Couple hands against a TAG

jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,668 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited April 5 in Live Poker Hands
A lot of times we hear at the table "I put you on AK" or "I put you on jacks." I never say anything, but my inner voice says what we're all thinking - "Don't put a player on a hand, put him on a range". It never ceases to amuse me when a player will play AA, KK, QQ and JJ exactly the same way in some situation, and yet one time someone puts them on AA and the next time they put them on JJ.

Having said that, there are certain times against certain players when you can be virtually sure of what they have. Villain 1 is a tight, aggressive, straightforward player. Both these hands occurred within a couple hours in a recent $1/2 session.

Hand 1:
Villain 1 raises EP, I 3-bet with AA MP, Villain 2 calls from a blind, Villain 1 says "make it $100". Villain 2 has about $200, I have about $450, and Villain 1 has me covered. At this point Villain 1 has KK+, and since I have AA he has KK 6 times for every time he has AA. I decide to just call, since I don't want to turn my hand face up, I want to keep Villain 2 in the hand if possible, and it should be easy to play against Villain 1's hand since I know what he has. Villain 2 calls. The flop was J rag rag, and Villain 2 shoves his last $100 in there. Villain 1 now announces "All in" and I obviously call and flip over AA, and Villain 1 flips over KK. Villain 2 mucked his hand for what I can only assume was a ridiculously overvalued QJ or JT.

Hand 2:
Villain 1 limps EP, I raise with AJ, a different Villain 2 calls and Villain 1 calls. The flop is J23. Villain 1 checks, I bet half pot, and Villain 2 calls. Villain 1 now check/raises. I fold. Villain 1 and Villain 2 get it all in. I fold because I know there are literally only 2 hands Villain 1 can have here - a set of 2s or a set of 3s. It turns out Villain 2 had the set of 2s, so Villain 1 can only have a set of 3s, which is what he actually had. In real time I realize this would have been a tough fold for Villain 2, but really it's an easy fold. On the other hand, if Villain 2 had JJ or 33, then it's a super easy decision to get all your money in because Villain 1 has an underset always.

It's not always that easy, but if you're tight and aggressive and straightforward and consistent, you're can be pretty easy to play against in most situations if someone has some basic poker knowledge and the willpower to use it.

Don't get me wrong, you can still make money playing this way. I know one player who literally won't play a hand for 1 or 2 hours if the table is too gambley for him. I've seen him 2-bet to $50 preflop in a $1/3 game and still get a caller or 2. It's not that they they're too stupid to know what he has, it's that they're too stupid or unwilling to understand their odds in that situation. Over and over they call off 20-30% of their stack with a small pocket pair or suited connector, trying to outflop him and bust him. Even then, they overplay their hand and let him know he's beat. He'll bet $50 again on the flop, and someone who flopped a set of 4s will just shove, and he'll fold. Then on top of that, rather than let him wonder if he got bluffed, they'll actually table their hand!

I guess the lesson that is reinforced for me is you can play TAG, but you can't be predictable against good players, and yet you can be predictable against bad players as long as you exploit solid poker fundamentals if they'll play along.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file