Who am I and why do you care? Now that I am here were am I ?
by moneedude | Published Aug 01, 2012
This is going to be a lengthy little spewing so I am going to actually make it two parts
this part is the where am I part the next part will be the NOW WHAT DO I DO PART
NEW General evaluation of the 3/6 and 4/8 limit poker games I play in.
This is a low limit recreational game for the majority of players I face I have to understand this.
Pre-Flop hand ranges are all over the board. People play for the strangest reasons. Players play on hunches, a hand they saw on TV, out of boredom, and especially out of frustration.
If a player takes a bad beat or even what they consider to be a bad beat they will really open up the range and reason for being in the next hand. They want to get even or get well or prove they can win with garbage as well.
I have no real ability to put most people on hands pre-flop based on anything at all as they are so loose and so eager to play cards rather than poker that it is difficult if not impossible to narrow anything down on most pre-flop callers.
There are a few who you can expect some standards on, but these are usually the tighter folks and they are not really the main concern overall.
The mentality that it is only 3/6 or 4/8 is one of the most prevalent reasons these folks have to gamble.
As if the low limit makes all issues of weak, loose and bad play excused.
So I have surmised that pre-flop:
Any ace is in
Any King is in
Any paint combination is in
Any two suited cards are in
Any one and most two gap connectors suited or not
Big blind is almost always half in and NEVER half out
The dealer button is magic to most players for loose play all around. I had position or I was getting good odds on my call, all can come from the button on a wide range of hands.
Players generally look for more reasons (excuses) to gamble or call than reasons they should fold and save a bet or more.
Positional awareness is generally non existent players are playing their cards only and want to see flops.
Kickers are really not a worry for the most part it seems. Opponents will draw once and a lot of times twice to hit there weak kickers. Any medium kicker (7 or better for most) is glued in to the river most times regardless of position and betting action.
Pre-flop raises do not mean much. They will not thin the field often, especially when players are already in the hand. Players not in the hand yet want to see flops the cold call rate on raises is astronomical.
Players seem to think raises make juicy pots for them to chase. There is no real thought on what this raise means pre-flop, because you have to see the flop to make sure don’t you.
There are no bad cards just bad flops is a general motivation. Pre-flop the general belief is anyone has a chance you have to see the flop just in case it is you. This also leads to the chase as players catch small weak pieces of the flop and then they have a maybe I can get there or what if I am best attitude. We now have the call and pray poker model where players call and pray they get there or pray they are good with no real poker strategy at all. Weak kickers call down with an ace or any top pair praying they are good and then well I could not fold an ace or I did not hit my kicker.
Weak draws call down because I got there once before and I might win if I get there.
I also am inclined to believe a lot of players get a charge out of playing poor and cracking big hands. I think that I could announce that I was raising UTG or early with AA –AKs and I would still get three cold callers minimum. You could get and A or a K on the flop bet it or even check raise and still have 3 or more to see the turn card.
To actually thin the field pre-flop I am thinking that limp 3bet is one option on this subject or 3 bet right out. Simple 2 bet raises are not very effective as a thinning play. Pre-flop raises are primarily pot builders. If you get lucky enough to drop a weak hand or two it is a benefit but be prepared not to
The kill (Red) button can also be magic as I hear all the time I need to play my kill button especially if they have Kill chips out on the button. This goes back to the half in rule when the pot is raised they are never half out or behind enough to surrender the blind bet.
This is the area that I am noticing the actual play of my opponents seems to get even worse.
They play very weak and loose post flop. There is still no actual or very little strategic play that I see.
One very strange or weak thing I see way too much of post flop is that so many players are afraid to bet there hands. I see players play AK and flop an A or K and then check the flop into three opponents regardless of their position. Also, a ton of check calling, and straight over calling is done. I do not see, or rarely see a raise to define a hand, or to try and see where some one is in a hand. The check call over call is crazy like the norm.
If you can check call is it not better to bet out (in most situations) and see if a raise is placed on the cheap ends so you can at least start to get an idea of what can be out there or who may think they are in the lead?
Another issue I see so very regularly and do not understand is the fact that so many players draw to hands, make the hand they are drawing to, and do not have enough faith in the hand or courage to bet it.
If they are going to draw to a hand make it and not bet it why draw to it in the first place?
If you are drawing to a hand you should have the conviction to bet it if it gets there I think. If you make your hand on the turn and it is still so vulnerable to being outdrawn on the river or still so weak in comparison to the board why are you taking the turn card unless it is free. If it is free and you still get there now bet in defense at least.
Most any pair stays for at least 4th street to chase the set or weak two pair draw even in most raised hands middle pair is seeing the turn card.
Almost all ace anything hands are going to see 4th street naked, no redraw support needed.
Naked over cards are calling on the flop. I see this all the time no draw, no redraw, KQ or worse calls to hit an over card for top pair only even against action.
Backdoor anything is usually considered a drawing hand, especially if it is back door with over’s or bottom pair.
Action is not considered. Pot odds are not worried about. Callers want to see what happens they want to see the next card even if it traps them for several extra bets on the turn or river bets.
Gut shots are considered standard draws no matter the pot size or relative cost once again the three bet is going to be the actual decision maker I think as calling two bets cold is the norm.
Raises after the flop area are usually an indication of two pair or better. Top pair top kicker will see a raise sometimes but as I stated earlier most of the players do not actually bet their own hands, especially with cards to come. They are very paranoid about getting drawn out on so rather than charge the drawing hand they check to save bets or maybe even frustration I do not know. I do know there is a lot of not betting the best hand and check calling from these players.
Straight draws and two pair are calling on three and four flush boards and will usually pay off the river on the way outside chance of being bluffed out. I see this all the time call two bets on a three flush board with a straight draw against three players and then call again on the 4 flush river against a bet and an over call. Sometimes a bet and a raise and there is still an over call or more.
Multiple over calls on the river are the norm I see one player bet another call and then a third and sometimes a fourth will over call. Usually it is three and no one raises to make money it seems they call to make sure they are beat even with second pair no kicker on the river bet call call they just have to be sure and then they can surely justify calling the third spot.
Once in a hand letting go is almost painful for most of these folks it seems. There are no believers at all unless it is supper painfully obvious and then they will still make sure a lot of the time.
Creative calling standards are the norm and as I said most players are looking for ways to stay in the hand rather than fold and save bets for better spots. They are in this hand right now and they might win this hand right now.
Post Flop: (I got part of this from another column and added to it to suit my game)
In limit and especially Low Limit games this is where the money is. I make or leak chips on the play here, as the hands have actually developed and pre-flop edges or disadvantages have changed to a much larger gap for this hand.
Draws are now more clearly defined and pair hands are now made up or down. Also this is where more math as well as player knowledge come into play who will chase what and how far. Do you charge to protect a hand or bet for value. Pot and implied odds are now in effect at a greater level for the draws and chasers. So this is also where I need to know my odds and outs for greatest effectiveness as well.
Well have fun with this one. UP next as I said early is the "Now what do I do section of this spewing of text"