Wake up! You’ve read through all of the ‘Building a Bankroll‘ Articles, you’ve developed a sensible command of the game, you’ve left the band of bozo’s wondering ‘wtf’ happened to them.
Yet, you sometimes feel the need to carry a once powerful hand all the way to post-river play….even though you’re totally convinced that what you’re holding isn’t worth the equivalent of a beach photo where you’re displayed in a speedo. H E L L O !!!!!!
Sure you were dealt pocket QQ….but the flop showed A/9/4, and two players who you hold in very high regard have bet the flop. You know full well that neither of them would be doing so without a pocket ace.
And, your hopes of catching a Queen on the turn or the river are no greater than 8%; a 1 in 12 possibility. Don’t you think it might be wise to fold? Or, is there a latent desire for a rendezvous with the alpha bull?
In another instance, you were dealt QJ suited….then the flop showed K/J/2; without a card that matched your suit.
- And, two players made pot-sized bets. Both of whom are solid competitors, and both of whom possess game play habits that are known well by you.
- It’s sort of a ‘yes-brainer’; the question you’re asking is “do one or both of them hold a pocket King?
- And, you’re damn certain that the answer is “yes”.
- Maybe it’s wise to fold?
Interestingly, there’s a current television commercial being aired by one of the Internet poker sites. It features a young man, who is both a professional poker player and a personal friend.
- He’s looking at his pocket Kings, assessing the post-flop board (which contains an Ace), and analyzing the bets being made.
- Then, absent any ‘ego, emotions, or pocket-attachment’ featured in his facial expression, he casually tosses his Kings into the muck. An action akin to the two I cited above.
He’s ‘Laying Down a Once Powerful Hand’….and, it comes across as a routine, everyday, ‘who cares’ type of play.
Candidly, he has often been seen to do the very same thing in any number of televised poker tournaments.
- Have you seen the TV spot?
- Have you seen him do it in tournaments?
- Can you do likewise?
If you answered “no” to the questions, or, of real consequence, if you answered “no” to the third question, be advised that there will be an ‘infomercial’ airing on your television later today….at exactly the time you choose to turn the TV on.
It’ll feature a whole lot of ‘BS’, and it’ll be hosted by the marketing firm that represents the ‘alpha bull’; somehow, they think he has an irresistible appeal. And, who knows, you may possibly agree with them.
Or, might it not be time to get truly serious about when to fold, about when to lay down good cards, about when to recognize that winning the hand ain’t gonna’ happen, and about when prudence takes center-stage….allowing ‘poor decision making’ to be yanked from the performance.
Of course it is! We’re not playing a one-hand game, we’re playing a game that permits us to see a near limitless number of hands; especially over the long-term.
And, we learned long ago that patience is the biggest asset, or skill, that we bring to a poker table.
It has served us well in putting together a bankroll, it’ll serve us well in the task of expanding our poker bankroll, and, if we so choose, it’ll serve us ‘beyond well’ at ‘yet to be played’ Brick and Mortar games (you’ll need to read the 10 Articles in the Brick and Mortar poker [B & M] series before you venture off to a card room or casino).
If we think of patience as a part of the discipline that we bring to the game, then it’s a minor leap to think of ‘laying down once powerful hands’ as an additional part of the discipline that we bring to the game.
And, it’s just about as easily done, as it is said. You’re definitely not inclined to fatten the wallets of the inordinate number of poor players who ‘flirt with the alpha bull’ at free poker NoPayPoker on a daily basis.
So, fold when necessary. And, learn to identify when it’s necessary….by making good use of a number of skills at your disposal; like Consistency of Focus (COF), Player Habits, Flop Texture, and a really big dose of ‘plain ole’ common sense; an attribute sorely missing amongst the vast majority of your opponents at NoPayPoker!
And, before we arrive at some specifics regarding ‘when it’s necessary’, keep in mind that we’re playing with one goal….to win money.
To accomplish that, we have sub-goals.
- We need to survive the ‘chip-flinging’ in the first 5 or 6 hands of the tournament
- We need to be certain that patience gets us beyond the ‘bubble’
- We need to utilize just about all of our strategic tactics to earn a seat at the final table
- And we need to win the game….or, come as close to winning as is possible (no one ever said we could win ‘em all).
Now, specifics! Let’s start with something simple….like, how strong is an early position pocket of Ace/Queen offsuit?
I suspect you’re about to be surprised.
And, any poker hands article about folding ought to take into account ‘strong pocket cards’ that most often should be folded.
Candidly, a pre-flop fold can save a lot of money. So, do you fold this pocket?
If your answer was “no”, let me explain why it should have been “yes”.
- Here’s the way A/Q offsuit holds up against premium and secondary pockets:
- Versus AA, it’s about a 92 to 8 loser
- Versus KK, it’s about an 82 to 18 loser
- Versus QQ and AK, it’s about a 72 to 28 loser
- Versus JJ and TT, it’s about a 57 to 43 loser
- .Aand versus 22 through 99, it’s about a 53 to 47 loser.
Well, against the combined total of 14 premium and secondary pockets, A/Q offsuit has an average losing ratio of 61 to 39….not quite ‘advantaged’, is it?
And, since you’re in early position, there are quite a few players remaining who could be holding any one of the 14 pockets.
Toss the cards, and reflect back on your Playable Pockets Matrix (PPM). Where, you’ll rediscover, that the ONLY playable cards from early position are AA, KK, QQ, AK, and AQ suited (not offsuit).
Next, remember that your free poker playing opponents at NoPay don’t replicate your game, they will participate in hands with very different cards, very different ‘pot entry’ standards.
- They don’t use the PPM, they don’t understand Positive Expected Value (+EV), nor do they understand Negative Expected Value (-EV).
- For the most part, they are of the mind set that says “you can’t win if you’re not in the hand”.
- In reality, they’re also of the mind-set “you can’t meet the ‘alpha bull’ if you’re not in the hand”.
Just because you are doing everything right doesn’t mean that they will too. People will play all sorts of hands, especially in free online poker freerolls!
That being true, particular attention should be paid to the possibility of straights….where ‘wet’ flop textures turn on the ‘flashing red light’.
When there are three ‘wet’ cards on the table, 5/6/8 for example, there’s a good chance that one or more ‘Farm Animals’ might be playing with pocket 7/4 or pocket 7/9.
Thus, your A/K offsuit has turned sour….and you’ll likely lay down the once powerful hand
Similarly, when 2 or 3 of the flopped cards are suited, and there’s an overcard within the flop….another ‘wet’ Flop Texture….there’s a distinct possibility that one or more of the ‘Farm Animals’ might be playing with rag/rag suited; or, paint/rag suited….a pocket severely overplayed by the ‘pasture dwellers’.
And, as cited above, the ‘wet’ flop automatically flips on your ‘flashing red light’ switch.
Thus, your pocket Tens have turned to turds.…and you’ll likely lay down the once semi-powerful hand.
Last, consider all of the following about being dealt pocket Jacks.
- With 3 other players taking part in the hand, you’ve got the potential for serious problems on the horizon.
- First off, all 3 opponents each have more than a 40% chance of holding a pocket Ace, or a pocket King, or a pocket Queen.
- And, the flop possesses more than a 60% chance of showing either an Ace, a King, or a Queen….which makes you about a 5 to 2 underdog.
Correctly, pre-flop, with no more than a 3 times the Big Blind raise, we belong in the hand; we are getting a bit over 3 to 1 on our money; or, approximately a 20% ‘advantage’.
Yet, post-flop, should an Ace, or a King, or a Queen (absent a Jack), appear on the board, and, one or more players bet the flop, the ‘light’ goes on.
Sure, any of us can look stupid, I more than anyone, but, none of us are stupid….we’re ‘enlightened’ players, and we win money.
We hold a profoundly obvious ‘advantage’ over the game; and we know it.
Maybe the ‘Farm Animal’ friends of the ‘alpha bull’ don’t know it, but, that too is another one of the major problems they have no ability to correct.
We, however, don’t have a problem. Our pocket Jacks have met their match, and we want out of the hand. The ‘flashing light’ has told us that it’s time to be ‘Laying Down a Once Powerful Hand’….just like Daniel does in the TV commercial.
“You will show your poker greatness by the hands you fold, not the hands you play”….I can’t remember who the quote belongs to, but I sure as heck understand it’s message.