Five players left at the Final Table with blinds and antes at $1,000/$5,000/$10,000. I’m holding 7h-9h with 39 big blinds, sitting in the Big Blind. All players at the table have over 40 big blinds; there are no short stacks.
Player 273 raises 2.5x the big blind, a standard raise and the action folds to me. Usually my call behind range is 22-QQ, A10-AQ, KQ, and KJ, but because I already have my big blind invested, my call behind range widens to any ace, any two cards over 7, pocket pairs 22-QQ, suited connectors over 6, and suited one-offs over 6. 7h-9h fall into the suited one-ff over 6 category, so I’ll make the call.
The Flop comes Kc-6s-7s, giving me middle pair and I check to the raiser. Middle pair is a mediocre hand. With mediocre hands my goal is to get to the River and flip my cards over at a cheap price because I’m unsure if it is best or not. I don’t want to fold the best hand or call with the worst hand. I’ll want to keep the Pot as small as possible, so I check. I wouldn’t bet here because it would build the Pot unnecessarily.
Player 273 bets. With a mediocre hand I will call one bet on the Flop. It will keep the Pot small and allow me to get to the Turn, where my hand can improve. If my hand does not improve then I may get to see a free River card if my opponent checks. Because middle pair is a mediocre hand, I will make the call. With a bad hand, like 3rd pair or worse I will fold. With a good hand, like Two Pair or better I will raise his bet.
I make the call, the Turn is the Ah, and I check again to keep the Pot small with the goal of making it to the River cheaply. The Ah is not a good card for me because it puts another overcard on the board, now making my hand third pair and changing it from mediocre to bad. If Player 273 checks, then I will make a ⅓ pot blocker bet on the River if I don’t improve. This bet will force a call, fold, or raise from Player 273. If he folds, then I win. If he calls, then I get to flip my cards. If he raises, then I’ll fold assuming I’m beat in the hand.
Player 273 does not check, he bets. The Poker Model calls this bet “The Second Bet” because a player raised Pre-Flop and then made two bets Post-Flop in position, or last to act in a Post-Flop situation. I cannot call the second bet with my hand because I’m building too big of a pot and am likely behind.
I fold my hand and live to fight another day. Poker players talk alot about making big folds. The Poker Model is here to remind you to take the drama out of it. With a mediocre hand and a medium stack, make the easy fold against the second bet.