If you have read some of my previous columns here you know that I usually say that lead outs, often called donk bets, into preflop raisers are usually a sign of weakness. In fact many times when a bad player leads out at the preflop raiser he is often semi bluffing with a draw or his range is “capped” at one pair. This is useful information to us because often times this causes the players’ hand to be face up and on the right type of boards we can move them off of their holdings.
However, if you see a player who you think is strong in your player pool lead into a multiway field that includes a preflop raiser chances are he is very strong. Good players usually know that the best way to win big pots is to build a pot and often times they will play their hand extremely straight forward to try and get the most amount of money in. Obviously this can also be done by check raising but a good, tight, player knows that if he check raises multiple people this really puts the heat on other players, especially the preflop raiser and might give them an excuse to fold. So sometimes the best way to maximize your value is to just bet your hand straight out—and many times other people will not believe the fact that you are very strong.
Let us take a look at an example that I saw go down from a game I played last week at the Commerce Casino’s $5-$10NL table. The game was relatively loose and good and there were several fishy players at the table. Two of these fishy players limped in from the first two positions and a relatively solid, tight reg raised to $50 from UTG+2. I then called on the button $3000 effective with J♦ A♦, a very good player in the BB called and both limpers called. The board ran out J♣ 5♣ 3♦. The big blind then led out for $200, the limpers folded and the preflop raiser called. The action came to me and I mucked my hand rather easily knowing that only the best of scenarios would have me ahead. Even if I had the best hand I realized that my opponents had a mountain of equity against me even if they had only big draws. The good player ended up betting nearly full pot on the turn and the river and won a monstrous hand with 55 against KK. Because the villain played his hand fast he won the most amount of money and I was able to release rather easily because I was paying attention.