Long story short. I busted out of Step 6 last night in eighth place with pocket Aces. I bused out because I am still a “newbie” on No Limit Poker.
The scenario: I had won three large pots during the evening to move me into first place. Both were with pocket Kings. I folded over 93 percent of my hands preflop even in the big and small blinds.
My next to last hand of the evening was dealt to me under the gun, the first to act. I was dealt pocket Aces, pocket rockets, the best starting hand in poker. I raised a pot sized bet which was 675 and I got one caller, the small blind. He was an aggressive player and while that gave me some concern, I had pocket Aces.
The flop was 10 8 3, rainbow, meaning no flush draw. I lead out with another pot sized bet of 1,500 in chips and my opponent shoved all of his chips in, going all in. I briefly thought for a second that he might have two pair but I have pocket Aces, the strongest pre-flop hand possible. I had him covered, meaning I had more chips than he did, although it was only 41 more chips. I thought about it for less than five seconds and called. He turned over pocket tens to go with the ten on the board giving him the best hand. The turn and river were no help and I was out in 8th place after the next hand.
Being a newbie, I made a rookie mistake. It is important to develop a skill known as hand reading so that I would know what to do after the flop. Based on the betting post flop, I should have figured out that my opponent had either two pairs or three of a kind. I should have thought it over and decided that it was not worth jeopardizing my remaining chips to call when I could easily have been beaten. This is the difference between a noob and a pro. It is just like the song lyrics, “Know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em”.
The most important thing that you can do in this circumstance is to take the time to think. Give yourself a chance to go over the betting and how the hand played out. Think about what the opponent calling your large raise meant. Think about what his re-raise meant. Give yourself a chance to put all the pieces of the puzzle together and you will have advanced from being a newbie to being a pro.
I will be starting back at Step 4 soon.
Do you know when to fold pocket Aces? Do you have the experience and discipline to make a big lay down? What would you have done?