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Big things in small packages

“I never win with aces.” – Every online player whose aces were just cracked.

How about this one, from a more reputable source:

The fact is, with a Pair of Aces or Kings … one of two things will usually happen. Either:
(1) You’ll win a small pot
or
(2)You’ll lose a big pot

-Doyle Brunson in SuperSystem (page 459)

With these things in mind, what would the most greedy, profit-mongering poker player want to do? Crack aces! People tend to make one of many mistakes when playing aces:

1) Play them too weakly. They try to pass this off as ‘sucking people in.’ No, they’re letting peopel get in for cheap to suck out on them.
2) Get attached to them. Sure they’re pretty (especially when they’re the same color!) but if the flop is 8 9 10, all diamonds, and you have the two black aces and you reraise someone … then complain that you never win with aces … just shut up.
3) Slowplay the flop. There are good times to slow play, and bad times to slow play. For instance, a good place to check aces on the flop is: A 7 10. A bad place to check aces on the flop: 7 8 10, two diamonds.

When these mistakes are combined they make for very lucrative oppurtunities for the other players. Aces are not indestructible. Let me open your eyes a bit. AdAs vs 7h8h is a 75%-25% favorite. AdAs vs 9h9c is a 80%-20% favorite. Of course these are big leads, but if they’re making the mistakes stated above they will let hands like 7h8h see a cheap flop, check-check the flop and give 7h8h another free card, and when 7h8h hits a river or turned straight, they can’t let their aces go! If you notice a player is playing weak like this, take advantage! For 1/20th of your chips you could call a preflop raise from a weak player, hoping to catch a big flop, and take all their chips!

This idea is called ‘implied odds’, the odds you’re getting that if you catch a big hand you can take a big chunk of your opponents chips. I’ll leave you with a great example: The guy with KK made a weak raise from the button and I called from the small blind with pockets twos.

The guy in the big blind made a call with J10o and the UTG limper called with KQo as well. The flop hit everyone, and all undercards to the kings. I checked and everyone checked behind me. In this case, the KK had already been hurt, but imagine for a bit that I wasn’t in the hand, checking the flop gave the J10 a free card to catch up and hit trip 10s. (I won’t complain, I’m glad that J10 was still in this hand, haha).

I bet out a large percentage of the pot on the turn, trying to make it look like a bluff, and the fireworks went off. The J10 immediately doubled it, the KQ called, KK reraised all in and I called, putting everyone else all in. When the cards were flipped over all I could do was thank my opponents for ‘sucking everyone in’ for me.

I've been playing poker for almost four years now (well before it was legal for me, woops!) Besides poker I enjoy playing the guitar and I'm very enthusiastic about pursuing Dentistry as a career. I'm currently at The Ohio State Univeristy studying Microbiology, living with three of my close friends. I'm dating a lovely girl from Australia and am looking forward to the oppurtunity to study abroad over there as well.

1 thought on “Big things in small packages

  1. There are times when playing aces slowly will pay off. Maybe you’re confident your opponent has AK or AQ, then you have them in huge trouble and you can hope they hit their top pair top kicker and overplay it into a much stronger hand 🙂

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