So lets just assume you are playing a good TAG style.



You will be playing nothing that isnt really good and typicalling your VPIP will be about 10-15%


Then you get a Hand.. AA - yay

You bet it nice and big and get one caller and it goes to the flop


Flop comes J 3 4 (rainbow)


You were ahead on the pre-flop and there is a chances that your Aces are good here too.

You are out of position so you C-bet it and your opp raises.


You think "He must just have a pair of Jacks, i can beat that... i call"


Turn comes with a blank, you still put him on his Jacks so you bet it a good 75% on the turn, he comes over the top of you and you snap call... after all your Aces are better than his Jacks


He turns over a pair of 33s.. you don't improve on the River and are busted out early.


... What went wrong here?


If you read my previous post about "not believing your opponents" you will know that I have struggled before with not listening to my opponent when they bet. I pick a hand i can beat and assign it to them regardless and they knock me out. This is exactly what happens above.

AA is still just an overpair... its as good on that board as a pair of 9s is on a 2 3 7 board. Its not a magic wand or a lottery ticket, its just an Overpair.


So rather than repeat my post about believing your opponents, I thought I would post a really interesting and apt analogy that fits this situation.


You hear the fairground is in town. It has parked itself in your local park and you love when it stops by once a year... the sideshows, the big rides, the candyfloss... its a really good time all around!

The only problem is that they stop by just for one night so you know that you will have waited all year but need to make sure you pick the best rides and attractions when you go because it won't be around again for another year.


You get there and are so excited the time has come, you see that there is a really long line for the Death Drop ride you really like so decide to give the teacups a go instead. You come off the teacups and the line for Death Drop is still long so you decide to give the Haunted House a shot.

You come out of the Haunted House, man these rides are expensive. You notice the line to Death Drop is getting shorter and if you queued up now you could probably be on it within half an hour but you are impatient and want to keep your buzz going so you grab yourself a hotdog and head over to the Shoot-A-Turtle game. Hotdog in one hand and rifle in another, you try your hardest but you can't win the Big Teddy and decide that the night is nearly over so its time to go and queue for the Death Drop.

You look over and notice, yay... the line is quite a lot shorter now, you shouldn't have to wait more than a few minutes!

You queue up and when you reach the turnstile and reach into your wallet you realize you only have a few coins left... You are left with a frown on your face and are pointed to the exit by the line attendant.


So what happened here? And how is it relevant to Poker?

You wait for the whole year to visit the Carnival.. just like you have to wait for a Premium Hand in Poker

You realize that you will only get one night to enjoy the Carnival... just like you only get a few spots to play your Premium Hands in Poker

You notice the line to the Death Drop is busy... this ride is the big payoff to a lovely premium hand. It is the equivilant of catching Aces and having an opponent with KK raise you, which you call, hit AK on the flop and have him shove into you... its Poker Heaven and what you wait for the entire game. But sadly it doesnt come around straight away and you have to queue up for a long time to get to it

You decide to play the Teacups to get into the mood.... just like when you get QQ, raise it and get called, you play calling station to your opponent and then showdown against trips, your pocket is now a little lighter

You then decide that you arent willing to wait in the queue for Death Drop so you try out the Haunted House... this time the Haunted House is a better ride and costs a bit more, just like when you get AhAs, raise it and get to a flop with all unders and a 2 diamonds, you bet it, get raised and call it. The turn comes with a Diamond and you bet, opp goes All-In, you have him covered so call it - he shows the flush and DU through you..... boy these rides are expensive!!

Done with the Haunted House, you still arent willing to queue for the Death Drop even though the line is a lot less than before, you decide to waste almost all of your money trying to win a Cuddly Toy... just like when you get involved with calling a preflop raise with AQo, board comes with no Ace or Queen, you C-Bet it and get called. Turn comes again no Ace or Queen, you feel you have to put on a strong image so you bet it again, this time opp raises you... you feel you are so close and just that Ace or Queen on the river (6 outs, thats only 12%... sure!) will be worth it once you hit.

River comes with a blank, you feel that you represented a strong hand so you shove it in, you only just about Marginally cover your opponent and he calls... he only had a pair of 2s but had you beat anyways.

You decide that its time to play the Death Drop... queue is almost gone now and you get there but you have no money... Just like when you get dealt aces, you only have 3BB so shove it in, you are not only called but by 2 others and they are so happy with their hands that they are betting heavy into the pot at each other as well... Both of them had you covered pretty much since you started so thinking back, had you not bothered to get involve with any of the previous hands you chipped down on, there is a good chance you could have gone into this very pot with a nice stack.

Flop comes AK3

Opp #1 shoves, Opp #2 calls


You show AA

Opp #1 shows KK

Opp #2 shows 33


... what a dream this would have been... you could have g'teed yourself a Triple Up in this spot because there is no way either of these 2 opponents are getting away from their Trips and this is the moment that Poker Players want... a spot with multiple opponents when you have STRONG action and your opponents are drawing dead with a Triple Up for you.


Sadly though, you wasted all of your chips fighting the losing battles earlier that this just didnt happen, you got a Triple up to 9BB but you were in the Danger Zone and didnt recover...


The morale of this story is that getting involved with the best hand preflop isnt a lock, you have to be just as careful with it as any hand... any 2 cards can win it and unless you are dominating, you could get yourself stuck quite easily


Just as in the story, if you had waited in line for the Death Drop you would have not only got to ride the one thing you wanted to all year but afterwards you would still have had enough coins to go and play on the Teacups and Haunted House too... but you rushed it, spent all your money elsewhere and had to leave the park early without getting to ride your big ride.


I write this not because I am preaching and that I am superb and need to show others just how to play as good as me.... I am writing it to remind myself of how to get out of this beartrap of a bad habit and to share it in writing form so that in writing it down and re-reading it over and over again I can remember the correct way to play and not fall into the fish way to play.

I hope as well that the information is useful for other people as well