big hands/pairs & meta-game considerations

aliengenius

aliengenius

Cardschat Elite
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Jul 7, 2006
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4,596
Big pairs have been getting a bunch of attention on the board in several different threads. I don't want to post in all of them, so I thought I would start over here.

There is a point I would like to make that no one else has seemed to mention yet: if you don't raise with you big pairs, you may not be disguising them very well at all !

Consider your table image: if you are raising every time you enter a pot, then suddenly limp, alarm bells will be going off in your opponents heads.

The very simple point I want to make is this: you have to be willing to play the nuts/big hands strongly if you expect people to believe you when you act strongly.

Ideally we want an aggressive style where we are not card contingent to win, and where our opponents fear us; and to do this we need our opponents to fold. If your table sees that you are playing big hands straight and fast they are going to have that seed of doubt every time they think about standing up to your aggression.... and that's a good thing.

This doesn't just apply to big pairs, but can be extrapolated to threads like the one where a very tight player asked for help because he wasn't getting any action. Some advice suggested he slow play some of his bigger hands, but the better advice is to loosen up and take advantage of his image. A lot of the "big pair" discussion is on the other end of the scale-- you need to exploit a loose image and get paid off when you have a monster.
 
MrDaMan

MrDaMan

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Feb 18, 2007
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529
Nice post Alien, I'll add that once in a while if you do have that tight image a limp can be scary as hell. I use this to my advantage as well BUT let me double add I only do the limp scare selectively under rare conditions.

Most of the time like Alien says pop the raise use your chips they are tools of the trade, It's the aggression that gets you reads off the other players. 99% of the time limping shows weakness and callers catch straights, flush's, trips and 2 pairs to slam you all the time. If your limping and hoping to catch the flop, your only going to catch if your lucky 20% of the 20% of the hands you do play.

That's why image and aggression are keys to the game. :D
 
R

Riedel

Rock Star
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Apr 2, 2007
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187
I usually have a very tight table image (i'm not!)
Today I limped UTG with pocket aces... the big blind folded the unraised pot. The sb ended up paying dearly though :eek:)
 
Jack Daniels

Jack Daniels

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Mar 26, 2005
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13,414
I usually have a very tight table image (i'm not!)
Today I limped UTG with pocket aces... the big blind folded the unraised pot. The sb ended up paying dearly though :eek:)
Which means he either mis-clicked or is an idiot. I don't care if you haven't played a hand in six hours at my table. If I'm in the big blind in an unraised pot, there is nothing I will fold.
 
J

joeeagles

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Mar 24, 2007
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1,114
Good point there Aliengenius. When the situation happens that your PF raises are getting too much respect I think you make alot more sense by suggesting to loosen up and take advantage of this image rather than slowplaying big PP's. There are too many reasons why it is wrong to limp and slowplay hands like AA or KK, with very few exceptions, no need to go back on that.

In general the consensus is to play TAG but if you've been long enough at a table mixing it up is the way to go once your TAG image has been established. This will show a profit in the short run without any doubt. The trick is then to become TAG again when conditions are right. Even 1 showdown with a marginal hand that wins a big pot will do the trick, as pointed out by Mr. Harrington, when he says that if you win a huge pot with small suited connectors that make a strong hand with the board, people will remember that.
 
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