Jan 26 2010

Making a Sick Call

written by: John under Poker Strategy Comments: Comments Off

Poker players love to make sick calls, but the problem is that there are usually 20 bad calls for every correct one. There is a big difference between making a tough call because you genuinely think you are good and making a tough call because it would be awesome if you happened to be good.

There are many poker players who make nonsensical calls on a regular basis just praying that they might luck out and take down the pot. Sure, they will inevitably take down a pot from time to time, but you won’t be profitable winning one out of ten times. You should be looking to make a solid call in a spot where your hand is going to be good a decent amount of the time.

It will take an expert read for you to pull off a good call because after all there is a reason why the call is difficult. You should definitely have a precise range narrowed down for the other player if you think your weak hand is going to be the best when you flip them over. Sometimes you will think that they are very weak, but their weak hand will be just a tad bit stronger than yours. You can’t call a bluff just because you are sure someone else is bluffing, you still have to be sure that you have the best hand. Making a bluff call is going to be extremely frustrating, so you should be very sure that you have the best hand before you make that really light call down. You will be wrong from time to time, but if you can look at the hand in hindsight and say that you would do the same thing again, the odds are that your play was just fine.

Just 3’s

There was a recent hand that resulted in a 400 big blind pot at 1/2 No Limit Hold’em. The fact that the pot was 400 big blinds isn’t very interesting or unusual, it was the river call with a pair of 3’s that made it special. There were a handful of different variables that were considered before the player holding a pair of 3’s made the call. This is what separates a good call from a bad call, proper precautions and considerations.

The scene starts with the hero being dealt Ad 3c. The villain opened to $9 in middle position. The hero then re raised to $27 on the button. The villain made the call and the hand was now heads up.

The flop came Qd 6c 3h. The villain and hero both check and the turn was dealt. At this point the pot was $57.

The turn was where everything got interesting. The turn was the Td. This put out both a straight and flush draw. The villain led for $80 and the villain called. There was a good chance that this particular villain was repping a strong hand, but the hero knew that he was trying to push him off the hand because of the scary board.

The river was the 9d. The final board now read Qd 6c 3h Td 9d. This now made a straight and flush possible and the pot was $217. The villain had around $280 behind and declared that he was all in after a relatively short amount of contemplation. Now the hero had a tough decision. Most people would have tossed the pair of 3’s on the turn, but not the hero in this hand. Remember that the hero had the Ad. This blocked the nut flush and some straight for the villain. The other important thing to remember was that the hero already thought that the villain was trying to rep strength. The river was a great scare card for the villain, but the hero was sure that it was nothing more than a scare. He made the call and a pair of 3’s was good. If you put the pieces of the puzzle together you will be able to make a sick call as well, but remember that your call should be made because you think you are good, not because you hope you are good.

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