So here I am at the 2004
World Series of Poker. Binion's Horseshoe
has been taken over by new owners... at
long last. That is not the most obvious
change that greeted me though. America has
gone Poker mad, mad, mad. An astonishing
343 have just paid an amazing $25,000 to
play the main event at the Bellagio. And
yesterday I walked into Binions satelitte
area and couldn't believe my eyes. Last
year there would have been maybe 3 or 4
tables running. This year there were 23
or 24 tables buzzing with excitement. Hordes
and hordes of new players. God bless America
, god bless the WPT on the discovery channel,
and god bless Chris Moneymaker. This is
I managed to win a seat
for the $2000 No Limit Hold em event in
a one table satelitte. I got lucky when
I slow played pocket Kings catching both
blinds who both flopped top pair. As an
added bonus, I was given a poker lesson
by a very attractive young lady with a large
bosom. She explained how dangerous it was
not to raise with Kings before the flop.
Bless her! Anyway I tripled thru and managed
to outlast the rest to gain a seat in the
NLH event for a paltry $230.
It can be very annoying
playing tournament poker and you
have waited two hours to pick up a hand.
You finally look down at a pair of Kings,
raise 3 times the Big Blind and everyone
passes. Doh!... So what is the correct thing
In the majority of cases the correct thing is exactly that. If you raise 3 times the Big Blind with AJ in mid to late position, then you must raise 3 times the Big Blind with your Kings (regardless of position). That way your eagle eyed opponents wont be able to tell what cards you play. If everyone passes, it's not the end of the world. At least you didn't lose with them.
In the satellite I mentioned above, I picked up the Kings in first position in a 9 handed aggressive one table satellite. I figured if I flat called, someone in a later position would raise, and then I could re-raise and get all my chips in the middle before the flop. A cunning plan... that didn't work. Everyone passed around to the blinds who smooth called. The flop came Jack high and they both decided they liked it. So it was just a matter of crossing my fingers and hoping neither had two pair.
In Limit Hold'em there is rarely any justification in slow playing big hands, especially in the lower limit games. If you have a pair a Kings I would recommend that you raise at every opportunity. The obvious reason is to make the pot as big as possible, so you win as much as possible. Another good reason though, is that you are better off playing against 1 or 2 opponents with your Kings than against the whole table. Less players will call 2 bets, and hopefully you wont lose the pot to anyone playing 5,6 of hearts. Post flop, the song remains the same. If it shows 3,7,J and your opponent bets, then raise him. Don't get cute. If for example he has 10,J or J,K, and the next card comes an Ace. Although it doesn't help either of you, it freezes the betting because it scares you both. And the pot that you win is that little bit smaller...
|So as usual, I am being as contradictory as ever. But most of the time, it doesn't pay to be too clever.|