Another Example

As we have seen, as pots get bigger and bigger, all that matters is doing whatever is necessary to win, and that usually includes a diversity of plays. Sometimes it can get extreme. For instance, if the pot is really large, you might play a hand strangely and seemingly miss bets or raises.

Suppose on the flop the player on your right bets, you have top pair, but you know that if you raise four or five players will come in behind you anyway. If the pot is very big you should just call. Now when the player on your right bets again on fourth street, you can raise and thus force those players who are drawing to beat you, to call two double size bets.

Here's a specific example. You have you are on the button, and there are seven people in for a triple bet. Now the flop comes:

This may sound insane, but if the player on your right is the first to bet, rather than raise right there, you should often just call and go for the raise on fourth street because that raise will knock people out. The raise on the flop won't.

Now it's true that when you just call on the flop someone will often make two pair. But that's just the point. They were going to call even if you raised and because of the size of the pot they are right to do so. In addition, had you raised and then bet on fourth street, they would call again, and once again be correct.

However, if you play the hand as we suggest, while they can still make two pair to beat you on fourth street, they may not have the opportunity to make two pair on the river. Thus you at least keep them from drawing out on the last card.

Here's another variation of this same play. Suppose you have a pair of aces on the button, many players are in, the pot is very large, the flop comes

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and they all check to you. The play is to also check! Then when someone bets on fourth street you raise — unless a ten or a nine comes off.

Again, if someone is going to draw out on you on the turn you can't prevent it anyway. By playing your hand this way you'll be able to stop him from drawing out on you on the end.

The general idea is that these plays may be correct when no one is going to fold for the bet on the flop, but you think that a raise can knock them out on fourth street. But they are not foolproof. The danger is that occasionally someone who would have folded on the flop picks up a backdoor straight or flush draw and now beats you, or maybe he has a small pair in the hole and would have folded, and now makes a set. Another drawback is that you don't collect those on the flop bets when your hand does hold up. But as the pot gets bigger and bigger the pros to these plays usually outweigh the cons.

Just to recap a bit, the most important aspect of these very large pots is to play your hand in such a way that no one will draw out on you on the end. That one edge more than makes up for any missed bets. By sometimes playing in an unorthodox way you can get players out who would have beaten you on the river card because you have managed to cost them two double size bets on the next to the last card. That is worth giving up a lot of other small profits.

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