinds at $100to $200, the player trying to run over the table raised to $550. Action folded to Vahedi in the big blind, where he found pocket 9s, a hand with which he usually re-raises. But he simply flat-called.
The flop came 10-5-2, rainbow. Vahedi checked. "I misrepresented my hand," Vahedi said. "I wanted him to think I was fishing."
His opponent bet $1,100.
"That was pretty much the size of the pot," said Vahedi, winner of a WSOP bracelet. "It could've been a continuation bet, but this guy wasn't making a continuation bet a lot, so he might've had an overpair.
"So, I thought the price would be right if I called and hit my card so I could get paid off on the river. If I turn a set, I could get a lot of chips from him, or take the pot if he's betting nothing."
The turn came the 9 of clubs, giving Vahedi a set. He checked, continuing his trap. His opponent bet $2,700.
"The bet before the flop, the bet on the flop and the bet on the turn seemed like he had an overpair, because I didn't think he was that comfortable betting into me to push me off the pot," Vahedi said. "I thought he was afraid of me, so once he bet out on the turn, I knew he had an overpair.
"I re-raised him $3,300 more, which is a small re-raise. If he had an overpair, he wouldn't throw his hand away for that amount. If he doesn't have an overpair, maybe he'll put me on a drawing hand, a club draw. I wanted him to think I was making a move on him. He flat-called me and said, 'Oh you have a set.' "
The river came the 7 of diamonds. Vahedi moved all in. His opponent folded.
"He could've had A-K of clubs because the turn put two clubs on the board," Vahedi said, "or he had queens and made a great laydown because he knew I had a set."
But the key was Vahedi's changing gears to take the pot.
"I changed my play with the 9s in the big blind because any time I had anything like that, I re-raised," Vahedi said. "But I slow-played this, and he didn't think I had anything close. A lot of people don't give me credit for having a hand, so I try to use that against them."*
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