On Friday, I got a call from Rick Daly to play in a big game with some friends of his. This group used to have a regular game for a couple of years, but apparently hadn't put one together in about 6 months.
It was the biggest cash game I've played in so far. The buy-in was $1,000, and they were playing $20-$40 Limit Hold 'Em and occasionally $20-$40 Omaha Hi. However, after a few hours they switched to $10-$10 Pot Limit Hold 'Em (with an occasional $10-$10 Pot Limit Omaha game). The player to my left had approx $4,500 in chips, and everyone's stack was also deep. I bought in for $1,000 and decided to play as tight and solid as possible.
We played until 6:30am, and the game was incredibly wild. The average pots were between $600-$1,000, but every once in awhile we had a $1,700+ pot. I was never down too much money, but fluctuated about $600 in both directions.
Late in the night, I was dealt KK in early position with about $1,000 in front of me. I brought in the initial raise to $50. This amount was common and happened nearly every hand (as it was the maximum bring in raise in PL). The chip leader to my left reraised, making it $150 to go. Another player to his left re-re-raised, making it $300 straight. So I was left with $250 to call with KK out of position. Both of these guys were strong players and I put one of them on AA (and maybe even AK).
Things I considered: If one of them held AA, I was a 4:1 dog. And if one of them held AK, one of my outs (K) was gone. Also, it was certain that this hand would be for all my chips, and there was a chance I would be busted with this hand. And I had only invested $50 into the hand.
I showed my KK to Daly and another guy before throwing them into the muck. The other player folded, and the 3rd raiser showed QQ. We rolled the board, and my Kings would've held up, and I likely would've profited $1,000+ on the hand.
Rick later told me that I should've reraised it to $600 to see where I stood. If it was called or raised instantly, I would know I was beat (and could get away). However, if he went into the tank about having to call $300 more, I would know my hand was good. I think he may be right, but $600 is a lot of money to see where I'm at. What do you think?
I think folding was also the correct play. I was unwilling to risk my entire stack with this hand. I didn't feel good about the 3rd raise, and if I called and missed, I would've been sent home with a $1,000 loss (I wasn't going to reload). Instead I waited for other opportunities where I could make informed decisions. I took down plenty of other pots and booked a profit of $600 on the night.
Rick's advice to raise was probably correct, but I can't blame you for folding from out of position against two players. Had you been reraised and then folded anyway, then it would have cost you an extra $300 to get exactly where you were in the first place - in the muck. Against one player, then you might have license to be more aggressive, but you certainly didn't make the wrong decision to fold.
Of course, you play big bet poker much more often than I do, so take my advice for what it's worth. Plenty of other people who read this blog already do.
I agree with Daly in that you needed to see where you stand, and I think this situation defines what being out of your comfort zone from a financial standpoint means. Ask yourself this, if the reraiser made it $60 instead of $600 (raising from $30 to $60), would you have bet $120 to see if he had AA or AK? My guess is that you would. If it's the right call for a $120 bet then it should be for a $600 bet as long as your comfortable with the stakes. At the same time, you told yourself you were going to play incredibly tight, so you stuck to your guns to not risk your stack. Congrats on the $600 profit, now you have close to $4K for Vegas.
Yeah, the phrase "scared money" comes to mind, too - if you are not comfortable with the stakes then you are likely to play timidly and not make the proper decisons. A $1000 buy-in is a huge game, at least to me, and calling a $600 bet that's 60% of your stack is big too. I heard Rick talking about that game (or another big game) when I was at your house two weeks ago and I know I couldn't play very well at those stakes. That's a lot of money.
Tenacious makes a very cogent, and relevant, point.
I agree with John and Tenacious. The size of the game was the determining factor. If the raise had been smaller, or if the 3rd raiser was all-in for $300 (or didn't have many more chips), I certainly would've played the hand.
You're right, if I would've reraised it if the amounts are smaller, the logic should be the same.
However, folding worked well for me, and it felt good to know that I could lay down KK preflop if I had to.
As to the Anonymous post: Worthless. If I couldn't run with the big dogs, I wouldn't have sat down in that game and won.
Good Fold Junell, I've seen a hell of a lot of money lost on KK. True, that's not a hand you should fold usually, but if the money's high and you have a bad feeling, what's wrong with folding, all you have lost is your nominal investment and you can live till the next hand. Sure, you could have doubled or maybe even tripled up, but you could have just as easily lost your wad if someone had AA or someone else was just screwing around (who knows, maybe 300 bucks is nothing to these guys, it isn't to many)with A 10 and some crappy A comes up on the board. It's never easy, but it's a safe play
Here is the problem with Rick's advice. When te 3rd raiser makes it 300 to go, there is 520 in the pot (assuming 20 worth of blinds)If you made it 600 to go then there would be 1070 in the pot with 300 to him. If he indeed had rockets and put you all in for your last 400, then there would be 1770 in the pot (assuming other guy dumps) and a 400 dollar call to make. That is almost paying the 4.5 to 1 required, and you would have to call on the chance that he was making a move.
I can understand the fold if they were as strong as you say.
If this were your house, I would consider it very likely that I was up against two AX's. If so, I am an enourmous favorite, as they only have 2 outs to that A. At your house, I play that hand, maybe with a call.