Joined: 31 Mar 2005
|Posted: Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:17 pm Post subject: Hand of the Week IX
|What do you do when you have a really strong hand. I mean, a REALLY STRONG hand. The kind of hand, that barring some unforeseen natural disaster can not be beaten, no way, no how. Do you slow-play it and hope someone will bet or do you decide to bet and try to bring on some action and run the risk of everyone folding.? The perfect answer to this real dilemma is a bit of a complicated one. This is for several reasons. For one, just because a hand starts off as being strong doesnít mean it will remain that way to the river, especially when there are multiple players involved. By continually checking and giving free cards, you are putting your hand at risk and potentially taking money away from yourself. Then again, if no one really has anything at all, even a small bet could be enough to make others fold. Obviously, this would minimize your winnings.
Keeping these things in mind, Iím about to tell you about an actual hand I saw at a $3/6 no-limit table recently. It was a relatively tame game, no maniacs, no overly aggressive bullies. Just a regular friendly game, if such a thing exists, of no-limit hold em. I was eating a sandwich so I was sitting out of this particular hand but I still watched the table because Iím still trying to gather information for when I get back into the game.
The player in seat three makes a small one-bet raise to $6, very odd because of the early position. Five players call including the small blind. The big blind and the rest of the players fold. I found it funny that so many players thought they had strong enough hands to see this flop but it happens sometimes. The flop comes down as Js 9s Jc. Curiously, the original raiser check (AK perhaps) and everyone else checks behind him. No one made a move at this pot which was sitting there with $45 in it. Quite strange. The turn comes out and itís the Ah. Again, all 6 players check. I find this to be extremely strange as with 6 callers, someone had to have at least had an Ace. The river card comes and itís the Ac! This puts a very obvious full house on the board. Someone has to have an Ace or Jack I think out loud.
Then the action comes. The original better makes a small bet of $12 and the next players raises to $24. Everyone else folds. Finally! Some action. I become quite intrigued by this. The original raiser re-raises to $48 and the other player goes all in for $250! When the original raiser quickly calls, I see the $600 pot and think its going to be split between the two of them holding Ace over Jacks full houses.
But when the cards flip over, the original raiser was sitting with pocket Jacks! Thatís right, he flopped quads and slow-played it to the river and made some decent money for himself. Sure enough, the other player thought he was golden with his Ace high full house and upon losing this pot, he quickly and quietly left the table.
So how did the pre-flop raiser play this hand. Well, he definitely showed a lot of patience and in doing so, he was able to maximize his winnings since his post-flop hand was so unbeatable. However, boy was he lucky his opponent didnít have pocket Aces. Then the slow-playing would have obviously backfired. But in this case, it was worth the risk and he was paid off handsomely for it. I finished my sandwich and sat at the table again. Someone has a nice little stack and I want itÖ
Until next time, may the chips fall your way.
(For more poker strategy and tips, please visit the PokerStrategyKingís website at www.pokerstrategyking.com)
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