Here’s a couple of hands.
I just sat in at a 9-seat ring, 500/1k, buying in for 200k.
I don’t know anyone at the table, only player who’s name I recognize is farolito, but I have no notes on him. I’m playing these hands pretty straightforward in other words.
First thing I see is a lot of limping. That’s what you usually see at these tables. OK.
I fold my first five hands, until I wake up with KK, on the button. Table limps around, a total of 4 limpers. I put up 10k to open, the entire table folds.
I would have liked to isolate, but I over-bet what anyone was willing to call with here, and take a lousy 5500 chips. I guess it’s better than losing 200k when the one hand that calls is AA.
So that’s one way how not to be aggressive. Come in too strong, and you chill the action at the table so now everyone’s a nit, and all you do is win min pots or face nut monster hands.
You could well reason: but the nut monsters are super rare, surely I can get out of their way, while reaping so many min pots that I’ll profit long-run!
Eh, I guess. On the other hand, if you’re wrong even once and lose a big pot, it can end up equaling the losses.
Hold-em Poker is a 5-street game, and if you’re only winning hands pre-flop, something’s not right about that. Pots are built over the course of the hand, you don’t need to worry about getting it all in preflop just because you’ve got some nice big pair.
Sometimes you do. But rarely if ever as your way of introducing yourself to a table.
Do I regret being over-aggressive? Nah, not really. It’s a lost opportunity, but it’s just a hand. You never really know how these table are going to be. I’ve seen em where EVERYONE wants to see a pot no matter how expensive you make it, and you can raise to 6BB, and get 5-6 limpers all decide they’re calling, and then you’re looking at no better odds, and a much larger pot where someone’s bound to have hit the board better than you did. I didn’t want that to happen with my KK, and I wasn’t calibrated for this table yet as it was only the 6th hand, so I shot a little big.
Fast forward 5-6 hands later. I’m dealt KQs in the BB seat. More limping ensues; 6 limpers altogether and it comes around to me, button and SB the only ones who fold. I’m in early position, not too crazy about opening.
Factoring in that 10k was a little too large for the previous hand, but that I have a few more limpers this time, plus I don’t have position on anyone in this hand, I decide to open pretty big again, but this time I make it just 8k.
The first two limpers call, then the next player folds, the player behind him raises to 15k, and the next behind him calls, the player behind him folds. I decide to call, then UTG and UTG+1 both fold, so we’re, what, four-way to see the flop with about 80k in the middle.
Flop hits me decent, K96. I’m looking at 4 players to beat. From early position, I could keep it cool and check-raise, and get even more chips in the middle, but I don’t want anyone to get committed here, and all things being equal I guess I’d rather blindly fire in with top pair and a pretty good kicker, and let all the 99 66 and AA in the world beat me.
Having seen this much interest in the pot preflop, I’m not about to go small and expect to see 2-3 folds, so I pot it. 77k to play. Everyone’s out at this point except for farolito, who calls.
The turn, 4c,doesn’t help me, I imagine it doesn’t help him any, but it does put two clubs on the board. Farolito only has 26.5k left in his stack, so I say he’s about committed here, whatever he’s holding. I bet it’s AK, and I’m about to light the rest of my stack on fire because that’s how my luck runs.
On the plus side, if he’s all-in on the turn, he can’t jam me with a river bet and force me to re-think the hand. Which, is nonsense, backwards justification. But I like the idea of putting him all-in to see the next card with two more to go. He does call.
He flips up… AA.
I river a King to suck out, trip KKKs over AAKK, and pull down 285k.
So did aggression work for me? I suppose so. Did it win me the hand? No, it didn’t. Luck won me the hand. Aggression got me a nice big pot for it, and I like that about it, but man I sure got lucky there.
I didn’t intimidate AA into laying down. I didn’t trap AA with a better made hand. I flat out rushed headlong into certain death and rivered a 6-out miracle, despite my suicidal instinct.
And although it’s rude to go south after taking a ginormous pot like that, it’s also late, and I don’t see myself getting that lucky again in another 6 hands, so I cash out.