Don’t play smart against `not so smart` people

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...

JGiles | Poker Articles, Poker Strategy

That’s the expression right? Or is it stupid people? Either way, I can certainly relate. During the past 2 weeks I have been getting my money in good a lot and getting called by donkeys and losing a fair bit. If you’re like me when you hear people say stuff like that you wonder how accurate and honest they are being so I’ll give you 2 examples that happened in the same night online.

During the first example I was playing a 10 cent 20 cent cash game at a table that was mostly playing tight with one loose player who limped into most pots and had shown a couple of big bluffs. I was playing a variation of a short stack strategy and had built up to $12.50 from the $5 I sat down with and was debating leaving the table when I was dealt KK one off the button. By the time the action got to me there were 3 players in the pot for .60 or a total of $1.80 with both blinds to play so there were some good implied odds as well but I decided to raise to $1.80 to weed things out a little .. This was going to be my last hand anyway; I think it’s because I had been playing a tight SSS that only one player called my raise, the loose bluffer. The flop turned over 5H 10H QS The bluffer checked it to me and I decided there was enough money in the pot and I didn’t want to let him hit a big card for free to I put the rest of my $12.50 into the pot and he called with …. 2H 4H he hit a heart on the turn for his flush, one of my Ks was a heart so a heart on the river would have given me the better flush but the river drew a blank. So, buddy was willing to put $12.50 into a pot that was raised before the flop by a tight player with 2 4 suited before he hit his flush. How do you play against that?

Right after this tournament I moved to another site and played in a $5 6 player tournament and made it to the bubble. When I get to three handed poker later in a tournament I have a rule that generally works well for me regardless of chip count, table image etc. My rule three handed is that if I like my hand enough to play it I raise it and if I don’t like my hand enough to raise I don’t play it. Both of the other players were playing pretty tight and there weren’t too many outlandish bets or anything. During the hand in question I picked up KK (oh shit, I just had this hand busted at the last table) so I decide to pop them all in and take down the blinds right now, fold fold would have made me the chip leader so I didn’t mind not building a pot here and I also didn’t mind if I got called weak, which I did. My one caller turned over K 9 BECAUSE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOU CAN’T FOLD K9 TO AN ALL IN WHEN YOU ARE ONE SPOT WAY FROM MAKING THE MONEY, RIGHT? Flop, 9 7 9 turn and river drew blanks and I’m done.

I am not kidding you when I say that I have been getting called weak (A LOT) lately and my hands have not been holding up but that’s poker sometimes. Here’s something I figured out during this run. As you get better you will be getting your money in with the best hand more and more often, some of those hands will get called and sometimes the donkey will hit what he needs to beat you. But, if that’s what they mean when they say “don’t play smart against stupid players” then I have to disagree, keep playing smart, keep getting your money in ahead and you’ll make money even if the poker gods smack you upside the head every now and again.

Hope you’re all playing the PBR freeroll on Saturday at Titan. I should be there.

Qualify for the WSOP at PokerStars.com. Sign up now!

Similar Posts:

Tags: ,

8 Comments to Don’t play smart against `not so smart` people

McTap03
September 9, 2008

Tough beats man! The one thing to consider, in your 2nd example, is your table image. If you had been raising a lot, or if this seemed like a blind steal, then buddy who called was partially justified. Plus K9 is not that bad when you are either HU or 3-way. But on the other hand, 2-4 is only a hand you are hoping to hit it large and take down a big pot (you must be willing to gamble). So, risking 1.2 for a 3.6 pot (3:1 odds) are almost justifiable when chasing a flush PF (4:1). Just my opinion, but what do I know, I’m running bad as well!

JGiles
September 9, 2008

Yeah, the thing is that I DO understand why people pay to hit flushes and straights etc. Heck, I’ve done it myself and I am sure will continue to do so at times. Just so happens that I have been running cold lately and I am serious when I say that most of the big hands I’ve lost in the past 2 weeks I have gone in ahead and made my opponent pay as much as I have to hit their card.

JGiles
September 9, 2008

I just thought of another point for the guy who called my all in pre-flop with K-9. In your comment you said that he might have been justified depending on my table image. I’d have to look at the log files but from memory I wasn’t super aggressive or any more aggressive than anyone else.

But, regardless of my table image what is my most likely range to shove here? Even if you widen my range to any pair and ace anything he’s behind on anything in that range, right? The only thing he could be hoping for is a pure bluff or a race, to my mind that’s still a bad call. Remember the gap theory that says the person who pushes all in has the advantage because in order to call you have to have a really strong hand to cover the gap. Either way, that’s the kind of calls I have been getting lately and losing on. Maybe I need to check some of my stats to see if people are justifiably putting me on any 2 cards when I shove …

McTap03
September 9, 2008

I can’t speak for buddy but, with the exception of AA or KK (less than %2 chance of that), it is a race situation. IF he feels that you are doing a Button Steal and the blinds are high enough to justify racing, then yeah it might be worth it. I know that if I was in your situation, I’d be upset and wondering why he would call such a situation, but I can also see buddy’s side of the call too (and I really don’t like it either). Just trying to make you think more about it.

JGiles
September 9, 2008

I hear ya. Do you want to race when you’re on the bubble or do you want to be the one making the move? Just trying to fire up some debate here. Anyone else have an opinion? Maybe some of your J7ers might?

Mette
September 9, 2008

Sounds to me you have been doing everything right. It is the winning play to get your money in the middle when you are ahead. Simple as that. I often find myself thinking like you in these situations: “OMG how could you call that”. But really we should be happy that they call, it is what will make us money in the long run. You are experiencing negative variance and it happens to everyone. During these periods it is important to maintain a sensible bankroll management strategy.

Mette
September 9, 2008

Definitely want to be the one making the move on the bubble. Especially in SNG’s where the bubble play is characterised by high and frequent blinds. In tournaments I sometimes take a more laid back approach on the bubble. Here you are still playing 10 people on each table, so the blinds are not that frequent.

JGiles
September 9, 2008

Yeah me too. I’d rather shove with a weak hand and make my opponent ask hmiself wheteher he is willing to risk having his tournament end right now than be the one sitting on K9 asking myself that question.

Leave a comment

Latest Poker Strategy Articles

Contact PokerBankrollBlog

Questions? Concerns? Comments? Contact us! We'll return your email within 12 hours.