Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Another year older and...

Well, not really deeper in debt, as Tennessee Ernie Ford would say. More like kinda hanging around slowly making financial headway.

Let's see...not really a whole lot to report here, spent a little time last night on Full Tilt (this post is brought to you by Bonus Code Falstaff), and remembered that in low limit poker, it's very rare that you can actually make a move, so most of the time you have to catch some cards to meet with success.

So I caught cards early, didn't catch cards late, and parlayed my bad run of cards into a successful Razz outing. I picked up a quick $50 profit, gave it away plus another $70 in a nasty -20BB run at 3/6, then picked up about $30 of it back playing 1/2 Razz. I like the fact that I at least have enough familiarity with other games to have a modicum of success while I decompress from a bad run at Hold Em.

So here's a set of hands that I'm having trouble with - A9 - AJ. They look so good to start out, especially in mid/late position. A9 not so much unsoooted, but the siren call of A9s and ATs is so hard to resist. It's not helped by the fact that some of my biggest pots come from limping in late position with AT and picking up Broadway or a flush on the turn. So here are my issues with these hands, and I'd love to hear what you think. Please confine your evaluations to these hands in a limit format, because in a No-Limit game, I'll play any two cards for different reasons at different times, with varying levels of success. But the mathematical basis of limit lends itself a little more to a "correct" playing style.

A9s - really, it's not very good. It's another one of those hands that if I hit an Ace on the flop, I'm still not comfortable, since enough people limp with AT or AJ for me to still be way, way behind. About my only options for winning with A9s are catching my flush, hitting two pair, or a couple of 9s on the flop. Otherwise, it's kinda trash. So I'm thinking I should play it from an unraised blind or right around the button only, and toss it from MP.

ATs - honestly, see A9s.

AJ - HELP. I don't know how to play this hand, sooooted or unsooooted. I tend to play it too fast in EP, and too slow in LP. I seem to run into a lot of people who aren't raising me with hands that have me dominated, and the passivity of my opponents is kicking my ass. I find myself running into people who just call me down with AK, and then I call off a bet when they pop me on the river.

So what do you do with AJ?

Oh, and if you want to get me a present to celebrate the 34th anniversary of my birth, join me on Fantasy Sports Live and use bonus code Falstaff!

Or just send money to Jhartness on Full Tilt, I promise you'll have plenty of chances to get it back :).

5 comments:

Pokerwolf said...

A9 - If I'm at a loose/passive table, I'll call with it in MP and LP while raising in LP from time to time for variety (especially if it folds around to me). If I'm at a loose/aggressive table, I'll fold it to any raise except when I'm on the button or in the CO and even then I'll only call if there's a caller in front of me. If I'm at a tight/passive table. I'll always raise with it from LP and sometimes raise with it from MP.

AT - See A9s, but be more aggressive about raising with it in MP on the passive tables.

AJ - Call raises with it in MP and LP. Raise with it in MP and LP if it's folded to me and in LP even if there are callers in front of me, *especially* at loose/aggressive tables. You can pick up a lot of pots from donks who call your raises w/Ax.

In reality, all of these hands are really read-dependent. Which is why you (and me and everyone else) ets burned so badly by passive players holding the nuts when we're playing these hands.

F-Train said...

You and me both kid. Tho I disagree with Wolf about calling raises with any of these hands, even AJ. In the case of AJ, it's 3-bet or dump against one raiser (opponent-dependent) and with the others, it's dump.

I hate cold calling raises preflop.

Wlokos said...

Let's say that you have AJ and the flop comes up A 8 2 rainbow. Person A checks, Person B bets around four times the big blind, and it's your turn. Should you call?

It comes down to what happened preflop. If you think Person B has an ace, what kicker would make sense based on his preflop play? Did he limp in, in which case he might have the A10 or A9, or perhaps even worse? Did he raise it up preflop, in which case an AQ or AK may make more sense? Is he a tight player, who likely wouldn't have made it to the flop without a stronger ace than the A10 or lower you can beat? Or is he loose?

Obviously, those are oversimplifications, but you get the idea - watch the play preflop, and if the ace comes up and that player's acting like he caught it, you have to think back and wonder what kicker he could have with how he's been playing it so far. As pokerwolf said, all of these hands are really read-dependant.

Tcsparky said...

HAPPY BIRHDAY TO YOU!!! If you keep on with this getting older thing, you're going to catch up with me soon!

BigPirate said...

A9 AT-play from EP if suited and only if the table has a tendency to go family pot style. Raise it from LP unless a group has already limped in front-then just call. Unsuited, I have even less faith (about 5% less in fact) which would make me play them only in LP with no openers, but I would be raising in that spot

AJ-I once read someone who said they always folded AJ from EP as they seemed to lose so much $ on it. I follow that advice for the most part but I will raise with AJs from EP on occasion. It makes my brain hurt to play it from EP as the decisions get real tough and LHE is not supposed to tax your brain too much. From MP and LP, raise limpers. From the blinds, call a raise and re-raise a button or CO raise.

Simple, huh? That's why I am sooooo successful. (sarcasm works on the internet, right?)

Happy Birthday!