Friday, September 14, 2007

Playing the draw, Part 1


Someone I discuss poker hands with frequently posed a question to me: When is a draw enough of a draw to truly move on it? I didn’t fully understand what he was getting at until he placed this situation before me.

He was playing from the button in a seven-table tournament with $75-$150 blinds. He’s fairly short stacked at the table with $1,500 in front of him. The tournament is down to five tables and he’s starting to feel the crunch. He peels back Jc-6c from the button. Two early limpers then a handful of folds leading up to him at the button. He calls and the blinds complete to the flop. The flop comes 10c-Qc-Ks. With a straight draw and flush draw, the table checks around to him.

He ends the scenario with him on the button and the table checking around to him. There is $750 in the pot and $1,350 in front of hi. He then asks 'What I would do?'

Now, thinking on it I have the benefit of taking all the time I want without fear of a clock called on me, or the blinds increasing on me later on. Having my move already in mind I checked my math a little more meticulously and came to the conclusion that my initial thoughts were indeed the best. Before he asks me to give him my answer he sets up the scenario on the table a little more.

He tells me nothing about the blinds, but that the first limper has a big stack and was playing extremely loose (as was the whole table for the most part). The second limper had been two hands removed from being cracked on a big hand. The second caller had about $4,000 left after taking the beat before the hand was dealt. Also, he hadn’t been on the table for more than an orbit so he had little to no read on the players save for what he saw that orbit, which was a lot of loose play.

So, now I ask you, what would you do? Think about the situation and all the possibilities and in my next entry I’ll give you insight into what I thought about the situation, his thoughts, as well as a different way at looking at the whole picture.

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