Well it's been a while since I have posted anything of substance on this here blog. I am still running well at NL200, and think I can keep up with the big boys. I did notice last night was a little bit crazier than other nights on party, the players to the flop were higher, more betting, more desperation. It seemed everyone
was trying to make there last buck and forcing the issue, especially
the Americans. I played my patient game, made some resteals, lots of CB's, and some reraises with junk to keep them honest and everything was working.
The following is a play I use quite regularly in Cash games at NL50 and above, the higher the better. I'm sure many people use it but I am still going to write about the advantages of making this play and if you haven't thought about it, it will add
another arrow to your sling.
You get dealt QQ in MP at a full ring game and you bump it up to $4 at a .50/1.00 NL table. You get one caller who has position on you and just the two of you see the flop. This is a very common scenario that we see almost on a daily basis, out of position with a strong hand. The flop comes Q102 rainbow, so we hit top set and the action is on us. (this could easily be 1010 and middle set)
Check: - we have a great hand with top set and we cannot be scared of anything at this point so we know we are ahead. KJs is a possible holding which would mean we could be venerable to draws but also not that likely and I wouldn't worry to much. Checking after a raise looks way too suspicious on a flop like this, it is pretty clear most preflop raisers would get a piece of this, and if not still take a chance at continuation betting anyway, and even if your opponent did as well they will most likely check behind and take a free card. This does not build a pot and we will not maximize value by checking.
Betting full pot: This doesn't make much sense to bet strongly when we have the
best of it. We want to build a pot but we don't want to scare the villain off who may of hit 2nd pair and put us on AK, this bet will look like AQ or better and we will give him no opportunity to float us.
Betting 1/2 Pot: - Since we have a lock hand at this point we want to price the AQ's, KQs, KJs, A10s, Q10s in the best we can and make them think they are ahead and being tricky when they call our bet that does look like weakness. This bet size makes it easy for them to float us as well, we want to look like a missed AK and that we are scared to lose anymore money so we make a small CB. At the higher levels this bet will often get raised right here but at the very least they will call with any piece of the flop putting us on AK and they will hopefully try to take us off the hand later. This seems the optimum bet to build a pot and give our villain options with a wider range of hands.
We bet 1/2 pot $5 and our continuation bet gets called. The turn is a 7 completing our rainbow. Q,10,2,7.
This is the part were things get interesting, we again have some options.
Bet: This will confirm to our opponent that we still like our hand and if they are drawing they would be folding, if they had 2nd pair they would fold, and if they were floating, we just confirmed we have a hand and their folding. Top pair would still probably call in this situation but that is only one of the many possible holdings that we want to extract money out of.
Check: You still have the best possible hand, and conventional wisdom says value bet, value bet, but at the higher levels you will fold out a lot of hands if you bet here
and you don't give the villain a chance to confirm his read of a missed AK, thus instilling confidence in them and causing them to make a "play" and fire back at your sensed weakness. They usually fire a 3/4 pot sized bet that we can decide what to do with later, or if they check behind you weren't going to get them to call a big bet anyway most of the times, so chalk it up to experience and take the small pot down on the river. If they fire a decent size bet we now have a pot worth playing for and you can either call and bet out on the river, or raise this bet usually getting them to fold unless they have a very strong hand in their eyes such as two pair. If they
have two pair they might even push and you can stack them. If they fold you won a few more BBs then if you bet into them.
The river doesn't mean much because you either stacked them, got them to fold on the reraise, or they checked behind and your gonna win a small pot. This isn't a play for those of you that want to protect your winning hands and enjoy value betting which works for the most part. This is a play when you want to stack someone or trying to extract maximum value for a hand. It works very well and I use it whenever the situation comes up. It can be used with many preflop hands/flops but you have to have the board nearly dominated and have only one opponent who like to pounce on weakness.
Good luck and when you get drawn out on do not blame me! :)