Something I’m usually not accused of at the poker table is timidity. In generally I play a very aggressive style and use every weapon at my disposal to beat my opponents into submission. (Hot, I know.)
But one area of my game where I think I need to retool a bit is in maximizing my earn from my big hands. Let’s analyze the following common situation:
Hand #31222653-35411 at Buffalo Grove ($5/$10 Hold’em)
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Started at 03/Jun/06 15:31:25
stime is at seat 1 with $343.
pnutjson is at seat 3 with $595.
hotcookie42 is at seat 4 with $549.
cebster is at seat 5 with $215.50.
GUYSGAME is at seat 7 with $501.50.
13outs is at seat 8 with $32.
The button is at seat 1.
pnutjson posts the small blind of $2.
hotcookie42 posts the big blind of $5.
stime: — —
pnutjson: — —
hotcookie42: Kc Ks
cebster: — —
GUYSGAME: — —
13outs: — —
cebster raises to $10. GUYSGAME folds. 13outs
calls. stime folds. pnutjson calls. hotcookie42
re-raises to $15. cebster calls. 13outs calls.
Flop (board: 6s 6d 5d):
pnutjson checks. hotcookie42 bets $5. cebster
raises to $10. 13outs folds. pnutjson folds.
Turn (board: 6s 6d 5d 5s):
hotcookie42 bets $10. cebster raises to $20.
River (board: 6s 6d 5d 5s Kh):
hotcookie42 bets $10. cebster calls.
hotcookie42 shows Kc Ks.
hotcookie42 has Kc Ks 6s 6d Kh: full house, kings full of sixes.
cebster mucks cards.
Hand #31222653-35411 Summary:
$3 is raked from a pot of $140.
hotcookie42 wins $137 with full house, kings full of sixes.
I often find that when I hold a big pair and the board comes all low cards or low cards with one pair, I get unreasonably paranoid about sets or trips. When I three-bet pre-flop and just get called, I don’t give these guys enough credit to be getting tricky with AA or KK (even more unlikely since I hold KK myself). I believe they are probably calling me with smaller pairs at best.
I bet out on the flop and get raised. Here is where my paranoia sets in and I just call. Why do I just call? I feel like reraising here is the right play. If he caps it, then I know I’m in trouble, but I feel like this is the first bet I miss on this hand.
On the turn, then,
why do I bet out? For some reason when the turn card came, I started feeling better about my KK. When obviously I should have a sick feeling in my stomach if I’m putting my opponent on a set or trips! Because now he’s either filled up or he has quads! Yet I bet out and get raised – again. Again I just call, missing bet number two and possibly bet number three. Grrr….
How strangely have I played this hand!?!
River time. A king comes off and finally convinces me I have a lock on this hand. I bet, he calls, and I get all the monies. But not as many monies as I should have. I should have known from the preflop action that I was facing an inferior holding. I let the flop scare me and I backed off when I should have been jamming the pot with bets. This hand is a perfect example of why I am not crushing limit hold ’em games.
Play good, everyone.