Last night, I was watching the WSOP on ESPN and a hand came up which was very interesting to me.
Image by sean dreilinger via Flickr
A player in early position found A-J and put in a standard 3x the big blind raise. A player in late position had pocket 6's and called. The flop was A-6-x. (I don't recall the other card, but it wasn't a Jack.)
The pre-flop raiser put in about a 60% sized pot bet. The announcer said something to the effect that this guy was going to get in big trouble with this hand.
The player with the set raised to double that amount. Surprisingly, the player with the top pair folded.
My question to you is this: Would you be able to lay down that hand? I believe this player would have folded A-K to that flop raise.
This got me to thinking about all the situations in poker where a player just can't fold and will often say "I can't fold this hand." Of course, this statement means he knows he has the losing hand, so he is going to give his opponent more chips to prove he is smart/right.
I think that the flop raise is one of the most common situation where the lead bettor who hits top pair on the flop, will call a flop raise and lose a bundle.
Here are some other situations: Will you lay your hand down?
Pre-Flop: You have pocket Jacks on the button. One player raises and another player re-raises. Will you lay down your pocket Jacks? What if it was pocket Queens?
Flop: You have pocket Kings and raise. You get only one caller. The flop is A-8-2. Your opponent bets into you. Will you lay down your pocket Kings?
Flop: You raise with A-K and get three callers. The flop gives you top pair, top kicker. You bet and everyone folds, except the big blind. The big blind check raises you. Will you lay down that top pair, top kicker? That check raise often signals two pair, and sometimes a set.
Flop: You raise with A-K and get three callers. The flop gives you top pair, top kicker. It also has two suited cards on the board. You bet and everyone folds, except the big blind. The big blind check raises you all-in with a bet that is twice the size of the pot. Will you lay down that top pair, top kicker? That over-sized all-in bet often means a flush draw.
Turn: You have top pair and top kicker on the flop. You bet the pot and get one caller. With two suited cards on the flop, you figure that your opponent is on the draw. The turn card is a rag (like a 4) and not of the same suit. You bet again, and to your surprise your opponent puts in a big raise. Will you lay your hand down?
River: You have been betting your top pair, top kicker on the flop and turn. The river card is a rag and it doesn't provide for any completed straight or flush draws. You bet on the river and your opponent puts in a big raise. He has shown weakness throughout the hand, and now on the river he is telling you he is strong. Will you lay your hand down?
I am not suggesting that you should always lay down your hand in all of these situations. In fact, there are two situations above, specifically, the flop check raise all-in and the big river bet, where I will lean toward calling
But sometimes a good fold is a good thing.
Do you know of other situations where players tend to always call where it looks like they are behind in the hand?