Two-time WSOP winner Scott Fischman has joined the team and is here to answer your questions
Some poker players reckon you can talk a player into folding a hand. Do you think that’s true, and how would you do it?
SF: There are a lot of things people use at the table to gain an advantage. People use verbal jabs, but that can be dangerous, because you could be giving valuable information away about yourself. Talking an opponent into folding a hand requires multi-level thinking; you must be aware of how your opponent is going to react to what you’re saying and a lot of times the levels of thinking get so distorted, you’re better off saying nothing. But if you find this suits your personality and table image, it can be valuable.
Have you got any general tips that you can give me on playing Ace-junk? I get into trouble a lot of the time, but also end up folding a winning hand fairly often. Should I try and get in on the cheap, or just keep dumping the hand. On what sort of flop would it be worth pursuing?
SF: Most of the time, the only way I’ll play Ace-junk is if it’s suited. When I do play it, I’m not looking to flop one pair. If I flop Aces, most of the time I will check-fold. When I do play those kinds of hands, I’m looking to flop trips, flushes and straights. The key here is never to let a hand you folded that would have won affect you in a negative way.
I was in a hand at a local cardroom and showed a single card to an opponent post-flop when we were heads-up for the pot. I was given a warning by the manager, who said that if I was seen doing it again he’d instantly muck my hand. Thing is, I’ve seen the same move on TV, so is it a room-by-room rule?
SF: In a tournament, if you show a card during a hand, it affects everybody still in the tournament, even if you’re heads-up in a pot, because that person may make a decision they may not have made if you hadn’t shown. It directly affects the outcome of the tournament for other players and is not allowed. However, you can show your card during a hand in a cash game because it truly only affects the players in the hand.
As a general rule what size bet (as a percentage of the pot) should you make if you’re trying to bluff on the river after your opponent has checked? And is checking on the river a sign that you should have a stab at the pot?
SF: Most of the time, the size of your bet, whether on the river or not, and bluffing or not, has to do with more than just the size of the pot. Things to consider are your stack size, your opponent’s stack size, size of the pot and structure of the tournament. Checking on the river does not always mean you should bet. If you have a hand you feel can win, but isn’t that strong, you should check so that your opponent doesn’t have a chance to raise you and steal the pot from you. If you have nothing (pure bluff) or a hand you can call a raise with, then you should bet.
Your hands, replayed by Scott Fischman – can you play like a two-time WSOP winner?
$50 10-man sit-and-go, 5 players left Starting stack 1500, 100-200 blinds, Your chips 3200
A♠ – K♥
There are five players left in a 10-man sit-and-go when the player under the gun bets double the big blind to 400. You raise to 1000 with A-K off-suit. The player on the button folds, along with the small blind, but the big blind raises to 2000 and the initial bettor moves all-in for his remaining chips, making a total of 3000. The big blind has you covered so your only options are to…
FOLD? CALL? ALL-IN?
What would you do? Send us your answers (with a reason) and the best one wins a prize. Find out how Scott would play the hand next month.
Pick Scott’s gigantic poker brain by emailing him your problems, big or small. We’re also looking for specific hands to feature in ‘Your call’. Give us as much info as possible, including type of game, chip stacks, position and betting, and you might get it immortalised in print and find out what a pro would have done.