Medium Pairs in the Middle

In poker there are many actions that are debatable.  And I would certainly throw the decision of what to do with a medium pair such as 9-9 in middle position in that equation.  Most would say that one should call with this hand as long as a tight player in early position hasn’t raised or anything.  But there is another school of thought that says to either raise or fold with such a hand.

I happen to agree with the first line of thinking in that this is a good hand to call with and see what action takes place behind me.  When I was playing a few days ago, I was in this very situation where I had a pair of nines and was pretty confident that a call would be the best decision to make.

The game was an online $5/$10 Hold’em cash game and one person called before me.  My line of thinking was that a pair of nines wasn’t going to win the hand so I should just try to see the flop as cheaply as possible.  Two players behind me called as well so no raises were made.  The four of us saw the flop come up 5c-3s-5h. 

The player in front of me folded while I checked.  One of the two players after me checked and the other one bet out.  When the action came back around to me I debated on whether to call this bet or not as, once again, I figured that two nines weren’t going to cut it and I only had a couple of outs to make my hand.  Plus, I figured that the player who bet had something like A-5 and had just hit a set.

In the end, I decided to fold and the other two people played the hand out till the end.  I was right in that the player who initially bet out after the flop was holding A-5.  And this made me question my initial decision of simply calling when I had 9-9 in middle position with no raises in front of me. 

It sort of makes me lean towards the thinking that a raise or fold is better with none out in from of me.  This way, I think I might have made the person with the A-5 fold and they never would have hit a set on the flop.   

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