I was wondering if anyone can offer advice on how to play big pairs, say aa or kk when you get raised on the flop. The flop may be something like 976, 1073, 754 with 2 to the flush, plenty of draws. You are up against a set, or some good draw-what do you do? What is your plan for turn and river?
I am mostly interested in tournament situations such as this.
Yeah, so any suggestions would be helpful.
I think the first thing I would want to know about these types of situations would be the pre-flop action. That is where we'd gather information for potentially narrowing our opponent's range. How much did you raise with the big pair pre-flop? From what position? How many callers did you get? From what position? I am concerned about different types of boards if I raise to 3x UTG and the button calls, as opposed to limping on the button and the big blind checking.
Then on the flop, how much was the bet? How much was the raise? Who was in position? Was it a check-raise? Was the original bet a donk bet? Then I'd want to know whether I have any realistic chance at improving my own hand. Did I catch any part of the drawing possibilities? And do I have cards that block my opponents? For example, If I have a pair of aces, do I have the ace of the suit that puts a possible flush draw on the board? And if there are any player-specific reads, I'd certainly evaluate things in light of that information. Could they be bluffing? Could they be over-valuing top pair? Have they been playing a lot of ace-rag hands, where they could have paired the rag?
I also have to think about how they see me? What is my image? What do they think I have? And as an extension of that, I'd think about what their intention is. What are they trying to accomplish with the raise? Do they want a call, or a fold? I are they trying to bluff out good hands or extract more money from worse hands?
Also, in a tournament situation, I might want to consider their stack size and my stack size. Are they in desperation mode? Am I? What is my competitive situation if I fold? What about if I call and lose? Where are we relative to any money bubble or pay jump?
Next, I think I would consider what my plan is going to be on the turn and river. Before I'd call, I'd want to know in my own mind whether I am floating to try to take the pot down on a later street, what I plan to do if another scary card hits, what I am going to do if a brick hits, etc.
Then there is the question of whether you should raise. If they don't have a made hand, do you want to just let them set their own price to draw? So some of these other hand reading questions come into play there.
As hard as it is to lay down a monster pair, I don't relish the feeling of sitting there with the opponent having called a raise pre-flop and then having check raised me on the flop with a wet board out there, especially if my only path to improvement is to hit a two-outer to a hand that might still be beat by a straight or flush.
Nice answer, nytider!
Yes. A very nice answer. Remind me to not play against either of you.
My problem is that I don't play as well as I write.
The problem I'm finding on this site is that the advice given by the advisors often has us stacking off with overpairs in multi-way pots on wet flops with SPR's over 6 in spots I think we are often beat and it turns out we are in fact often beat. I'm really having a tough time believing much of the advice the advisors give us is any good? Does anyone else notice this and feel the same way?
Stevematador, I can't say that I have noted that exact situation a lot. But then again, I probably check the advice less often than perhaps I should.I tend to only seek advice if the situation has me stumped for some reason, or if it is something I am specifically working on. With that said, the one thing I try to keep in mind is that the advice is computer-generated, and it is based on playing against computer-generated opponents. And at the end of the day, there is a reason it is called "artificial" intelligence.
To me, the value of playing the bots, and of the advice, is two-fold. First, it gives me a different way of thinking about certain situations. I never approach it that the advisor is always right, and that I want to play just like the advisor. I try to look at the line the advisor takes and the reason behind it, and then evaluate whether that thought process, and that specific application should be part of what I am doing, and if it is better or worse than the way I'd normally play, if left to my own devices.
And secondly, I love the practice. Even if, as I noted, the computer players and advisors aren't a completely accurate representation of the real players I encounter on the tables, there is tremendous value in being able to play a high volume of hands and drill specific situations. I figure I am coming out way ahead if I can play ten times as many hands, even if each hand isn't quite 100% realistic.
nytider, great points and I'm starting now to just play the hands as I think is correct and not checking the advisor's advice much at all, unless like you said I'm really stuck on what to do in a tough spot. I also agree with you that the practice and different ways of looking at hands is from a sometimes different perspective is valuable.
Yes, good responses. Ty
Lots of things to consider.
I also wonder if the advisers advice is good at times. Is it based on observations of these specific opponents patterns, or a standard generic situation that's already set?
But I have gotten useful advice, however. Like on preflop hand selection.
I usually configure my advisor settings to only give me advice when I ask for it, and to give me the polling results from all of the advisors.
I've learned to only pull up the advisor after I promise myself that I won't change my decision based on the advice. I also try to check the reasoning behind my decision.
If the advisors unanimously advise something different than my decision, I check the brain for the numbers behind their decisions. If I know that my decision is an air bluff before I pull the advisor up, I actually expect the advisors to all advise against it.
If the advisors are split on something, I try to think of why that is. The differences in their decisions may be because of their differing ranges for a given decision, and the fact that this hand is marginal for this decision. I assume the advisors balance their ranges differently from one another, which may be why you sometimes get a huge but not unanimous majority opinion about a decision.
When I play practice sessions, I usually try to stay focused and engaged. As legendary NFL head coach Vince Lombardi is supposed to have once said, "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."
However, I have the terrible habit of sometimes backsliding and playing the practice sessions absent-mindedly. The practice sessions are fun, and I sometimes go into video game mode, occasionally even multitasking it with "That 70's Show" reruns. This is a bad habit because it skews my statistics and thus fouls up my weekly training plan.
Another bad habit I have at the highest practice level is deliberately playing hands that I know I should fold, just to see what happens. I'm middle aged and thus a visual learner, so there is some value for me in this. However, it is skewing my statistics and fouling up my weekly training plans.
However, fouled-up weekly training plans still have value. There's nothing wrong with using a weekly training plan that is skewed by my bad habits. They're still good training.
I hope my bad habits are not messing up the site's hand data collection...
As you may be able to tell from my screen name, I am a huge Alabama football fan. I'll drop a point about practice here that applies as much to poker as it does to college football. Coach Nick Saban has said on a number of occasions that "The objective is not to practice until you get it right. The objective is to practice until you cannot get it wrong."