By Daneil Yee
The other day, I was playing at a six-max, .50-1 GBP (Great British Pound) No-limit table on Full Tilt Poker Referral Codes and an interesting hand came up that illustrates the power of using pot odds to make the right call on whether to continue with a draw, especially after someone with a monster hand makes a fatal mistake.
I had limped in early position with 66, the player with the monster hand made it 3 British Pounds in late, three other players (including the small blind and the big blind called). The pot was 15 Pounds.
The flop was 689, all rainbow, giving me a set. The big blind bet 10 Pounds and I raised it nearly pot to 24 Pounds, not wanting to give someone with a straight draw a cheap chance of drawing.
Here’s where Mr. Monster made his mistake: He pushes all in for a total of 84 pounds, a raise of 60 to me that would put me nearly all-in. The big blind calls, and now I am faced with a wonderful opportunity.
Mr. Monster put extra money in the pot for me to make a better call with. Let’s say Mr. Monster had folded, not liking a bet and a raise so soon after the flop. That means that the big blind could either call my hand, allowing me to continue to draw, or he could raise, giving me poor odds to call.
But Mr. Monster pushed all his chips in the pot, forcing me to estimate my pot odds. Before the flop, the pot was 15 pounds. The big blind’s bet of 10 and my raise of 24 made the pot 49 pounds. Mr. Monster’s raise of 64 to 84 (all-in) made the pot 113 pounds. The big blind called 74 pounds more to make the pot 187 pounds when it came to me.
My decision: Do I call the extra 60 pounds for the 187 pounds in the pot? Looking into my pot odds, I would have to be right about 32 percent of the time. I had 5 pounds left and it would be nearly guaranteed that the big blind would call my measly 5 pound raise. So do I make a 65 pound bet for 197 pounds? That bet requires me to be right about 32.9 percent of the time.
Right now, my set could be the best hand. But I thought maybe the BB had 7T, giving him a straight. That would give me 7 outs (the last six for a quad, and a pair up from three remaining cards each from the 8 or 9) from the flop out of the 47 cards remaining in the deck (you have two of the deck’s 52 cards and the flop has three of them).
Plus the turn card could give me another three outs for 10 outs total out of 46 (the turn card is one less card remaining in the deck, or 46) if I didn’t hit my boat.
Doing the calculation, 7/47 – 10/46 would be 14.9 percent plus 21.7 percent, or a 36.6 percent chance to make my boat on the river.
That means that yes, I should call! With the pot odds, I only have to be right about a third of the time to be profitable, but it looks like I have a 36.6 percent chance to win the hand! Mr. Monster is giving me a cheap draw!
So I called.
When the cards went face up, I had 66, the big blind had 75o and Mr. Monster had AA.
Using an odds calculator, I see that I actually had a 33.55 percent chance to win the hand and each of us had a 2.33 percent chance to tie. I’m still better than my investment of 32.9 percent into the pot.
The big blind has a 62.02 percent chance to win, while poor Mr. Monster is doomed, only having a 2.1 percent chance to win.
The last two cards were rags and I lost the pot. But by looking at my pot odds and my chance to win, I made the right decision to call.