Pay now for rewards later – hmmm?

Set of 52 Anglo-American style playing cards
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Last night I played at the Limit Hold ‘Em cash table on line at DoylesRoom. The highest game available, with a full table of 9 players, was in the .50/1.00 limits so I reserved a seat and waited until one was available.

My usual mode of play is a bit “Nitty” at these tables on this site. This is because most of the players will play any two suited cards, any two cards if they hold an Ace, suited or otherwise. I have found that there are some whose requirements are that one card be a face card or high: Ace, King, Queen, Jack; the second card did not have to match or be a high card or even in the same suit. There are some I suspect that even play their favorite starting cards.  I have seen at least a couple of players show 7 2 suited or unsuited to win a hand in spite of the fact that most of the cards that were flopped, turned or rivered where higher than either the pair of twos or pair of sevens they ended up with.

In the course of play last night, I ran into a couple of aggressive players, one to my immediate right which helped me and one about three players to my left which did not help. The player to my right would come into almost every pot with a raise before the flop. But he might fold almost immediately after the flop if he was raised. From this action, I was able to guess that he was raising with drawing hands  and was raising pre-flop to build up the pot in case he hit. But because he folded, I was never sure just what type of hands he was raising with. The same thing was true of the player on my left about three seats away. He also would raise before entering a pot. But he would never fold and would keep betting until the river if his opponents had not already folded.

So last night I decided I was going to look them up. In poker, this means that I was going to call their bets right down to the river and see the flop. I did this only if there was no re-raising going on. I did this once for each player. Over all, I think it helped as I found that their opening requirements were quite liberal. They might open with suited connector, like AK, KQ, QJ, J10 or just two suited cards or just an Ace and a high card. Did this help me win from them? Not really. After I figured out what they were doing, people were starting to leave the table and I did not have the opportunity to use the information I had learned by calling their bet and losing the pot just to see their cards. Before leaving the table, the player to my right won over $20 from the others including myself. The player to the left lost about $10,  and I ended up losing $13 for the night overall.

Do you ever wonder what a player had for cards that caused everyone who played against them to fold and not see a showdown? Were you ever tempted to call that last bet just to see what they had, even though you knew you were probably beaten? If you have done this, how have your results been?

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4 thoughts on “Pay now for rewards later – hmmm?

  1. Paying off for information. I've done that. In fact, in a NLHE session today (.05/.10) limits, I had a guy that was consistently raising my blind with any two cards from 3 seats to my right. So he was in the cutoff everytime I was in the BB. After the 5th time, I just decided “I'm going to play every pot with this guy.” I lost the first 3 pots in playing with him because I had junk hands. But then I started to get some tells on his betting patterns, and figured out what he was doing. In the end, I went from a $8 balance, down to a $1.30 balance, to a $17 balance just playing this guy. I'm ok with calling a guy down with the worst hand sometimes, simply because it lets them know “I'm not afraid to play pots with you” and “You're not going to bully me out of pots when you're in position.” Occaisionally, I'll reraise these guys from the button with air, but I really wanted to prove a point to this guy, and it worked.

    • I am glad that it worked for you. In my case, he left the table too soon for me to use the information I gathered against him. Oh well, better luck next time. Thanks for the comments.

  2. Poker is a lot like business: you gotta spend money to make money. So I pay for info all the time.If I'm in a live cash game and I'm playing against a new player (new people get invited to the “home” game all the time) I definitely want to know what they consider good cards, what their threshold is for raising vs. calling. In tournaments I do it less frequently. Usually try to do it heads up if possible, and if the cost isn't too high since I have a limited number of chips. In those cases I've even taken notes so that I remember. (I've met people later in tournaments that I “knew” something about from earlier hands)I also like to do it when I have nothing and I can show down my 'bad play' or fake a bluff & set up a particular table image. This will allow me to play the same way later when I have a hand and hopefully get some ROI on that info I bought.

  3. Poker is a lot like business: you gotta spend money to make money. So I pay for info all the time.If I'm in a live cash game and I'm playing against a new player (new people get invited to the “home” game all the time) I definitely want to know what they consider good cards, what their threshold is for raising vs. calling. In tournaments I do it less frequently. Usually try to do it heads up if possible, and if the cost isn't too high since I have a limited number of chips. In those cases I've even taken notes so that I remember. (I've met people later in tournaments that I “knew” something about from earlier hands)I also like to do it when I have nothing and I can show down my 'bad play' or fake a bluff & set up a particular table image. This will allow me to play the same way later when I have a hand and hopefully get some ROI on that info I bought.

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