Well, after trying out the advice from last week’s strategy panel, I was able to come out ahead $450 playing $1/$2 NLHE this weekend. The sessions were not that different from other sessions. I ran well at times, and I ran badly other times. I won some big pots and I lost some big pots. The difference was evident in that the pots where I won, I won more.
Also, there were a couple of hands where I was out of position, but continuation betting bigger seemed to protect me better from tricky players who in the past might have decided to float me and steal from me on the turn. Hard to tell, of course, since they folded, but I had a sense that their decision was a lot easier when I bet close to the size of the pot instead of smaller bets. Most recreational live players are just not paying attention to pot to stack sizes and are more concerned about how big the bets are in monetary terms.
I also tried over-betting limped pots when connecting with the flop. For example, I would bet $15 on the flop when 5 players limped to the flop for $2 each. Again, this proved very profitable, usually heading to the turn heads up and taking bigger pots down on the turn.
Here is a hand I played on Saturday night:
Villain is UTG+1 and raises to $8 with about $200 behind. Everyone folds to me with AJo on the button. I know the villain is a good player, and I also know he respects my play. He has been playing very tight, but is capable of opening here with small pocket pairs and Broadway cards. I decide to try to play heads up on the flop, and I raise to $20. Everyone folds, villain thinks for a bit and then just calls.
Flop is Q-J-T rainbow. Villain checks to me and I check behind after some thought. My thought is that I might not be ahead here, but there are cards that are good for me on the turn, so I don’t want to get taken off the hand by a check-raise.
The turn is a 9 of clubs, so there are two clubs on the board now. Villain checks again, and I bet $35. He thinks again for a bit and calls. Now I know he has a strong hand, maybe a pair with a flush draw or two pair. I don’t think he would play a straight this way with the board having so many draws, but that’s also a possibility. I am basically done with the hand at this point, and I’m ready to fold to a bet unless a king that is not a club hits.
The river is another queen, and again the villain checks. I’m pretty sure I don’t get worst hands to call me, so I check behind, and the villain throws his cards faced up on the felt and says, “Come on! I was sure you had AK!” He had hit quad queens and almost won the minimum. As it was he won a little from my bet on the turn. In his defense, the board was so wet I’m not sure what else he could have done since I would have to fold to any raise or bet on the river.
Do any of you play this hand differently? Let me know what you think about this or about the concept of making bigger bets.