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The Dry Side Pot

The Dry Side Pot

This picture has nothing to do with the post. I just thought it was somewhat funny. Moving on, I played a home game last night and a situation arose that was cause for some debate. I thought I would lay it out here and see what folks think. This is nothing new or groundbreaking and, in fact, comes up quite often in the ring of poker conversation. Still, it stuck in my mind so I wanted to offer it up.

The Dry Side Pot:
As set up, 2nd place gets their money back and 1st place wins the remainder of the prize pool. There are three players in this particular hand and blinds are 200/400. Player A has a big stack, player B has a small stack, and player C has only 700 chips left. Player B raises to 800 and the guy with 700 goes all in. The big stack calls, thus there is a main pot of 2100 and a side pot of 200. The flop is pretty ragged - something like 7 2 4 rainbow - and player B pushes all in for his final 1100. Player A (big stack) is a little perturbed that Player B went all-in with the side pot only being 200. Player A eventually folds and player B flips over AK suited and player C flips over A6 suited. No improvement for either and player B scoops the whole pot eliminating player C. Player A would not have won the pot had it been checked down.

Player A, though not mad, still felt that player B should have checked it down and tried to eliminate player C. I understood where he was coming from as I fully understand the whole dry side pot ordeal, however, I don't hate player B's play because he was a short stack with a decent hand and he needed the chips in the pot.

If player B checks it down and player A scoops the whole pot, thus eliminating player C, then player B is down to 1100 in chips versus a huge chip leader, but takes 2nd place money. If player B checks it down and player C scoops the whole pot, then player B is now the small stack, player C is still a small stack, and player A remains a big stack.

As it ended up, and as I mentioned above, player B took the pot and went on a run to get back to even against player A. Player A eventually sucked out on the river in a later hand to win the whole thing. Still, looking back, I don't hate player B's play in the dry side pot hand. In that moment, I'm not quite sure what I would have done, but I have a feeling I would have probably checked it down.

I will say, if player A and B had similar stacks and they had a chance to knock out player C, then checking it down is probably a good move. If that were the case, I don't think I would have agreed with or liked player B's all-in had he done so (which I don't think he would have). Player A and I are the ones who study poker and were really the only ones that would even bring up the dry side pot theory, but it made for a good discussion in the moment.

We played two games and I was knocked out early in the first game when low on chips with a flush draw and middle pair with one card to go. Player A had QQ in the hole and took me out when I didn't improve. On the second I got it all-in with QQ against TT and he hit his T on the turn. That was it for me. Good times, good beers, bad luck.

With that, I must end this post. Busy day for me, which sucks for a Friday. Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you have any thoughts about the scenario above.

posted by TripJax @ 11:03 AM,


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