PokerStars homepage
  • If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.


No announcement yet.

$1/$2 NL., Hand evaluation: small pocket pair in position vs AJo

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • $1/$2 NL., Hand evaluation: small pocket pair in position vs AJo

    I'd like your opinion on how you would have played this out. I'm new to live table poker, playing $1/$2 NL. I create and play a table image that I hope is perceived as tight aggressive. I fold nearly 80-90% of my pre-flop hands and try to play only premium hands; which means maybe 1 hand an hour.

    To set up the hand to discuss I want to explain a previous hand.

    Earlier in the session I had pocket kings which turned into a boat and heads up play. The betting went along the lines of $15 raise, $25 raise, and a raise re-raise of $75 to $150. However when I pushed in the $150 the player put me on pocket kings, which was fine. He could call me and find out

    He said to himself, "I should fold." I thought he said, "I fold." So I turned over my kings to get the pot. I might have been able to squeeze the extra $75 out of him if I was more careful. But it did show the table how new I am, including the villain for the hand I want to discuss.

    So a half hour later I'm BB and the table has folded, SB Limps in with $2. I say, "check" and bump the table with my middle three fingers. The villain, who is not even in play says, "he called chop." I reiterate that I verbally called check, but the villain makes a spectacle of himself, I let it go, and ultimately the SB and me do chop the pot to move on...still I'm embarrassed. However there were a few at the table who heard and supported that I verbalized checking the hand. Anyway, now I just don't like this guy and am waiting for a hand to hit him on.

    45 minutes later I get pocket 3s which I fold per flop. Next hand I get pocket 4s which I fold preflop. The next hand I get pocket 5s. I'm out of position but limp in; everyone before me folded. One person after me stays in on the button by limping in. SB folds. the villain is BB, and raises to $7 preflop.

    The villain has been playing premium hands raising to $15 with face card pairs and suited face cards, raising $7 when he has off suit face card connectors. So I put him on Ace-face card off suit. I call $7 and the button drops out, so it's heads up me with 5-5, villain with A-X.

    Flop comes 2-3-2.

    Villain raises $15. Again, I'm fairly confident that while he's been tight and aggressive with premium hands he views me as a new player/calling station or passive. Not sure why I got that impression, but that was my view.

    I don't see the flop helping him so I call $15. (This WAS the one hand I did become a calling station).

    The turn comes out with a rag, no flush or straight potential. I think it was a 7 or 8.

    Villain raises $25. Again, I really don't see him on a pair. I see him as trying to push me off the pot. I think here is where I should have pushed back, reraise. But I called. At this point I think he said something like, "you got a 2?" So he might be putting me on A-2 but I have him confused because I've only been playing premium hands. I also have him confused because he views me as a newb, which I am, so he might be thinking I'm unpredictable in that manner.

    The river comes out. Ace of clubs. This is the worst possible scenario I could come up with in my head. Villain raises $85, undervalue for the pot size. I reevaluate what he has played, which could be K-Q but I know it's my original perception of A-X. So I think he's got a pair of aces and the board 2s. I've got pocket 5s and the board 2s.

    I'd kick myself if he drove me off the pot without an ace, so curiosity got the better of me and I called the $85. Villain shows A-J off suit.

    My questions are: when would you have let the hand go or would you have raised him out at the turn to push him off the pot?

    I'm not trying to necessarily justify my actions. I think my play was both right and wrong in different aspects. But I am looking for the advice of experience as to how you would have played based on position, player image etc.

    What I think I did right was: put the villain on the right set of cards and play to the turn, because I had him beat. What I think I did wrong was: play a weak hand without the skillset - outside what my gameplay of only playing strong hands aggressively, play past the turn on this hand when the ace came out on the river, and not push back when I had him beat at the turn.

    Hope the description was entertaining and I look forward to some advice.

  • #2
    xxx moved xxxx


    • #3
      Hi moxie,

      I think you played the 55 perfectly fine, right up until the call on the end... you may be a newb to live poker but I would commend you on the job you did accumulating reads, including the bet sizing tell on this villain and understanding the history with him which led to the good play of the 55 (pre river call). I don't think we want to raise the turn here, because if our read is wrong it will cost us, and if our read is right it also costs us by making him fold the worst hand and denying him an opportunity to bluff the river (which seems likely to happen given the situation). So calling is the clear superior play imo given the situation at hand. But it comes with 2 big caveats:

      1) We have to be prepared to call a river bet, even a big one, on blank rivers.

      2) We have to fold on an ace river.

      You let your emotions make a bad river call, after acting all the way on an (ultimately correct) read of ace high, because you didn't want to get shown up by this guy. Keep your emotions out of the equation, and keep making solid, observation based reads and trusting your instincts, and you'll be fine.

      A couple notes:

      Live 1/2 you should be seeing 25-30 hands/hour roughly, so if you're folding 80-90% of the time that means you're playing 3-6 hands/hour. If you're only playing maybe 1, that's significantly too tight, but just be aware.

      You don't have to chop if you don't want to. The SB didn't ask to chop, he put his $1 in to complete the SB, so technically he was the first one to declare he wasn't chopping. But regardless, don't let someone bully you into chopping if you don't want to. Just remake the motion and say verbally, "no, that's a check". If he whines on, you can ignore him and address the dealer with "go ahead and deal, I check my option."

      As an aside, I always chop if my opponent wants to, it's just good will for the game. If next to an opponent that doesn't like to chop, I'm cool with that (I prefer to play tbh).
      Head Live Trainer
      Check out my Videos

      4 Time Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        Originally posted by moxiepilot View Post
        Again, I'm fairly confident that while he's been tight and aggressive with premium hands he views me as a new player/calling station or passive. Not sure why I got that impression, but that was my view.
        I don't think they are viewing you as a calling station. You said that you're playing a very small number of hands, so passive, maybe, but definitely not a station.
        Calling stations are players that call and call and call and play a very large number of hands (normally 40-70%).

        John (JWK24)
        Last edited by JWK24; Tue Sep 16, 2014, 08:35 PM. Reason: typo

        6 Time Bracelet Winner


        • #5
          Thanks for the fast responses. It puts me a bit more at ease that I was partially correct.

          Hope the bankroll lasts for the beginning learning process or until my next rotation to Afghanistan



          X Cookies Information

          We have placed cookies on your computer to improve your experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.