Decisions, decisions

Let’s say that you are playing a game of poker, say, Hold ’em for instance. Is it ever right to make a call when you know with absolute certainty that you are behind in the hand?

Say, purely hypothetically, that you have an A-Q suited. Say, equally hypothetically, that it is raised to 3x the BB (which is 100 at this point), and there are a total of 5 callers (myself our hypothetical mark included). It is in a 180 player tournament, there are about 80 people left. Hypothetically, there are about 40 of the people with right around 2,000 in chips and you are one of them.

The flop comes up, say 3-A-7 rainbow. First guy checks, you bet 600 (which is a pretty weak bet since the pot is at 1,500, but that is about 1/3 of your stack), next guy calls, then it folds back around to the first guy, who goes all-in. He has an A-3, I know that with absolute certainty. I have been at the table with the guy for almost an hour, and have seen the A-x hands he plays. He will play an Ace with anything from j-k or anything from 2-5, I have not seen him play an ace with anything 6-10, and that is out of probably a dozen times I have seen him call with an ace. The other guy is new to the table, I have no idea what he might be holding, but I figure he must have the other ace or he wouldn’t have called 600. Do you make the call knowing that you are a huge underdog, but also knowing that if you do hit you more than triple your stack?

I called.

My read was spot on for the guy who pushed, A-3 suited. The other guy called it also, but with a pair of Jacks. What in the fuck was he thinking? I mean sure, I knowingly called when I was behind, but I had more than two outs for christ’s sake, not many more though. Only a Queen or a Seven wins it for me. Well, there was also the possibility of a runner runner flush, but I didn’t let that factor into my decision to call it. So, regardless of outcome, how bad was that call?

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