What to Do With the Dreaded Pocket Kings

Sometimes I get emails instead of blog comments.  Reader Ed, who has sometimes left comments on the blog, recently emailed me about a couple of hands from a session he had recently played in.  It was a 1/3 game, I believe in his local casino (not Vegas).  You'll see why he thought of me when you get to the punch line.

Going to go over situation I had recently in cash game..  I was playing cash game, flopped trip 10's on a Q-10-3 board.  Ist player raises to $50  2nd player calls $50  I call $50.  Turn  2.  No flush or straight.  Ist player makes it #100. 2nd player folds. I call $100.  River  8.  Ist player all in and covers my last $180.  I tank and say if he has trip Q's so be it.  I call  He turns over Pocket AA.  I win and have  $520.     

Three hands later here comes pocket KK's.   Ist  player makes it $60 to go and I smooth call $60.  Player to my left ( who is a dealer and a maniac) goes all in for last $95.  This is where it gets interesting.  This reopens the betting and 1st player goes all in for $550 and has me covered.  I say to myself do I want to dump all the money I just made?  The answer was no.  I open folded KK's  and the table went nuts.  Of course he had AA and the board blanked all the way.  AA was good and I saved all my profits.  This was the first time I have ever done this but sometimes you get a feel.

Thanks, Ed.  That is certainly one way to play the dreaded pocket Kings. Great read, Ed. Congrats on the nice session.  Usually, I'm not good enough to fold pocket Kings, although you would have thought I would have learned by now.  But there actually was a time when I did fold the dreaded hand pre-flop.  That post can be found here.  I too had a good read, based on a conversation I had with the person who had the bullets.

I liked Ed's story and appreciated him bringing it to my attention.  But something about the telling of the story bothered me.  No, it wasn't the fact that he folded KK preflop.  I should do that every time.  It was his saying that the raise from $60 to $95 (an all-in) reopened the betting.  That didn't seem right to me.    I was sure that in a no limit game, the all-in must be at least as big as the previous raise in order to allow a re-raise.  Sure it was more than half of the original bet, but I thought the "1/2 rule" only applied to limit games, not no limit.

I went on Twitter to reach out to my my followers, many of whom are poker dealer (or near full time grinders).  Most of the responses agreed that if the case I described, the player with the pocket Aces would not have been allowed to re-raise. He could only call the $95.  But a few players said they know places where it would be allowed, that is the rule in their room or some room they play.  Others insisted that they have seen dealers and floor people make that mistake in this situation, and it is just that, a mistake.  In other words, if you ever saw a player allowed to re-raise an all-in that was less than the full amount of the raise (even if it's only $1 less), it was a mistake, not a house rule.  The TDA rules are quite clear on this.  Of course, not all rooms use TDA rules, and even if they do, they might not follow them in a cash game.

I wrote back to Ed to point that out to him.  He came back to me and said that he very well may have gotten the details wrong in the first email.  It might have been that the raise was not to $95 but to $120 or so, making a legitimate raise.  Ok then.  So it may have been a moot point.

But I still feel it was worth talking about, because of the reaction I got on Twitter when I posed the question.  Apparently there is some real confusion out there about this rule, even among poker dealers and poker floor people.  So if it's important to your action, you should probably ask for a clarification  first before you act.

And remember to fold those damn Kings when your opponent has Aces.

Share on :
What to Do With the Dreaded Pocket Kings
What to Do With the Dreaded Pocket Kings
Reviewed by just4u
Published :
Rating : 4.5