Full Tilt On The Bubble Hand


Today I want to share a hand that I played in a Full Tilt tournament the other night.

I was involved in a 90 player Sit-n-Go knockout tournament. I had been having a fairly successful  tournament, with about $25,000 in chips. Through 2 breaks, there were less than 20 players left in the tournament, and everyone was playing fairly conservatively, trying to make it into the money and the final table, where the top 9 players gets paid. I was in good position, 5th place with my $25k in chips, the leader was only at about $45,000.

A half dozen hands went by and it was down to the final 10 players, 1 player away from the final table and the money! I figured to be in good shape as most of the stragglers had significantly less chips than I did. Most definitely not the time to do anything stupid with my chip stack!

Under the gun, I was dealt pocket 8’s. The blinds were $1200-$600, so I put in a 3x raise of $3600 figuring to push all the conservative players off the pot who were waiting for the”bubble to pop” so they could be in the money. The action folded all the way around to the Big Blind, who had a slight lead on me in chips with about $29,000. To my surprise, he called the raise.

The Flop comes Kc-2c-8c. The pot is at $8,000 (with antes) and I have flopped a set. The clubs scare me a little bit, but I have to figure the odds of the Big Blind having 2 clubs in his hand are small. Also, if the board pairs up, my set would become a full house, negating any potential flush anyway.

I feel it is more likely that he has 1 club or none, and since I obviously have none, I want to take down a pretty good sized pot right now and not give him proper odds to make the call if he does in fact have one club.

I make a pot sized bet of $8,000 and to my total surprise he responds by re-raising all in!

This is a really tough position to be in. No doubt, most of you would fold this hand, being on the bubble and not wanting to take any chances of missing out on the money. In my case, while I like making the money, I want to be in position to win this tournament, which winning this hand would put me in the cat bird seat to do.

There is also this: if he had the flush, would he go all-in here? I wouldn’t. I would simply call and try to slow play my flush a bit. Otherwise, he risks making me fold right away. For this reason, I feel it is still unlikely that he has the flush. I suspect he has one higher club and is trying to push me out of the hand.

I call. He flips over Tc-2c. Nothing pairs the board on the Turn or the River and I am out of the tournament in 10th place, right on the bubble, one spot from being paid!

So, right decision or wrong decision? I guess that depends on what type of poker you play. In hindsight, it was obviously the wrong decision, but I think that my line of logic was a good one. What I probably forgot to take into account is the fact that internet players will play ANY SUITED CARDS!!!!

Would you call a $2400 raise pre-flop with Tc-2c? I wouldn’t, especially on the bubble. This guy did and put me out of the tournament. The other mis-play on his part was probably going all in after the flop. That seemed to defy logic as well, and I could have easily folded at that point. It is hard to lay down a set in this type of situation, however, for any player, myself included.

Let me know what you think of this hand, but I will say this: whatever you think about the way I played this particular  hand, sometimes being gutsy works out for you and sometimes it doesn’t. That is just poker.

To purchase my 224 page ebook The No BS Guide to Winning Online No Limit Texas Holdem or live one-on-one coaching sessions with Chris Wilcox,  click this https://www.chriswilcoxpoker.com/category/kickstarter-2/p
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For any questions, concerns, or opinions,  please email Chris Wilcox at chriswilcoxpoker@gmail.com


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