Hands That Make Her Dance


I’m under the gun holding Kc-Kh, a premium starting hand. I have about 30 big blinds in my stack with blinds at $400/$800. Because I have a premium hand, I’m looking to get all of my chips in during the pre-flop stage. K-K will be a huge favorite against all other starting hands in this spot except A-A, which is unlikely to occur. Other premium starting hands are A-K and A-A according to The Poker Model. With a premium hand, I will enter the pot with a minimum raise to $1600.


I raise to $1600 and the action folds all the way around to the Big Blind, who calls. While I’m happy to receive the call in position, I was hoping for one of the other players at the table to 3-bet my raise. I’ll now go against a large stacked opponent as the hand moves to the Flop.


The Flop comes 2c-2s-2d. My opponent checks and the action is back on me. After my bet I have about 25 big blinds left, which is on the low end of a medium stack (21-50 big blinds) according to The Poker Model. The 2-2-2 Flop is very dry, meaning that there are not many hands that could have improved. It’s very unlikely that my opponent has a 2 (.01% chance). For these reasons, my hand can be considered “good” according to The Poker Model. With good hands I want to bet in hopes of being put all-in. I bet $2400, a large bet  (⅔ pot) looking for action.


She raises to $7000, putting the action back on me. This is what I wanted because it’s far more likely that she is bluffing or has a hand that I am beating, like lower pocket pairs. There is a small part of me that believes she has the 2, but I cannot make a fold based on that assumption, it is just too unlikely from a statistical point of view. For these reasons I will execute my original plan and move all in.  


I move all-in and am called immediately. She flips over 2h-Qd making Four of a Kind and I lose the hand. When reflecting on the hand, I gather that she made a loose call pre-flop with 2-Q (probably because she has a large stack and can play more loosely) and then flopped Four of a Kind. While I did consider the possibility that she had the 2, I could not play the hand differently because I may be missing out on value in a more likely scenario. For example, it’s possible that she would show the same betting cadence with hands that K-K is beating, like 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10, J-J, or a bluff. If I am worried about her having a 2, then I will miss the opportunity to double up if she has one of the hands. I’m okay with losing in this way because there was a much greater chance that I was winning than behind here. Even though out of this tournament, I look forward to the next spot like this where my opponent will flip over two cards that I am dominating. Every once and awhile an opponent gets a hand worth dancing over.  


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