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Milton Butts

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  • Milton Butts

    I'm at the WSOP in '87 or '88 and playing live... It's a fairly big game for that time, and a man named Milton Butts was seated in the game... We are playing NLH, blinds are 10/25 and the action is crisp... There are some chip movers in the game and every pot is raised pre-flop...

    Playing in a game like this, I always tighten up a notch and try to play premium starting hands... I use the old rule, when it's loose, play tight, when it's tight, play loose...

    That said, I always liked playing a strong button, especially with little connected cards... Reason is, they are easy to get away from after the flop if you miss, and they are deadly when you catch going up against a big hand, especially if you have raised pre-flop with a small holding...

    Ok, a pot comes up where Milton raises it up $75.00 pre-flop, he's in middle position, it's folded around to me and I'm on the button... I look down and find 4/5 of hearts.. It's one of my favorite hold-em hands... I re-raised it to $250.00, small enough so I can get away from it if Milton shoves on me, but large enough to push out any other mediocre hands in between us... I am purposely representing a strong hand to Milton just in case I flop to it...

    Milton just dry calls the re-raise and I get a gut feeling he is really strong...
    The flop comes perfect for me... A/2/3. Rainbow... Milton checks and I bet $300.00 representing an ace... Milton tanks for a minute or so, then dry calls again... Now I know he has a big hand... There's no draw on board, so he has A/K, pocket aces, or a set of 2's or 3's...

    The turn card was perfect... An off suit King.. If he does have pocket Aces, he could think this king hit me, giving me a set of kings because of my pre-flop re-raise... He checks again... Now I'm pulling for him to have pocket aces, if he does, there is no escape for him unless the board pairs up in the river...He has about $2500.00 in front of him, and I've got that covered... I check it also, this reinforces to him that he has the best hand and it also saves me if the board should pair in the river...

    When I checked the turn, I was looking him dead in the face... I was watching his eyes, they looked up ever so slightly, not down, which is a tell... It means he liked what I just did, it indicated confidence in his holding... Now I was positive he had dry called pre-flop with pocket aces and if the board stayed dry in the river, he would either lead at the pot for a medium sized bet, ( $600.00 or so ) or check it and re-raise all-in...

    9 of spades fell on the river... He checked again... I said "all-in"
    He said rather proudly, "I might be the greatest poker player on earth!" Then he rolled over pocket aces and said, "I Call!"

    When I showed the 4/5 of hearts he turned a whiter shade of pale...
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