Friday, November 04, 2005

Folding good hands...

Found a nice article by Tom McEvoy entitled Releasing Quality Hands in Tournaments. This article brought home to me something I learned quickly playing in the PokerStars Blogger Tournament - Strong hands early on, probably aren't.

My wife gave me a few odd looks the times she swung through as I would fold hands that, in our home games, would be very strong. Things like Q-10 or K-J I tossed. What I quickly learned was that while a great starting hand, I was usually in the wrong position and at the first table of a 1500 player tournament it wasn't the time to waste my chips bluffing or chasing ghosts. So I folded them, and learned a valuable lesson.

From the article...
Another tough hand to fold is pocket kings, especially with a garbage flop. In a recent World Series of Poker event, my writing partner T.J. Cloutier had K-K. With the blinds at $25-$50, he made it $300 to go and was called by Jay Heimowitz, a top player who has six World Series of Poker bracelets to his credit. The 9-7-2 mixed-suit flop elicited a pot-sized bet from T.J. Jay immediately made a strong raise. T.J. thought about it briefly, showed his kings, and folded! T.J. was positive that Jay had a pocket pair and had flopped a set, probably nines. Always the gentleman, Jay turned over his nines as he raked in the pot.
Been said many times, many places, a key skill is reading your situation, your opponent(s) and realizing your goal is to win the tournament, not necissarily this hand. Many times its better to let it go.

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