You Got To Know When To Fold'em...  

Posted by Alex Laforest

Yes, yes, you whiny, jaded, cynical imaginary know-it-all reader, this is gonna be about the very cliché "what to do with my Rockets????" kinda post... LOL! But, just trust me, I won't complain too much, I promise ;-).

Tuesday's after work session was going smooth, I was playing well, doing the savvy teeth-grinding, fist-pounding-the-table laydown of my big slick in front of a shorty's shove from the Button when I got on my first Small Blind (shhhuuuushhh, we'll talk about that very very interesting strategic question in another post) - I just hate paying off Shorties :P... And then, this happens, making me feel like some kind of newbie playing his 53rd hand :P...

Hand Played Like A Silly Boorish N00b #1

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (8 handed) Party Poker Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)

MP1 ($30.28)
MP2 ($6.69)
CO ($14.28)
Hero ($44.98)
SB ($25.66)
BB ($13.74)
UTG ($7.20)
UTG+1 ($4.98)

Preflop: Hero is Button with As, Ac.
5 folds, Hero raises to $1, SB raises to $3, 1 fold, Hero calls $2.

Flop: ($6.25) 9s, Kh, Kd (2 players)
SB bets $4, Hero calls $4.

Turn: ($14.25) 2s (2 players)
SB bets $8, Hero calls $8.

River: ($30.25) Js (2 players)
SB bets $10.66 and is all-in, Hero calls $10.66.

Final Pot: $40.91

Results below:
Hero has As Ac (two pair, aces and kings).
SB has Ks Ad (three of a kind, kings).
Outcome: SB wins $40.91.

Which is basically overplaying, passively (/puke) an overpair by feeling married to it, enough to be completely oblivious to every sign screaming out loud about how this marriage is due for a hasty divorce! In a nutshell, I think the proper play here is somewhere along the line of either simply folding the flop (which is waaaaayyy too tight, that's for sure, imho), or a raising probe to validate Villain is indeed holding a King. A min-raise would be perfect and could even benefit from a little fold equity from something else than a big slick, since min-raising represents strength... A call (or re-raise, ldo) from villain, means insta-shutdown. This is definitely the play I like the most as I am writing this.


Another example of being absolutely unconscious at the table (especially since this Villain had been ranting about how NL25ers suck big time compared to NL100 players :P).

Hand Played Like A Silly Boorish N00b #2

Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em, $0.25 BB (7 handed) Party Poker Converter Tool from (Format: HTML)

CO ($25)
Button ($31.61)
SB ($25.56)
Hero ($26.07)
UTG ($35.90)
MP1 ($44.74)
MP2 ($4.40)

Preflop: Hero is BB with 3d, 7s.
1 fold, MP1 calls $0.25, 3 folds, SB completes, Hero checks.

Flop: ($3.87) 3s, 7h, Kc (3 players)
SB bets $0.50, Hero raises to $1, MP1 calls $1, SB calls $0.50.

Turn: ($3.87) 6s (3 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $2, MP1 raises to $7, SB folds, Hero calls $5.

River: ($17.87) Qs (2 players)
Hero checks, MP1 bets $9, Hero calls $9.

Final Pot: $35.87

Results below:
Hero has 3d 7s (two pair, sevens and threes).
MP1 has 7d Kd (two pair, kings and sevens).
Outcome: MP1 wins $35.87.

I am having a little harder time figuring the play where I'm the most comfortable here, which is the main reason why I hate hitting with garbage hands out of position!!! But, my first reflex when reading the hand history is to fold to the turn raise from Villain. Just give him credit even though he open-limped preflop. Calling on the turn leaves only one option on the river when a Spades hit; bluffing with a big raise. Not sure this is the maximum EV play though... Still was a good floating spot, but as I said, I was inattentive, to say the least.


All in all, it feels like I am (re)re-learning those basic tights and ropes. Oh well, I'm managing to break even most of the time, with +1 BI grind so far, so it's not that bad... Just a leak needing patching ;-)... And on a pseudo-positive side note (even if this may jinx it :P), I took a slight lead in my WSOP prop bet, thanks to KidPoker's cashing in the No-Limit Holdem 1K w/Rebuys Event :). And the WSOP makes me wanna play lousy donkaments LOL!



Hand #1
My choice here would have been to raise the flop to around $12 and fold to a raise or a call followed by a turn bet. Basically your approach was not all bad though IF the stacks would have been deeper. What you took was the "small ball" approach here. Instead of investing $12 in a raise on the flop, you invested $4 on a flop call and $8 on the turn call. Total is the same investment (though you give up any fold equity you might have. Problem here is that after the turn, you get around 4 to 1 on his river shove and are commited to call. That's why I think the best course of action is a flop raise. Villain will let you if you're beat. A call with the idea of folding to a turn bet (after all, how many villains will bluff again on such a dangerous board at NL25?) is also a decent option I think. But in doubt, raise ;)

Hand #2

Think there are some errors in the pre-flop action there so my comments might be off. Anywya...

Raise more on the flop. Don't min-raise. Like ever. Nope not even on those occasions! I kinda hate bottom 2 pairs. With these types of hand my instinct would be to try and win the pot right there. SB could easily be on a weak K or even a hand like 87s. Anyway, any hand he has that gives him a pair can easily counterfeit your pair of treys if the board pairs or if he pairs his 2nd hold card. If my calculations are right, after his bet the pot is $1.25, I'd raise it to around $1.50 here. If I encounter resistance I am seriously thinking about throwing my 2 pairs away.

I think you should have folded to the turn raise. Easier said than done, but there are too many things that can beat you here I think. Or maybe I'm just a nit...

Actually thinking about hand #1 again. I think I might have 4 bet pre-flop. Not sure if it would have changed anything, but it's never a bad thing to put more money in the middle while you're as ahead as AA is pre-flop.

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