I’m in The Small Blind with 4 players left at a final table holding Qc-Ac. I have about 47 big blinds and Player 273 has raised, leaving about 27 big blinds in his stack after the raise. In other posts I’ve talked about playing the final table almost the exact same as all other hands in the tournament. This hand is an example where widening (raising with weaker hands) your range of 3-betting hands is recommended.
In most cases, The Poker Model tells you to only 3-bet with A-A, K-K, and A-K. With 4 players left at a final table, Q-Q and A-Q can be added to the list. Remember that my goal is to be all-in and dominating. When I make a 3-bet here, there are more hands that Player 273 will move all-in with that my hand mathematically beats, like A-10 or A-J. He also may fold to my raise.
I make the 3-bet to $90,000 (between 2.5-3x the big blind amount) and interestingly enough, Player 122 calls from The Big Blind behind me. The original raiser, Player 273, folds. This is a prime example of the uncertainty that exists in a hand of poker. My expectation was that Player 122 would fold and Player 273 would either move all-in for fold, but Player 122 has called and Player 273 has folded. Time to tap into the concept of switching gears as discussed last week.
The Flop comes 6c-3d-Jh and the action is on me. Just like on all other flops, I must determine if my hand is good, bad, or mediocre. I have High Card – Ace, Queen, Jack, 6, 3 high, which qualifies as a bad hand because it’s 3rd pair or worse. For a review of good and mediocre hands, use the search tool on the site. Even though some extra action has occurred pre-Flop, I’ll still follow The Poker Model and bet with my bad hand in an effort to make my opponent fold.
I follow through and make an average-sized (⅓-⅔ pot) bet. Player 122 folds and I win the Pot. Today’s hand was a good example of a situation where you have the flexibility to expand on some of The Poker Model concepts. When the roadmap shifts, make sure to fall back on basic principles and follow through.