During a cash game this week, I encountered a player I will call Gumby as the first part of the player’s name is “Gumb”. My hand details show only the first four characters to protect the players identity. I call her a “she” as the avatar being used is a female one. I know that the gender may not be accurate as I have seen players change avatars from male to female and back again for whatever reason.
Every time that Gumby entered a pot first she would raise the amount of the pot. That raise would be enough to take down the pot and win the blinds. If someone else had limped into the pot, Gumby put in a raise equal to two or 2 1/2 times the pot. Again that would be enough to win the pot without even seeing the flop.
I was in the cutoff seat with a Q9 of clubs. All the other players ahead of me folded. I entered the pot with a raise the size of the pot hoping to pick up the pot right then. I was prepared to play the hand if called as Q9 suited in the cutoff is not too bad of a hand. I had position. But Gumby re-raised me by almost 2 1/2 times the current pot. I was not getting the right odds to call as this was a drawing hand. In hindsight, perhaps I should have limped in against this aggressive player. After 15 seconds of pondering my decision, I elected to fold instead of calling or re-raising.
About thirty hands later, I was under the gun, first player to bet and I was dealt a pair of pocket Jacks. This is a troublesome hand to play but I put in a pot sized bet and everyone folded except Gumby who re-raised me. Again. By the size of the new pot or $4.00. But this time with the pocket Jacks, I decided to just call and see the flop. If the flop contained higher cards than my Jacks I was going to fold if Gumby raised. The flop was 10 Q K. A bad flop for me. I checked and to my surprise Gumby checked right behind me. The turn card was a 2. I checked again and Gumby checked. The river was a 7. We both checked and she turned over an AQ to win with a pair of queens.
The flop must have scared her as there was a king and there was a straight possible. If a nine or an ace came up I would have a straight. Whatever the reason she just checked, I got to see how she plays AQ. Had she raised after the flop, I would have folded my Jacks. Of course I wonder what would have happened if I had raised after the flop. I have seen her re-raise all in with other players. I thought my Jacks were dominated and I did not want to take the chance without the best hand against a known aggressive player.
How do you play pocket Jacks? Do you know when to hold them and when to fold them? How do you handle aggressive players? Do you play back to them with re-raises or all ins?