Friday, February 17, 2006


Now I am not a big fan of "Poker" content on this here blog. I would rather cry about a bad beat. I would rather not school the donkeys. However, since I have turned a new leaf over I need to do something different. Since I had such a good time at the WWDN last night. Since I got to play with one of my Favorite Bloggers April last night (where the hell did you learn that over-the-top move girl?). Since I am feeling charitable and my radio is broken along with my breaks, tire, and whatever fell off yesterday on the way to work. Since I am running white hot and think I am all that. I shall share some of my thoughts.

I was thinking about this on the ride to work. This is for some of you players who fall in love with TPTK. Listen up Kat this one is for you.

Learn how to fold before you learn when not to.

What do I mean by that? In A LOT of the games your going to be playing the opponents are simpletons. When they raise it means one thing: They have a hand. If you are UNABLE or UNWILLING to fold top pair weak kicker, or top pair with the nut-shizzle Ace kicker you will never win. Folding is a powerful move. Utilize it. Once you master this then you can go to phase two: Knowing when to not fold.

A great example of this was in last nights WWDN. I was playing against an opponent I highly respect: Wes (AKA BoobieLover). I have come to like stareing at Elisha Culpert a lot since Wes is usually in to the end in these WWDN events. We had a monster hand together last night. Here is how it rolled.

I believe we are on the final table and I look down to see AK. I raise my standard 3xBB in order to give nothing away and Wes calls. The flop is all low cards and I do my standard continuation bet. Wes comes over the top of me. Here is my thinking in the hand.

1. Wes does not play crappy cards. So either he has me way beat with AA/KK/QQ or he is semi-bluffing.
2. Wes has seen me continuation bet and fold to huge raises prior to this. Yes people, I like to fold. I think he would notice this and maybe try and squeeze out my tight/weak ass.

Instead of really thinking what I had I tried to think what Wes was trying to accomplish with the huge raise. I thought he was trying to push me out so I called. He flipped up AQ and I basically knocked him out of the game. My point here is that sometimes you need to read someone. You also need to be willing to do different things in the exact same situation. It keeps your opponents off there heels. Changing your game up constantly is important. If my read was totally off then Wes would have been writing about his exciting third place finish and I would be moaning about my loss. However I would have no regrets about my move either way.

Last few pieces of advice are really just a little showing off I guess. I busted out a player last night because I was paying attention. Sometimes showing your cards can get you great dividends. I have written in the past about how I pushed all in with a semi-bluff on a scary board and caused my opponent to fold. It is a dangerous move and should be used carefully. I did it again last night and it paid off great. I had KJ s00ted and the board gave me great redraw potential. On the turn a straight was on the board. I had a straight and a flush draw but only bottom pair. My opponent had been betting out so I knew he had me beat. So what do I do? I push. He folds. Why did I push? I think these scary boards can be a good play to push WHEN you have redraws, especially 16+ of them. Even if your opponent does not fold you have a shot at winning.

I flipped over my cards for this hand and typed "Wimp". I was setting the stage for a play that would happen twenty hands later. I wake up with position on the same opponent with AQs. I do my standard raise and he calls. The flop comes Qxx. I bet out. He calls. The turn is another rag and I push all in exactly the same way I did when I was bluffing. He calls me this time. I bust him. Sorry. So do not be afraid to bluff when you have monster redraws and the board has to be scary and play some mind games. They work.

The last noteworthy hand of the night was something I pulled on Scott the night before. It is the Ole’ bait-and-switch. I did not invent this but I like it. If you are playing with an aggressive, good, player, bet your draws early. Yup. Do it. I was in a hand where I had the nut flush draw with an Ace on the flop. So I bet out. This gives me two ways to win: The player folds, or I hit my flush on the turn. He cold calls me and my case diamond hits on the turn. I then pause for the required five seconds. Acting is important here. I lead out a VERY small bet like I think my hand is still good but I did not like the diamond flush. On cue the guy with the straight draw pushes in drawing dead and I win a huge pot. I like the "fake-weak" bet against GOOD, AGGRESSIVE, PLAYERS.


Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Waffles, I too loved that hand you're describing with Wes and the AK vs. AQ. I recall telling you so during live gameplay as well. Although I don't think it was the final table, I don't think Wes quite made the final table last night, but I could be wrong.

But yes, that was a killer read, and even more impressive is the confidence you have in relying on that read. That I find is always one of the hardest things for new or inexperienced poker players to get -- not only how to read players, but how to be confident enough to act on those instincts.

9:27 AM

Blogger iamhoff said...

Great post. Learning TO fold is a very good thing. I'm working on being able to do that consistently...getting away from decent but certainly not the best hands. The other thing that you mention I agree with Hoyazo on: reading opponents is critical. Again, I'm learning. Taking notes on players is a great thing, especially if you play the same games constantly and run into the same group of yahoos. One benefit of my admittedly weak/tight style is that I fold enough preflop that I can take the time to watch hands develop and how the players play them. Good info.

10:10 AM

Blogger Heavy Critters said...

Great post. I play a similar game as you do.

I'm a big fan of the "5 second pause, weak bet, waiti for the push, then call" move. Works everytime. Especially early in an MTT, when there are still a lot of 'push monkeys' out there, who will push with TPWK.

11:06 AM

Blogger Garthmeister J. said...

I am great at making weak bets as that is my normal game. Somehow I seem to lose a lot though.

1:10 PM

Blogger Guin said...

Fantastic post. I agree on the changing things up a lot. I also use the raise with the hammer and show to get more action when I raise with big hands. I usually play a TAG style so I want to confuse them and make it look like I am a bit crazy.

Your link will be added to my site.

9:48 PM

Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

Hmm, that KJ hand looks familiar...

I'm gonna nail you next time you try that, though. Or the next time you pretend you're trying it. Or whatever.

You'll see.

11:05 AM


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