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Old 12-22-2005, 07:18 PM
jedi jedi is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 517
Default Adjusting to the table.

Looking for comments. Am I thinking properly?

Last weekend, I went up to the Bay Area and played in a few new cardrooms that I'd never been to. The tables were 10 handed (3/6 hold em), and when I regularly saw 6-8 people seeing the flop, I salivated. Then something happened. I started losing. First with AA to a gutshot draw, then to a backdoor flush and stuff. I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on, then I realized that I wasn't adjusting to the table properly. Let me explain.

While the table was very loose pre-flop, they seemed to tighten up quite a bit post-flop. It was different than I was used to in San Diego, where it was loose pre-flop and loose post-flop, calling down with any part of the board, even flopped bottom pair. In the Bay Area, they'd keep calling with overcards and 2nd/3rd pair, but would fold on the river unimproved against an aggressor. In addition, the check/raise or the flop call/turn raise meant a very strong hand. These players were very passive (frequently no raising pre-flop, even with AA-QQ and AK), and wouldn't raise unless they felt they had a lock on the hand.

I figured I was making these mistakes:

1) Trying to value bet the river when I didn't have the opportunity. Since they'd fold with hands like 2nd pair, but raise with 2 pair or more, I shouldn't be value betting my overpairs anymore. I could still value bet trips vs. possible straights or flushes, but value betting top pair or overpairs didn't seem to be smart because I'd just get raised if they had a monster, and no more chips if they didn't.

2) Calling down vs. a raise. Normally I'm raising my strong hands pre-flop, but when I've been showing strength, I can safely fold to a turn raise or a flop check/raise. This applied UNLESS I had previously pegged someone as capable of bluffing in these spots (which were few and far between). I estimate that I lost many bets just calling down to see what they had, a sure leak given the reads I was starting to make, even if it meant folding Aces. The only thing that might have saved me was my hidden outs. If I had Aces for example, against a suspected top 2 pair, I still probably had the odds and hidden outs to call. This was a tricky spot for me, as I don't like normally folding hands like this, but it makes me squeamish to put bets in when I'm probably losing. Any extra outs (like backdoor flushes or straights) gave me added incentive to stay in here.

3) Bloating the pot pre-flop. I would raise with hands like AJo "knowing" that I had the best hand against the other 6 callers in the pot. However, AJ is certainly not a monster and I might have been creating odds for the drawing hands (as little as gutshots and 3rd pairs) to stay in until the river. I think this is mentioned in TOP or HEFAP. While I'd have no problems doing this against my normal SSH competition, in retrospect I think this was a mistake against these players.

Maybe I'm just rambling on, but I was getting frustrated early on in the weekend as it would seem like I'd get sucked out on a lot. Looking back at it, though I think I saw many atrocious pre-flop calls, it seemed like the showed down hands that beat me might have been played well post-flop. Anyone from the SF Bay Area care to comment on my perception of their 3/6 games?

Anyone else care to comment on the observations of how I should adjust to these players?

The story ends well as I made these adjustments and caught some good cards to finish up for the weekend.

-Jedi
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