This is a discussion on $5 NLHE STT Bounty: Playing the player within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Hand Analysis section; Most threads in this section focus on individual hands and questions like "how to play QQ in a 3-bet pot" or "can I get away
Most threads in this section focus on individual hands and questions like "how to play QQ in a 3-bet pot" or "can I get away on this river". However its important to remember, that poker is not just individual hands, unless maybe you play Zoom poker in a large pool. Sometimes its more important to adjust to your opponents and think about the dynamic, which was created by previous hands. In this thread I am going to share, what happened in the beginning of a 5$ KO 9-man SnG on PokerStars to illustrate my point.
Hand 1 99 in CO
This was hand 6 of the tournament, I made a standard open with 99 in CO, and BTN came in for a min 3-bet. SB cold called the 3-bet. A min 3-bet usually mean either a monster hand like aces or kings or a monster bad player goofing around. I had never played with this guy before. The HUD said VPIP 60 / PFR 20 over 5 hands, so maybe an action player, but still an incredibly small sample. I am obviously never folding any hand to a 3-bet of this size, but not quite sure yet, what was going on with him, I took the conservative option and just called. Flop came AT7, and I gave up. As played pretty standard in a 3-way pot in my opinion.
Hand 2 AJo UTG
This was hand 11 of the tournament. Another standard open with AJo UTG, although it would not be completely crazy to fold this hand. The guy to my left made another min 3-bet, and now the HUD showed VPIP 70 / PFR 40 / 3-bet 40 over 10 hands. Now I had more than enough information to include, that this was an action player goofing around.
So where AJo would often be a fold, when we get 3-bet after opening UTG (not for this size though), here is where, I began to play the player. This guy had 3-bet 3 times in just 11 hands, and he had been involved in almost every hand. AJo is way ahead of his range, so I simply shipped it.
If I just call again here, the same thing is going to happen most of the time, which happened in the first hand. I will hit a flop, which is not good for my hand, and then I either end up folding or playing a silly guessing game with A high. I also dont want to 4-bet small, because then he is probably going to call with his whatever, and then its still the same situation postflop only in a more bloated pot.
But by moving all in I take all options away from him other than to either make a bad call or show me a real hand, and most likely he dont have a real hand. He ended up folding, and what this does other than winning me the pot is also, that it tilts him. He wants to have control and win all the pots, and by moving all-in for 65BB with AJo, which is certainly not a GTO line, I take that away from him.
Hand 3 KK in BB
In the very next hand I looked down at cowboys, and now he made an oversized 5BB open. As I read it clearly a tilted play. This time I 3-bet to a small size, because this time I did not mind playing a bloated pot out of position against him. I wanted to try to get a full dubble up. He called, and he also called my flop C-bet. Turn completed the flush, but I still went on with my plan and got it in, and as expected he made some ridiculous hero call. He missed and was out of the tournament a few hands later.
Obviously I got lucky in these hands, but I am sharing them to open peoples mind to the idea, that its sometimes more important, who you are playing against, than what your exact hand is. And also there is no need to be scared of getting it in and gamble with maniacs. Yes sometimes they will bust you, and that will suck. But more often something like this will happen, and the early chiplead helped propel me along to actually winning this small tournament.
Lol. Nice work on that tournament. You made the villain believe you went into tilt. I liked the fold w/99, as you don't want to block that open draw. The push with AJo is like saying, let me win this time, next time I promise I will go with the nuts to you. Congratulations for the victory.