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Should I fold monster hands?

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  • Should I fold monster hands?

    After a few years of inactivity, I started playing poker again. I used to win a few thousand dollar in tournaments about 8 years ago, so I can't be that bad.
    Off course I need some time to get into it agin, but here's what I've noticed recently when I play tournaments: every once and a while, I get sufficiently good hands in the early or mid-phase in order to move into the money (or very near).
    When approaching the money, I will always get a bad streak with only trash cards or being drawn out by lesser hands, which will bring my stack down to only a few blinds.
    The bad streak (getting only trash or highly speculative hands for about 20 hands) is often followed by getting a very strong or monsterhand (AA, KK, QQ, AK,...), which I will than loose every single time, getting me kicked out before reaching any decent money.
    This only happens in the real money games, not the play money games!
    Knowing that this will happen 9/10, should I fold these very strong or monster hands when they present themselves, and wait for another decent hand (in that specific situation)?
    Thanks for your reactions!

  • #2
    Welcome back to poker. It is probably worth pointing out that poker has changed a lot in the last 8 years and the average player is now a lot more accomplished than they were back then., but don't worry there are still good opportunities to win.

    I'm not an expert tournament player, but in short the answer is no generally you should not fold those monster hands on the bubble or just after the bubble. It is annoying when you lose with them, but if the hands are played properly and your hands are consistently better than the opponents you'll do well in the long run.

    Many of the successful tournament players know that if your stack becomes short your whole tournament is vulnerable to a bad beat so they think ahead and try to build a bigger stack so they can survive the bad beats.

    There are a few special circumstance where you might fold a monster, to climb the prize pool ladder, but these are usually associated with satellites or final tables where the jump in value to the next prize is steep. There are plenty of experts here that will give you more detailed advice on that.

    The only other times I can think of when you might want to fold big hands to get into the money is when that is the only way you can get the money for a taxi home

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for commenting Dribbo!
      Yes, I've noticed a lot more good play, but there are still plenty of idiots out there!
      Gathering a big stack before going into the money is easier said than done, when you hardly get any good hands and get out drawn half the time.
      a few scenarios:
      1) approaching the money (or a place for a free ticket) with a rather big stack, and I get AA. I make a strong bet pre flop and get raised by a bigger stack. I re-raise all in and he calls, showing 33. He get's a set and I'm out.
      2) just entered the money with a rather small stack (about 8BB) and after the break I get KK. I bet 2BB (25000) and get called by a bigger stack. The flop shows 345 and I go all in. He calls and shows A2. Now I know, A2 was a possibility and I may have been a little to quick to shove it, but most stacks his size would have raised A2 and force me to go in from the beginning, so I didn't expect that hand at all!

      Comment


      • #4
        I think in case 1) above if you are playing for a ticket in a satellite and you have enough money to get through the bubble you don't play anyone with a bigger stack than you, just wait for the small stacks to go bust. In other tournaments, your play is fine just unlucky this time. 4 out of 5 times you'll win that so don't adjust.

        In case 2) I think the standard paly is to shove all-in pre flop with KK and a stack size of 8BB, then the A2 might have folded. Raising 2 BB invites those marginal hands into the pot and increases the risk of being outdrawn.

        Comment


        • #5
          GSMTH

          The problem can be that we're getting too short or not betting correctly. The easiest way to find if this is the case, is to post the hand history, so that we can look at the play and see if you're making a mistake. Table position and stack size for you and the opp will be a big factor in what IS the best decision for us in the hand.

          For example, if you shove 8bb, no matter what your hand is, if you're in the SB and the opp is in the BB, I'd bet you would be shocked at what the opp can PROFITABLY call you with: 22+ Jx+ T2s+ T5o+ 94s+ 96o+ 85s+ 86o+ 75s+ 65s There are a lot of trash hands there, but due to us being so short, those hands are profitable (and any player with a clue will be calling you VERY wide in these spots).

          My guess is that you're probably missing spots that you should be playing, and are avoiding, which is dropping your stack too low (or in the hands where you get beat, you're misplaying those somewhere along the line, wrong bet sizes, calling/checking when you should be betting, etc.).

          You also may be playing too many hands early (which is a common mistake for newer players) and that can be contributing to this too.

          Once again, the easiest way for us to see, and help you improve is with analyzing the hands and how they're played.

          John (JWK24)

          P.S. The overwhelming majority of players that have these problems, are misplaying hands... been there, done that, when I started playing too.

          Super-Moderator



          6 Time Bracelet Winner




          Online Poker League
          Can you win the leaderboard?

          Comment


          • #6
            @JWK24
            thanks for the comment!
            In the beginning, I was indeed checking and calling way to often, but I have corrected this already and I must admit there is some improvement in the results.

            Concerning the table position: I admit I'm not yet very deep into poker strategy, but from a mathematical perspective, your exact location at the table doesn't change the %-wise outcome (statistically) when you call an all in from KK with 33 (as an example). The fact that you're on the big blind (caller) vs small blind for the bettor does not give you a higher % chance of winning! The fact is that I'm consistantly losing very strong and monster hands in the final stages of a tournament, and this at an abnormally high rate.

            I agree a few exact hand histories should shed more light on this, whether it's pure bad luck or if I'm doing something wrong. Sadly I'm not very technical and I have no idea where I can find those. Any information on that would be most welcome!

            Comment


            • #7
              GSMTH

              Table position means a lot. We don't look at things as one hand vs another single hand. We need to look at it as our entire range of hands we can be playing against the opp's entire range of hands. The ranges will be tighter at early position, than middle, than hijack, than cutoff, etc... the farther around the table we are, the ranges get wider and wider.

              In your example, 33 may be an 80% to 20% underdog against that exact hand, but can be ahead of the opp's entire range if the KK player is in late position or the SB.

              The hand histories can be saved to your computer or requested from the client (where PS will e-mail them to you). To request in the client is tools, then stats and history, then get hand history. To save when playing to your computer, settings, then playing history, then hand history, check the box and pick what file you want to save them to.

              When posting them for us to look at, please use either the cash game or tournament hand analysis forums and keep it to one hand per thread (that way we can keep the conversations about them on topic). It's perfectly fine to make multiple threads for them.

              John (JWK24)
              Super-Moderator



              6 Time Bracelet Winner




              Online Poker League
              Can you win the leaderboard?

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks a lot JWK24! I'll try to do so.

                With regards to the KK vs A2 all in, I'm playing micro stakes tournaments and Sit&Go's and in my experience on that level, facing a bigger stack, it would have made no difference whether I went all in or not pre flop, he would have called me anyway.

                I know my position is important regarding the range of hands to play/call and most of the time I stick quite well to that, at least for the past few days :-). Before that, I must admit I was playing way to loose.

                Anyway, I'll try to get some hand histories and post them in the tournament forum, 1 by 1. Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  GSMTH

                  I play sng's by the thousands, mostly micros and some low buy-ins (stream them too on twitch at least twice/week when I'm home). I've played thousands of them from 6-max to 90-mans to double or nothings (50/50's are similar on PS).

                  Especially when you get near the bubble and once ITM, the playable ranges will change due to ICM (Independent Chip Model). The reason for that is that there are two types of expected value in tournaments, chip EV and $$ EV. ICM deals with the money part. I also do some hand analysis streams that show the differences in these ranges, as I'll run the hands I'm doing both ways thru Holdem Resources Calculator.

                  KK vs A/rag is basically a 70% favorite (can be tweaked a bit due to suits).. so we want that spot all day long. Yes, we lose 3 in every 10, but we'll make a fortune there longterm.

                  In these tourneys, we need to be playing for top 3's and wins.. and if we bubble a few more times doing that, so be it. We won't cash as often, but we'll make more $$ in the long run.

                  John (JWK24)

                  P.S. I do tourney reviews for members some, when I get the time to. Hit me up in a few weeks after I get back from Vegas and we can talk about doing one for you, if you're interested. It would be an eye-opener for you.
                  Super-Moderator



                  6 Time Bracelet Winner




                  Online Poker League
                  Can you win the leaderboard?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    just wondering, flush draws(Royal <> Straight flush's etc) have much diff on odds in hands to pair/3/4 of kinds?
                    3 Time Bracelet Winner


                    Comment


                    • #11
                      JWK24
                      that would be great John! let me know when you're back!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm back from Vegas. Due to a technical problem with one of the sites that I have to play on (replayer not working), I'm not sure when I'll be able to do one... I do have a library of spots to look at and will do multiple streams of hands when I'm able to.

                        John (JWK24)
                        Super-Moderator



                        6 Time Bracelet Winner




                        Online Poker League
                        Can you win the leaderboard?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have my last tournament registered live. would you care having a look and tell me what you think?
                          again, I broke my own rule thinking villain was bluffing, and again it threw me out of the tournament. I believe that's the biggest and only real mistake I made, but I could be wrong off course!
                          let me know where I can snd the video

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is it 1 hand or a whole thing.. 1 hand, absolutely, can look at. send me a DM with a link to it.

                            John (JWK24)
                            Super-Moderator



                            6 Time Bracelet Winner




                            Online Poker League
                            Can you win the leaderboard?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              it's the whole thing unfortunately,But I'll describe the last hand.

                              I get AJ suited on the CO-1, bet 3bb 750 and get called by the bb, a very big stack.
                              flop comes, 772 giving me a backdoor flush draw. he checks, I bet half the pot (also half my stack), he raises all in, I call, convinced he's bluffing.
                              he shows TT, I get nothing on turn or river.

                              Comment

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