Thursday, January 04, 2007

$2156 - Sometimes I Do The Wrong Thing For The Right Reason

Well, I am now about 60% through the Ladder Challenge. I decided a while back I would run it until I got up to 10,000 hands. My 1/2 NL game remains solid, and I think it's just a matter of time before I get over the hump at 2/4 NL. It is becoming very apparent that the most important thing at the higher level cash games is table selection. A decent .50/1 NL player could probably be a winner at 2/4 and 3/6 NL by using solid table selection. There are a ridiculous number of donks at these levels (I guess all levels). If you can put yourself at tables that have lots of donks and not many good players, it is hard to lose.
Now for the title. During the challenge and at other times, I have done some things at the table that I knew were wrong, but did them anyway because I thought it would help my game. This sounds a little crazy, but it actually is a valid way to improve your game. If you read some of the poker books carefully you will see this concept from time to time, but probably just jumped right past it. I will give a couple of examples from the ladder challenge that are well enough documented, that you might be able to see what I was trying to do.
The first example was folding KK preflop. It has bothered me for a long time that I could not make this type of fold. On the hand in question, AA alarm bells were going of in my head, enough that I considered the fold. Actually folding though was bad decision. If you are going to fold KK preflop in a cash game, you better have a solid read on your opponent. I had no read on my opponent and on top of that, he was kind of short stacked. Having played with the guy some more since then, I can assure you that it was a bad fold. So why did I do it? To prove to myself that I could. I have not folded KK preflop since, but I think when faced with the right situation I could make the fold again. The first time was not the right situation, but forget about that for now. The fact is, I have folded KK preflop in a cash game. It is something I am now capable of doing, that 99% of the players out there can't. My game has expanded as a result.
The second example was when I over played AKs preflop at a 2/4 NL cash game. In this case I had been playing 2/4 NL for just a short time. I was struggling to get used to slinging that many chips around in a cash game. I was not sure if I was willing to put it all-in preflop on a coin-flip. If your not willing to go to war with your whole stack when you think you have the best of it, you should move down to a level where you are. Since I am serious about moving up, and I was playing a lot of small ball up to that point at 2/4 NL, I was subconsciously looking for an opportunity to gambool big time. Calling an all-in preflop with AK in a cash game is something that I just don't ever do. OK, if I had some huge read that the guy was a complete maniac, I might, but that is pretty rare. The hand was a bit of a slippery slope the way it played out, and my read was JJ or QQ for the big stack. With the dead money in the pot, I had the pot odds to run it. Unfortunately, my read was off, and I was really up against KK. As the hand was dealt out, and I was losing the biggest pot of my life, I was surprisingly calm. I wanted to prove I could get it in like that, so to me this was a success. The chips going the other way hurt, and if you take that one mistake away I am a winning player at 2/4 nl, but it was something I needed to do for myself even though I knew it was wrong.
I am not sure if this makes any sense, or will help anyone with their game, but these are the things I do from time to time, right or wrong.

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At 7:00 AM, Blogger Guin said...

If you are going to go to war preflop do it with KK and not AKs. In a cash game I don't see the situation come up where you are wrong calling a standard or slightly larger raise with KK preflop. Having a guy push UTG and then the biggest rock push behind them could be a time I might lay it down.

I would put this into the category of weak / tight as you are avoiding variance instead of pushing what is either a coin flip + domination vs. being dominated. How often do you fold QQ preflop? JJ?

Keep up the good work taking shots at the higher levels... going to work on that table selection thing once I win another couple K at the 0.50/1.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger smokkee said...

still can't believe you folded KK to that shorty on the button just to say you could.

at least you realized it was a bad laydown. i don't see how folding the best hand pre-flop has helped your game.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Blinders said...


I have folded QQ preflop at least 10 times, and JJ preflop more than I can count. Both plays highlighted in the post were wrong, and were very unusual for me. Not planning on making either part of my regular play, just trying to show how you can make a wrong play for the right reason


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