Poker Through the Eyes of an Amateur

December 04, 2005

What Would You Do?

I had an interesting hand today where I think I did the right thing, but I would like to know what you readers would do.

The Setup:

The blinds are $10/$20, and you are in middle position with AK of hearts. It folds to the guy on your right, who raises it to 60. You reraise to 180 to try and push out other marginal hands. It folds back around to the other guy who calls. The flop comes J 10 4 with two hearts. Guy to your right immediately moves all in. He has enough to cover you, so it's all or nothing.

The Outs:

At this point, if you want to assume the worst, you can put the guy on jacks or tens, with a set, which means he may have one of your hearts. (The jack on the table is a heart.) So if you're gonna win this against a set, you're going to need to catch another heart or a queen to hit the straight. So you have a possible twelve or thirteen outs (four queens and nine hearts, eight hearts if you think he has the 10) if he has a set.

How It Played Out:

I decided to call. That may have been a mathematically questionable call (I'm not sure on the pot odds), but it was early in the tournament. You have to be willing to die in order to win, right? I wasn't short stacked, but I was definitely behind the major players at the table. Turns out the other guy had K 10 off-suit (no heart), so I had three more aces that were added to my outs. I didn't improve and ended up busting out, but I think I made the right call.

What would you have done?

5 Comments:

  • In a limit game, I call that every time. In no limit, I rarely call an all in bet with a drawing hand, especially if it means all of my chips. His bet said he had a hand and didn't want anyone to draw out on him.

    Now if he put a continuation bet out there, I probably would have moved all in.

    By Blogger DrChako, at 12/05/2005 10:06 AM  

  • i've never played a multi-table tournament. but just throughout the course of a 10 player tournament, my strategy changes pretty drastically. at the beginning, i play very tight (or try to, anyway). but with every next player that gets knocked out, i loosen up a little more. when it gets to heads up, i play crazy, maybe even too loose.

    so given all that - my answer depends on your situation. how big was the tournament, and how far were you in it? i probably would have folded, unless it was down to only a few players.

    (ps - i typically have bad luck when it comes to catching cards i need, or being outdrawn. so that's why i play tight until the "end". if i play tight until the end, my opponents have a sense that i never bluff, and i try to use that credibility against them. but more often than not, i don't count on myself making a hand.)

    By Anonymous eric, at 12/05/2005 10:24 AM  

  • It was a very large tournament (over 1000), and a hundred or two had already gone out. It was a cheap tourney so a lot of people will go all in on their first decent hand and get busted out. That's one of the things that made me think this guy was semi-bluffing (and I was right).

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 12/05/2005 10:56 AM  

  • the funny thing about poker - even if you KNOW the other guy is bluffing, that doesn't mean you automatically win. you still have to have a better hand. if he's bluffing with nothing, his nothing might still be better than your nothing. that's where you seem to have gotten caught here.

    By Anonymous eric, at 12/06/2005 3:01 PM  

  • Oh, I knew I was behind. There's no question about that. But I was also right about how far behind I was. ie, I knew the guy didn't have a set. It was only going to be a matter of time before I was forced to draw out on someone; I just figured this hand gave me the best chance.

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 12/06/2005 3:28 PM  

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