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A little while back I went up to a local card room for a tournament. I got there plenty early and had some time to kill so I decided to play some limit hold ‘em to pass the time. A little side-note to that, Minnesota doesn’t allow no limit, thus the game that I chose to play.
I had a very similar situation happen to me twice. Big pocket pairs on the button. In no limit poker, this is a dream of course. But as it played out for me, at least on this day, it was a nightmare.
In lower level limit poker, it is not uncommon to see 5-6 players to the flop around here. Sometimes even more! So here I am with a big pocket pair on the button and at least 5 people already in the pot. Without even really thinking, I raise. Of course no one folded, so there we are with 6 people to the flop. Of course I lost both times. Once was on the flop to a guy that hit a set (I got away from that one on the turn), and the other was a river job.
But I’m not here to talk about how these hands played out. I am here to ask a simple, yet perhaps quite complex question. In limit hold ‘em, would you rather have a big pocket pair on the button? Or under the gun?
The more and more that I think about it, the more and more that I think under the gun. You’ve seen my scenario about having 5-6 people in the pot already when action reaches me on the button, and of course no one is going to fold to one more bet with those pot odds. Right?
So let’s reverse that. I look down on pocket K’s UTG. I raise. No one else, except the blinds of course, are in the pot yet. No one else has acted yet. So anyone that chooses to call now has to call 2 bets, with the possibility of a re-raise behind them, and then a 4-bet from the UTG raiser. They aren’t just calling 1 bet with great pot odds anymore. The likelihood of 5-6 people seeing a flop in this scenario is far less, in my opinion.
What do you think? On the button? Or under the gun?
Erik is the co-founder and co-owner of Showdown Poker Gear. He is also an amateur poker player and lover of the game.
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2012 at 9:16 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.