There I am, at the final table of an eight man tournament. I'm short stack with seven left to act behind me. The game? Texas Hold'em. I glance at the dealer, then shift my gaze to the left, then the right, then to the left again. The 12 eyes fixed on me let me know that it is my turn to act. The two eyes fixed on a watch tell me I'm taking too long. I look at my cards...ever so slowly.
An ace! Followed by another ace! S#@t!
I'm faced with a decision. Usually it's so easy to bet into these posers in early position--really push my short-stack around. That was before the aces...now I have an impossible choice: check or fold.
Can I really afford to check here? Risking no more is risking everything! Someone will raise my bet of zero and force another decision on me. God, I hate decisions.
Readers, avoid this catastrophe at all costs. Pocket pairs are so hard to improve, and starting with two cards the value of one makes it only harder. I used to think checking was an option, but it only delays the inevitable. Someone will take your money whether with a better hand, with a well-placed bluff, or with a tire iron (or stale baguette in my case) in a back alley on your way to your bicycle. Do yourself a favor and fold those rockets preflop.