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Calling small pocket pairs (poker)

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Postby so0perspam » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:39 pm

Zito is God wrote:So0p, it's quite obvious I did not mean that the situation has to be played that way at all times (although I don't think I have ever seen anyone fold AK before the flop). The point I was merely trying to make is that you claimed that you never wanted to risk your stack on a coin flip hand, when in actuality there are a couple of scenarios you do want to go all in in on coin flips: If you are short stacked you put all your money on 2 face cards vs. low pairs (coin flip), and If you are facing an all in bet from a short stack and you have 2 face cards or pocket pairs (coin flip). I agree that if you have 2 pair and the board is showing 4 suited cards you can't go all in on it, I agree that if you have a set of 10s and the table shows:
3 9 3 7 7 you absolutely cannot go all in on that, but the mere fact that you stated there is no situation you want to put all your money in on a coin flip is wrong. It has certain circumstances where it is done, even by pros.



You're quoting the wrong things man.
1) I said "you don't want to put your chips at risk on a coinflip".
2) You said "you always have to go in on a coin flip".

Again, AK is a very unique hand. You have to consider 4 things when facing an all-in with it.

First, does my opponent have aces or kings? If your opponent is that tight and you think it's a fairly good chance of it, heck yeah fold that AK all-day long. There are situations (especially when you're playing a live game) when you get a good read on an opponent who bets like a bright red neon sign. All you have to do is check and see if the sign is on or off. If the sign is on, fold it.

Second, does he have an underpair? If you think he has an underpair you have to consider this, which is something MOST new players can't get a grip on. Most new players would say it flat out, "if he has has an underpair and I have AK, I call him all day long". That's a mistake UNLESS you can afford the loss without it damaging you're bankroll in any significant way. If losing that hand means losing 15% of your bankroll, I would lean towards folding the hand. Why risk such a large amount on a hand that is essentially a coin-flip? Would you coin flip with a guy for $100, only one time? What would be the point of it except just for purposes of gambling? On the other hand, if it's a small enough amount that doesn't damage your bankroll too much AND there is enough money in the pot, sure play it.

Third, do you have him dominated? If you think this guy is a clown, going all-in with AJ, or KQ you got him by the you know what's. Call this donkey and send him home.

Fourth, this is VERY important. How much money is in the pot, AND is anyone behind you going to call also? If the pot was raised and called before your all-in opponent shoved, then you consider. Lots of money in the pot, okay that's good. But also, are either the original raiser, or caller going to call this as well? Many times, especially in lower limit ring games such as $1/2 NL or $2/4 NL what happens is that a pot gets so juicy that even the guy with pocket 10's will call after you. He's sitting there looking at a HUGE pot, and the gamblers at the lower levels can't hardly contain themselves. So, if you've got a serious gambler behind you, and you're faced with making a decision for a large portion of your stack, it may be best to just stay out of it and muck that great, but unmade hand of yours. Also, when you fold it, remind yourself that you didn't have anything invested in the pot to begin with, so who cares?


In tournament play especially, playing coinflips is a sure way to go broke fast. Going back to the EV (expected value) concept, consider this situation. You are offered $120-$100 odds today on a coin flip today, but have a $320-$100 bet waiting tomorrow. If you lose today, you won't have enough money to make the bet tomorrow.

Analytically, if you took the bet today, your EV would be:
(.25 x 440) + (.25 x 20) - (.5 x 100) = +$65

If you wait and took the bet tomorrow, your EV would be:
(.5 x 320) - (.5 x 100) = +$110


You can definitely apply this concept to tournament poker, where the key is to pass on the close coinflips and wait for a situation where you have a greater chance of winning.
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Postby Madison » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:29 pm

Zito is God wrote:(although I don't think I have ever seen anyone fold AK before the flop).


I have on more than one occasion. Sometimes you just know you're beat (or in huge trouble).

The one and only time I laid down K/K was the correct play too. $2/$5 NL cash game. There's a raise from $5 to $20 by a very, very tight and very good player (name's JP). It folds around to me, and I look down and see two red Kings. I've got about $1,200 in front of me and he's sitting around $1,500 in front of him. I reraise to $100 and it folds around to him, so we're heads up at this point. JP thinks for a minute, doublechecks his cards, and then goes all in. Now at this point I'm kicking myself figuring he's got A/A. However, he's only 220-1 to have it, so could he really have A/A? The whole table is watching this thing and you could hear a pin drop in a room that had 80+ people in it. Normally I wouldn't even really question calling the bet, but this guy is so amazingly tight of a player that warning bells were going off. The dealer (Matt) and I know each other, and I apologized to the table for taking so much time thinking about it. I even doublechecked my cards, and made sure to do it in a way that the dealer could see them since I was sitting on his right (I didn't need to doublecheck, just wanted Matt to see the cards). He tried to hide what he was thinking, but it was obvious that he couldn't believe I hadn't called already. The warning bells were just too loud, so I looked over at JP and said something along the lines of there's a first time for everything, something feels really wrong here, out of respect for your game I'm going to fold this hand away, and flipped over my two kings. Eyes were popping out everywhere and JP says something along the lines of, I never ever show my cards to anyone unless they pay for it, but that's such an amazing laydown I want you to know it was the correct play and know I'm not lying to you, so here's my two aces and he flipped them over to show me.

The whole building went pretty nuts and boy did I feel good about being able to make that read and play. My one and only time I've ever laid down pocket kings preflop, I was totally dominated, and was able to sniff it out. Big sigh of relief and took a 15 minute break from the table after that. People talked to me for months about that laydown, and I noticed after that play, I was able to bluff pots a whole lot more, so it payed off in more ways than one. :-D
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Postby The Miner Part 2 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:08 pm

Madison wrote:
Zito is God wrote:(although I don't think I have ever seen anyone fold AK before the flop).


I have on more than one occasion. Sometimes you just know you're beat (or in huge trouble).

The one and only time I laid down K/K was the correct play too. $2/$5 NL cash game. There's a raise from $5 to $20 by a very, very tight and very good player (name's JP). It folds around to me, and I look down and see two red Kings. I've got about $1,200 in front of me and he's sitting around $1,500 in front of him. I reraise to $100 and it folds around to him, so we're heads up at this point. JP thinks for a minute, doublechecks his cards, and then goes all in. Now at this point I'm kicking myself figuring he's got A/A. However, he's only 220-1 to have it, so could he really have A/A? The whole table is watching this thing and you could hear a pin drop in a room that had 80+ people in it. Normally I wouldn't even really question calling the bet, but this guy is so amazingly tight of a player that warning bells were going off. The dealer (Matt) and I know each other, and I apologized to the table for taking so much time thinking about it. I even doublechecked my cards, and made sure to do it in a way that the dealer could see them since I was sitting on his right (I didn't need to doublecheck, just wanted Matt to see the cards). He tried to hide what he was thinking, but it was obvious that he couldn't believe I hadn't called already. The warning bells were just too loud, so I looked over at JP and said something along the lines of there's a first time for everything, something feels really wrong here, out of respect for your game I'm going to fold this hand away, and flipped over my two kings. Eyes were popping out everywhere and JP says something along the lines of, I never ever show my cards to anyone unless they pay for it, but that's such an amazing laydown I want you to know it was the correct play and know I'm not lying to you, so here's my two aces and he flipped them over to show me.

The whole building went pretty nuts and boy did I feel good about being able to make that read and play. My one and only time I've ever laid down pocket kings preflop, I was totally dominated, and was able to sniff it out. Big sigh of relief and took a 15 minute break from the table after that. People talked to me for months about that laydown, and I noticed after that play, I was able to bluff pots a whole lot more, so it payed off in more ways than one. :-D


wow nice post. ;-D

i was actually getting that sick to your stomach feeling when you know youre dominated but call it anyways. awsome lay down.
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Postby pokerplaya » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:20 pm

Nice story, Mad.

Unfortunately for me, I can't say I've made the same laydowns. I've made similar reads, but didn't have the discipline to get away.

Early in a live tournament, guy is shortstacked, he moves all in. I had a gut feeling that he had KK...but he was on the fairly short stack, and was a LAG player to boot. He could have had a ton of different hands. He went all in, I was last to act in the BB, I said out loud....I think you have KK, but I call.

I flip QQ, he flips KK. Whoops.
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Postby The Miner Part 2 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:26 pm

pokerplaya wrote:Nice story, Mad.

Unfortunately for me, I can't say I've made the same laydowns. I've made similar reads, but didn't have the discipline to get away.

Early in a live tournament, guy is shortstacked, he moves all in. I had a gut feeling that he had KK...but he was on the fairly short stack, and was a LAG player to boot. He could have had a ton of different hands. He went all in, I was last to act in the BB, I said out loud....I think you have KK, but I call.

I flip QQ, he flips KK. Whoops.


what was his stack compared to the table? i mean if he's short stacked there's nothing wrong with that call.
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Postby pokerplaya » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:38 pm

The Miner Part 2 wrote:
pokerplaya wrote:Nice story, Mad.

Unfortunately for me, I can't say I've made the same laydowns. I've made similar reads, but didn't have the discipline to get away.

Early in a live tournament, guy is shortstacked, he moves all in. I had a gut feeling that he had KK...but he was on the fairly short stack, and was a LAG player to boot. He could have had a ton of different hands. He went all in, I was last to act in the BB, I said out loud....I think you have KK, but I call.

I flip QQ, he flips KK. Whoops.


what was his stack compared to the table? i mean if he's short stacked there's nothing wrong with that call.


I don't think there was anything wrong regardless. However...it was early...he was probably about half my stack, and I was an average stack at the table, but the blinds were still fairly low, so there was lots of time to maneuver.
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