I just pulled quite the muppet move while clearing the last of the monthly Will Hill bonus and thought I'd share the muppetry. Too often I get involved in illustrative hands but then manage to complete forget about it and never getting around to posting.
I've posted before about the value of calling one last bet on the river if it's a big pot, even if you're 90% sure you're beaten. It took me awhile to fully absorb and implement that, as it feels pretty donkified to throw away money when your finely honed poker instincts tell you that you're beaten, but it really is a valuable lesson to learn.
I'm playing at a loose passive 10max £1/£2 table with almost no raising pre-flop. I limp in with 55 from UTG (I know, I know), it's raised by MP, and five of us see the flop of 234, rainbow. Which isn't the worst flop for me but I obviously need some help. Check to MP, who bets, and everyone else calls. Turn is a 7. I check, MP bets, everyone calls. River is a 10. I check, fully intending to make a crying call if/when MP bets, on the slim chance he just had overcards, probably suited ones of some sort. SB calls, BB calls, and I say "Bah, screw it" and muck.
There were about 15 BB in the pot when I mucked. It was 1 BB to call. The truly horrible part of that fold is that I'd already decided to call one bet. The fact that two people also called doesn't change that equation one bit. It was still one bet to call.
Granted, it's pretty rare that in this case, indeed, my pair of 5s would have held up (MP had AKs, BB had AJ, and SB won the hand with Q3o), especially given the way the betting played out. But that's exactly what happened.
Moral of the story?
1) Don't fold to one last bet on the river if you have any remote chance at all of winning. Don't get distracted by trivial factors. If you decide to call one bet, call one bet.