Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hand on ESPN

I watched a player make a terrible play vs. Daniel last night and I had played a similar hand this past weekend. It concerns playing middle pairs (77 - 99) in the blinds.

The scenario:

You have 32k, blinds are 400/800.
MP limper, Button (or cutoff) raises to 3000.
The MP limper is loose, so is a probable call if you call.
Button is TAG, so he will most probably c-bet if checked to on the flop.
Your M = 26.6
In the SB, you look down at 88.

Now, you have 3 (ok 4) options:

1. FOLD. Folding 88 to a 3.5xBB raise seems weak. Still, I only have 400 invested here and playing this hand post flop will be challenging.

2. Call. You have a pair, you might have a pot of 9k in a minute, and you can evaluate after the flop. You will have 10% of your chips out there though.

3. Raise. Get out the limper and play a bigger pot. Its a raise to 9k, which is now almost a third of your chips and if he re-raises, you will be stuck with an even worse decision for all your chips with a middle pair. A Race at best. If you fold, you are down to 24k, with an M of 20.

4. Shove. Make him fold if you can or call with AK. Of course, if he has TT or better, you are in bad shape and probably going home.

When I encounter this, I called and then check folded on a flop of J35 when the button bet 6k.

In the WSOP hand, the guy checked CALLED the 6k (terrible), then check-folded the turn.

What would you do?


MHG said...

Why check/fold on that flop? It seems pretty ideal for 88. Sure all unders or an 8 would be better, but that flop seems pretty nice for your hand.

I would lean towards folding or raising preflop. 1) I suck at post flop play and 2) Raising preflop would allow me to narrow villain's range a bit. Check-folding on that flop would make more sense if I had more information to put him on a bigger pair, but I can't do that knowing he is button-raising a loose player. It also might depend on how much the Button has behind, and if he can fold to a reraise.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I like the call from you preflop with 88. I don't want to raise it up because the only real raise I can make is allin and do I really want to race 88 for all my chips with an M of 26 at this point (no). And yeah, folding pocket 8s in this spot in what could be a 3-way pot with mucho chips I think is foolish in tournament play.

I agree with MeanHappy in that the flop does not seem so bad for your 88. You could raise allin after the 6k flop bet or just call and see what he does on the turn. That said, I don't think folding to that bet on the flop is bad, if you do not flop an overpair, set or something better than just your 8s. You could well be ahead as MHG points out, but if you decide to play on that expectation, you will likely need to put in all your chips to find out if the guy has AJ, KJ, QJ, JT, J9, a set, two pairs or any pocket pair above 8s. Folding in a tournament is not a bad move there in my view.