Aug 3 2010

Folding When You’re Beat

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

One of the most fundamental concepts in poker is learning how to fold when you are beat. The opposite end of this spectrum tells players that they should be earning the maximum when they have a strong hand. Of course, both of these things are much easier said than done. Folding a strong hand is often an excruciating process for players, especially when they are holding a top pocket pair. It is even tougher to fold when this big pocket pair stands to win a sizable pot if it manages to hold up. Sometimes, though, it is blatantly obvious that a hand is no good. It might hurt to toss away a big pocket pair, but you will often find that it feels even better to realize that you made the correct decision.

Poker players tend to get attached to their big pocket pairs. A lot of people like to count their money before the hand is even played. This is one of the biggest mistakes that a poker player can possibly make. You need to realize that a hand is never over until the pot is shipped to the winning player. If you lose, don’t be surprised as it will happen a large portion of the time. This point can’t be stressed enough. Big pocket pairs are definitely strong, but they are far from infallible.

No-Limit Hold’em, $1.00 BB (6 handed) @ Full Tilt

CO ($105.10)

Hero (Button) ($108.40)

SB ($106.45)

BB ($105.80)

UTG ($101.50)

MP ($108.65)

Pre flop we are dealt pocket aces. Needless to say, we will be making a raise or re raise when it is our turn to act. The UTG player decides to open to 3x the BB, which gives us a chance to 3-bet to close to 4x the original raise. We find a call and get to see the flop in position.

Preflop: Hero is Button with Ah, As

UTG bets $3, 2 folds, Hero raises to $11, 2 folds, UTG calls $8

The flop is hardly the best one we could have hoped for. This flop will give many players a set, and other times there will be lots of straight draws hoping to hit their card on the turn. We need to bet this turn very hard, but instead make a weak $13 bet that will be called by all kinds of hands.

Flop: ($23.50) Jh, 7s, 10c (2 players)

UTG checks, Hero bets $13, UTG calls $13

The turn card is a disaster. At this point we could be crushed by any number of hands, and now there is another draw (heart flush) on the board. When the UTG makes a sizable lead bet, it should be an easy fold. Instead we opt for a shove (which gets called by about zero hands that we beat) and lose the pot to a turned straight. Chalk up this loss to a mess of bad play, not just bad luck.

Turn: ($49.50) 8h (2 players)

UTG bets $36, Hero raises to $84.40 (All-In), UTG calls $41.50 (All-In)

River: ($204.50) 6d (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $204.50 | Rake: $3


Hero had Ah, As (one pair, Aces).

UTG had 9d, 9h (straight, Jack high).

Outcome: UTG won $201.50

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