I was playing in a recent online tourney. It was a game of No Limit Holdem. I had caught the following hand while I was in the big blind. The blinds were 25/50. The following is how the hand played out. I have changed all but my name to protect the innocent.
Dealt to Steve_Treys [5c 4c] - had 1,945 in chips Opponent1: calls 50, had 880 in chips before the call Opponent2: folds Opponent3: folds Opponent4: folds Opponent5: folds Opponent6: folds Opponent7: folds Opponent8: folds Steve_Treys: checks *** FLOP *** [9d Qs 2s] Steve_Treys: bets 50 - having caught a piece of it for a possible straight. Opponent1: calls 50 *** TURN *** [9d Qs 2s] [3c] Steve_Treys: bets 50, Now has a back door open ended straight possible Opponent1: calls 50 *** RIVER *** [9d Qs 2s 3c] [As] Steve_Treys: bets 100, having hit the straight. Opponent1: calls 100 *** SHOW DOWN *** Steve_Treys: shows [5c 4c] (a straight, Ace to Five) Opponent1: mucks hand Steve_Treys collected 525 from pot *** SUMMARY *** Total pot 525 | Rake 0 Board [9d Qs 2s 3c As] Seat 1: Opponent2 folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 2: Opponent3 folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 3: Opponent4 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 4: Opponent5 (small blind) folded before Flop Seat 5: Steve_Treys (big blind) showed [5c 4c] and won (525) with a straight, Ace to Five Seat 6: Opponent1 mucked [Qh Kh] Seat 7: Opponent6 folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 8: Opponent7 folded before Flop (didn't bet) Seat 9: Opponent8 folded before Flop (didn't bet)
I lead off after the flop and was called on a drawing hand. I made a minium bet hoping to win the hand right there but also hoping to catch the cards I wanted at a small price. Any raise or re-raise and I would have folded my hand. Instead, I was making a play called a blocking bet. I did not know it was called that until a few days later, when I read about it in my twitter friends book, “Tournament Poker: 101 Winning Moves: Expert Plays for No-Limit Tournaments” . But that was what I was trying to do.
The idea is that if I make a bet, my opponent might fold or just call, giving me more chances to make my hand. And that is just what happened. The additional increased bet at the river was a value bet, that I hoped my opponent would call to increase my profits for that hand.
A blocking bet does not alwasys work and you have to be ready to decide what you are going to do if you are raised or re-raised.
Have you every made this play? Did it work out for you? How often should you do this?