Friday, February 26, 2010

Poker Quiz: What would you do?

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Poker Quiz: What would you do?

Since I've been getting a few emails about the poker hand in my last blog post, I thought it would be interesting to review different options players have suggested. See what you think. If you have additional moves you'd make, please let me know.

To Review: Pre-Flop

It is a multiple table tournament. The blinds are $100-$200 with a $25 ante. There are 10 players at the table. The player under the gun, with Q-10 suited, of spades, limps. He has $10,000 in chips.

The player to his right with A-Q and $7,000 in chips raises to $900.

It is folded to the big blind who has pocket 8's. He has $14,000 in chips. He calls and the limper calls. There is $2,800 in the pot.

The Flop: What would you do?

The flop is 6-6-5 with two spades.

If you are in the big blind, do you lead out? I think leading out is a good play since you may win the pot and at the very least, it may define the strength of your opponent's hand. But if you bet too will get callers.

What sze bet would you make here? Often, players auto-check to the pre-flop raiser. And often, the player in the blind auto-checks on the flop.

However, let's say, the big blind bets $1,400 into the $2,800 pot and you are the pre-flop limper. What would you do? While the pot odds are unfavorable, how about the implied odds? But, you do have one player behind you who may have a premium pair. You can't put the big blind on a trips or a premium pair with a $1,400 bet, right or wrong?

If you are the original pre-flop raiser, I think you will fold to a half-pot sized bet from the big blind. And if the limper calls, you are going to fold for sure, right?

An Alternative Line of Thinking

Let's say the big blind checks. The limper makes a small bet of $600 into the $2,800 pot.
If you are the pre-flop raiser, what would you do? At the very least you'd have to call. What about raise? A $600 bet can be a sign of strength or a defensive bet. I'd lean toward the defensive bet. Will a raise get rid of the big blind?

Let's say the player with A-Q raises to $1,800. If you had pocket 8's would you fold?

The pot is $5,400, and the cost is $1,800...nice odds except you may need to hit an eight on the turn to win. Let's say the big blind folds. If you are the limper, do you fold to this bet?

The limper only has to call $1,200. I think the odds are $1,200 to win $5,400 or over 4 to 1, so it seems to me that calling is the right play.

Now, when the turn is a 3 of diamonds, the limper will check to the raiser. If you are the player who made the $1,800 raise, do you bet the turn? Or are you afraid that your opponent has a better hand.

If you check the turn, your opponent can lead out on the river and take the pot away. If you bet here, you are now risking a large part of your remaining stack...but it may be your best chance of winning the pot with your Ace high.

One more scenario

On the flop, let's say the big blind checks, and the limper bets $600. The pre-flop raiser calls.

Now, you are the big blind. What would you do here?

Well, the small bet by the limper and the weak call by the other player, may seem like you have the best hand with your pocket 8's. Would you check-raise here? If so, how much?

If the big blind check raises to $1,800, and you are the player with the flush draw will you fold?

If you are the pre-flop raiser, are you going to fold to this check raise with A-Q? I think that A-Q is a folding hand with a check raise.


What really happened is that the pre-flop limper bet on the flop for $600 and got both players to call. When the 3 of diamonds hit the turn, the big blind checked and the player with the flush draw bet $2,400 into the $4,800. The result was that both opponents folded; opponents who both had a better hand.


It's always easier to make decisions when you know what everyone is holding. However, as you can see from the above, even a simple hand can end up with many different outcomes. What do you think? Maybe even discuss this hand with your friends. Better yet, what is your line of thinking on this hand? Thanks!
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