WSOP Day by Day Analysis
2 (to see round one click
BadDog's second installment looks at how to play
Aces from various positions, a little side story
from a Vegas trip long-past, and a quick intro
to NL play. Enjoy!
have the best hand pre-flop - 2 Aces. Let's look
at various positions.
The first player
to enter the action is about in the middle of
the table and he raises. The button (dealer) calls.
What do you do as the small blind with Aces? If
you raise - that will not fold out the raiser.
He only adds 1 bet to his 2 already in the pot.
The button also is unlikely to go away for 1 more
bet. You really should not fold your Aces. By
default then you should conserve your resources
and see the flop without putting in the third
bet. This conceals your power. All these nice
things happen when you just call.
Things to consider:
If I raise what happens? What do I give away?
What do I hide if I do not raise? Should I fold?
Your correct play will emerge over time. The same
rationale works in the big blind. Holding back
early pays off 2 ways. You hide your juggernaut.
KQ flops - a raise and reraise mean trouble and
you may exit while having saved a bet. When an
Ace flops then a bet and raise into you is sooo
nice. Just remember, Aces do not always win.
Aces in a
middle position hand
Now you play somewhat
as a robot. If no one else calls before you, raise.
If there is raise before you, reraise to hopefully
eliminate callers and play heads up with the early
raiser. 2 or 3 callers - here raise sometimes
and sometimes just call, depending on the players
and mood at the table.
Aces on the
button or next to the button .
Here you should cram those chips in all the time.
Build a monster pot to keep the inside straight
draws in. Your position lets you escape really
bad flops with heavy action after the flop. If
you call a bet after several callers looking for
another Ace, you have not made a horrible mistake.
With many bets on the first round, getting to
see fourth street for 1 bet is not so bad.
liked this hand that happened to me some years
ago at the Mirage...
After a long day
of business meetings, I went to play poker at
the Mirage (when the place was still smoking tolerant,
which tells you it's been awhile). The only holdem
game with seats open was a 40-80 limit game -
and the highest limit I had played up to that
point was 15-30. What the hell. $1,000 in chips
and into the game.
As the game starts
up, a floorman comes to take the time charge.
My reaction reveals I know zip about a time charge.
The first hand shows I do not even know the chip
denominations. Everyone else is really happy to
be there...:) All attention is on me, and I'm
wondering why I thought this was a game to play.
A few players pass on moving to a higher game
- they are visibly interested in who gets my thousand.
And the third hand
brings me QQ in the big blind. No one raises.
The whole table plays. I tap the table wondering
what the hell is up. I guess they want the fish
in the aquarium. The flop is something like 9
6 3 with all different suits (called a “rainbow”
flop). I shrewdly figure the best play is to hope
for a check raise to reduce the pot population.
And so I check out of turn.
Oops - the whole
table, remember. The little blind grumbles “scuse
me” - and bets 40 dollars. Now I am quandry surrounded
- but having already decided on a check raise,
and having already checked, I figger - okey doke
- and I raise. Hoo boy - ever see a crowd sit
back to think! The whole table froze up. And they
folded back to the bettor who called. Not liking
it one bit. He called all the way and I had to
show the winning Queens.
is also a nice teaching hand.
Ace and five of hearts in the little
blind. Four callers - I put in $20 - and the Big
Blind then raises. All call - I call another 40
- $240 or so in the pot now - and the flop comes
with 2 hearts: 9 8 and a black 5. I bet, the big
blind raises. We are heads up. We check it out
and my fives beat Ace Queen. This situation plays
this way only at the higher limits where decent
players will release a hand. And the raiser also
raises your bet after a flop.
We are almost done
for now. I digress to No Limit. There are nice
hundred dollar buy ins (or so - $120 also seems
common) NL games with 1 and 2 dollar blinds and
max rebuys limited to the original buyin amount.
Played in some the last trip to Las Vegas - and
these are fun games. Tons of action. Money to
be made. I found them at Aladdin, Harrah's, and
am told they are at Bellagio and several other
places. My last hand this trip - 66 on the button.
An early player makes it 10, 3 call, I call on
the button, the Big Blind raises another 15 and
all call. The flop is 4 5 8 (rainbow again). The
Big blind bets 35, all fold and since I have seen
him go all in with nothing and call on the end
with nothing, I raise him all in. He calls and
shows A J. Since y'all are professional you know
who wins is not important...
More preflop play
later. Start thinking how to win. Good decisions
- they really should become a habit. Play with
good decisions. The wins will take care of themselves.
Win lots. Lose very little!
this and other strategy in the Lizard Lounge.