Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cold Calling Kumquats

I had a brief email exchange the other day with Flyboy about a hand he played in which his nut flush went down in flames to a rivered straight flush held by the villain. While interesting in a cooler-ish kind of way, something else about the hand was more important: calling out of the blinds because you're getting a good price. In this hand, Flyboy flatted from the BB with a weak unsuited King against an EP raiser and a cold caller in MP.

When discussing the hand, I wrote that I didn't like his PF cold call (actually, I wrote "I hate, hate, HATE the cold call" in my email...)  Anyway, Flyboy asked when you are in the big blind with a modest hand, and getting three to one if you complete, should you?

My answer is that this is one of those “a-ha!” concepts that everyone eventually gets if they get burned with big blind specials enough times. Think of it in terms of buying something simply because it’s on sale. You go the store for eggs, but you see that kumquats are three for the price of one. Yes, it’s a great price, but you didn’t go into the store looking for kumquats. Hell, you don’t even like kumquats. So why are you buying them? Because you’re getting a good price? Obviously this is a dumb reason.

It’s the same when you’re in the BB and you’re getting a great price on a trap hand. Are these cards really something you would normally play? Probably not. Then ask yourself if you like to play them OOP? In a sense, you have bought a trap hand that you really never wanted in the first place simply because it was on sale. You then find yourself with a crap hand, OOP, and your only justification is that you got a good price. This isn’t smart poker.

In most cases, cold-calling in no-limit poker is a bad idea. Cold-calling out of position is worse. And cold-calling OOP with a trap-hand only because the price is attractive is worst of all.

All-in for now...
-Bug
PS. what the hell does a kumquat taste like? I honestly don't believe I've ever actually tried one...

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