1. Whats up everyone!

    Great Site here very informative and has helped me progress as a player! And am ready to start adding my 2 cents on these posts!

    No for my question, I have played in 4 of the WSOP quaifiers on UB and have made it to the final table in 2 of the 4 taking 10th and 6th, and have been making more and more final tables in the last month or two. However I only have one win and that was the $100 on UB about a week ago. My question is what advice would you give on playing the final table?? Aggressive? Conservative? Just was wondering on thoughts from you guys to help me get to the next level of consistently winning and finishing in the top 3 of some of these final tables. I normally play short-handed or Heads up at Hannover at UB and do fairly well however I need some advice on the final table approach. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated! Thanks.

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  2. OK Bates first advice, do not use the phrase 2 cents unless your describing his greatness. @nd off I remember playing heads up with you and checked my notes to see what they said. They said "waste of time to play" "plays just like you" "play if you enjoy paying rake". It then went on to point out that the two of us played heads up for about 40 minutes once and were almost dead even minus our rake. If your playing like me I think its time to quit and go get a regular job.

    GL and GS
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  3. Heres a scenario that had come up recently, and I would like to get some people's opinion on it.

    You're in MP with QQ and UTG raises to 5x's BB which is about 1/10 his stack, and about 1/8 your stack, No callers to you...

    How would you play this hand in a tourny, cash game, SNG?

    Ok, now say the flop comes A Q blank, how would you play to convice yourself of whether he has AA, or not.

    By the way, I discovered this site a month ago, and love it... mad props
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  4. First of all it depends on a lot of factors. Now, everyone says that about every poker question, but it is really difficult to give even a general answer on this until I get more info...if its a tourney, how late/early is it? How has this guy played so far, tight, loose? What is his chip stack? What is his chip stack compared to yours? Are you trying to win or just get into the money?

    I would say if this flop happens to you, you are going to end up all in about 99% of the time. If you go all in with trip Q and the other guy turns over trip A, you say nice hand and give a little f*u to the poker gods. I mean unless my opponant is Dan Harrington, Im pushing here. The other issue is that the other guy is first to act and in your scenario, you dont say what he does. If he checks, I put him on kings. If he pushes, I put him on AK or AQ (since there are 3 queens out at this point, AK is most likley). Although if you are playing online I wouldnt rule out AJ either. If he pushes, I call. If he checks, I bet about the size of the pot, if he bets, I might call, then check the turn to see if I can get him to bluff at it (well, not bluff he will think he has the best hand, so really I want him to just bet his hand).

    If there are two suited cards on the board, I just push, I dont want to give him pot odds to call and hit his flush...but assuming its a rainbow in the flop above, thats how I would play it. If he has aces, good for him. Also, if he DOES have aces, playing the way I reccomend above gives you a few chances to HIT your 4th queen if he tries to slowplay or just calls your bet. Hope this helps!
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  5. Thanks for the response supermoves. I had left it very gerneral on purpose in an attempt to get a variety of responses.

    In my situation it was mid tourny, we were both slightly above average chipstack, and he had not been very aggressive. I doubled his PF bet and he called. Flop came A blank blank, so he checked and I checkd, turn was a Q, He bet I raised all in, i put him on AQ or AK so I called... ooops AA

    What do think? If this was bad play for a tourny, do you think it would be good for a cash game or SNG. I usually play tight in a tourny, so I when a hand like this comes along I'm tryin to get as much out of it as I can. When stuff like this happens I think its easy to say its just bad luck, but as a student of the game, I'd like to think there's always something I can do better. I think that no matter what I had bet on the flop, he would call, and then when the Q came on the turn, it would be lights out for me regardless. Is this a bad assumption.

    Any ideas
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  6. This is something that I have posted about before; I HATE when people just hit the "raise" button and it doubles the bet, for example if he had bet 60 and you raised to 120. Ill tell you why. Im most cases, someone betting 60 is willing to call 120, if you bet say, 200, now he has a decision.

    In this case, he actually had the AA, so nothing you were going to do preflop was going to get him to fold anyway, but for the future, I would like to see a bigger raise there. Also, I would have bet the flop. If he has an ace with a weak kicker, he might call you (so if you make a pot sized bet and he calls, that actually shows weakness), with 3 aces he would probably reraise you, letting you know that he has at least an ace. At this point you can fold and get away from the hand with some chips left. If you make the bet and he just calls it, I would probably try again on the turn (especially when I hit the 3rd queen) and from this point on Im calling whatever he bets.

    If he just calls on the flop and then checks the turn, he played great and Im losing all my money to him. But since the queen didnt come on the turn, it actually gave yo ua chance to see what he has on the flop. But also, by him slowplaying, he is also giving you chances to catch your 4th queen. Unlikley, but still..if you bet pot size on the flop, he reraises, you fold. Or he calls, you get to see a river card (at this point youre calling his all in anyway, but the point is you could have caught your queen there) Hope this helps!
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  7. Many players raise in EP 3x to 5x the BB. Now considering the fact that in EP he probably really has a hand, either a PP or one of the other 96 other combinations 10-A that are not PPs. I always like to remember the odds of someone else holding a pair (remember the %??) I'll let you go get the math on that one :) In any case, while doing so, remember that since only KK and AA are higher ranked hands, only 2 PP hands are better than yours, I believe in going with the %s unless I knew for sure based on previous play although I may consider what type of player that this opponent is, and if he is a mouse, I'd definitely give him even more credit for the hand.

    Would I push in this situation, it would depend. I might throw a raise of equal value back at him (maybe I'd vary it 1/2, 2/3rds or even 3/4ths to 1) (isolate)Get heads-up and 2) Give him the possibility of folding or going all in - and at this point I will definitely have more information on knowing where I stand. If he goes over the top albeit all-in or re-raises again I have gathered even more information that I can use before pushing. Since I only like to play hands in MP that have strong value and QQ being one of them, I enter all the pots aggressively and will not back off to the threat of AA or KK unless I was certain that an opponent had it. Does that mean I won't fold no matter what, on the contrary, but I'd much rather enter selected pots and play them strong (go out figthing), then laydown solid values that may or may not be 2nd best.

    Anyway, I use that info to determine whether or not I want to call the re-raise or all in bet or not. I still like to go with a combination of the math and my read of the opponent (and all the information that I have gathered from this hand, but also in previous hands as well - if my memory will hold up :) I may even refer to my notes on that opponent for his tendencies on what he has pushed all in with and from what position.

    Since I video-tape my play, and review it later, I store the resulting information into a database that I access and can query to determine tendencies of players. Naturally, if a player has gone all in with J,10, or worse from EP, than I would favor more toward calling the all-in bet(assuming I have info on an opponent). I know some of the online pro's video tape as well, and I find it invaluable in my play. Do I still lose, ABSOLUTELY!! You want to know the secret of this game, that's right "There is no secret". I think it boils down to awareness, drive to be #1, gathering key information, patience, persistance, and perserverance. Nothing is for sure though, but definitely keeping these notes, and gathering as much information as you can prior to splashing all of your chips in the pot will go along way!! Will we still lose hands, you bet, and I'd be scared if you or I didn't because the information, notes, etc. will benefit us in the long run, but in the short term, anything as you know can and will happen. :) When in doubt push, because there's always another tourney starting in another 10 minutes, so if you can afford it, by all means do it!!! At least if you win the pot, you've probably doubled up and have a better chance at winning.

    I know, I know, I talk to darn much ....shut it WP!!

    Congrats Bates...keep up the good work bud... It was nice to see you at the tourney the other night too!! It's fun playin with a good crowd like we had!! :) Last night was a tough one lost the heads up match to lucky-7 in the OWNS at UB. Bummer bc the extra $3,300 would have come in handy!! :) Have had 8 final tables over the last couple weeks at a few of the sites, with only one victory, 2 seconds, and 2 3rds. The 2nd was one of the UB 10 pm 6 seaters - first time to ever strike a 1-3 on this format - although have had some success also recently at PS, PP and FTP, but I take 2nd's really, really hard!!! All that extra time spent playing heads up and working on that aspect of the game along with tons of short handed play, you expect to make the difference when placed in that situation at a final table scenario. I would say that has been my biggest leap over the past few months is getting away from the cash games and focusing on 6 man SNGs, and Heads up matches, which has helped me move from 8-10th place to jumping into the top placements. I consider it like Golf in the sense that there are different aspects of the game. In Golf we have 4 aspects of the game to work on... Driving, Irons, Chipping and Putting while in Poker I would say we have Full Table, Short Handed, and Heads-Up to deal with. Another dimension is the Turbo's too and how to deal with that within either of the above 3.

    Anyway Ill shut it again...and if you disagree with anything I said above, please don't say F WinningPoker - I get that all day and night!! :) lol

    P.S. Beanie - you were so close last night on my initials - I have to mess with you a little more...K :)

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  8. I find this to be one of the more intelligently asked questions on this forum and wish I had see it sooner. Not much room left for discussion on my behave because I think Supermoves and winningpoker hit the nail on the head. But, I'll attempt to add some oneliners I would have thrown in had I gotten to the party sooner.

    This equates to an article I read in cardplayer (or it might have actually been in Roy West's middle limit stud book). In a survey given to stud players they were asked if they were likely to call with a pair of kings versus a door ace when they just knew there opponent with the ace had a pair of aces. They were than asked if they would call with eights in the same in the same situation. Most players said they would call with the kings, but pass on the eights. Fewer said they would pass on both, and virtually no one said they would call with the eight sand not with the kings.

    Roys point was that the kings and the eights are both beat, so why would you call with either hand? This is how I translate this piece of advice to NL hold'em when I'm faced with a tough call/raise/fold with a pair of QQ or especially JJ. I ask myself, "what would I do with 88?". So it really becomes a matter of how well do you trust your reads(assuming you can "read" someone online, but that's an interally different debate)?

    As for the flop. I feel if you were confidient enough to call or raise pre-flop, you must have been confidient that you were a coin flip or ahead. Now that you have hit the set logically you should feel confidient putting all your chips in on the flop.This of course is assuming you don't attempt some time of slowplay or value bet tatic should the opportunity present itself. If you don't believe you started ahead or even, than why did you get involved in the hand in the first place?

    A great Phil Hellmuth moment during the 2004 WSOP was when he looked at Scott Fischman and said something like, "yeah, I often like starting a 2 to 1 dog in the pot" really sarcastically. Don't get me wrong. I'm all about starting the pot a 4 to 1 dog, assuming I'm getting the correct odds to make that call just hoping to catch a little luck, and knock a player out who I only suspect leaps from his computer chair screaming profanities and critizing my call. But you clearly laid out that you probably didn't have the correct odds to do so.

    Bottomline is trust your gut. If your guts a poor judge of character, then play the odds and adjust to your preception of the player who made the bet.
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