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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

January 16, 2005

Beware the Limp, Re-Raise

by Luckbox

It was just back on January 8th where I read a post by BadBlood about his home game. He bemoaned the fact that he completely disregarded an obvious read.

I’ve spoken with DoubleR several times about playing pocket A’s in early position. Limp, re-raise. It’s fairly well documented in Brunson’s Super System and is a common play. I looked over across the table and KNEW DoubleR was holding them. With 100% certainty. So what did I do? I pushed.

Fast forward to yesterday... I'm playing in an Empire tourney with the top 7 entrants getting a spot in Sunday night's $50,000 guarantee. With about 40 players left, I'm the big stack in the tourney, relatively pleased with my play. That's about when Bad Blood stopped by to sweat me.

I tried a few plays that cost me some chips. One time, with pocket 7's, I called a good sized bet on a flop with two overcards. I thought he might be bluffing, hoping I'd fold. I planned on making a play on the turn. The turn was another overcard, and the guy led out even bigger. I folded. It cost me a chunk of my stack.

By the time we got down to about 20, I was sitting with the average stack, about 6000T. I wasn't nowhere close to panic mode and figured I'd wait for some good hands to make my moves.

I get dealth AQo on the button. Hardly a premium hand (as T.J. would tell you), but a strong hand with 7 at the table. There are two limpers in front of me so I raise my standard 3xBB (blinds were 150/300).

That's when the UTG who limped from early position decides to re-raise me another 1500 to 2400T. The first thing that flashes through my mind is Cowboys. It's a classic move. Limp from early position and make a big re-raise if it's raised behind you so you can isolate an opponent but still build a pot.

That left me three choices. Fold wasn't an option, right? I had position on the guy, I had 900T in a pot that was now 4150T. I would be calling another 1500T leaving me with about 3600T. Since my mind said Cowboys, calling to see if I caught an ace on the flop might have been the best choice.

Naturally, I clicked all-in.

I still don't know why I did it. Perhaps, in my mind, I was forcing him to make a decision and hoping he didn't have a hand. At worse, he was holding big slick and I was dominated. What hands would he possibly have? If it's rockets, cowboys, Hiltons or slick, I'm way behind. If it's J's or T's, it's a coin flip.

I had a healthy stack and decided to risk my tournament with AQo. Of course, he flipped K's and I never found help, going out in 21st.

Beware the early limp followed by the re-raise. It's a common move that normally represents strength. Take some time to think about how often your opponent has made that play before. If he always raises with premium hands but decided to limp this time, chance are, you're facing a monster.

| Poker Theory