October 17, 2011

Hand control for poker props (part3)

In my previous article, I've sketched up an example which has the hero (our poker prop of course) hitting a boat on the turn against his opponent's set. Now that our hero has the nuts pretty much, he has full and utter control of the hand. It is now up to him to control the size of the pot, and with a hand like that, and a situation like that, I think it's safe to say that taking anything less than the villain's full stack would be a grievous mistake.

Despite the fact that it all looks like a lock, there's still some room for mistakes for rookies. Having landed the monster, our rookie will get overly creative and set about to spring a trap by checking. In this situation that is the last thing our poker prop should do. A check there would definitely raise a red flag with the opponent who has gone to great length to sell his supposedly weak hand. He's put on a show on the flop and now he's expecting the hero to act accordingly and thus to attempt to push him off the pot with another bet. Needless to say, by betting into the villain instead of checking, our hero will be able to increase bet-size for the post-river round, when hopefully all the chips will fly into the middle, so it's really a double-purpose move.

Even if a check doesn't raise a red flag, the villain may lover his betting limit, and thus the hero would end up with a less than satisfactory pot past the river.

If the hero fires out a $75 bet though, there are two possible things the villain will do: he will shove all-in right there in response or he will continue to spring his trap and shove all-in later, past the river.

If he does decide to come in over the top, he'll shove $375 into the middle, praying to get a call, which he does indeed get, but to his surprise, the goods end up shipped the other way come showdown.

Now then, this example was one where luck played a huge role. Had it not been for that 8 on the turn, our hero would've lost the pot, but this is where control comes into the picture: the most he would've lost was $45 (his preflop raise and his continuation bet), because having control of the hand, he could've gotten out at any point past the turn.

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