The Great Laydown

Knowing When to Fold Your Poker Hand

We’ve all been there. You know you’re beat but you still carry on anyhow! Like the robber or the joy-rider trying to evade the police, it’s nothing but a lose/lose situation.

The truth can hurt. Honesty is always the best policy and whether you are lying to yourself or to someone else it will only get you further into a pickle that you simply can not win.

Don’t try and kid yourself that you have the best hand, or convince yourself that your opponent is bluffing. If you know you are beat, then grcefully lay it down and fold your hand.

A very good example of this was when BazzyG and Duff hit Gutshot for some cash game action. We were playing £25-£50 pot limit and had gone with a sole mission “to punt”.

We had been playing happily for a few hours when The Great Laydown happened. This guy, Dave, had clearly been playing very well indeed for about the last 20 hours. Yes, this was a monster 24 hour no limit table. Dave had started on Saturday with £30 and now had over £500! He was fairly loose-aggressive, seeing lots of flops and doing lots of good, strong continuation bets.

BazzyG looks down to find the big slick AK and decides to raise by the size of the pot. Dave then re-raises the size of the pot again. A few others fold and then another guy Michael re-re-raises the full pot once more.

Seeing that Michael had been playing pretty tight, BazzyG correctly opts to fold as he’s clearly in a coin flip situation against at least one pocket pair. AK is only a drawing hand and it’s strength drops with more players in the pot. The big slick is not nicknamed Anna Kournikova for nothing because it too “looks good, but doesn’t play that well”.

Dave thinks about it for only a few seconds before folding and turning over pocket queens. Everyone at the table seemed mesmerised by the fact that this guy had just laid down QQ pre-flop. However, if you look at it there are only really two possible hands that Michael could have to re-re-raise. He would have to have either pocket kings or pocket aces. Even if Michael had AK suited, Dave would have to dodge Micheal’s overcards to his queens on the flop, turn and river.

Michael after seeing this great lay-down did indeed turn over AA and congratulate Dave on a great fold.

So was it amazing or was it obvious? Michael could easily have been playing the squeeze effect. Dave was clearly well aware of this play as he mentioned after that “[Michael] either had to have Aces or six two offsuit!” (the six two offsuit is a reference to an amazing squeeze effect play that Dan Harrington pulled off on the final table of the 2005 World Series of Poker.

So be honest with yourself – if you’re beaten, lay it down!

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