Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Poker Quiz Question #14

Q#14: You're in another $5/$10 NL cash game. Full ring 10 handed. Everyone has $1000 stacks. An unknown player raises to $40 UTG. It is folded to you in MP. You hold 5d-5c. What should you do?

  1. Raise
  2. Fold
  3. Call
  4. All-in 10% of time, call 90% of time
  5. Raise to $130 about 30% of time, call 70%
  6. Raise to $175 about 30% of time, call 70%

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A#14:  We can rule out silly answers like "all-in 10% of time, call 90%." Making a play like this in a cash game against an unknown UTG raiser is akin to throwing all of your money away about 10% of the time. I also rule out all the "raise $X Y% of the time, call Z%" type answers. For super advanced play, and given more reads on your villain, you might consider balancing your play with this type of mix-and-match approach. Here, however, we said the villain was "unknown." This means you're unknown to him, too, so balancing your play is just over-complicating things for no valid reason.

This means the choices come back to Raise, Fold, or Call. Now, raising doesn't really accomplish anything positive except to increase your chances of getting heads-up with the villain. But do you really want to do this? Yes, you'll have position on him in the hand, but unless we know otherwise (which we don't), the villain's raise UTG has to be treated with respect. A typical opening range of a decent player UTG in a FR game is something like 55+,AQs+,KQs,AKo. With our 5-5, we'd just bloat a pot while being a 70:30 dog in the hand. Therefore raising is out.

This leaves us with Fold or Call. Either one isn't a clear choice over the other. Said another way, folding isn't a terrible play. You're in MP, which means you 4-5 players left to act after you. If one of the RR's if you call, you could be trapped in the middle of raising war with a fairly weak holding.

But...

...that said, I prefer calling here. The effective stack sizes of $1000 means that your implied odds are something like 1000/40 = 25:1, which is very high. Calling, with the express purpose of trying to hit a set and stack the opp, is the right move here. Even if you get RR'd by one of the players left to act, you can fold PF relatively cheaply and still consider this a +EV play.

Ergo, CALL is the correct answer.

All-in for now....
-Bug

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