PezRez and md261 are two of the poker world's most consistent 6-max SNG players. Together they run, which offers coaching and staking services. Here they dissect hands and games they've played. Also found at:

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

A Promise To Call Pt. 3

PezRez on 1st December 2010

PokerStars Game $35+$3 USD Hold'em No Limit - Level III (25/50)
Seat 2: Villain (4945 in chips)
Seat 4: Player 4 (1220 in chips)
Seat 5: Hero (1910 in chips)
Seat 6: Player 6 (925 in chips)
Player 4: posts small blind 25
Hero: posts big blind 50
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to Hero [4c 4s]
Player 6: folds
Villain: calls 50
Player 4: folds
Hero: checks
*** FLOP *** [4h 5h Ts]
Hero: bets 75
Villain: raises 375 to 450
Hero: raises 1410 to 1860 and is all-in
Villain: calls 1410
*** TURN *** [4h 5h Ts] [2d]
*** RIVER *** [4h 5h Ts 2d] [Js]
*** SHOW DOWN ***
Hero: shows [4c 4s] (three of a kind, Fours)
Villain: shows [Kd Ks] (a pair of Kings)
Hero collected 3845 from pot

Now I bet you’re all getting extremely bored with the Promise To Call. ‘Do an original post!’, I hear you cry. But when such a good example pops up, I feel like it’s my duty to share it with you fine people.

So the point of this post is to demonstrate that the PTC does not apply only preflop (as in Pts. 1+2). A fishy Villain limps the button and I’m happy to take my free flop with 44. A lovely 4 on the flop, and usually looking at these deep(ish) stacks and tiny pot the cogs would be whirring in my head figuring out how I’m going to unite those two things. As always, betting out is a good start, and then my opponent raises to six times my bet, to 450.

This looks a lot like a PTC! Elaborate plans go out the window; if I think he’ll call now, in it must go. An average player might slowplay here; his thought process will no doubt go something like this:

“My hand is really strong, so I’m not too worried about an outdraw. Plus he’s betting aggressively. I don’t want to lose him, so I’ll let him take the lead.”

Wrong! You’re forgetting about the cooler, son. On this flop, isn’t a pair of tens a really likely hand to make this raise? If that’s the case, and the turn is a 9 or something similarly irrelevant, the average player will probably stack his hapless foe with a checkraise on the turn and then feel very proud of his brilliantly executed slowplay. Problem is if the turn is a J, Q, K or A and our average Hero checks, the Villain with the pair of tens might not be too happy anymore and may well check it back. Our friend will still probably get action in the hand, but Villain might no longer want to stack off so readily. If that’s the case, this slowplay has cost Hero dear.

It is true that sometimes, Villain was pulling some stupid move and will fold here. But nothing is poker is certain, and I’m always surprised to see a fold after a move like this. Fact is, if it looks like your opponent is happy to stack off now, why not oblige him? As you’ve seen, the slowplay is going to be the costlier move in the long run.

Villain actually had KK (nice limp, mate). Hero probably wouldn’t have lost the Villain too easily with a slowplay, but all the same, the all-in on the flop didn’t lose him either. Promise To Call! Watch out for it.


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