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Poker Strategy | Beginner's Poker

Poker plays with Pokerpeaker: Don't Fear The Reaper (Or A Set)

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Sometimes you have to ship in your chips if you think you have the best hand, even if there's a decent chance you're beat.

I'm playing .25/.50 NLHE on PokerStars. I'm in the Blg Blind. I have {K-Diamonds} - {6-Spades}. It's a hand I plan to fold if anyone raises. But they don't, and actually there's one caller, in middle position. The small blind completes, and so there's three of us seeing a flop.

The flop comes {K-Spades} - {Q-Hearts} - {6-Clubs}.

Well, sweet. I've got two-pair here.

The small blind bets $1.50. I decide to just call because I'm not worried about many draws here, just a straight draw, and I want to see what the third player does.
He folds, so I'm in good shape, I think, going to the turn.

The board blanks with a deuce, and the small blind bets $4.50. That's a pretty substantial bet, close to the pot. He must have something here. But I really think I'm ahead. So I raise $8.50, which is now close to the pot, to $13.00.

He shoves all in. It will cost me my last $36 to call. Ouch! I'm going to have to think here for a minute.

He's in the small blind and only completed. That could put him on a huge range of hands, but I think it's safe to rule out a set of Queens or Kings. He surely would have raised with those hands. He could have a set of sixes, which is likely given how the hand played out. He could have a set of twos, but that's highly unlikely.

I suppose it's also possible he could have K-Q, but that's not likely either, given that he might have raised with that hand as well.

So let's look at hands we can beat. He could have A-K, but he would probably have raised with that too. He could be overplaying something like K-J or K-10. He could have a straight draw. He could also have a lower two-pair than mine.

In the past, when I just wasn't sure what a player had and he made such a huge bet like that one in a cash game, I would probably fold. But I'm tired of being afraid of monsters under the bed. Really, me folding here means I'm putting him specifically on a set of 6s, since Queens or Kings are just so unlikely.

I can't do it. I call. The river is a {7-Spades}, a card I don't mind seeing, and he shows two pair with his Q-6. I take a really nice pot.

This was a clear example of not over thinking a hand. Sure, it's possible he had a set there, and if he did, I would have lost money. But that's poker.

If you try to avoid sets, you're going to lose money in the long run. Fortunately we chose to keep monsters out of our thoughts in this hand.

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