8-29-05 [poker] - 2

8-29-05 [poker]

I've been doing great playing the No Limit cash tables, which Drew turned me on to. Today I made a huge mistake which I'll tell you about.

I get AA preflop and raise to 3.5X the BB ($7 with 1/2 blinds). The small blind calls and the big blind folds. The flop comes Jack-high with 3 clubs. The guy checks, I bet 15 (pot size). The guy raises to 30. I figure he could be raising a flush draw or a jack here, so I reraise to 70. He goes all-in, for 221 chips, so it's 151 more to me to call. I think a while and fold.

I think it's a mistake to fold here. Yes, he could have a set, or he could have flopped the flush. In a higher limit game, maybe the fold here is okay, but at this limit, he'll push like that with the top pair jacks. His most likely holding is probably the flush draw. He could also have top pair - he could also have a lower pocket pair, KK, QQ. If he has the flush or the set, it's just bad luck, it happens. I think if you consider the good odds the pot is giving me it's a definite call.

The weakness I have here is that I just can't stand to put big chips in the pot when I might be behind, especially when I'm calling. Sometimes you have to gamble, not in the sense of the draw of cards, but gamble on the range of hands your opponent might have. I also have trouble making good decisions with the damn Party Poker timer beeping away. It gets me all panicked about the time limit and my brain freezes up. Part of the cure for that is experience, so you can make decisions based on memory instead of having to think it through carefully.

Another problem I had with this hand is that the guy just sat down at the table, so I had no read on him. If I knew he was a super-aggressive player, I would have instantly called. I really hate playing hands against people that I haven't built my read on yet.

After more thought, this is an absolute mistake. If I just had the top pair Jacks, I think it's a good solid fold. With AA, it's a clear call, since some of his likely holdings are KK, QQ, and the top pair. I probably lost $300 on this hand, since it's a $400 pot and I win 3/4 of the time or so.

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