Paying Attention to Detail

Paying Attention to Detail in pokerIn the increasingly competitive online poker environment of 2011 it is more important than ever to pay attention to the little things. In fact these small edges can add up in a very big way over time.

Here are two example hands which illustrate this:

Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 7 Players

SB: $2.32
Hero (BB): $5.29
UTG: $1.30
UTG+1: $2.19
MP: $0.96
CO: $0.76
BTN: $0.84

Pre-Flop: Q Q dealt to Hero (BB)

UTG calls $0.02, 3 folds, BTN raises to $0.08, SB folds, Hero raises to $0.32, UTG folds, BTN calls $0.24

Flop: ($0.67) 6 4 3 (2 Players)

Hero checks, BTN bets $0.52 and is All-In, Hero calls $0.52

Turn: ($1.71) 4 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: ($1.71) 4 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

Results: $1.71 Pot ($0.08 Rake)

Hero showed Q Q and WON $1.63 (+$0.81 NET)

BTN showed 9 T and LOST (-$0.84 NET)

Poker Stars, $0.01/$0.02 NL Hold'em Cash Game, 7 Players

SB: $2.60
Hero (BB): $5
UTG: $1.52
UTG+1: $0.91
MP: $1
CO: $1.52
BTN: $0.76

Pre-Flop: A A dealt to Hero (BB)

UTG calls $0.02, UTG+1 raises to $0.10, 4 folds, Hero raises to $0.30, UTG folds, UTG+1 calls $0.20

Flop: ($0.63) 7 9 T (2 Players)

Hero checks, UTG+1 bets $0.26, Hero raises to $4.70 and is All-In, UTG+1 calls $0.35 and is All-In

Turn: ($1.85) 6 (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

River: ($1.85) Q (2 Players - 1 is All-In)

$1.85 Pot ($0.09 Rake)

Hero showed A A and WON $1.76 (+$0.87 NET)

UTG+1 showed Q A and LOST (-$0.91 NET)

My Thoughts

The villains in both of the above hands were extremely aggressive. Even though I didn't have a huge sample on either of them (around 100 hands) they both had an aggression factor of 5 or more. It is important to sometimes have a look at a stat like this before you make an obvious cbet. Because with players like this, we can pretty much depend on a bet from them if we check.

If we cbet, they will obviously always call with their paired and drawing hands in a spot like this. But there is also a no pair, no draw part of their range that will fold if we make a cbet. By checking we give them the opportunity to stick in the rest of their money with those hands as well. A small detail, but one worth considering, since it amounts to a 20bb loss if you auto cbet and make them fold their air.

I just want to be clear that these are rare spots, especially at the micros. Most players are passive and you should just make a standard cbet here. But it is still a good idea to have a look at your opponents tendencies before you act. Because making sure that you pick up that dead money is one small way to boost your winrate in a big way over the long haul.

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  1. Anonymous31 August

    these 2 are standard plays vs agro fish.


    -HU vs agro fish ~40BBs (hand#1) we chk, he min bets or 2xBB what do you prefer and why ?
    *call and just bet turn small to be commited on river to put his remaining micro stack
    *raise to 3x his stupid bet and put the rest on turn
    *raise to 65-70% pot and put him to a decission

    -HU vs psv fish ~40BBs (also ex. hand #1) ? do we still want to check or it's just better to c-bet that flop.

  2. Only check if its an insane aggro fish who is certainly going to bet. If he min bets though you have to raise it up. The best way to approach min bets is to just pretend they don't exist (ignore them) and make a standard cbet.

    These situations are rare. So against anyone passive (nearly all players), just bet.