A Common Mistake

This is the kind of hand that I see players playing badly in sit’n’gos a lot of the time. I have a pairs of sevens, it’s limped and then raised by a fairly tight guy (he/she is a decent reg) in early position – and then it comes to my action in the cutoff.
Now, at this stage of the tournament, I really don’t want to go to war with 77 – if I get all-in, I’m racing at best – but most players realise this as well.
However, for 100 chips here – just 1/15th of my stack – this looks like a set-mining opportunity, and this is what I see a lot of players do. But in my opinion, this is a mistake.
Here’s why.
The odds of hitting a set are roughly 1 in 8. And here you can possibly look at getting 15 to 1 for your money. But when calculating whether to setmine, I always want at least 15 or 16 to 1.
This is for two reasons.
1. Even if you hit the set, there is absolutely no guarantee you’ll get all of the other players chips – so your implied odds here are a lot lower than the 15 to 1 you think you might be getting. (Against a hand like AK or AQ, you might get a continuation bet and no more).
2. Sometimes, even when you hit the set, you are not going to win the hand.

However, here, in this hand I am getting the 15/1 that is my minimum set mining odds, so I could still call. But what is stopping me here is that I am not close to closing the action. If I flat call, and am raised by the button, or the blinds, or even the limper (putting in a tricky limp-raise) it’s an insta-fold, and I have just thrown away 100 chips.

Now you could argue that you are playing the hand in position here, and you might win the pot without hitting your set, and yeah, that is a consideration. But a decent reg re-raising a limper in this spot is showing great strength, and you’re only going to win the pot if he c-bets the flop (he is c-betting 100% of the time here), and folds the turn – but it will cost you a lot of chips to find out if he really has a big pair – and it’s an easy fold if he/she then bets the turn.