Value Poker

January 30, 2010 |

One of the most effective ways for players to be successful is that they get the proper value out of their hands. Whether it be making a value bet on the river, or slow playing your hand in hopes of trapping your opponent. It’s very important in tournament play to earn as many chips as you can along the way, so that your chip stack is able to withstand some hits. I came across two situations as of late where I let my opponents make a hand which allowed me to gain more chips off of them in the process. By doing this I effectively gained more value out of my hand by playing the way I did. Let’s not waste anymore time and let me discuss the two hands I am talking about.

The first hand came in a normal multi-table tournament, and I was holding AA in second position. I made the standard 3x raise to 150. Players folded around to ‘Player A’ who made the call. The player directly to Player A’s left was a short stack at the time sitting with only 850 chips and he eventually moved all in (we’ll call shorty Player B). After Player B moved all in I had two options holding AA. I could raise to isolate the player or smooth call hoping to entice more action from Player A. I went on to make the smooth call hoping Player A would come along and he did make the call leaving himself with 2,000 chips. The flop came a rainbow 3 4 3. After seeing this flop I was 100% certain my AA was still good, but I didn’t know if my opponent had a hand at this point. I decided to check to hopefully trap my opponent, but he checked as well. The turn brought us a J. Again I was certain my hand was good, because my opponent would of definitely bet the flop if he was holding JJ. I decided to check to him again to see what he would do. He immediately moved all in and I snap called with my AA. Player A flipped over QJ and bricked the river. Player B moved all in with 77 and bricked as well so I scooped the whole pot. Now if I would of bet the flop I would have never got anymore chips off Player A who was holding QJ. By letting him see the turn card and make a hand I was able to gain more value for my AA.

The next occasion came from me playing in a heads up shoot-out. I was holding the A4 of diamonds and I made a raise to 180 with blinds 30/60. My opponent made the call and the flop brought an A 3 3 board (one diamond). After seeing this flop I was confident my hand was best, because I didn’t put him on an A and definitely not a 3. I decided to check to see what my opponent would do and like expected he checked as well. The turn brought the 9 of diamond making me four flushed with top pair. I still didn’t think my opponent had anything so I check once again. Once again my opponent checked behind bringing us to the river. The river brought us a non-diamond J leaving me with two pair. I decided to make a bet on the river, and I fired a pot bet of 360 chips into my opponent. My opponent immediately called and mucked his hand. I scooped the pot with my two pair, but I checked the hand history to see what my opponent called with. My opponent hit the river as he was holding J 7 off suit. By me checking the flop and turn, I allowed my opponent to make a hand that was worthy of calling my river bet. If I would of fired a bet on the flop or turn he would of folded without hesitation. The play could of backfired if he was holding a pair and he would of hit the 2 outter. Yet I still liked the play and I earned an extra 360 of the hand. Good luck at the tables my friends.

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