Posted by Dr Fro 9:21 PM
From the mailbag:
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We had the poker tournament this past Saturday, and it was another success. We did 24 people again, and the weather in Houston was perfect (70 degrees in the sun). We’ve tweaked the rules over the past 2 years, and have a pretty slow blind structure for 2 hours (with a rebuy period of 1 hour)…after which, things progressed very rapidly with blinds doubling every 30 minutes. All in all, the tournament lasted 5 hours, including 3 breaks, and we had 8 rebuys.
As for me, I finished 10th, missing the final table by 1 spot (top 5 pays). My tournament was up and down all day, and I made some great moves on some pots, and some really stupid ones on others. One hand in particular really busted me up early. I was the dealer, and the big blind, short stacked, went all in with only $250. The next to act called him, and I had QQ and called. Flop came out with J-x-x rainbow. The other all-in caller took his time, and put in $500 more. At this point, if I call I’d have 70-80% of my stack in the pot. I considered this for a while, and ultimately decided he caught a set and folded. I folded my Q’s face up, to which the guy let out a massive sigh. He had junk, and lost to the short-stack who had a pair of 7s or something. The hand really irritated me for the rest of the day, because I knew the right call was to go back at him with a re-raise, and I wussed out…I even had the rebuy period still in effect if I got punked. Anyway – I ended up limping along for an hour or so, and started buying pots left and right, then got sloppy.
The guy who was short-stacked and all-in above got 2nd place.
Winner had a massive run in the first 20 minutes, and never looked back. At the end of the rebuy period, he easily had 3x the chips of the next best stack.
In three tournaments, we’ve had very little repeat final table people, with the exception of one guy who has won it and gotten 4th twice. He’s a very aggressive player, who is very unpredictable. He started very aggressive, lost a bunch of money, played tight for 3 hours, then started hammering people again for the final hour. Fun guy to watch.
You need to join next time. Sunday October 26th is the next tournament, we think.
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We've discussed the folly of bluffing into a dry side pot before here. There is no upside if you get the fold and plenty of downside if you get the call.
This story got me thinking about corollaries to the Golden Rule of not bluffing into a dry side pot:
If your opponent is any good, then he understands the Golden Rule. Thus, if he bets in this situation, you have to put him on a decent hand and therefore significantly raise the bar on what sort of hand you might call with.
Similarly, if you are thinking of opening the betting, then knowing that your opponent will only call with a very good hand should massively raise the bar on what sort of hand you will bet with.
Putting 1 and 2 together, you realize why it happens quite often that two players just check it down in this situation. I have seen many times two players check it down on the flop, turn and river in this situation.
The final thought on this matter has to do with getting into the situation in the first place. Let's say A goes all in and B calls. You (let's call you C) can either fold, call or raise. If you call, you will find yourself in the dry side pot situation discussed above. If B is a good player, then you need to understand what sort of hands you want to play in this situation. For instance, let's say you have a monster draw, getting just short of pot odds. Your implied odds aren't very good because it will be hard to get action from B. That is why in this situation, I think you should fold (which I don't do) make a big raise to create a side pot worth fighting for. Sure, you are betting on the come, but you just created a situation that will increase the chances of getting paid off if you get called and hit it. Plus, if B folds, you get a freeroll (two draws for the price of one) to your draw. In summary (and it depends on the hand), I try to avoid calling into a situation that creates a dry pot.