Honestly, if there's one thing that I list as the worst result of interent poker...it is the lost art of folding. Nobody folds anything anymore. You can have pocket aces, raise all in on the first hand of a tournament, and you'll get at least two callers. One will have 6-6, and the other will have K-9 of clubs. And they will both think it is the smartest call they ever made.
However, the donkey call that should have folded is not the reason for the blog. My point today is to discuss folding QUALITY hand. Folding PREMIUM hands. Folding WINNING hands.
Huh? Fold a winning hand? How?
The age old question in the poker world is this: If you were in the $10,000 WSOP main event, first hand, and someone shoved all in....and you had A-A....would you call for your tournament life on the first hand?
I ask this all the time, and I get a wide variety of answers. My answer is simple: Probably...NOT. All I have is one single pair, and in the "anything can happen after the flop" poker world....why risk everything when I don't even have a nickel invested in the pot. I know...I'm getting even money in the pot for an 80% chance to win....but so? What if that 20% comes in to play and I'm gone from a game in a hand I didn't need to be in.
Personally, I prefer to drive. I hate the passenger's seat. I like to be in control. If I shove with A-A first hand, and get called by anything less than that....and they win....then they are the donkey. But if I call, I agree to take a chance on losing $10,000 with no control of the action.
Here's an example from last night. We've discussed A-K at length, so I'll just show what happened. 22 people started the tournament, 6 are left. I've just worked back from 6,000 in chips to over 20,000....when the player to my right shoves all in. I look down to A-K. Now, had she not led out, I would have shoved. Like I said, I like to be in control.
In this case though, I had zero chips in the pot, and no reason to get involved with NOTHING. I repeat...NOTHING. A pair of 2's is ahead of me right now.
So I eventually fold, but it does hurt. Everyone else folds, and she shows Q-Q. The dealer already had the flop ready, and shows no A or K. So I would have lost.
I don't know 5 people that I regularly play with that would have laid that down.
Results: Later on she goes out in 6th place, and I work my way to 3rd and cash for $180. So that FOLD was a $180 decision.
I'm not here to advocate folding all the time. All I'm saying is that sometimes folding is the BEST decision. Remember the decision tree:
1. Should I raise?
2. Should I fold?
3. Should I call?
In that order.
In the case above, I couldn't raise because she was already all in.
So I went to #2 on the tree. Lots of reasons here to say yes. People to act behind me. No chips invested in the pot. No control of action after the flop.
So I CORRECTLY folded.
Work on your folding game. It is a lost art that needs to make a comeback.