CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Fred Renzey

Gaming Guru

 

It Doesn't Matter How Much You Have Invested in the Pot

15 December 2006

I was playing Limit Texas Hold'em poker and just flat called right "under the gun" (first player to act after the blinds). I had K/Q offsuit. Four more players limped in behind me as well as the big blind, who was essentially getting to see a free flop. With a six-player pot, the flop came down:

Ad- 10s-5h

The big blind checked and so did I. The next player bet and got two callers, then the big blind hesitated and folded. I assumed the bettor most likely paired his Ace. I had only an inside straight draw, but since it was a "rainbow flop" (three different suits), a flush was almost no threat and four players were still putting money into the pot. Being last to act, I decided it was worth calling one small limit bet to try to spike a Jack on the turn. If the Jack didn't come, I was history.

But lo and behold, the turn card was the Jack of diamonds! I had turned the "nut" (highest) straight and no flushes or full houses were possible – yet. I checked and the original bettor bet the higher limit bet. There were two callers in the middle and then I check-raised it. The original bettor called and so did one other player. The river card was the 8 of clubs, making the final board:

Ad-10s-5h – Jd – 8c

I had the stone cold nuts! I bet right out and the original bettor was the lone caller. I turned up my nut straight and my opponent disgustedly showed his hand – Ace/10. He had flopped the top two pair – a huge hand for Limit Texas Hold'em.

Counting the pot, I had netted 20 times the cost of calling on the flop, yet was only around a 13-to-1 underdog at that point. "Nice pot!" said the big blind. He then added, "I had King/Queen with you, but I folded 'cause I didn't have any investment in the pot – you did".

That's the point of today's article. When playing poker, it doesn't matter how much money you have in the pot. What matters is how much money is in the pot, regardless of who put it there. Your pot odds are your pot odds, either way.

I mean, if making your hand will pay you 20 times the cost of calling, you're getting 20-to-1 odds on this next call whether you already had some of your own money in there or not. What you've already put in there up to now is "gone money". Don't think in terms of "How much have I got in there?" That's illogical math.

Let me try to make this point as clearly as possible. Suppose you're playing 5 Card Draw, Jacks or better with no ante and are dealt:

2-3-7-8-J

Somebody opens for a dollar and everybody else folds. You've got a terrible hand and with no ante, have absolutely nothing invested. So you should positively give up your hand. Simple enough, right?

But wait. Just before you fold, some drunken zillionaire walks past the table and tosses a $1000 chip into the pot, wishing everybody good luck.

Immediately, the opener flashes his hand to you – three Aces, and says, "I've got a huge hand here, you can't win". Well, your only possible shot would be a two-card draw to a Jack high straight. That's a 58-to-1 shot. Now before, you were getting very little in the way of pot odds and had no investment in the pot. Now, you're getting over 1000-to-1, but still have no investment in the pot. So should you call that $1 bet and draw to your huge longshot – or fold because you don't have any money in there? You bet your sweet bippee you'd better draw.

Remember that concept when you play poker. And don't go chasing when you're not getting good enough odds just because you already have money invested.

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey

Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is a high-stakes, expert poker player. On a daily basis he faces--and beats--some of the best players in the country in fierce poker room competition. Now for the first time, Renzey offers his perceptive insights on how to play winning poker. For Fred's 13-page blackjack booklet "Ace/10 Front Count", send $9 to Fred Renzey, P.O. Box 598, Elk Grove Village, IL, 60009

Books by Fred Renzey:

Blackjack Bluebook II

> More Books By Fred Renzey