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Poker Coaching: Rivering A Full House

by Card Player News Team |  Published: Sep 21, 2022

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Key Concept: Rivering A Full House

You are nine-handed in a $1,000 buy-in online tournament with 21,980 at blinds of 150-300. A tight player limps from UTG, followed by limps from a loose, aggressive player in middle position, and the tight lojack. Everyone else folds to you on the button with 9Club Suit 9Spade Suit.

Question 1: Should you fold, call, raise to 900, or raise to 1,900?

Answer: You only have two good options. You can call looking to flop a set or an overpair in a multi-way pot, or you can raise. Raising to 900 is a poor choice because it will get a lot of calls, meaning you will only be thrilled when you hit a set. 1,900 is a much better raise size when you have preflop fold equity, but when facing a tight opponent limping UTG, you should consider being extra cautious because you want to avoid getting shoved on when they happen to have A-A.

You elect to call and both of the blinds come in as well. The flop comes QHeart Suit 10Heart Suit 9Diamond Suit, and UTG bets 500 (about 25% pot) and is called by the player in middle position. The lojack folds and the action is on you.

Question 2: Should you fold, call, raise to 1,500, or raise to 2,800?

Answer: When considering a raise, ask yourself, “what do I want to be called by?” You lose to Q-Q and 10-10, which leaves A-A, K-K, J-J, K-Q, and Q-10 as hands you can extract lots of chips from.

Betting 2,800 might be a good choice, but going that large may also induce folds from hands as strong as overpairs. It might be tempting to bet the larger size to give your hand protection, but the main player you should be concerned about protecting against is the middle position caller because UTG likely has a big preflop value hand like A-A, K-K, or A-K, which are drawing thin against your set. Raising to 1,500 is ideal to ensure that the UTG player is forced to stay in the pot.

You raise to 1,500, both blinds fold, and both the UTG and middle position players call. The turn is the 2Club Suit and both players now check to you.

Question 3: Should you check, bet 1,800, bet 3,200, or bet 6,500?

Answer: 6,500 is a big enough bet that it could force your opponents to make a big fold, which negates any value you can extract from them. Similar to the flop, you want to elicit calls from weaker paired hands, and too large of a bet may force them to fold. 

You bet 3,200 and both players call. The river is the QClub Suit and now the UTG player leads for 7,000 (43%). The middle position player folds.

Question 4: Should you fold, call, or go all-in?

Answer: It is important to consider what your opponent is representing. You are most likely against trip queens or a full house. Next you have to ask if your opponent will call an all-in with only trips. Many players, especially amateur ones, would make the call, but that’s not necessarily a guarantee.

If you call and lose you still have 33 big blinds, which is a manageable stack. In a cash game, you should probably go all-in for thin value, but in tournament play, it is better to ensure you preserve your stack in exchange for giving up a little value.

You call and the UTG player shows KClub Suit 10Spade Suit, an oddly played hand that worked out well for you. A raise would not have won you any more chips.

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