Aces cracked on my first hand of the session!

Pocket Aces
Image by mrdelayer via Flickr

Last night I decided to play for a couple of hours at a cash game at DoylesRoom.Com at the .25/.50 No Limit Hold ‘Em tables. The average buy-in is $50, while some bring $100 and others $10. I bought in at $30.

The advantage of buying in as a small or medium stack is that you can limit your initial losses to whatever you pick as your buy-in. Of course, this also means that you limit the amount that you can win to multiples of your buy-in as well.

The advantage of a large stack is that you can be more aggressive and steal pots from others that don’t want to challenge you when you put in large raises or bets.  It is all a matter of deciding what style suits you and what works well at the table you choose to play at.

I had played with four of the other eight players at my table before and I had notes about their tendencies. When I sat down at the table, (this is online of course, so my avatar is shown as sitting down), I did not immediately start playing but instead waited until I was the big blind, BB, to start. The advantage of waiting until being the BB is that I can observe the action occurring at the table and plan my strategy accordingly.

I noticed a very aggressive big stack, $80 plus, just three seats to my left who almost always played every hand and always came in with a pot sized bet which caused most of the players to fold to him. This allowed him to win the blinds and limped in calls uncontested most of the time. If someone did call him, the aggressive player would usually bet about 1 1/2 to 2 times the pot size after the flop and take the pot without any further challenge to him.

When it was my turn to be the big blind, I was dealt a pair of pocket Aces, the best starting hand possible before the flop. Two players to my left folded but the aggressive player raised by betting the pot, $1.75.  Everyone folded to him and when it was my turn to bet,  I raised the pot to $5.00 and the aggressive player called for $3.25. The flop was 8s,Tc,6h and I bet the size of the pot or $10.25 and the aggressive player called. The turn card was a king of hearts. Again I bet as much as I could, less than half of the pot, which put me all in for my remaining $14.75. The aggressive player called. He turned over an A6 off suit. He had only a pair of sixes against my pair of aces. The river card was a 6, giving him three sixes or the best hand and the aggressive player won the pot containing $57.25 which included my entire stack and whatever he bet, less the rake that DoylesRoom took from the pot.

I bought in again for $30 and continued to play. I tried not to let the fact that I was called by a pair of sixes and my opponent got lucky and won in-spite of the poor starting cards he started the hand with. Sometimes large stack players will take risks thinking that the small stacks are trying to bluff them out of their winnings.

Overall, I played 122 more hands before leaving the table and session. I was able to win back most of the $30 I had lost from the aggressive player that initially had won my buy-in stack from me. I was not trying to beat him in particular but it just worked out that way. I left the table with $63.80 or $3.80 more than I started with. Considering what had happened in the first hand, I was satisfied to leave with more than I started with.

By the end of the session, I was able to tag him as a LAG or Loose and Aggressive player who would play just about any two cards, including pocket aces. He had pocket rockets in a three way pot in which all three players went all in. The aggressive player had AA, a small stack player had AK and a TAG or Tight and Aggressive player had Q5. The flop was Qd,Kd,5c. The turn card was an 8c and the river card was a 7s.The TAG player ended up having two pairs, queens and fives against the AA and KK and won a hugh pot of $112.

Do you play No Limit Hold ‘Em? Are you willing to risk your stack when you have a good hand but you have not seen the rest of the board cards? Do you move all in pre-flop? Post flop? Or at the turn or River? Do you only move all in when you know for certain that you cannot be beaten? How do you play No Limit?

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13 thoughts on “Aces cracked on my first hand of the session!

  1. Pingback: Aces cracked on my first hand of the session! : DadsPokerBlog

  2. I watched an interview with Annie Duke when she was asked if she ever played a perfect tournament. She said she wasn't sure if you can even say if you've ever played a perfect hand.Then she took it back and said the one hand she knows she played perfect was a hand she had pocket aces and called an all-in preflop. She lost, but still played perfect.

    • Thank you. I don't feel bad about what happened. That is poker. I tend not to go all in pre-flop even with aces but I won't be intimidated to fold when I think I have the best hand. I did not feel that that flop really hurt m but my stack size would not let the aggressor fold.

      • I try not to go all-in preflop with any hand early in a tournament, but I'll sure call an all-in with rockets any time.

  3. I have a question about your hand. When he called your postflop bet, it's very likely that he has hit trips, or a high ten. The King also puts the K-T against you. I know you pegged him as an aggressive player, but surely the show of strength on the flop – when he was bet into, would be a bit worrying?Also, if your flop bet would have left you with less than half the pot left on the river (aka you know you're going to go all in later on anyway), why not go all-in right there on the flop?Hope you don't take these questions the wrong way – by no means am I an expert, and it's not meant as a critique. I'd just like to learn more from your thought process. =).

    • Very good questions. Based on what I have seem him play, I put him on Ace little or even AK and with his large stack, he was bullying the table as well. I did not believe that he had two pair or trips or I would have folded. He called all my raises and did not re-raise so I saw no indication of strength on his part except perhaps a hope that he would hit his card on the river. I doubt that if I just checked, that he would not have bet to get me to fold so I kept up the pressure. He sucked out at the river. In fact becuase of his style of play, I was able to win back from him most of what I had lost in that hand. His style of playing risky hands actually worked in my favor overall.

  4. If he has a read that tells him this particular player is crazy enough to raise/call a 3bet with A6 then float(?) the flop with bottom pair when it's obvious that the short stack player (steve in this case) intends to get his stack in by shoving the turn then obviously he played the hand correctly. Also, the A6 guy doesn't really show too much strength at all by just calling the raise. Even if it did, by the time Steve is at the turn he's put so much money in that it would be ridiculous to do something like check fold the turn. And he can't bet fold because his whole stack is only a half pot bet. So while it's worrying that the A6 villain may have hit set or 2 pair or something, part of buying in short is just the fact that you can't avoid getting stacked with AA on dry boards like this one. 60 big blinds isn't really that short, but it's really not deep or even a standard cash game stack online… the deeper you are the better you can get away from overpairs.. 2 pairs.. even sets if you feel you're beat. Anyways, as for this: Also, if your flop bet would have left you with less than half the pot left on the river (aka you know you're going to go all in later on anyway), why not go all-in right there on the flop?It definitely makes sense if you feel like your opponent will read it as a bluff.. but if you know that you're going to be able to shove the turn no matter what by betting 10 and you're confident that the guy has alot of air in his range you might as well bet 10. In the end I think Steve played the hand fine and just got unlucky. If he shoved all in on the flop (large overbet when compared to the pot size at the time) then maybe this guy wouldn't have committed his chips with bottom pair. Who knows… (Not criticizing you btw, I'm just saying I don't think there's any other way to play it other than the way he did given stack sizes, position, and reads… )

    • Jack, thanks for your comments. I doubt that I could play this hand any other way given what I knew about the opponent. It would have been nice had I flopped a set or a full house, but, I knew he was aggressive and could bet with air. He also plays with good cards so it does male it harder to know when you have the best of him.

  5. Thank you. I don't feel bad about what happened. That is poker. I tend not to go all in pre-flop even with aces but I won't be intimidated to fold when I think I have the best hand. I did not feel that that flop really hurt m but my stack size would not let the aggressor fold.

  6. Very good questions. Based on what I have seem him play, I put him on Ace little or even AK and with his large stack, he was bullying the table as well. I did not believe that he had two pair or trips or I would have folded. He called all my raises and did not re-raise so I saw no indication of strength on his part except perhaps a hope that he would hit his card on the river. I doubt that if I just checked, that he would not have bet to get me to fold so I kept up the pressure. He sucked out at the river. In fact becuase of his style of play, I was able to win back from him most of what I had lost in that hand. His style of playing risky hands actually worked in my favor overall.

  7. Jack, thanks for your comments. I doubt that I could play this hand any other way given what I knew about the opponent. It would have been nice had I flopped a set or a full house, but, I knew he was aggressive and could bet with air. He also plays with good cards so it does male it harder to know when you have the best of him.

  8. Pingback: Pocket Aces in a cash game – there are many blogs about them! : DadsPokerBlog

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