Poker advice and news from Dave Colcough of Bet365 Poker
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Slow playing to maximise value
Written by: Dave Colclough (2004-04-26 20:47:40)
So here I am at the 2004 World Series of Poker.
Binion's Horseshoe has been taken over by new owners... at long last. That
is not the most obvious change that greeted me though. America has gone Poker mad,
mad, mad. An astonishing 343 have just paid an amazing $25,000 to play the main
event at the Bellagio. And yesterday I walked into Binions satelitte area and
couldn't believe my eyes. Last year there would have been maybe 3 or 4 tables running.
This year there were 23 or 24 tables buzzing with excitement. Hordes and hordes of
new players. God bless America, god bless the WPT on the discovery channel, and
god bless Chris Moneymaker. This is Poker heaven!
I managed to win a seat for the $2000 No Limit Hold em
event in a one table satelitte. I got lucky when I slow played pocket Kings
catching both blinds who both flopped top pair. As an added bonus, I was given a
poker lesson by a very attractive young lady with a large bosom. She explained how
dangerous it was not to raise with Kings before the flop. Bless her! Anyway I
tripled thru and managed to outlast the rest to gain a seat in the NLH event for a
It can be very annoying playing you play tournament poker and
you have waited two hours to pick up a hand. You finally look down at a pair of Kings,
raise 3 times the Big Blind and everyone passes. Doh!... So what is the correct thing to do?
In the majority of cases the correct thing is exactly that.
If you raise 3 times the Big Blind with AJ in mid to late position, then you must
raise 3 times the Big Blind with your Kings (regardless of position). That way your
eagle eyed opponents wont be able to tell what cards you play. If everyone passes,
it's not the end of the world. At least you didn't lose with them.
In the satellite I mentioned above, I picked up the Kings in
first position in a 9 handed aggressive one table satellite. I figured if I flat
called, someone in a later position would raise, and then I could re-raise and get
all my chips in the middle before the flop. A cunning plan... that didn't work.
Everyone passed around to the blinds who smooth called. The flop came Jack high
and they both decided they liked it. So it was just a matter of crossing my fingers
and hoping neither had two pair.
In Limit Hold'em there is rarely any justification in
slow playing big hands, especially in the lower limit games. If you have a pair
a Kings I would recommend that you raise at every opportunity. The obvious reason
is to make the pot as big as possible, so you win as much as possible. Another good
reason though, is that you are better off playing against 1 or 2 opponents with your
Kings than against the whole table. Less players will call 2 bets, and hopefully
you wont lose the pot to anyone playing 5,6 of hearts. Post flop, the song remains
the same. If it shows 3,7,J and your opponent bets, then raise him. Don't get cute.
If for example he has 10,J or J,K, and the next card comes an Ace. Although it
doesn't help either of you, it freezes the betting because it scares you both.
And the pot that you win is that little bit smaller…
So as usual, I am being as contradictory as ever. But
most of the time, it doesn't pay to be too clever.