Don’t let a full house go to waste
A fan recently asked me to weigh in on a hand riddled with the sort of mistakes that amateurs should strive to avoid.
Onthe second hand of Day 1 in the $1,000-buy-in World Series of Poker seniors event, the player in the cutoff seat raised to 150, and the small blind called. Our Hero, sitting in the big blind, made a minimum three-bet to 250 with 5h 5d.
I didn’t like Hero’s decision here. Some players mistakenly think that if they’re “ahead,” they should put more money in the pot. While it’s true that neither opponent was likely to have a pair, they were certain to call 100 more. The only time Hero would be happy with the flop is when he flopped a Hero’s hand: set. Even normally safe boards like J-6-2 could improve the opponents’ holdings. Hero should have just called the small preflop raise.
The flop came Ks 5c 2d, giving Hero middle set. The small blind bet 400.
I’m generally not a fan of slow-playing, but it’s a fine strategy in this situation. The small blind’s leading range likely consists of marginal made hands and junky draws. Since Hero crushes that range, he really wants to keep the small blind around, which calling accomplishes. house. The small blind checked.
At this point, Hero had only 2,850 left in his stack, and there was 6,450 in the pot. When you have half the pot or less remaining in your stack, going all in with your premium hands is almost always the best option, beHero has to understand point should be to get all in Hero decided to just call. cause if your opponents have which turns could be bad for by the river. If he calls and The turn was the 8h. The strong hands, they’ll call any him (A, 6, 4, 3) so that he the turn checks through, small blind checked. bet, and if they have busted doesn’t make the blunder of he’ll have squandered an I think Hero’s only option draws, they’ll fold to any bet. paying off the opponent if he opportunity, so a reraise of was to continue checking, Hero bet just 1,200. The improves to a straight. Callabout 1,800 would be ideal. looking to check-raise all in. cutoff called with 2-2 (a ing also allows the cutoff to Although Hero would probLeading small would have no worse full house), and the stick around when he is ably never take this line of merit because his opponents small blind folded K-Q face probably drawingup.nearlyplaywithabluff,fewama-mightmakebigfoldswith dead. teurs will fold top pair or an top pairs and would be Hero was excited to win a
Hero called, and the cutoff open-ended straight draw getting a decent price with big pot on the second hand of minimum-raised to 800. The for only 1,000 more. It’s fine their draws. Leading large the day, but he should have small blind called. to have no bluffs in your wouldn’t make sense unless been disappointed that he
It appeared likely that both range if your opponents Hero is confident the cutoff failed to stack a premium opponents had either readon’t care about your range is bluffing. hand. When you take abnorsonable made hands or because they’re too preoccuHero led for 1,100. Both mal lines of play, as Hero did, draws (the likeliest draw pied with their own holdopponents called. The river you let opponents off the being 4-3). Hero’s goal at this ings. was the 8s, giving Hero a full hook. Flop: Turn: River: