Wanting to make a lot of money and being greedy are two very different things. In poker, you will often be presented with opportunities for both. In today’s hand, you’ll see a spot where I judiciously follow The Poker Model rules and pass on a chance at a big pot to find a better one later.
I’m sitting in The Small Blind with $9,000 chips. Blinds and antes are at 5$/$150/$300 which means I have 30 big blinds. I’m holding Kh-Js and will wait until the action comes around the table to determine my next move.
The action folds to The Cutoff (TC), who raises to $600 followed by a call from The Button. The action is now on me. K-J is a call behind hand, so I will call one previous bet with it as long as I have over 20 big blinds in my stack. I make the call.
The Big Blind (TB) folds, The Flop comes Qs-10h-4d, and the action is on me. I’ve flopped an Open-Ended Straight Draw which is a mediocre hand. With mediocre hands I will check in an effort to see The Turn as cheaply as possible. I make the check.
The Cutoff (TC) makes a bet of $1,200 followed by a call from The Button (TB). To determine my next move I must look at my stack size. I must make sure that I do no go under the 20 big blind threshold. I can call now but if I have to call another big bet on The Turn I’ll have to fold if I don’t improve because it will put me under 20 big blinds. With blinds at $150/$300, I cannot go below $6,000. I have about $8,500 in my stack so I can afford to make this call and see The Turn. I make the call.
The Turn is the Queen of Clubs. The Queen of Clubs did not improve my hand. In fact, now there is a potential for a Full House which my straight cannot beat. I still check in an effort to see a free or cheap River card. Unfortunately, The Cutoff (TC) makes a bet of $3,500, a large bet that will put me below the 20 big blind threshold if I call.
The Button (TB) folds and I must fold as well, not knowing if I would have made my straight, but also not getting greedy on the hand. This hand reminds us to always be mindful of our stack size and strength of hand. Remember that while most hands go down the same road to the River, there are different bumps along the way that can push you out of the hand before getting there. Don’t get greedy.