Monday, May 10, 2010

Do You Make This Poker Mistake?

Do You Make This Poker Mistake?

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I am finding that online, the lower limit hold'em games are easier to beat than I thought. The reason is that most players are rather predictable and want to preserve their stack.

Here is one play I believe is a major mistake.

The table is 9 handed. It is a $3-$6 limit hold'em game. You are on the button with Ks-10s. Three players call and a late position player raises. You decide to call, as do the other three players. There are five players in the hand.

The flop is As-9s-2h.

The first three players check and the pre-flop raiser bets. What should you do?

Do not raise! Yet, that is what many players will do given their nut flush draw.

You want to build a big pot here and not reduce the number of opponents. In most cases, your raise will get the players behind you to fold. The bettor may re-raise or call. In most cases, he will only call.

The turn is a 6d. Your opponent checks. What should you do?

A lot of players will bet heads-up on the turn and the river, even if they miss. The opponent calls down with his A-J and wins the pot. He may even call to the river with pocket Queens.

Long term, I believe the raise on the flop is a play with negative expected value.

Please note: If the action on the flop was different, your raise would make sense. That is, if the first player to act had bet and everyone else called, then your raise would build the pot AND possibly get you a free card on the turn if you miss your flush.

My Suggestion

There are only a few times you can win a big pot in limit poker. Having a flush draw, and especially a nut flush draw, on the flop against many opponents is one of them. Don't ruin it by playing it like a "raise or fold" situation.
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