Friday, February 27, 2009

Passive Lines

Thursday night game, AJo from the big blind. 3 limpers.

Raising it up is "standard". I suppose, but AJ is one of those good, not great hands that can get people in trouble (myself included for sure). Plus one of the players in the pot has already tried the "limp in with a monster, hoping for a raise" move tonight. I call.

The board comes jack high and I lead out into a decent, straightforward player. When he calls, I've got him on a jack with a broadway kicker. I'm ahead.

The board gets dangerous on the turn and river and we get to showdown cheaply. I win with AJ against QJ. He says "wait, you were in the blind that hand...?", wondering why I didn't raise it up preflop. I tell him I just hate AJ and that I always lose money with it.

Later in the game, a similar situation against a different player - this time an aggressive player who bloats up pots, sometimes with small pairs. A limped pot to me with ATs. I check and hit my biggest flop of the night - Ace Ten Eight rainbow for top two.

I check. The aggressive player bets for me, and I take the passive line and call, after feigning thought for a moment.

The turn is a brick - a red 4. There are now two diamonds on the board and a middle straight draw, but I'm trying an experiment this hand and I'm not ready to blast the aggressive player out of the pot yet. I check-call again.

Now the river - the 3 of hearts. The only draw that hit is the powerhouse 2-5. Unless he has a set, I'm ahead. But it's the river and can't assume he'll bet all three times. I calmly (weak means strong?) donk into him for $15.

Aggressive guy wrinkles his nose, looking at the board. He can't put me on a hand. There are no draws that I could have check-called 2 bets with. Big Aces raise up limpers preflop, right? I'm only hoping he has something he can beat a bluff with.

He speaks out loud. "Well, Matty, I think you outplayed me this hand. I have no idea what you have, but I want to see. I call". He tosses three reds into the middle, and I flip over my flopped two pair, against his medium Ace (A7).

Did my river bluff from two weeks ago pay me off this time? Maybe it did, because the only way he can call a bet on this board is to think I have no ace. A7 was ahead of only A2, A5, and A6, but behind A3/A4/A8/A9/AT/AJ/AQ/AK/AA.

As I stacked up the chips, he discussed the hand with someone else. He made it clear that he couldn't put me on AT because that's a hand that he would raise limpers with preflop.

This wasn't a huge pot, but it was my biggest of the night. My biggest loss came early in the night on a good read - my friend Wiley, to my right, announced as he sat down that he was going to play "bananas" tonight, and had already shown down some real garbage. I limped in behind with with A8 and hit my ace on the flop. When he checkraised me all in (not a huge pot, he was already low) - it first came to my attention that this was probably the time he had AK and garbage mode was about to pay him off, but in the end I decided his current playing style would have him raising any ace preflop, so my Ace was probably good. I announced "this might be the weakest call I've ever made" and called the last $15. He had Jack-Four-sooooted and a naked flushdraw. I was quite proud of my read and didn't blink an eye as his flush came on the river to double him up.

Beyond that, the cards and situations were such that I was able to win with ABC poker and hit a few hands. I broke one player with top pair against a set of eights. I blew the aggressive player off his hand with top pair, good kicker (JK on a dry Jxx board). I flopped two pair from the big blind with 68 and got someone to raise into my lead bet with his pair. (though, surprisingly, he folded to my re-raise). Finaly tally - up $60 - one and a half buy-ins.

I'm not sure that the "passive from the blinds" strategy is one I'll employ as a regular part of my game, but it worked for me tonight as a balancing play.

1 comment:

Memphis MOJO said...

""passive from the blinds" strategy is one I'll employ as a regular part of my game, but it worked for me tonight as a balancing play."

It's also in line with the don't play ig pots out of position philosophy.