Poker – Expectations

Poker - Expectations

If you’ve ever watched a poker tournament you’ll know that everyone expects the pro’s to constantly win. Now I’m not telling they’re all right just because they’re winning, but in general people expect the pro’s to constantly make money from poker. So in that sense I think it’s fair to say that many people feel they are 7Meter.

When you’re a low stack bettor and get a multi way pot, most people will have you believe you roughly have a 50% to win the pot, with the right flop and right action you could almost be sure you’re next. When you’re short stacked and heads up, people often have you believe you only have about a 30% chance of winning the pot, with the right flop and right action you can be sure you’re the favorite. When you’re a short stack and heads up, people often have you believe you have about a 70% chance of winning the pot, with the right flop and right action you can be sure you’re the favorite.

As a general rule, in heads up games when you have a smaller stack you should be more inclined to be aggressive, in short stack play you should be more inclined to be selective, especially in late position.

In heads up games where you are in late position, like you’re in the small blind or big blind, and everyone before you folds or folds as well, if you have a pocket pair or an Ace King Suited, you may want to stay in a hand with low showdown value in hopes you can hit an A or a K to double up. When you have a small stack, if you can, you should push all in with any half decent hand.

As a general rule, hands with three consecutive cards, such as ace, two and three, are worth pushing in with no matter what your position. When you have a small stack, you should be looking to double up as soon as you can with any half decent hand. The late position players will be working off a short stack, so if you can get them heads up in short stack form you can take them out. If you make it to heads up, forget about it. Run all over them with allinates and hope to break even.

Forces – When you have a pocket pair, you’ll win more in heads up play than you will in a full table game. Obviously, the more players in the hand, the more you’ll have in common with them, but if you flop a set when heads up you’ll win a lot more.

Low pocket pairs – When you have a pocket pair the only hands you should be pushing in with are high pockets of two pair or better. Even sixes and sevens are worth pushing in early position. Once you are heads up the hands you should be playing aggressively will have less value. Hands like AJo, ATs, AQ, JJ, and QJs are worth pushing in heads up.

TJ+ – TJ+ is a hand that I love to play in my short handed situations. I have played it in the past with most hands, especially from the button, and I find that it is a decent sized hand for a short handed table. Especially when playing a short stacked opponent who yourself is not afraid to push around. Against the right opponent, it can be a powerful c-betting hand.

I really enjoy this short handed table image, and am confident it will help me in the chances I get when I push. Those are hands that can add up very quickly when they are into a c-bet situation. Those are the hands that can give you the edge at the correct point in the tournament. Please note this article is not trying to be a must have, I just feel those are some of the most profitable hands to play. I will say however, that I do feel the two non-pair hands, suited and unsuited, are more profitable than the pairs. When I say unsuited I mean suited Seal,trap, or straight. Straight and flush draws are obviously hands you will put your faith in but other hands with less predictability can be risky.

One of the hands I really enjoy playing is the small pairs. Even though I do play them from the button, like TJ, they do win and profit for me. It’s funny, you can get caught in the trap of slow playing these hands or you can just blind push. I tend to definitely try and win the blinds more than I will get called. That’s the break even point that I like to goal on. It’s more profitable to call a small raise and play for the win than it is to try and make a big raise and only lose a small amount of money.