Two guys, one girl...what more can you ask for? Here's the blow by blow.....
Early in the game, 8 players at the table, blinds at 100/200. Player B, the hot blonde, flat calls from under the gun. Player C, the rich millionaire, also flat calls from the button. Small blind folds, so big blind, Player A, takes a look....Q-4 off suit. Bleh....check.
Flop comes down, Q-J-4. Player A thinks BINGO! So with a pot of 700, he bets out a perfect bet, in my opinion, of 650. Player B, a person they invented "calling station" to describe, calls. Then Player C, who is a solid player, flat calls too.
Turn comes another Jack. Player A, smartly, checks. Player B raises, Player C calls....so Player A, knowing someone has him beat, folds two pair. The rest is immaterial to the story....but both players had J-10, and split the pot.
Now, Player A spent a good deal of time yesterday complaining about their call. Basically, "how could those donkeys call with second pair when they should have known he had top pair?"
Fair question, but easily answer. He was the Big Blind, who hadn't done anything preflop. He could have ANY TWO CARDS. Meanwhile, they knew they each had a pair. The bet looked like a Big Blind steal, and they both called. If the turn had been a 10 instead of another Jack, Player A would have gotten rich. Oh well, such is cards.
So, today, after thinking about the hand, I will tell Player A how he could have easily won this hand, instead of losing 850 chips. And it won't be "raise preflop", although had he raised 4 times the big blind preflop against the two limpers, he would have won this hand too.
Anyway, here goes the winning combination.
Two callers, Q-4, check. Flop Q-J-4. So far, nothing different. But here's where we start a new line on the space-time continuum.
Player A, with two pair.....checks.
Guaranteed that Player B will bet 300. I've played with her for two years, and I know she thinks she has the winner, but isn't brave enough to seriously go after it. She might even bet 200, but no more than 300.
Player C, hitting 2nd pair.....calls. Guaranteed. He knows he has 2nd pair, and a 10 kicker, but he'll see the turn. Mainly because Player A checked and Player B would have bet 300 with 2-7.
Now, Player A, hitting two pair, but a CRAPPY second pair, decides this hand should not continue any further. There is 1300 currently in the pot, and he raises to.....lets round it off to 3000.
- He knows he's winning right now, but should know that another Q with any other kicker can match up.
- He knows he's winning right now, but should know that another Jack could come, giving another player Queens and Jacks with a guaranteed better kicker than a 4.
- He knows if it goes beyond this he will lose.
His bet of 3000 says I have at least a Queen, and you guys are sucking wind, and you should fold.
And I guarantee you that they both would have folded. And Player A, rather than losing 850 chips, would have won 1300. A 2150 turnaround in one hand.
So, while discussing the rest of Player A's game, he was complaining that the blinds and antes just took him out. I asked 100 times for some explanation as to where his chips went, because I wasn't hearing any big bad beat stories. Finally, I asked the key question:
What hand did you go out on?
Under the gun (1st to act next to the big blind), 7 people at the table (so, 6 still to act), pocket 9's....all in for 5700.
HUH?!?!?!? That's "the blinds and antes were killing me?" NO! That's...I was impatient, hadn't seen a good hand, and just shoved with a weak pair. And since the game started with 12,500 chips....5700 is dang near half the starting stack. When I have half my starting stack, I think I'm still one of the big stacks.
And seriously, under the gun, I fold pocket 9's. They're garbage that early. There are SIX people left to play. You have zero information as to the strength of their hand. You know nothing....so don't risk everything on junk!
Remember the order of thought in a poker hand:
1. Should I raise.
2. Should I fold.
3. Should I call.
So, with 9's, maybe a raise. MAYBE. Twice the big blind. MAX! So, since you can't make a reasonable raise, go to step 2. Fold. YES! But its a pair!!! So fine, call. But you're wasting your money. You cannot withstand ANY RAISE at this point, so you'll fold when the guy that later calls your all in raises with his pocket Jacks!
There, I'm done with this hand. There is no further analysis needed. The proper action, with half your chip stack in front of you, is to FOLD POCKET 9's. I'd rather wait for a better drawing hand (K-Q or Q-J is stronger than 9's, in my opinion), than to put my entire game on the line on a weak pair.
Anyway, I've mentioned no names. I've simply looked at two hands that one person complained about, that really were not worth complaining about. They were simply misplayed....IN MY HUMBLE OPINION.