Barf

Some hands will have you excited, loving life, and hopeful about the future. Others will make you sick, nauseous, and in the worst case, barf.  Today I’ll walk you through a Pre-Flop hand where I get unlucky. I have every right to feel sick, but will keep my head up high and move on. 

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I’m seated in The Cutoff+1 (TC+1) holding a premium hand, As-Ad, with $320,000. With the blinds at $2000/$4000 I have 80 big blinds, a large stack according to The Poker Model. My goal with A-A is to get all of my chips in at the Pre-Flop stage. You should have this goal anytime you have A-A regardless of the stage of the tournament you are in. 

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To my delight, the player seated Under The Gun (UTG) moves all-in for $80,000, or 20 big blinds. I’m happy because A-A will be dominating every hand (except A-A) that he could be holding. This means that I’m likely to win a big pot after I call.

The action then moves to Under The Gun+2 (UTG+2), who moves all-in for $300,000, or 75 big blinds. This is good for me as well because I’m still favored to win a three way pot with A-A. If I get unlucky and lose to the player seated Under The Gun (UTG), I’ll still make money on the hand by beating the player seated Under The Gun+2 (UTG+2).

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I move all-in, feeling good about my position. I expect all of the other players in the hand to fold where I can flip over A-A and be in a good spot to win a big pot. But then The Big Blind (TBB) calls my all-in. After his call my odds of winning decrease, but I am still the favorite.

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We flip our cards over and wait for the runout. Under The Gun (UTG) shows 9-9, a hand that we’d expect to see after a 20 big blinds all in. Under The Gun+2 (UTG+2) shows Q-Q, a hand that would isolate 9-9 in the manner that he did. After the initial all-ins I was in great position with A-A: 80% to beat the largest stack and 66% to scoop the whole pot. 

The Big Blind (TBB) shows Kd-Q. This is a very bad call with about 10% odds of winning. He essentially moves his money in knowing that he is behind in the hand, hoping to get lucky. I’m still the heavy favorite, however. 

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You guessed it. Two kings come on the board and The Big Blind wins a pot of over $1,000,000. He knocks out three players in the process, including me. No matter how disciplined, this one stings a bit, it might even make you sick. But as we know, this is only one hand in the big scheme of things, one bullet point on our graph. So have a friend hold you hair as you let this nauseating situation pass and don’t let it affect your future play or bankroll management.

Brett

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