Hero Folding vs. Hero Calling

Since I just published an article at PokerNews about Hero Folding (among other things), I felt compelled to try it last night.

The first time, I raised pre-flop with ATo. A flop of AJT rainbow gave me two pair. Like!

But another player in one of the blinds led into me, betting without giving me a chance to make a continuation bet. For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Allen.” With position on him, I decide to call and see what happens.

The turn was a low card that didn’t really change anything. Allen bets again, twice the amount of his flop bet. There are three hands he can have that concern me: KQ for a flopped Broadway straight, JJ for a flopped set, and AJ for a flopped top two-pair. Allen wouldn’t re-raise pre-flop with KQ or AJ from out-of-position, and might not re-raise with JJ, so all of these hands (combined 25 combos, most of which are KQ) are very real possibilities. There’s one additional combo of TT and six combos of JT that he could also be betting for value but I crush. I call again.

The river is another low and inconsequential card. Allen bets again, twice the amount of his turn bet. This is now a fairly large bet of 30 big blinds. After I had raised pre-flop and called his flop and turn bets, doesn’t my hand look like AK or AQ? His river bet is barely 1/2 pot, so it sure looks like he’s trying to get paid off with a big hand. As nitty as I feel folding two pair here, I let it go.

Later, there is a modest pre-flop raise and two callers. I look down at JJ and start planning my 3-bet sizing when the player on my immediate right re-raises to just over 4x the original raise. For purposes of this blog, I’ll call him “Dave.” He catches my eyes staring at his stack size and slides a drink out of the way to make it easier to see. He has about 60-65 big blinds remaining, which I cover.


I decide to call and see what happens. There is one other caller.

The flop is T83, so my jacks are still an over pair to the board. Dave goes all-in… his stack is about 1.25x the pot so any smaller bet would be awkward and leave him pot-committed anyway.

Given my stare at his stack pre-flop, he’s a smart enough player to put me on a pretty good hand like AK, AQ, QQ, JJ, TT, 99 and similar. If he thinks QQ and JJ are part of that range, I have to conclude that Dave’s trying to get paid!

Against certain villains and in certain situations, I’ll get my chips in the middle in this spot faster than they will. But not tonight and not against Dave. I haven’t seen many good hands, and this feels like another hero fold as I let it go.

Awhile back, I wrote that Hero Calling is For Dummies. Now I’m trying to work Hero Folding into my poker vocabulary more often.

It wasn’t a very good night, results-wise. But it could have been downright awful.


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