7-2 offsuit, fold. 9-2 suited, fold. These folds are easy, but many will be much harder. In today’s hand, I’ll show you where to look to find a pre-flop fold that might otherwise have been missed.
I’m sitting on The Cutoff+2 (TC+2) holding 7c-8c. I have $75,000 chips and the blinds are $500/$1000. I have a large stack, according to The Poker Model. 7c-8c is not a call behind hand, so I will fold if there is a previous raise in front of me. Remember that call behind hands are 22-QQ, A10-AQ, and KJ-KQ. Before thinking too deeply about the hand I will see what action occurs before it’s my turn.
The action folds to me. Let’s review The Poker Model rule in this situation:
When the action folds to me with over 20 big blinds, make a minimum raise with any two cards over 7, any ace, any pocket pair, suited connectors over 6, 7-9 suited, and 7-10 suited.
I have $75,000 in chips which is 75 big blinds, 7c-8c which is a suited connector over 6, and the action has folded to me. I’ve met the criteria to make a minimum raise in this situation. Part of The Poker Model is being able to follow the rules, but also, don’t forget to take a critical look at the table. This means that you should know the rules and follow them, but also be aware of one-off situations that can occur. I do so in this hand, and find that The Big Blind (TBB) only has 4 big blinds left. This means that if I make a minimum raise and The Big Blind (TBB) goes all-in, then I must call. Eight high will most likely not be the best hand in this situation.
Why must I call? First, review the odds for hand matchups. Notice that 8-7 will be about 40% to beat two over cards. If I raise to $2,000, the action folds to The Big Blind (TBB), and he moves all-in for $4,000, then there will be a total of $7,500 in the pot ($500 + $1,000 + $4,000 + $2,000). I will already have $2,000 in the pot, meaning I’d only have to call an additional $3,000 for the all-in. This means that I can call $3,000 to win $7,500. $3,000/ $7,500 = 40%. So even though I’m most likely behind, I should make this call because I’m getting the same odds on my money that I am on my hand. This is as deep as we’ll go in this article on pot odds today, but know that the point of my fold is to avoid this situation all together. I want to be all-in and dominating no matter what. This situation would force me to call while most likely being dominated.
I fold my hand for this reason. Remember that my goal is to always be all-in and ahead. To do this I must be ahead of his range pre-flop. 7c-8c has potential on The Flop but is not a hand that I’ll want to be all-in in a pre-flop situation with. The range of hands that The Big Blind (TBB) will move all-in against me is most likely King high and better. I’d make this raise with any ace, any pocket pair, and King high hands for this reason. Be sure to take an extra close look at the table and not put yourself in a big all-in situation, even if it’s with a small stacked opponent. Fold ‘Em.