From my first SNG of the day:
Start here, and step through until I’m eliminated.
AA called by 78, and beaten: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/452907077
How this guy is able to call my bet on the flop, I have no idea. On the turn, there’s a straight draw, if he’s holding 67, but who would call with that here? And then a 7 comes on the River, giving any 6 a straight, but I’m not super worried about that given how this hand has progressed, but when the showdown happens, there it is: 2 pair, 8877. I have 62 chips.
I manage to recover by going all in for the next 3 hands, and get a semi-healthy chip stack back in front of me.
A-high Flush gets me to 288 chips, 3700 chips going to the two other players in the hand who chop Broadway: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/452907357
JAo, 4-way pot, 1182 chips come back to me, thanks to a lucky river that pairs the board and gives me a better 2 Pair, Jack kicker AA77J to beat my villain’s earlier 2 Pair AA66 hand, improved to AA776. https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/452907633
One more shove, AKo just gets me the blinds: https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/452907855
I settle back down and resume my usual style of play.
Then I get JJ, and the player ahead of me raises big, I go all-in. Not a real great call to make on my part since it’s only Jacks, but I’m not so attached to this table given that I had just reincarnated, I feel like if I go out here, so what, and if I double up again here, then I’m back in it for real. So it’s an alright gamble for me to take.
My opponent raised 4.5BB holding 86o, then calls my all-in re-raise, and crushes my Jacks with 3 8’s.
At the end of this series of hands, I “should have” been sitting on half the table’s chips, instead I’m out 9th.
Not every time, but every single time I get some high cards and bet them big, I get a “bad beat” outcome. When I raise more modestly with them, I win some, I lose some. Sometimes I have to dump the hand, sometimes I take in a great pot by the end.
Tell me, why is it good strategy to bet big with big pairs? I think it’s a poor strategy. Sure, you can win heads-up with AA 85% of the time. So the number of times that actually happens? You bet too big, you end up stealing the blinds, and get BB+SB for your premium hand, which is poor value. You bet too small, you get 4-6 callers, and someone dunks on you with 2 pair or better. There’s about a 2-chip gap between too big and too small. When you do bet too big, unless you’re playing my opponents, the only hands that will call you will be another premium starting hand, so unless you’re holding AA, it’s not worth it to bet like it and find yourself with JJ or TT facing down AA AK KK or QQ.
Plus, if you do go for a very big raise only when you have top cards, you’re tipping everyone off that you’re holding top cards, and they pretty soon learn to get out of your way when you bet like that. You can’t have too big a gap between your “regular” playable hand raising and your premium card raises – it’s a tell.
To be a better player than I am, when you play big pocket pairs, you have to be able to let go of them sometimes. Currently that’s too difficult for me.