Get It Quietly

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

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Monday, August 02, 2004

Calling is the new raising (2)

Looking back, I thought I'd go through a truly horrible play I made in a tournament 3 years ago. The twist is that it was made during the competition in which I won £10K, and if I had played the hand right, I would have got nothing at all !

I can't remember the exact stack sizes and so on, but we were 6 or 7 handed at the last two tables. A shortish stack went all in on my right, and I was on the button with QQ. I know the stack sizes are important, but basically the raise was about pot-size and I had enough chips for a pot-size reraise, plus a few more. I flat called, the chip leader went all in, and I passed. CL showed A8 against the all-in's KQ, and an Ace flopped to win it.

Everyone I asked at the time said I should have reraised with the Queens. I am now utterly convinced that they were wrong. The call was fine - the big mistake was passing to the reraise. It's a similar situation to the one in the WPT (which I haven't seen, but which has been discussed at length here and there) where Chip Reese goes all in, "the car wash guy" calls with QQ and Barry Greenstein goes all in over the top with AK. Car wash guy calls, Greenstein hits a K to knock them both out, and CWG is savaged on RGP by all the Monday morning quarterbacks.

Two players for whom I have the utmost respect, Paul Phillips and Steve Badger, came out very strongly in the CWG's defence on this one. Basically, flat calling with QQ won't make any difference against the two hands it hates (AA and KK), and the one it doesn't mind much either way (AK), but will encourage all sorts of reraises from weaker hands like JJ, TT, AQ - even A8 in my case ! Check out this month's "Pro Tip" on the Hendon Mob site - they recommend reraising with nothing in this spot !!

There are a lot of people out there in big tournament land who will assume that you are weak if you just call an all-in. There is a great deal to be said for just calling an all-in with any hand that can take the heat if reraised - AK, QQ or better, maybe even JJ. Tournament players are so aggressive these days you have to find ways to use that against them - and this is a good one.


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