Every now and then, poker professionals decide to give something back to the community and share their vast knowledge with fans and followers on social networks. Joe Hachem is pretty active on Facebook and recently he posted a three minute video aimed at explaining the perils of playing weak hands. This is supposed to be common knowledge and most poker players are fully aware of the risks, but seeing the outcome of such a play is a much more persuasive manner to make a point.
The hand given as example is one played in a tournament where the blinds stand that 50/100 and involves three players, with two of them going all the way to the river. Joe Hachem’s example is very instructional because it explains how a hand that would normally end pre-flop or on the flop the latest, can grow out of proportion due to a player’s inability to fold. The lesson to be learned is that what begins as an inexpensive call can get you pot committed and cause massive losses or even elimination from the event.
A player who is dealt pocket queens decides to raise four blinds from mid-position and gets smoothly called by two players, one with suited connectors and the other with J-4. Hachem explains the reasoning behind these two calls, with the first caller playing the speculating hand counting on his late position, which makes perfect sense. The second player who calls with J-4, a hand widely regarded as weak, does so for the simple reason that he already paid the big blind and doesn’t mind calling an additional 300 chips.
Things turn interesting on the flop when a Jack is dealt and the original raiser makes a continuation bet of 400 chips, prompting the one with suited connectors to fold. The other player who saw his weak hand improve to one pair calls the bet and does it again on the turn when the original raiser bets an additional 1000 chips. His odds of winning are by now ridiculously low as he depends on just two outs, but unfortunately for the player in the big blind, he is oblivious of what happens at the table.
On the river he sticks to his plan and checks, only to snap call the opponent’s raise of 1800 chips when the inconspicuous three of hearts is dealt. The player with Queens wins a pot of 7500 chips, while the rookie who kept calling with the weak hand loses 3500 chips, just because he couldn’t let go on the big blind. This is a cautionary tale that Joe Hachem cared to share and explain, so that players won’t commit the same costly mistake of playing weak hands.
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