You have your own style of play and you should be proud of that, win or lose. Our goal is to allow you to keep that style but wrap a framework for success around it. In today’s hand you’ll see The Poker Model in action, making a murky situation a bit more clear.
I’m sitting in The Cutoff+2 (TC+2) holding Ad-10d with 50 big blinds. If the action folds to me, I will raise because I have over 20 big blinds and “any ace” in my hand. If there is one raise in front of me, then I will call because I have over 20 big blinds and A-10 is a call behind hand. If there are more than one raises in front of me (a raise followed by a 3-bet), then I will fold my hand because it is not premium. Remember that premium hands are A-A, K-K, and A-K according to The Poker Model and we’ll try to get all-in Pre-flop with them.
There is one previous raise before my turn so I call for the reasons mentioned above. The Button calls as well. As long as The Small and/or Big Blinds fold, then we’ll have a three-way pot going to The Flop. On the Flop I will assess the action and determined if my hand is good, bad, or mediocre. My move will be determined by this information and the original raisers action.
The Small and Big Blinds fold and The Flop comes 10s-2d-4c. The original raiser is first to act and makes a bet of $1,500. The action is on me and I must qualify my hand as good, bad, or mediocre. I have top pair, which is mediocre. With mediocre hands I’ll want to keep the pot manageable and see if I can get to The River without putting myself at risk. I can call this bet of $1,500, keeping my stack over 20 big blinds and hopefully move to the Turn. If the player behind me raises, then I must fold my hand and look for a better spot.
At this point in the hand I have called one continuation bet, a bet that can be made with any two cards in an effort to get me to fold. So it’s likely that I’m ahead of the original raiser. The Button calls as well and we move to The Turn, where the Two of Hearts shows. The Button may have called with a ten, although less likely because I’m holding a ten in my hand. Because players can make any play with any two cards at any time, it’s possible he has a hand that is already beating me, a draw, or other. The two is not a card that drastically changes the texture of the board because the only hand that it helps improve is if a player is holding a two in their hand, which is unlikely. I must tread lightly with this call from The Button.
When the original raiser fires a second bullet of $2,500 it becomes more likely that he has an overpair to the board, like J-J, Q-Q, K-K, or A-A, although we can never be 100% certain. The action is back on me and my first thought is that I must keep my stack above $8,000, the short stack threshold. If I call here, then I will be vulnerable to a big bet on the River or a raise from The Button. Both of these actions will have me unsure of where I stand and force me to fold, maybe being bluffed. So instead of just calling, I can make a Turn Blocker Bet. A Turn Blocker Bet is a min raise here to take control of the hand and keep my stack over the 20 big blind threshold. By take control of the hand I mean have the original raiser put his foot on the brake as he sees strength from me. It allows me to “push back” and be the aggressor while putting as few chips at risk as possible.
I make The Turn Blocker Bet to $5,000 and both of my opponents fold. I win the hand without moving to The River and with minimal risk. If any of my opponents would have raised my bet, then I would fold, losing few chips on the hand. I want to reiterate the importance of having discipline here and knowing that I would fold before making the bet if either opponent pushes back; it’s the purpose of the bet.
Today you saw a part of The Poker Model that allows you to get control of a hand in a tough spot. No matter your style of play, always be open to learning The Poker Model recommendations as they will be fruitful in the long run.