Fixing holes in my game - an invitation for anyone interested to discuss strategy

    • Drbiero94
      Joined: 06.02.2015 Posts: 4
      I’ve been only been playing poker as of October 2014 so compared to most people quite new to the game but I consider myself to be a good player at least for my level of experience. I was playing at 40 seated tournament at the casino tonight, made the final table but was first to get knocked out 8th place after nearly 6 hours of play (cashing £40). Happy to cash but annoyed with myself for making some mistakes and getting confused in certain situations. Playing tonight sort of made me aware of quite a few holes in my game and I’m not really sure how to address them. I’m sure if it weren't for these difficulties I would have been in with a good chance of winning.

      Consider myself to be tight with a passive aggressive style, I often slow play to under rep strong hands, here is a lose example of a hand I played tonight. eg limp UTG with KK player from mid position raises, the button calls then I call, K comes on the flop giving me a set (think there was an A on the board) I check, 2 players left to act both bet to which I call, check raise the turn then go all in on the river.

      I think because I play so passive aggressively by trapping with strong hands especially on a scary board so as not to scare other players off, allowing me to get max value I get paranoid that other players may do the same. This is an issue against looser aggressive players who have a much broader range where I hit mid to low pair on scary boards. I also struggle where I completely miss but I feel check folding is not the right play as half the time Im just being weak and giving away chips. I’ve hypothesised some very vague hand examples of the top of my head purely as the sort of areas where I have trouble.

      How would you describe your style of play and how would you play these hypothetical hands (they are far from perfect examples so think of them more of a rough guide to the sort of position you are in rather than specific situations).

      Playing strong-mediocre hands form early position
      • Hero picks up e.g KJo UTG raise 3x bb, villain 3 bet from mid to late position. Call, fold? If hero calls and flop comes in A 9 7, CB, CF, CC?

      Putting pressure on opponents as chip leader?
      • Hero picks up e.g Q8s Mid position as the chip leader? Villain limps UTG Hero calls, Villain calls on the button.
      Flop comes in A K 8 missing the flush. Villain checks. Check back or bet out? Because I trap a lot I’m overly conscious about villain doing the same? If I were to hit a board like that UTG I may CC down to the river and then raise or shove and if I bet out I’m worried about villain doing the same thus putting my chip lead at risk. As chip leader I feel more comfortable defending my lead even though I know I should be exploiting it as an advantage.

      Defending blinds with speculative hands
      • Hero picks up e.g 87o/87s etc on the blind, action folds round to the button, villain raises 3xbb. Check/fold? Hero calls flop e.g AQ2 lead out or check/fold?

      Playing heads up as small blind vs big blind with speculative hands
      • Action folds round to hero on SB with A4s I don’t like raising here because if he has an A im probably behind, and if I miss he could have anything if he is blind, I feel calling is weak here and I don’t just want to fold and give away my blinds. Min raise, BB calls, flop 10 6 5. CB, CC, CF?

      Overall I feel I can trap rather creatively to build up and then win massibe pot without my opponents realising what’s going on until its too late but then a combination of the above leaks causes me to bleed away chips slowly.
  • 5 replies
    • mcshadeone
      Joined: 20.01.2015 Posts: 4
      :f_smile: hsgasg
    • Drbiero94
      Joined: 06.02.2015 Posts: 4
      Fish? Maybe? But thats why Im here... to improve.
    • metza
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Well since you're playing at casino, slowplaying hands like KK especially preflop is gonna be a mistake. People at casinos want to see flops, so get more value from their weaker hands by raising preflop.

      When you say UTG, I'm guessing this is at a 9man table not a 6man? At 6max KJo is a very loose UTG open. Most regs will not raise KJo UTG. At 9man it is far too loose to open raise. And if you do somehow raise it, it is definitely a fold when you are 3bet.

      A solid 9man UTG open raising range for 9man should be quite tight. I don't play 9 handed but I imagine something like 66+, AJo+,ATs+, KQs would be reasonable. If you have a big postflop edge on the rest of the table playing wider is ok.

      I'd avoid limping as much as possible, except when there are other limpers already and you're in SB, then its often a matter of getting amazing pot odds.

      blind battles, you should be stealing a lot. A hand like A4s should be raised from sb vs basically every single player type. Remember when you are in sb, bb can have literally any hand. Most people don't like to play weak hands, so you will often get folds from weak hands, and people who play trash hands will often be passive and fit-or-fold. So you can bet your A4s even on flops where you miss and they will fold because they miss the flop 2/3 of the time. Having one card of the suit eg Ah4h and flop has 1 h also, means you can turn flush draws which helps for 2nd barrels on the turn.

      There is no need to trap casino players. They will build possibly even bigger pots if you don't trap them. Casino players are almost always very loose so by playing your hands straightforward rather than trappy, I think you will get even more value with your strong hands, because they hate folding preflop, and they hate folding when they pair the board.
    • Drbiero94
      Joined: 06.02.2015 Posts: 4
      Thank's for the response, I still like the idea of slow playing certain hands because I can extract value from people who limp with weaker hands in order to see a flop and those people may fold if I raise pre flop. I also feel checking after hitting a K on the flop was good play because that way I disguise my hand and people are more likely to view it as a weak play and et into me.

      Yeah when I say UTG I mean a 9 man table, well at least up until the bubble time when there were only about 4 left on my table. With so few players left and the blinds getting very high I found it difficult to adjust my play accordingly, I bled a lot of chips just by blinding out because I wasnt sure how to play against such a small table. I do like the idea of stealing a lot as SB, I think this is something that would save me bleeding away a lot of chips in the long run. How would you go about defending your BB with a weak-mediocre hand when raised by the SB?
    • Yakut228
      Joined: 06.02.2015 Posts: 2