Raise, then fold

by ~ December 22nd, 2007. Filed under: Fear of raising series, Goals and plans, Philosophy and approach.

Playing a $2 SnG last night. Had poor hands for a long time until the table was only 6 handed. Then the next 5 hands I raised 4 and took the blinds in all but one situation with above average pockets.

But later when there were 3 left, I was raising fairly often. I think I was slightly the big stack, raised from the button with A7o or something, BB shoves for 1/3 of my remaining stack. Now, he had been shoving fairly frequently, partly because he was bouncing around being short stacked and partly I think because of my raising frequency he shoved into my blind a few times, one of which I had called earlier for 1/9 of my stack with Q8s, losing to his K6o which hit a 6. This second time I’m getting 2-1 pot odds but I figured I’m probably slightly ahead of his range but his stack size at this time is too big to risk calling, so I fold.

The only reason that I mention this is because the SB commented something like “raise then fold nice lol”. Obviously he doesn’t know too much about poker, but the reason for wanting to write about it is that this sentiment is not unfamiliar to me and so I think there is something worth exploring.

When you raise preflop, you’re standing up and proclaiming, “I have a hand”, as well as challenging “if you want to play against me, it’s going to cost you to see the flop; do you want to risk it?” If someone reraises and you fold, it’s like saying “Okay, my hand wasn’t that good” But there’s also a degree of being called out and backing down, as if I said “I’m going to make it costly to see the flop”, followed by “Okay, you win”, with the image of tucking your tail between your legs and running back to your corner.

I think it’s that kind of image that makes it hard, especially for guys, to back down to plays against the pressure that you initiate.

I tried to search the internet for more descriptions and uses of this image to better define it means for people, but it seems most people assume that we already know what this means and just use the image to fit their needs. Each use seems to be very similar in situation; some one is proven wrong or suffers a defeat, especially after representing themselves as correct or superior. Pretty much fits the situation.

So, perhaps the thing to do is to redefine or reinterpret the situation so that this image does not attach itself to folding to a reraise.

Maybe it begins with reinterpreting how you view your statement when you raise preflop or also later. Maybe instead of a challenge, view it as a inquiry, like, “I’m raising the stakes, what do you think about your hand?”, or something like that.

ps, I ended up winning, with the BB finishing second and the SB/commenter finishing 3rd.

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