For the second time in the same session I was faced with a tough decision vs. 2015 Main Event Chip Leader Joe Mckeehen.
He had been playing an incredibly solid game and never made it easy for his opponents to win a pot.
Check out this crazy predicament I found myself in here!
At the risk of being labeled nitty, I decided to make a hero fold. A combination of instinct, history and hand reading led me to conclude my hand was no good, despite only needing to have the best hand 30% of the time.
Let’s examine a bit further each of the 3 decision-making factors.
1. Hand Reading:
For a mathematical break down see the chart below. I gave Mckeehen no bluffs (because in this specific spot I simply didn’t think he was bluffing), and a wide range of value betting hands.
Still, I didn’t have enough equity to justify calling. One must also keep in mind I was being liberal with the range I gave Joe (thus attempting to give credence to a call), and still couldn’t find enough equity to call.
Moreover his near pot sized bet on the turn, and his incredibly strong line of leading three times on an extremely dry board led me to give him credit for a premium made hand.
I had no reason to think that Mckeehen would pull a big, unexpected bluff on me here. He had been playing extremely solid at this point thus far, so much so that simply fact that he raised under the gun was enough to conclude he was strong.
Facing a big decision on the river it’s common logic to reason ‘this is one of the best hands I can have here, so I call’ but what’s far more practical is understanding how your opponent views you. Ask yourself: ‘is he’s likely to bluff me in this spot?’
I determined the answer was no, so I folded.
One gets a feel for the intention of their opponent when they are taking an action. I’m not always correct, but my intuition was that Mckeehen wanted me to call him, which led me to skew his range further toward strong value betting hands, and eliminate bluffs completely.
What would you have done in my spot? What factors do you consider when making a big decision?
Let me know in a comment below!
See you next week.
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