A testing decision

Hand History: a good flop from the blind and a testing decision.

This hand was played at a PokerStars $200 NL holdem table. The blinds were $2/$4.

This hand took every bit of hand reading ability that I have. I’m in the BB with T4o. 4 players limp in, the SB completes and I check. We see the flop 6 way in an unraised pot.

The pot is $24 and the flop comes T43 rainbow. The SB checks. Sometimes I would lead out here, but with this many players I figured someone would bet so I check. MP checks, second MP bets $5, it is folded to me and I raise to $20. The first MP calls, and the guy who had bet $5 folds.

OK, this is strange. MP called a bet and a check raise, so maybe he has a set I thought?

The pot is now $69. The turn is a 6. I bet $30 and he immediately goes all in and has me covered. The bet is $172 to me with a pot of $271. Why is he betting $172 into a $100 pot? There’s no way he has a straight and is betting that much. A set? I don’t think so, he would bet less and try to milk me because he has to know I like my hand.

Most people would raise much smaller here with a set or straight. He had overbet some other pots and folded off the opponent so I didn’t see his cards, but because of this, his overbets were very suspicious to me. I really couldn’t put him on a hand here so I hated to call the all in, but the pot was huge and I felt like my 2 pair was pretty well disguised.

I have some guidelines I use when deciding whether or not to call an all in. One of those is that I will call an all in, when the strength of my hand is disguised to the opponent who is putting me all in. I think hes putting me on here AT and is greatly underestimating my hand.

Like I said, I really couldn’t put the opponent on a hand which is normally a recipe for disaster when you’re playing a monster pot, but I was leaning towards thinking he had an overpair, so I called.

He had AA and I won the pot.

Remember this rule when faced with a big all in bet and you’ll be happy you did.