Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Yes, I really am up this early. Can't wait to start this 14 hour day! (Yeah, right. Cat woke me up 45 minutes before I actually had to be awake, and now here I am, killing my last 30 mins before I have to leave for work).
I had a bit of a revelation last night - not quite a revelation, maybe a light bulb moment.
Here's the hand:
I'm holding 98o in the big blind and get to see a free flop with 2 other players (including the small blind). Flop comes 4-9-Q. Action goes check, check check.
When I hit second or bottom pair on the flop, for some reason, my automatic train of thought is usually to check and see what everybody else does. If someone bets, they have me beat. I realized last night that there are situations where that is just dumb, particularly considering how often I end up at tables that don't allow free cards, where late position ALWAYS bets when it is checked to him/her.
Why isn't my train of thought to throw out a feeler bet with my middle pair, and see how people react to THAT? If I get called, I can reevaluate, and if I get re-raised, I can drop the hand right there if I feel I'm beat (which I probably would). My opponent can't fold if I don't bet, and why give the Ax's and overcards the free chance at a big card on the turn or river? And, if nobody else holds any piece of the board, I may take the pot right there.
In this case, the turn came a blank, and I bet out half the pot with my still-2nd pair. Action went fold-fold, and I won the pot. From the immediacy of the folding, I think both of my opponents even had the "fold to any bet" option checked.
Is this sound thinking for 2nd pair with one or two opponents? With more opponents, I suppose it may be a more risky play from early position, but I'm thinking may still be worth a stab at the pot on occasion - maybe with a higher kicker or something.
This sort of dilemma falls right in line with my hesitancy to raise preflop. I think to myself, I'm putting money in the pot and I'm not sure I have the best of it! Weak weak weak! Maybe I just need to see this happen more in action, but it just seems so hard to believe that a raise or bet can win the pot right there - even though I know it is true.
Ahh well. I'd better go finish getting ready for work.