Can Randy "Nanonoko" Lew Fold Pocket Kings Preflop?
This is a fun one. Well, fun for us, maybe, though perhaps not so much for Randy "nanonoko" Lew of Team PokerStars Pro Online.
The "Can you ever fold pocket kings preflop?" puzzle is one of those special-case situations that only rarely comes up in cash games or tournaments. You'll hear experienced pros talk about only having ever managed to let go of once or twice before the flop over the course of a long career — or perhaps never at all.
It's not that unusual, though, to be raising with pocket kings and face the challenge of someone reraising back at you. What factors would need to be in place for you to consider actually letting go of the second-best starting hand in hold'em?
Just last year PokerNews spoke with Darren Elias at the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure about a hand in which that happened to him in a hand versus Jeff Gross... and Elias found a fold.
Randy Lew was in a similar spot a couple of weeks ago, also at the Atlantis while playing in the 2017 PokerStars Championship Bahamas Main Event.
It was Day 1, and Lew had spun the 30,000-chip starting stack up to around 80,000 by the day's final level where the blinds were 400/800 with a 100 ante.
That's when Lew was dealt under the gun, and he opened the action with a raise to 1,800. A couple of players called, then a player three-bet big to 7,300.
The reraiser was an older gentleman who might've fit the profile of a tight player, although Lew had just seen him attempt a small bluff the hand before.
When the action got back to Lew he reraised to 16,300, and that knocked out the other players. But his opponent then reraised again, this time to 29,700, leaving himself around 21-22K behind.
"This is almost like so face up," Lew explained to PokerNews when recounting the hand. "Like 'I've got aces, I don't want to go all in, I just want to reraise you just a little bit'... right?"
So what did Lew do? What would you do?
Watch and listen to Lew's reasoning as he contemplated whether or not he could let his pocket kings go. And stick around to hear him talk further about the need sometimes to "go with your read despite the strength of your hand."