I am continually learning that despite the vast difference between ZOOM and standard Cash Games, the way you play many hands should be EXACTLY the same.


Take this hand for example:


MP1 player gives a standard raise; I instantly think A-x. This could be wrong. It could be any strong or monster hand; possibly a speculative hand from a bluff player. So I raise it, just under 3x. I'm representing a very strong or monster hand. He re-raises less than 2.5x. He must have more than A-x. It is either high A or a monster. Possibly TT, or a crazy 99 call (and possibly even JJ!). But this isn't in my mind. I'm stuck on AJ, AQ, AK.

After the flop he makes a strong continuation, more than 0.5 pot. I'm still stuck on Ax, so I shove. Why didn't I stop to consider the other possibilities, even at worse AQ? I look back on the play and realise he gave all the signals of a stronger hand than mine, especially after one over card hits! So I lose to QQ (which hit for a set anyway).

How should I have played it? Folded after the initial re-raise? Or at least folded after the raise at the flop. This is tight play. Wouldn't I do this at a standard Cash Game? Would you get sucked in this far in ZOOM. I gotta slow down to ZOOM!

Fortunately after this bite I made a much better play a little later:


UTG standard raise. I have Ax, but it's suited, so I limp call. Standard continuation bet after the flop, but I have hit top pair. Flush draw is potential, and so is a set made. Let's find out. I raise. He re-raises. Go careful. He's got one of those options or AT (A7 unlikely). Turn is good for me, so I call the continuation bet even though it's beyond the odds. It's a gamble, but not as crazy as before. I'm going a little slower (but maybe not cautiously enough).

River hits, and I make the 2nd nuts. J8 is still better, but I realise based on the betting pre-flop and at the flop he can't be calling J8. He either has an 8 himself, or a set. He goes all-in, and I call.

I was right. He had 77. This play doesn't look as slow as above, but I didn't go all in until I was certain I had him beaten. I gotta slow down to ZOOM!