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Don’t get all your chips in unless you’re fairly certain you have the best hand

October 9, 2007

Something I read in a friend’s blog (unfortunately since at this point I’m keeping this entirely anonymous I don’t want to link to it) is the comment that, don’t get all your chips in unless you’re fairly certain that you have the best hand. Though this friend is a much better and more experienced player than I, this comment is pretty simplistic since there are many situations where you have to do this like when you are short stacked in a tourney. Still, I think this thought may have some use for me.

It’s rare that the second other situation is going to occur for me, that is, when I think I can get someone off their hand which may be a better one than mine. At the levels that I play at, people are likely to call anyways so basically I should only be getting all my chips in when I have a big hand. Big hand/big pot, small hand/small pot. AA is just one pair and with a dangerous flop like QJT as happened last night, I’ve got to be ready to give it up. I had reraised his UTG raise, and it’s quite possible he hit with AK/QQ/JJ/TT or even QJ/JT so when he pushed into me, I folded. Same with KQ on a flop with Q72 but a preflop raiser pushes after my bet; he may have AA/KK/QQ/AQ. Of course, he may also have JJ/TT/99/88, but unless I’ve seen him do similar before, I should be folding this. On the other hand, 72 is probably ahead but is very vulnerable on a flop of Q72 so I have to play this fast or face a high risk of being outdrawn/counterfeited. I can’t wait around and let KQ draw.

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