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Chip Sandwich
Phil Gordon
August 8, 2005

Let's say an early position opponent - preferably a loose opponent - raises and gets called by one or more players. Now there's a lot of money in the pot. More importantly, the players who simply called are unlikely to have a hand that would merit calling a big re-raise. If they had such a hand, they probably would have raised instead of flat calling in the first place. Now it gets to me.

I "sandwich" the callers with a big raise.

If my raise gets the initial raiser to fold, the meat of the chips will very often be coming my way.

I prefer to make this play from the blinds than from the button; if one of the blinds happens to wake up with a great hand, it really doesn't matter what the initial raiser was betting with - my goose is cooked.

I get maximum value from the sandwich raise when I am down to about 15 big blinds. For instance: I'm in the small blind. A loose player brings it in from early position for three times the big blind. Two players call. There are now 10.5 blinds in the pot. I look down and find 8-7 suited.

I raise all-in.

The initial raiser now has to make the tough decision as to whether to call a significant raise. Even if my timing is off and he has a big hand - let's say A-K - and decides to call the bet, I'm still in pretty good shape. My 8-7 suited will beat his A-K about 41% of the time. I've invested 15 big blinds and stand to win 37 big blinds. I'm getting exactly the right odds on my money here.

I won't make this play with a hand that can easily be dominated, like a small ace or king. I don't want to be 25% (or less) to win if I can help it.

And by making the play all-in, I completely negate my positional disadvantage, and make the most of my short stack. With all of my money in the pot, I can't be outplayed after the flop.

If it's chips you're hungry for, try the sandwich. You might just find that it hits the spot.

Phil Gordon


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