Today's ridiculous hands

Looks like I’m going to have to take a break from playing poker here for mental health reasons. I cannot take this much longer.

Go ahead and complain all you want about how long this post is, or better yet just skip to the next thread. I don’t care.

So I start my morning like this:

I sit down at a 7.5k buy-in MTT this morning, and this is the very first hand that I’m greeted with.

I limp 35o, flop a pair of 5s with a 7 over me. A player holding 52 hits two pair on the flop, bets, I fold. They’re raised by the other player in the hand, and respond by shoving. The other player calls, holding nothing at the moment. The turn and river are Jacks, they’re holding… guess what, a Jack. Trip jacks, they double up in their first hand, insane suckout against a weak 2 pair. In a lot of cases, I’ve seen hands like this where someone hits rag 2 pair, which is good for the moment, but when they shove, they get called by someone who hits a higher pair, and then the board pairs, giving the higher pair two pair also, and then the rag 2 pair hand loses. But you don’t see someone hit runner runner trips to improve from High Card to winner very often.

Next hand, I limp K6o, board misses me, but I check it to the river. I needed a 4 to hit a straight, don’t get it. A3 wins the hand with high card Ace. It’s a paltry non-hand with no action, non big deal.

Next hand, I get KK, raise modestly, get a call, end up flopping a set of Kings. No one calls my bet, I take a small pot.

Next hand, the player who won the first hand to double up knocks out another player who shoves like an idiot with nothing into trip 2s. I guess they felt they’d hit a whee; with their A4, and could just shove into a paired board.

Now, through no special skill, just idiot plays that gifted chips to them, Dgourlie has a huge stack.

Next, AJ, flop Aces. Bet, call, bet, call, bet call. Opponent has 99, hits a river 9, takes most of my chips.

I get junk for a few hands, 72s, fold it. K4o, fold it. 42o, fold. 85o, fold. 73o, fold.

A2o. I decide I’m done and give up, shove it, and and up making the nut flush with backdoor diamonds and triple up.

Next hand, ATs, I miss the flop, pair of 7s and none of my suite, so I get out of the hand after the flop.

Next hand, 55. I limp hoping to get a set. I do, and make a good pot, taking 1800 chips.

T5o, fold. KK takes a chunk out of Dgourlie holding 77.

49, fold.

A4s, raise to 3BB to 120, 3 callers. Miss the flop, let it go. Turn is an Ace, a player shoves, takes the hand. Probably had AK.

JT, I’m in initially, but someone raises and I don’t feel my stack is big enough to speculate on JT, so I muck. The flop is 8Q9 for a straight for me if I’d stayed in. The big raiser is AK who misses the board completely but wins the hand with A-high. I could have doubled up here.

K8o, limp. A player raises to almost 800 chips, or half my stack, I lay down. A player shoves, and they go to the flop 3-up. 99 was the big raiser, Dgourlie called an 800-chip raise with 23o, AQ was the shover. Dgourlie takes it with a pair of 3s on the board giving him trip 3s, and triples up to 11430 chips, knocking out the player who had 99. Now how in the heck does anyone call an 800 chip raise with 23o, let alone go all-in preflop with it, and then come out on top?

T7o, fold. The survivor of the previous hand, Spaquito22, shoves and claims the blinds.

Q6s, in the BB, I limp. Catch a flush draw with the K8, and facing a half-pot bet of just 90 chips of course I call. Call another half-pot bet for 180 chips on the Turn. Miss the flush, lay down on the river to a pot-sized bet. Lost about 330 chips, but it was an opportunity.

JTs, I limp. Flop 6A6, I muck the turn to no pressure, timing out, and let the only other player in the hand take it. Their big stack made it very likely that they would have called anything, and I’m sure they would have had a Q to edge me out, or bottom pair. Wasn’t intending to timeout here, but it was probably the best possible play on this hand that I could have made.

32s, on the button, muck. Spaquito22 bets 1700 and steals the blinds.

JTo, I limp. Next player raises 2BB, 2 players call. Flop is 6KJ. I shove on my 2nd pair, am called by AQo, who misses broadway by a Ten, and I end up with KKJJ over KKA to double up. Now I’m up to 2700 chips, finally back to over my starting stack.

39o, muck. Dgourlie and sas1957 are in the hand, limping in. Flop is QKA. sas1957 goes gray, but Dgourlie mucks anyway, to no pressure, and 120 chips go to an absent player.

38o in the BB, muck to a min raise and from UTG and a re-raise from Dgourlie to 180. Dgourlie c-bets pot and takes the hand on the flop for 450.

53o, fold the SB. 85o, fold the button. It goes to the river, AcJc vs 4c2c, on a board with no clubs until the turn and river, no flush for anyone, Dgourlie misses a baby straight 2-5 as well, and sas1957 takes the hand with a pair of Tens on the board, A kicker. There’s no action at all here, they just check to the river. I would have had a pair of 5s to add to the Tens, which would have been good enough to win here, not that I would ever make that play – neither entering the hand, nor betting the 5 on the Turn. But if I’m AJ here and there’s no action on the flop and the turn gets checked to me, I’d probably lay in a 1/2 pot bet and get called by 5’s. It gets done to me all the time when I’m playing AJs into a board like this, where previously to about a month ago no interest on a pot meant that you could steal it, and low pairs wouldn’t call.

J2o, fold. Button makes a pot-sized bet on a dry-ish board, 4c8c5s, and takes the hand. 67 could have had a straight here, but more likely the button was betting their position, seeing no interest in the flop, and was able to steal it. I see this play a lot, and I’ve made it a lot, but lately any time I make it I get burned by a caller holding bottom pair, or high card Ace.

T6o, fold. mitsidevil and Dgourlie go at it, Dgourlie min-raising preflop from the BB, and getting the call from the SB. Flop is A34 with two hearts, a jack of hearts on the turn and mitsidevil overbets the pot, Dgourlie mucks. It’s reasonable to think that mitsidevil had 25 (because you always call a raise with 25 if you’re the SB, you have to give that BB some action or they’ll just walk all over you, right?) and was slow playing, then saw three hearts on the board and decided they had to end the hand with a giant bet. Or that they had two weak hearts, and didn’t want a possible fourth heart to come and give a single high heart the hand. Or that they had an Ace or a set of 3s or 4s, or maybe a pair of Jacks.

ATo, I limp, Spaquito senses blood and raises half his stack, I get out of it, but mitsidevil and Dgourlie call. Spaquito shoves the flop, mitsidevil mucks, Dgourlie calls. Spaquito wins the hand with KK, while Dgourlie’s A4o misses a wheel straight by a deuce: (Qd3d6s)5h3h. Big chunk taken out of Dgourlie for a stupid call with a weak Ace. Serves them right, they drop from 11000-some chips down to 8500. But they still have 3x my chips, so I guess I’m just jealous.

J2o in the BB, Dgourlie min-raises and I fold, they take the blinds.

J7s, in the SB, the entire table limps, I limp due to the pot odds favoring it. Flop is 852 rainbow, with 1 heart, I check, BB bets the pot, mitsidevil calls, button calls. BB shoves, mitsidevil calls, button clears out. BB takes it, having hit top pair, 8s, with an Ace kicker, and gotten called by a pair of 8s, King kicker. Betting a pair of 8s like this is crazy, but might well work given that the pot is not big and there’s not a lot of incentive to call with something marginal like top pair, 8s with a King kicker. But call they do, because Replay fish are apt to call with any pair. Tattoo this on your knuckles so you never forget it. The BB, fradede, ends up turning the Wheel by the river, hitting runner-runner 34, so got good value on their 88A, and becomes the new Big Stack at the table. mitisdevil is knocked down to 1000 chips.

A2s. I limp. I flop A3K. Two players in the hand, I figure I might as well bet. I consider shoving, because it seems to work for idiots, why not me, but instead I just bet the pot, and get called. Now, of course here I should be thinking I don’t have a strong enough Ace to take this hand, but I don’t think that, no. What I think is, who cares if I lose this hand. So I’ve already put in too many chips on it, and if I do get beat, I’ll be down to a few hundred, and who wants to play back from a couple hundred chips, so I just shove the rest in, and get a call. Spaquito22, the villain in this hand, is holding KJ so only has a pair of Kings, and they don’t improve so I end up taking the hand from them, doubling up to 4700 chips. In poker, if you’re going to make mistakes, make BIG ones.

Now, I’m feeling like a new man. My stack is decent, I’m no longer on the bottom at the table, and I’ve been steadily building. My play hasn’t been great, in fact it’s been pretty awful, but here I am with some chips, and I’m feeling good now. I decide to tighten up and try to keep these chips, and maybe win some more.

Q3o, I fold, mitsidevil goes up against Dgourlie again, J9s vs 42o, and Dgourlie takes the hand with 42o for 310 chips on a pair of 4s, bottom pair on the board.

A6o, I decide is not good enough to play anymore now that I have a reasonable stack to protect, and I muck it. Dgourlie raises to 600, fradede calls and mitsidevil shoves 800, the other two calling. Fradede calls all the way to the river, then mucks when a river 7 pairs the board, and Dgourlie wins the hand with QJs, giving them a higher kicker on the board’s pair of 7s, over mitsidevil’s T9o. mitsidevil is eliminated. Successful bluff, Dgourlie, who min-bet the river with air to bluff down their opponent, take a 3000 chip pot, and knock out a player. Way to play that garbage.

Q4o, in the BB. I am able to limp, and luck gives me trip 4s on the flop, 448. I min-bet, hoping to build the pot without scaring anyone off it, and get two calls and one fold. The turn is a 6, so now anyone holding 57 has a straight. I decide to bet a little harder, but again get two calls. River is a 5, and now anyone holding just a 7 has me beat. fradede launches a pot-sized bet, which Dgourlie shoves back at. I decide I’m beat and give up the trip 4s with a high kicker. Dgourlie flips up 48, they won the hand flopping a full house, and takes almost 9400 chips, knocking fradede down to under 4000.

54o in the SB, I muck. Flop is J2J, sas1957 shoves at it and getting no calls, takes the hand.

A9s. Dgourlie folds, everyone else limps in, Spaquito22, the BB, shoves. I read this as a blind steal, and so does sas1957, who calls. I call too. Spaquito has 22, sas1957 has 46h. They hit a pair of 6s on the flop, I miss the board, and am left with 10 chips. Now, for sure, no sane poker player would make this call that I did here. A9s is not strong enough to call a shove. But 46s wins the hand.

The next hand I’m forced all in, and lose the hand, and am eliminated.

So, having gotten this far, here’s where I’m at:

I can raise with high cards to fold out the weak cards. But then I miss the flop 2/3 of the time, by the probabilities, which means that if I want opening to be profitable, I need to win when I hit, and I need to bluff profitably sometimes.

I can’t bluff anymore, because players are calling pot-sized bets with bottom pair, raising with air, and I have to read that as though they have a strong hand, so can’t barrel again on the turn and river, or I just give away even more chips. So I slow down, they sense the weakness, they shove or bet pot back at me on the Turn, and I fold.

I can watch players making ridiculous, stupid calls and hit improbable outs, again and again, and not only survive, but build a monster stack that they dominate the table with. Their loose play ultimately screws them and they flame out most of the time, but while they have the dominant stack, they can successfully bet me off of pots where I have a legitimate hand. And more importantly, my raises with big cards aren’t getting them to fold their weak cards, which means when I miss the board with a dry flop, they hit, and then they kill me.

I can raise 6-8BB with a hand like AQs, flop 2 8 6, bet the pot, get called by a pair of 6s, and whiff on the turn and river. I can bet KK into 55, and they will go all-in and suck out with trip 5s.

I can occasionally hit a monster, straight or flush, and temporarily have a big stack, and I’ll exit winning chips about 50% of the time, the other half of the time I’ll make some stupid call because I am seeing idiot players making ridiculous shoves with nothing, and I feel like maybe top pair should be good for something, and this will be the one time they actually have a great hand.

And those times when I’m getting QQ+, I’m opening too big, maybe I get a call, but more often just getting the blinds, and when I do see a flop, either they fold to min bet, or they hit 2 pair or better and destroy me with what’s supposed to be an 80%+ hand.

I am not playing good HU poker right now, taking 2nd place more than I’m taking 1st, even though a good half of those times I’m coming into HU with a huge stack advantage.

This all adds up to I no longer see a clear way to win, and I’m second guessing myself against players who play like idiots too much. At a table with a good, solid player, they’ll take me, and if they don’t, then the idiot player will take me on an idiot hand that hits for them.

Suddenly it’s as though my whole game is unraveled, I have on confidence anymore, psychotic play is prevailing, leading me to make unforced errors and make my game even worse.

So, basically, I need a vacation from poker, or I need to quit entirely.

So you bet the pot when you miss, and min bet when you connect, and wonder how people are exploiting you?

You are working to fundamentally change your approach to the game. You can’t expect to try something new a few times, then have it mastered. Each step is harder than the last, and yes, there is pain involved. Poker is like ice skating, you will fall a lot before you can skate well. All good skaters have fallen, but they get back up and push through the pain. You have to want it.

People in low-buyin tournies do odd things a lot. Play way less hands, bluff way less, and push your strong hands harder. You won’t win every hand, stop trying to force it.

Some people won’t release top pair no matter what. Some people won’t let go if they have overcards to the board. Playing fewer hands makes it easier to identify these players. Identify, and adjust. Rinse, repeat.

Take a break if you need one. I do that all the time. I’ve probably spend more time on Replay not playing than I have playing. Quit for good? Well, you do what’s best for you, but I will never ring that bell… never.


I think the funny thing about these Donk-on-Donk shoves is, when Donk goes all-in against Donk, Donk wins. In that first hand, if 52 wins on two pair 52, more power to them if they knock an idiot out who called with J-high. But if they get beat shoving two pair 5522, it’s not surprising, and you can look at it and say, “Yeah, don’t do that. You can get beat by a bigger 2 pair pretty easy.” But when J-high sucks out, it’s a Donk Eat Donk world, and you look at that and you say, “How can you play a reasonable game of Poker against players making plays like that?”

It’s not just that the river always seems to bring gifts for the most inadvisable shover, though.

My last 9-seater finishes:


Among those, getting knocked out 49th/83 in the morning MTT. Mostly feeling disgust at my exit, for being dumb, but amplified by all the dumb play I saw leading up to my own dumb move. I’m suffering from “they can do it, why can’t I do it?” entitlement tilt. But the odds of a Donk hand winning when Donk shoves into Donk is 100%. Why should I be surprised when Donk wins some improbable outcome? Why should I expect anything like that to happen to me when I go for it?

Objectively those 9-seater finishes are nothing to complain about. No wins, but 4/5 money finishes isn’t bad. Why am I feeling so sore about winning?

Normally I’m super laid back, but I’m competitive when I play competitive games. Playing poker for hours on end has amplified this, and taking 3rd isn’t making me feel like I’m winning. I still feel like I’m losing, when really I’ve won. And I haven’t seen 1st very much lately, and it’s been frustrating me. I feel like I’m falling back, not making progress.

Today’s 2nd place finishes weren’t something I should feel tilty about. I came into both of them the small stack, had to pick a hand and shove, did so, and came out of it the loser. I will win again eventually. I do probably need to take a break and clear my head, and then come back and work on focus and fundamentals.

I just wish people would play like the chips were worth real money, so I could feel like improving against these players meant something. If I could take whatever skill and insight I’ve been honing here, and apply it to money games, and still do well, that would make this skill I’ve acquired really mean something, rather than just meaning something in this particular environment, against the prevailing style of play here.

When I say I may have to quit entirely, part of me means just quitting poker altogether, but part of me wants to “graduate” from free poker to some low stakes money poker, and see if I can learn to play there.

I feel like the more I play here, the more I’m learning the wrong lessons, and if/when I sit myself down at a money table, I’ll be in for a rude awakening.

I mean, I am in no way contemplating going pro. I don’t feel anywhere near good enough to try to play for serious money. I’m only thinking about looking for a money game so I can play against more serious opponents who aren’t going to make plays like what I’ve been seeing lately, so I can work on honing my game.

1 Like

I find myself sometimes developing thoughts and feelings that may potentially be somewhat similar to the ones you are expressing in this post - to a degree. Take a break. You’ll come back playing better, and you’ll get better results. When you do, your whole attitude and the way you feel about it all will seem a lot better, and you’ll keep on improving like you’ve been doing. For better and more serious advice, I’d recommend talking to @JoeDirk or @1Warlock for little tidbits about sharpening up your game. Joe gave me great advice with concentrating on finding success at relative stakes. Warlock’s advice has me attempting to keep pushing boundaries - finding small ways here and there to improve different aspects of your game, whatever they may be. 9/10 times when I am not succeeding it is because I am not fully engaging myself nor adhering to the advice he has given me. A break can do wonders. My break truly taught me (or more accurately- made me aware and understand) that I can’t keep doing the same thing and expect to get better. Even things and plays that don’t make sense - there are ways to exploit that if you engage yourself properly. .


You do realize you are asking people to forego reality and be delusional?

I’m not being snarky. The reality is that this is a free chip site where unlike cold hard cash, the value of a chip is entirely dependent on the subjective opinion of each player.
If I’m running a mile to win $100 I give it a go.
If I’m running for Chuck E. Cheese tokens I might stop to chat with the pixie-nosed lady with the peg leg.


How often are you c-bet bluffing with a pot-size bet? Pot-size flop bets (and generally anything 66%+ of the pot) on the flop will be read as polarizing - especially in tournament poker. You are either very strong or you have nothing. If you do it frequently enough, people will begin to assume you often don’t have the goods (naturally the flop can only hit you so often). For awhile - I would consider restricting your >2/3rds pot-size c-bets to strong made hands on wet boards and really tightening up with how often you are bluffing with that play (and preferable bluffs with significant outs - at least over-cards) - at least for now. If you wish to continuation bet with a significant portion of your range (which is fine) try sizing your flop bets smaller for awhile (25-40%).

I can’t legally gamble (age) so my experience is limited - but I’ve watch enough streams / other players to realize the play here is most similar to low-stakes (think like $3 buy-ins for SnGs). I don’t want to generalize too much - I’ve run across really fun tables and skilled players - but this is just the truth for the vast majority of play on here. I would say the absolute #1 difference between these stakes / higher stakes is you’ll see substantial more aggression pre-flop and you won’t see nearly as many dominated hands played. It’s just a reality of low-stakes that people play dominated (or super speculative like 63o) hands. It’s why playing a boring tight-aggressive-nit game can be very profitable on here - just exploit dominated hands with smart reads - just as it is in micro-stakes.

I have tried various bets on the flop. The only consistency is that when I have a hand, any bet size will fold the table, and when I don’t have any hand any player will call. Bottom pair or better will call any bet size to the river, and if they don’t have any hand, they’ll win the river with high card anyway, or they’ll see me check the turn and shove so I have to fold, or if I bet the river, they’ll shove the turn anyway.

It’d be exploitable, except for the fact that they never stay in when I have it.

I can only win big pots by slow playing coolers, waiting for the table to bet until they build up a big pot for me. Hitting coolers happens a couple of times a week.

I’m up almost a million chips from last week, but here I am complaining and pitying myself over not having the foresight to win 2 million, and getting “screwed” out of ridiculous suck out hands.

Lol, what is wrong with me? I have some kind of results dysmorphia, or something. The ridiculous beats are getting to me, I guess.

I should just shut up and play.


Maybe you have rabies. I hear that makes dogs act in unreasonable ways.


Honestly Pug, no offense intended, but you seem to listen but not hear.

Tighten up and bluff less. You say, OK, I’ll try that.

Next post, you say "So i Open A6s from mid position…

OK, then tighten up and bluff less. OK, maybe that will work.

Next post, so I limp 23o and have to fold the flop…

You have said more than once that you make stupid calls knowing they are stupid. I guess only chumps fold… ever.

Play less hands, bet or raise when you have something, check or fold when you don’t. Yes, better players will push you around a bit, but this isn’t Poker After Dark. Save the tricky plays for when you make the big leagues, and go back to straight up ABC poker.


Your opponents aren’t omniscient. They can’t possibly know when you are really ahead / behind. The only explanation is you must have a betting pattern they are exploiting.

If you really believe that you are being bluffed out of pots on a consistent basis (this may or may not be true - perceptions are a funny thing) - try to play smaller pots (smaller c-bets with a wide range) and then bluff catch. Like you say you check the turn and then they shove the river. Can I ask how often you check the turn with your nutted or strong hands? If you never check your strong hands on the turn - well, you are playing face up then. If that’s the case, do it occasionally, then punish your opponents on the river if they shove. Your rep will change will time then you can adjust again. Yes, you may lose value for awhile in theory, but it’s worth it to break a reputation sometimes. I don’t know if that is actually your pattern - but if you see a play consistently being used against you, it’s probably cause you have a pattern and you should try to find it by studying your hand history.


Really, though, I have listened, quite a bit, to the advice you and others have given me here, and it has improved my game considerably. I don’t come to the forum and post every time a hand goes as expected. So, there’s selection bias in the hands I post about, and mostly I’ve been posting about vexing hands where I get beat because a player made a play that seems ridiculous to me, and I can’t understand why they made it. Maybe they are a bad player and got lucky, or maybe they are playing at a level beyond me; I don’t know which, so I’m seeing what the forum thinks, and maybe I’ll agree with it, maybe not. It’s good to get a diversity of perspectives, and see insights from others.

About the A6s hand, sure you can say A6 is not a great hand to open with, and that it would benefit me to tighten my range. I know this.

But I wan’t playing the A6 for the Ace or the 6. I was playing it for the nut flush draw. I know A-6kicker is weak, and I’ll play it accordingly. If I don’t have 4 or 5 to the flush on the flop, I’m out of this hand.

I could have just called the first to act, and that would have been safer. But I thought to raise, because I haven’t been raising very much and I thought it might be a good hand to try that with. I thought I might end the hand without having to hit the flush, and I wasn’t expecting the player who bet to respond by jamming. I really couldn’t understand why they jammed holding two overcards to the flop and no made hand. Of course, I say that having raised the same player with a draw and no made hand. But at least I had a legitimate draw to a hand that you would hope to get your opponents all-in against.

I generally do know when to fold a hand, and am pretty good about it, but there were a few times this week when a psycho shover was so aggressive that you have to call them sometime and put a stop to them, and sometimes they beat you, and sometimes it’s just luck, and sometimes they beat you in a way that makes you feel stupid.

There was one notable hand that sticks in my mind.

I’d taken a big pot from this player earlier at the same table, when they shoved JJJ into my 9-K straight, and I called with not enough chips to cover them. They recovered, by continuing to play like a maniac, winning huge pots with very risky play that involved a lot of shoving, and getting called by players who shouldn’t have, and getting really lucky.

Still, I had most of the chips at the table, like 10000 in my stack, and they had maybe 8000 or something like that, and there’s 2 other players, both with small stacks between 2000-3000.

I get dealt something like KJ. I raise it up, opening like you should with KJ, and they call. The flop was something like AQJ-suited, none of my cards matched suit, but I had bottom pair and a draw to Broadway.

Turn was another Jack, so now I had trips and a draw to broadway or a full house, my opponent wasn’t betting like they had flopped a flush, and no more cards of the suit hit the board. River was a Ten, filling my Broadway draw.

Villian is shoving all over the place, and I had seen them win and get beat shoving junk hands. I just hit Broadway, and I suspect that they had one card of the suit, but missed the flush draw and are trying to get me to fold, so I call… and they flip up a flush, junky rag cards that happened to catch the flop. Well, good for them. But they should never have called my preflop open with those two cards, it wasn’t even A-suited, it was junk suited, and I lose all but 2000 chips to the maniac, and end up being eliminated 4th a few orbits later, trying to stage a recovery of my own.

Now, in that hand, arguably I should have protected my stack, I shouldn’t have continued past the flop when it came up suited, but they sucked me in with slow play and by having a table image of being a maniac who shoves junk frequently.

Really well played, for them, honestly, and I should have known not to call here. I kicked myself for a day and a half over it, and it still burns me to think about it even now.

But I called because I’d also seen them at a few tables, shoving pure rag hands and they got lucky with it and knocked out another player, and survived thereafter, betting big and winning big or losing big, but quickly winning back what they lost when they lost big. I knew sometimes they had it, sometimes they didn’t, sometimes they took huge beats, and they didn’t seem to care, so I thought the odds were better than not that they might not have the flush here.

Now, I should beat an unpredictable player by staying out of their way as much as possible and let them beat themselves, but instead, I handed them the win on the table by giving them the chip lead. I could have at least waited until after the bubble to confront them, so I’d at least win some chips. But no. I stupidly called a shove while holding broadway after a solid suited flop, and I did it because the maniac played the hand to perfectly simulate that they were drawing to the flush, but had missed. Their chaotic random shoving had induced a dumb call that I never would have made otherwise.

If I don’t hit Broadway, or if there were 4 diamonds on the board instead of 3, or if the villain has a more stable, sober image, I don’t make that call.

So I get the idea from this that I should try playing suited hands more. I’d watched occasionally when hands I had mucked would have made winning flushes, and I felt like I should sometimes try playing for those chips.

I had done this when I first started playing, but gave it up as I adjusted my game, and decided to try bring it back, and play any Ace-suited hand, in certain situations, which is why I’m playing A6s.

I know A6 isn’t a particularly good hand, for the reasons you gave me, but I’m really only looking to hit a flush with it. If I don’t flop 4 or 5 to the flush, I’m off the hand. This does mean I fold a lot after the flop, but I’m not raising this hand so much that I can’t do that.

It’s fair to say that I need to tighten up my range, and I can take that advice and do it, but when I see players winning hands that I would have won if I’d played, and they’re playing inferior cards to what’s in my range, it tends to make me feel like I’ve over-tightened, and so I start to loosen up a bit.

Perhaps I’m over-correcting yet again, but it’s not like I’m not trying to follow the advice to tighten up my range. Maybe I’m not doing it consistently, but then most of the advice you get for playing better poker isn’t absolute.

You have to occasionally do something out of pattern in order to keep your opponents guessing, don’t you? This was one of those times, for me.

I don’t think it was necessarily a bad play to see a flop with A6s, it just went bad, and it went bad because one player’s response to getting raised when they had nothing was to bluff shove, and another player’s response was to call that with a pair of 8s. More reasonably, they both should have folded. The shover paid for it, and the caller with the weak pair of 8s got a windfall. If I hit the flush or straight I was drawing to, I wouldn’t have posted about the hand here, and we wouldn’t be discussing it.

And anyway, if I tighten up to where I’m only opening with JJ+, and suited broadway, but opening bigger, then I’m back to being too obvious when I raise huge, and everyone gets out of my way, I steal the blinds, and not playing enough hands to have a hope of winning a tournament.

I should point out that it seems like about 3/4 of the time when I get a premium starting hand like QQ+ or AK, I get them UTG, so I can’t get as much value playing them out of position as I could if I was late to act. I can try check-raising, but at limp-happy tables it’s risky to do that, because you end up in 6-way hands at the flop with just 6BB in the middle, and it’s too likely someone else hit. I can try small raises, but it usually just folds the table, or maybe I get one player isolated and take a 6BB pot on the flop when I bet and they fold.

I don’t recall playing 23o, the only way I would is if I’m in the BB and no one opens. But I did say that one of my opponents played 23o in a hand I observed, and they did so calling an 800 chip open, and did spectacular with it, hitting trip 3s and knocking out a player on AQ.

That’s not a play that I can reproduce or rely on, but I did lay down my hand, getting out of the way after initially limping K8o there. You can harp on K8o being too weak to play, and remind me to tighten up, and that’s fair. But I only lost 1BB there. I note the hand because of the apparently psychotic willingness of these players I’m seeing to call huge opens with ridiculously weak cards. Which would be unremarkable but for the fact that they do so well with it when they do.

Maybe your betting needs to be more consistent. If you make the same bet with a made hand that you would with a draw, other players are less likely to know what you have. That makes it more likely you will get called or raised when you do have a hand. It also allows for a rare bluff, when the table seems weak. If you want people to notice your new betting pattern, show some hands, winning and losing. That seems to be the best way to change your table image quickly.

I doubt everyone at the table knows when you have a great hand, but people who are betting big with any two cards, tend to pay attention when someone who has been folding to those bets, all of a sudden bets out. Best to trap these players by letting them bet and then call or raise with your good hands. Even a minimum bet, by a tight player, will often make them fold. I win more big pots by letting others do the betting, than I do by betting myself.


You tend to remember the times you would have made a flush more than you do the times you didn’t flush. Suiyed preflop, you will flush BY THE RIVER about 6.4% of the time, and it can cost your your while stack to get to that river. Overplaying suited cards are, by far, the biggest leak I see here.

So OK, i look down and see A6s in mid position, and decide to roll the dice. I try to limp and see the flop as cheaply as possible. Why? Well, I want as many people in the pot as I can get. I know I will be folding most flops, and i don’t want to waste chips. I know if I raise and take it preflop, I am risking a lot for almost no gain. I know that, if I inflate the pot, it will cost me more to chase a draw that will probably never come. And i know that hitting my ace or 6 on the flop would put me in a dangerous situation. Raising is counter to all of these goals, so I don’t open.

I might even call a min raise if there were enough people in the pot, but I’m mostly folding to any real raise. Oh well, 30 chips gone, maybe next time.

So I flop the nut flush draw with an overcard and a gutshot. Someone in early position bets half pot. Great, I can continue. Note that the half pot is less because I didn’t inflate it preflop. I call. Why? Because he has shown aggression and I know I would have to bet a lot to get him to fold. A min bet gives him 6-1 and he will never fold. A big bet risks more than it’s worth, and there is at least one other player to consider. Any raise gives someone a chance to shove, and I only have ace high.

Calling might also slow him down since he got called in 2 places. There’s a chance it checks to me on the turn, and I can see if I hit my flush for free. With more people in the pot, there is a better chance someone will have 2 pair or trips and a worse flush, and I might still win a big pot if I hit.

If someone makes a big bet on the turn, time to re-evaluate. Maybe I call, maybe i fold, but I leave those options open. Folding won’t cost me much because I didn’t invest a lot to this point. If I think he will fire the river if the flush card comes, I might call with less than ideal pot odds. Maybe he will fire a bet and call a reasonable raise. Maybe that river raise will get him allin… IF I hit that flush.

Limiting my risk doesn’t mean I have to settle for a small pot if I hit. Since I’m mostly not going to hit, there’s little reason to build a big pot too early. Why build a pot you will usually lose? How does that help your cause?

Anyway, that’s the way I would approach the hand.


This should help, thank you.

1 Like

I know A6 isn’t a particularly good hand, for the reasons you gave me, but I’m really only looking to hit a flush with it. If I don’t flop 4 or 5 to the flush, I’m off the hand. - ( from Puggy )

There is logic here, whatever your starting hand really is, we all hope to connect to the board to make the best hand… Say you have pocket 10s, your finishing hand hopefully will be trips/boat/quads… whereas if you play 5-7 suited, then you have str8/flush/str8flush possibilities… duhh there’s always 2pr, but usually thats not enuff.

Lets say you limp preflop and get to see the flop cheaply… no matter what your starting hand was/is, its easy to fold beause all you rep’d was a limp. Like Puggy said if he was playing for a flush the whole time, if you don’t hit the board, you’re gone. When a person bluffs, shouldn’t it look like an everyday play w/cards. Most good bluffs don’t get call’d therefore noone is none the wiser (usually).

I don’t recall playing 23o, the only way I would is if I’m in the BB and no one opens. But I did say that one of my opponents played 23o in a hand I observed, and they did so calling an 800 chip open, and did spectacular with it , hitting trip 3s and knocking out a player on AQ. - ( From Puggy )

Or you can play your 2-3 like AK … ( 250k mtt recently ). Hand # 499209875

Now this won’t work often, but if you’re committed to a bluff, correctly, you might as well just have AK or any quality starting hand… Perception can be reality.

Puggy , I agree with you playing Ax or Kx suited, as long as its cheap and if you miss you can just get away from the hand. Way too many ppl play for flushes here it seems, as a result more ppl hit flushes around here… and its not the program on steroids that does it, its us players…

If you play A K just like you do 2 3, then it might be a tad bit harder for your opponents to correctly put you on a hand … when you come into a hand, or are even still in a hand… Its no different than limp’n AA instead of betting out, you can’t always play any 2 cards the same way, or the better players will rob you blind…

( not sure why I couldn’t quote puggy directly, or post a link to the hand )


So this just happened…

I play K4s, hit the flush on the turn, lose most of my stack to a well-concealed full house, holding 55 and making 5s full of 2s. I actually expected to get beat here with A-suited.

The very next hand, I’m dealt AA. Player to my right raises holding JJ. I raise him, another player calls. JJ shoves, I call with what’s left of my stack, expecting most likely I’ll triple back up and be in OK shape. Nope! JJ hits a set of Jacks, a pair of 6s on the board fills out his boat, and I’m out 8th.

I played in a total of 3 hands, counting being in the first hand because I was the BB.

Nothing I could do in either of these situations.

Here’s some more:

Make a straight, so does someone else, big ole pot, we chop:

I fold 23o, would have won, would have beat AQ with trip 2s:

Blunk raises big prelfop, I call with AQ. Board is paired, 7s. I lay in a small bet. Think he’s afraid of trips? HELL NO. He raises me off the pot. No respect, I tell ya. Never ever bet. I am going to switch to becoming a calling station, playing only monsters, and that’s the only way I’ll ever win again on this site.

Finally, I get AQ, raise to 500 ahead of the flop. I get re-raised, and another player comes in for the re-raise. OK fine. Let’s play. I call.

So naturally of course the flop misses me, but gives me a chance at Broadway, all I need is a Ten. So I know if I don’t shove, everyone else is going to shove here anyway, and I’m going to have to lay it down or call. If I don’t call, a ten WILL show up, and if I shove maybe someone will fold. (HA, no one folds in RPP!) And if I do fold, I’ll only be putting myself into the position of having to shove the next time I get a playable hand. So I shove. Think anyone will muck? No chance, my stack is nowhere near big enough, they have me covered, and someone’s GOT to have hit the K and the J, OF COURSE everyone is calling. And if I get the Ten, you know what? I’ll give you 3:1 I’ll end up chopping Broadway three ways and make nothing on the hand anyway. Ten-9 suited end up taking the hand away from top pair by making a straight, 7-J, I don’t see my Ten, and I’m out 9th.


Here’s another great example of What Not To Do.

I’m playing a new table, it’s been going on a while, I won a hand early, went up to 3000, dropped back down to 1900. Got dealt KTs in the BB. The action limps to me, and I think this is a good hand to open with, but I notice two players are nearly out, and I figure if I raise here, probably that’s going to induce them to go all in.

I decide to try just a 2BB raise, but even this gets my two small stacks all in. OK fine. I’ll play for 910 chips to see a flop with KTs.

One other player, also short stacked calls along.

The flop comes up, 464, and I want this guy out of the pot so I can at least take the side pot, but he’s not giving it up, he goes all-in too.

We get to the river, and what do we have:

UTG holding AA, they take Side Pot 1 for 987 chips.
UTG+1 holding 88, they’re the big winner hitting 8s full of 4s on the river to suck out over AA44, and they get the main pot for 2604 chips. My opponent who I couldn’t get out of the hand doen’t have anything, just KJo, so they outkick me for side pot 2, leaving me with nothing in this hand.

Did I expect to win this hand? Never, not even once. As soon as the two small stacks were in, I knew whatever they had would beat me. Did I think I could beat the other player? Nope. I knew if they stayed in, they’d have me beat too, which is why I tried to get them to fold. The flop didn’t wasn’t going to scare anyone off this hand, no one playing a 910 chip open is likely to hit a 464 flop, and with that many chips already in the middle you might as well pay to see the hand that beat you, rather than lay down.

At this point, it’s not like I’m even trying to play poker, I’m more amused by every all-in situation going to the hand that held the lowest value cards before the flop. Not that 88 was a bad hand to play in this situation, far from it, and 88 beats KT unless KT his a K or a T. So yes, I had the weakest hand before the flop and at the river. But 88 still had the lowest ranked cards, and wins.

I’m not saying it’s not fair, I’m just saying go back and look at all these hands, and count how many of them ended up with the player holding the lowest ranked cards winning the hand.

At least I didn’t try to bluff this pot!

AKs vs AA vs AKs. I open from UTG+1 with AKs, getting two callers. Flop has 774, last to act min bets, gets two calls. Everyone checks it to the river, and we flip up.