I was reading a hand description by PearlJammer and found a particularly well played hand. Because this hand was in a book of hands, it would be easy to dismiss as just another example. But on my second read, I really caught myself thinking about this.
You in the the middle levels of a MTT, and the blinds are 150/300/25 and you have 7.5k (he has let say 8k)
So if you wish to play a hand here, and come in for a raise, you are going to commit about 10% of your chips (raising 2.5x to 750). Assuming you get heads-up, you are in the gray zone post flop. You are not short enough to justify just moving in, and you are not deep enough to be too elaborate. Let's say you have 9Ts from MP and you get one caller. The flop is K83 with two of your suit, giving you a draw. Normally, you would simply c-bet and let the other player decide if you really had the King or not. He is going to fold a good portion of the time, but he may also float you. If he has the King, he may even raise you.
Now, if you are shorter on chips here, you would simply move in with your draw, maximizing the chance of his fold. If you are DEEP here, that is a horrible play as you are getting your money in behind. So you are probably going to c-bet and see what information you get back. But in the gray zone, you have to be very conscious of the pressure point (remember the great doubleas posts?). If you c-bet, the pressure points is going to be his. You are going to c-bet about 800, and with 20% of your chips in there, his coming over the top will force you to abandon your draw (assuming you are playing mathematically correct). BUT, if you check with the play to check raise when he bets, you are manipulating the hand so that YOU get the pressure point and are able to force him to lay down all but the best hands here. and if he does call off his chips, you have outs to win the hand.
This is such an excellent example of the situational nature of poker, where your read of a player only needs to be to determine if he'll bet if you check.
I found this to be an amazing display of why PearlJammer is a top online player.