Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Calling is the new raising (1)

I have just been watching a WPT Series 2 event, the one from the Commerce. David Benyamine loses most of his chips on the river to some fat guy wearing sunglasses. Once he's stopped his war-dance, we can get on with the next hand. Benyamine now has 45K under the gun and the blinds are 12-24. To the consternation of Mike and Vince, the Frenchman _calls_ with T8. The button raises with A5. The big blind gives a speech (just like the ones you hear in the £20 comps) and passes. Benyamine makes a straight and scoops, cue the big blind muttering "I would have chopped that".

I'm only speculating here, but this could have been a very clever play. If Benyamine takes the reflex action and goes all in, it's quite likely that at least the two blinds will just call and check it down. By calling, maybe he increases the chances that someone else will raise and he will be heads up. By holding chips back he ensures that there will either be a pre-flop raise or a bet on the flop, either of which might knock out a potential winner.

It's always worth stopping to think about the alternatives, especially just when you're about to do "what everyone else does". One thing I'm becoming more and more sure of in poker, if _everyone_ does something it's quite likely to be wrong at least some of the time.


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