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Jordan Responds to a Comment

From Anonymous:

I hate players like you who make stupid raises to 8 dollars when people limp. Dont u realize people limp with big hands, hoping idiots like u raise. Ur effectivley turning ur hand into a bluff. Well played.

Wow, folks. For those just joining us, the comment was left in response to my recent trip report, and seemingly about this specific hand:

On the button, I was dealt AJ in a hand with an assload of limpers. I decided to raise to $8, a harmless raise meant mostly to build a pot when I'm in position. AJ is not a premium holding, but an AQ or AK would've likely raised preflop, so I felt confident with position. There were a slew of callers and we had a decent pot going when the flop came down JJ2. NOICE! Three or so players checked and I reached my hand out with $10 in chips, about to bet. That's when people started calling over to me, informing me that two seats to my right, there was still a player left to act. It was the guy with the White Hurley Hat, a mid 20s Caucasian who was joking with the big stack that he, Hurley, was just gifting his stack. As I mentioned earlier, his joking was a thin veil for his frustration, since he couldn't seem to get any momentum going over the several hours we played. He usually railed, unsuccessfully, against the big stack, but I guess it was my turn. I pretended, with a heaping dose of absurdity, that I was merely stretching. When he completed his bet, $20, I opted just to call. I figured I was ahead, but who knew? My only concern was 22, which was possible. But otherwise, I'm more or less a lock to win, so no need to push him out of the pot if he's betting out of position. Everyone else folded. The turn was a blank and Hurley Hat bet $30. I called. The river was another blank and he bet $50. I took my time, trying to make sure I didn't miss anything. He may've gotten lucky and turned or rivered a full house, but otherwise, I was probably good. I chose to flat call and he showed 99. I showed my hand and he looked disgusted. Enjoy your LEMON!

I was going to respond to Anonymous in the comments, but this one was too good to bury.

According to Anonymous, it is a bad play to raise 4x the BB from the button with AJ in a cash game when there are a lot of limpers because, "Dont u realize people limp with big hands, hoping idiots like u raise." Where to start. First, one of the very reason to raise is that people with big hands might be limping. If I don't raise, then I have no idea what my opponents have. By raising, I get some indication. Often, a big hand will re-raise here (particularly in EP, in LP they were likely to bet out once they saw all of the limpers). Weak hands will often fold, and marginal hands will call since the number is reasonable. Limping, on the other hand, leaves me without any information.

What if the flop comes down A83 with two spades. Well, without raising preflop, I don't know if a player is sitting on AQ. I also didn't do anything to deter the A8, A3 or even the BB with 83 from calling. And how about that flush draw out there with 6 players in the hand. Wouldn't it be comforting if you cut down the amount of players by half or ever 2/3? Without betting preflop, I have allowed more players to be in the hand and no idea what anyone has, so I'm acting essentially blind. On the other hand, if I raise preflop, AQ and AK may re-raise, other premium hands will re-raise, weak hands are eliminated, and the callers are usually marginal. I have much more information and I'm in position!

Now, on the flip side, the other reason to raise is to build a pot. Why fight over a $12 pot between 6 people when I can raise, reduce the number of callers to a few and fight over a $24 pot, hypothetically, between 3 people with position and decent cards AND an indication that my opponents do not have monsters since they didn't re-raise me. It's not like I was playing junk or that I had indications that my opponents were strong when I raised to $8. I didn't even mind if everyone called because relative to the table, at that moment, I felt that my odds of winning the hand were better than average. Way better than average, thanks to position and the lack of preflop raisers. So, I want to build a pot without spending a lot of my own money. An extra $6 per person adds up without pushing out a lot of the dominated or vulnerable weaker holdings (think KJ, AT, lower pocket pairs, etc.). And the best part is, if I miss the flop, I can just check or fold since I get to see everyone act before me.

Anonymous adds: "Ur effectivley turning ur hand into a bluff." Now, clearly the author is a 12 year old girl, based on the text shorthand, so she can't be blamed for not understanding what a bluff is. I was not BLUFFING preflop. I was building a pot, gathering information, and doing it for cheap from a power position. There was nothing bluff-ish about it. Just because I don't have the nuts when I bet, it doesn't make it a bluff. It could, in some weird way, be considered a semi-bluff, since I didn't have any hand yet, but preflop, I'm not sure semi-bluffs exist (BTW, a semi-bluff is when you bluff with outs). I really can't say why Anon thinks its a bluff in this situation. You'd have to ask her. Middle school gets out at 3pm, so that's where you'll find her.

Had I followed Anon's formula, I would've checked and saw the great JJ2 flop (to match my AJ) in a pot against 6 players with $12 in the pot. Instead of a guy betting out $20 with 99, he would've bet less. Then on every future street, he would've continued to bet less than the $30 and $50 he bet. I would have won less money following Anon's formula. It's not all about results, as I explained the strategic reasoning above, but it still it useful to see Anon's formula in action.

Here's the bottom line. Anonymous' poor analysis demonstrates one of the easiest pitfalls in poker: formulaic thinking. In her head, when she isn't thinking about how cute Joey Fatone is or playing with her Trapper Keeper, there is only one way to play the hand, checking to see the flop. That's not a bad strategy by any stretch of the imagination. It's conservative. It just isn't the ONLY strategy. Since I didn't fit her formula, she assumes I'm a moron. Ridiculous. There are many paths to success in poker and if you get stuck in a formulaic way of playing, you are going to miss some shortcuts and more profitable trails. Formulaic thinkers are the ones screaming about how their opponent could possibly make that call or bet preflop with that hand...and they are usually screaming them from the rail, because they assumed that their opponent was (and should) play their exact same formula.

It doesn't work that way, honey. Now go have some choco milk and watch some Disney channel.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 4:43 PM,


At 7:02 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Forget her poker analysis. If a 12-year old girl is thinking about how cute Joey Fatone is, that girl certainly has issues beyond poker.

I mean, we all know J.C. is the cute one, right?

At 7:08 PM, Blogger BWoP said...

1. Middle school girls do not swoon over Joey Fatone. It's all about Justin Timberlake.

2. At most $1/$2 tables, you don't see a lot of players who would employ the limp/re-raise play. On top of that, I don't think there is enough pre-flop raising action at a $1/$2 table (unless it's late night and the drunks are out) to expect that a player is going to do your raising for you. Besides, the UTG limp/re-raise is *so* 2004.

3. I've notice that I win way more hands when I am raising / betting instead of calling. Robert (The Vegas Year) did a fantastic post a while back about a session that he played where he forced himself to either bet or raise. No calling. I wouldn't go that far, but it's quite amusing!

4. Pissing people off is part of Jordan's MO. Good to see that it's working :-)

At 7:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol my point was if ur going to raise then RAISE, make it something like 22 to go.

Whos going to fold for another 6 dollars after calling .

Quit playing jew-poker

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Another anonymous and satisfied Stupid/System reader.

Anony, ur vry smrt and u like rashul slurz. I like u. Can we link swap?

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Astin said...

Dont u no that the 12 years olds luv teh Jonas Brothers? All thos other guyz are, like, so old.

Just like us.

Jordan, stop being an idiot... WHY would you tap on the glass? WHY?? Now some moron has learned something and will be harder to beat with level 3 limp-bluffing!

At 11:54 AM, Blogger steeser said...

She is right in one regard, in every live 1/2 game I've ever played, your raise is only going to act as a pot sweetner, and will not shorten the field. Then you are playing a hand like AJ in a multiway pot, which is rarely a good thing unless you flop gin (like you did).

At 12:15 PM, Blogger lucko said...

1. I use "u" and "ur" a lot and I am not a 12yo girl and I don't fawn over anyone mentioned in these comments.

2. Saying that "the UTG limp reraise is so 2004" is *so* 2008.

3. Nothing wrong with building a pot in position with probably the best hand. This spot doesn't come up a lot (well, I guess at live 1/2 it does), but it definitely is a strategy that has merrit.

4. Anon is blasting u for raising to 8 because people limp big bands, but then says u should have made it 22, odd.

5. U might be a 12yo girl for never raising post flop on any street for value. Get some balls!

At 1:06 PM, Blogger NewinNov said...

Wow, you sure make the time to respond to some stupid anon comments. Well thought out. Now why do you know when middle school lets out and what the heck is a "trapper keeper?"

Austin is right. I took my kids to a concert recently and ALL the young girls went crazy for the Jonas Brothers never mind their mothers.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Jestocost said...

Hey, I think Anon has been at all of my tables lately; limping UTG with QQ and in MP with AK.


At 7:44 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

Lucko has an interesting point. I really was a bitch post-flop. I have to go over the hands again. I vaguely remember calling down people a lot, which in general is never a good thing. I probably left a lot of money on the table in hindsight, due to missed bets.

steeser, I see your point, but Lucko explains my reasoning pretty well. I was in position and likely ahead, so I was sweetening the pot.

At 8:58 PM, Blogger kurokitty said...

No one's yet said that AJ is not a good hand for playing a multiway pot and that's why you raise here.

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kitty - I agree u should raise, but my whole point was what sense is it to raise to 8 dollars, no one is going to fold.

So wut happens on the flop is u have to hit ur hand ( turning it into a bluff)

Lol at jordan saying hes "ahead" wut are u ahead of, ur not eliminating anybody from the field and the hand comes down to who gets lucky.

A proper way to play the hand is make a proper raise, u get one or two callers, then u have the lead and u can take the pot even if u flop air.

Jordan played the hand as bad as possible, he hit his dream flop, he had someone else betting into him, and he jus called down. if ur going to see monsters under the bed, maybe ur playing the wrong game.

At 11:08 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

For what it's worth, your comment about seeing monsters under the bed is dead on. In hindsight, I was way to passive post flop. I could've easily won an extra $50 on the river, at the very minimum.

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im glad were in agreement

if ur interested in poker lessons lemme know im available

At 9:50 AM, Blogger My final out said...

After reading all of the comments I have come to the conclusion that I wish that Anonymous was at my table every time I sat down. As well as anyone that is willing to take lessons from him.


At 1:04 PM, Blogger GrayCalx said...

Shouldn't have even responded Jordan. Let her kill some time in Civics class by txting and continue playing your game.

Whats the saying? Don't tap the glass...

How was Primer btw?


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