You know how some players just love to check-raise?
There are a lot of players who are very trappy by their nature and just love pulling off the check-raise. I swear some players would prefer to win a pot of 100 with a check-raise than a pot of 110 by just betting.
There’s a passage in the limit holdem section of “Super System” where Jennifer Harman says you should just go ahead and lead out in certain spots rather than trying to get clever with the check-raise.
“So you got in a check-raise – whoopee!”
I’m with Jennifer on this one. I love it when such a player checks and simply gives a free card away when they check back to him, before getting outdrawn and badly overplaying the hand. It’s their just desserts for being too clever.
Well I just remembered a hand from 2008 where the guy check raised not once – not twice – but three times on the same hand! It’s the only time I’ve ever seen this done before and I was left scratching my head. I was Downtown at Binions and playing a game of $2-4 limit holdem. I knew most of the players at the table but these two players were tourists I’d never seen before and this hand came up.
There was a raise to $4 and I folded. Then there was another raise to $6 and everyone folded except the first raiser. The re-raise at low limit games usually spell real strength so there was a fairly rare situation of a heads up pot at a full table.
Anyway the flop was KJ5
The first player – a chubby young man with glasses checked……and his opponent bet.
Chubby young spectacled man raised! The opponent called.
The turn came something nondescript like a deuce for KJ52 with no flush draw
Then it was action replay. Chubby young spectacled man – he looked like a young Greg Raymer – checked, the other guy bet and young Greg Raymer raised! Again his opponent made the call, just like on the flop.
The river came a 6 for a final board of KJ526. There was no flush and a straight so unlikely you could discount it completely.
The Greg Raymer/Peter Griffin lad checked and his opponent (who still hadn’t quite cottoned on to what was happening) bet one last time and young Raymer/Griffin pulled off his third and final check raise. The opponent called and it was showdown.
They both had a nice hand. Greg Griffin/Raymer had the goods with a set of Kings and the lad who had called had a set of Jacks. Ideally the clever check-raising should have failed, but while I’ve usually got some sympathy for set-over-set situations, we can’t have too much sympathy for the lad after happily walking into all those check-raises when he could have just checked the river back and saved two bets. Or re-raised himself at any one of three points in the hand if he thought his hand was good. It wasn’t his finest hour.
Still the bespectacled Griffin/Raymer was delighted. Three “sneaky” check raises in succession!