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Raise or Fold.

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Me and Jezza were in some STT's tonight and both made the money everytime we played. Anyway - remember me saying I had a hand as first caller and wanting to ask you a question Jez? This is what it was. I had A8 - 4 players left and I am first to act. My feeling here is that you fold or raise big style. My theory is this. a) If you flat call and a A comes out you are in a hard spot to get out of the hand and might lose to a better kicker. b) Flat calling gives free cards to so many possibilities about what the BB (and maybe the SB) holds that the next move is hard to read. In my opinion you raise big in early position or fold in the last 4 of a tourney with this hand. Flat calling might be a mugs play? Opinions please.

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Re: Raise or Fold. Yeah I remember this hand...but unfortunately I cannot remember the blind levels! (although it was towards the end) Anyway A8 is pretty marginal in a 6 player game, but the fact we were down to 4 does increase its value quite a lot. Unfortunately your position here was bad as you had not seen what the other players were going to do. Basically I would have based my decision on the stack sizes around me and the blind level. If the blinds were tiny I would have folded and if they were absolutely gigantic I would have raised all in. However if they were at the place I think they were (kind of middlish - 160 big blind for 2500 avg stack?) then I would have had to look at the stack sizes. If you had been clear chipleader then without question I would raise all in as the A8 DOES figure to probably be the best hand at that point (this is pretty marginal first man to speak tho) and you can exercise a bit of muscle and bully the table a little. If I had been very short stacked then I would certainly have gone with it as well. If however I had been a large stack and the only other large stack was on the big blind...I might have folded like you did..Theres no point in risking a good position when you are only going to get a call out of the big blind when you are beaten, like I said if the blinds had been huge I would prob have gone for it but if they are middling then its ok to fold here. If the short stacks had been on the blinds and I had a decent stack I would have prob raised to put the pressure on them, if the other big stack was to my left tho you can only raise enough to put the blinds in as the other guy is ONLY going to come over the top of you if you are beaten and you will have to fold - you want to try and isolate the short stacks and take them on. If the game was as it was (if my memory serves me correctly) with us all about equal in chips then I would have prob ditched it UTG. On the button I would have raised the blinds in but where you are were you just have that extra chance of running into a better hand when you have a very marginal one and folding was probably the best move - its a very close call tho! Jez

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Re: Raise or Fold. Actually GETT1N I can be a bit guilty of being over aggressive with marginal hands in early position sometimes. I think JQs is a classic marginal hand UTG in a 10 man ring game and I went all in with that utg in the freeroll now I think about it :o :o (a bad move prob now I think back) Jez

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