I was playing NL200 Online Texas Hold em game a few days ago when the following hand came up which I feel is instructive. I had pocket eights under the gun, now in a full ring game then you are not really folding this hand. Raising while being deceptive is a little too loose aggressive for my style.
I like to limp and promote a multi-way pot and if gets raised after me then I can reassess. So I limp for the $2, my stack size is $246. A middle player calls but the cut-off raises the pot to $11 and everyone folds around to me. Both of these players have $200+ stacks. So the pot is now $18 and it costs me $9 to call. My immediate pot odds are only a mere 2/1 which in some instances is a clear fold.
I felt that the cut-off had been attacking limpers a lot so I had two plans here. I think that my pocket eights were ahead of his range so I could call and then look to make a play post flop providing that the other limper folded pre-flop. Or I could call and then hope that the other limper called and turn the hand into an implied odds play.
There is of course a third option and that is to re-raise and represent aces, I have done this many times and taken down the pot. I decided to call and see what the other limper did, they called as well so we now have a three way pot with $36 in the middle. The flop was great for me and was 9h-8c-7h giving me middle set. The board is dangerous for a set with a possible straight draw and flush draw out there and not to mention a made straight with J-10.
There are two possible ways forward with this hand, you can either bet out and charge the draws to make their hands or you can go for an aggressive check raise. The second option is risky because it can get checked around and your opponents can take the free card. If that happens then many turn cards will come that will not only freeze your action but will also make it far more tricky for you to continue and especially against heavy action.
The cut-off may be reticent to attack two limpers on a board like this and could simply check it back. I decided to bet $34 and the limper thought for some time and called. The original raiser shoved all-in and now it was back to me. They could be shoving with all kinds of hands that I can beat like AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, Ah-Kh or other suited hands.
I called and so did the limper so we had a massive 350 big blind pot. The cards were revealed and the limper had the Qh-10h for the flush draw and straight draw and the raiser had Kh-Ks. The turn card was the 6c giving the other limper a straight and the river card was the Kc which elevated the raisers hand to top set but not enough to take the pot.
My second set on the flop was relegated to being third best by the river but I was satisfied that I got my money in ahead. The thing about this hand is that if I had checked then the Qh-10h may also have checked but the kings would have certainly bet. Then I could have check-raised the limper off their hand. This powerful check raising sequence could have also forced the kings to fold.
This hand niggled me for a while but at the end of the day, you cannot see your opponents cards as poker is a game of incomplete information.
This article was produced by Carl “The Dean” Sampson