Monday, March 28, 2011

Poker: Pocket Kings

Never slow play cowboys. You don't win big by playing passive.
Every Poker player has that favroite hand. The hand they have won many games with, the hand that has never let them down. For most, it's pocket aces. For me? Pocket Kings, or the cowboys. In my personal opinion, all statistics and pot odds and all that crap aside, pocket kings are the strongest hand you can get. Sure, pocket aces are fantastic too, but I've never, ever won a hand with bullets. Call it pure coincidence, or call it bad luck, you can call it what you will. Aces have never proven to be successful for me. Now, with that said, aces are never, ever a hand you should throw away or slow play. A word I hate, but "statistically speaking", they're the best hand you can get. Kings are second best. Now, enough of the personal opinions on good and bad here.

Kings became my favorite after my first big score on PokerStars. I was into a small satellite tourney and it was the last table. Somehow, I had made it the 4 hours and countless players and was in it for a final prize of 5000$. I was under the gun and got dealt King of Hearts and King of diamonds. There were 4 of us left, so I decided now was better than ever and snap called all in. Being the biggest stack, I couldn't be sent packing even if I did lose to another hands. Surprisingly, everyone called. I got a cold chill, felt sick. Sure, I wouldn't get knocked out, but 70% of my stack is at risk. Not good, and also baffling. I said out loud, "How the fuck? why are they all calling?!" The whole point of going all in was to scare the strong hands out! Not in this case, I guess. They must have all had screaming hands. I knew one of them had aces. I'm done for, I thought. The hand went on, I nervously watched the flop come up. King of Spades, King of Clubs, and a 3 of Hearts. I got up and danced, and danced, and danced. The turn was a Queen of Clubs and a 10 of Hearts. I win with Four of a Kind and also manage to dish out 3 knockouts and 3 bad beats at the same time.
Ace-King is a fantastic hand too. Suited is even better.

Player 1: He had pocket aces. Ace of diamonds and Ace of Hearts. Knew that already.
Player 2: He had pocket queens. Queen of Diamonds, Queen of Spades.
Player 3: He had Ace-Queen. Not quite sure why he went all in pre-flop, but whatever. Living on a dream? Ace of Clubs and Queen of Hearts.

So, the end of the night, I walked away with 5 large... and promptly lost it all that night. 

What's the lesson here? Play hard pre-flop with any strong pair. Aces, Kings, Queens. Jacks are tricky, be careful, I would never be caught going all in pre-flop with a pair of Jacks. If you're in position with a strong pair, bet the pot. That will weed out the trash hands. If you get a call, place continuation bets on the flop. Play your opponent, this is why learning about your opponents is key. Snap call and bet fast. If you get raised pre-flop, you need to take caution. If I've noticed that player has played weak, lost a lot of hands and limped in frequently, I may raise all-in in that situation. Nine times out of ten, they will fold.

The key is to bet yourself as the strongest hand, but don't over bet and look like a bluff. This is often the trickiest part of playing Poker. Betting has as much to do with the game as the cards.

Once you start winning, never forget to cut your losses. If you lose your good streak and start losing, don't be the table Hellmuth. No one likes a Hellmuth. Get up, walk away, get some fresh air. Hell, quit for the day if you want. A great tactic for winning streaks is to cap yourself. Once you've won X amount, quit and go enjoy yourself. You can lose alot playing Poker on tilt, and in the most extreme cases, ruin your credit report due to excess debt. And remember, no one likes a whiny, bitching cry baby at the table. Like Phil Hellmuth. It makes you look bad, and makes you vulnerable. Keep your emotions to yourself.

I hope you learned something. If anyone has questions about Poker, please feel free to ask me. I love to help and would be willing to post more information and blogs about Poker. Good luck at the tables!

23 comments:

  1. good advice, ive been looking to improve my poker game, thanks

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  2. i'm not very good at poker as it is, hopefully this will step my game up.

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  3. good to know, nice post

    + follower:)

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  4. Will keep this in mind... For my Poker Night at the Inventory games. :D

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  5. I wish I could play poker like some of my friends do, they make a killing online

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  6. I play alot online poker, and i must say. Pocket kings is my worst hand. i NEVER have any luck with it.
    A K Suited on the other hand is nice. or Pocket Jacks :-)

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  7. Quite obvious that you're passionate about poker. Perhaps I'll be seeing you on the World Poker Tour soon?

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  8. This is why I don't play poker. I don't have the time/dedication to go in depth like this.

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  9. It's always good to pull out after you've won a few games. No need to get greedy

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  10. Played on Pokerstars a year or so back, walked away with $150 - Pretty exciting stuff, especially when you when that clutch hand that lands you $20-$30

    I know to some its chump change, but that's big stuff to me!

    Following for more tips!

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  11. sweet post.. I needa get more into poker!

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  12. Man, how much I love to be able to do this, I'll never master it up to this degree :(

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  13. I was never that good at Poker, I always knew that I was the sucker.

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  14. I live close to las vegas, I'd love to learn more about poker! I have a friend who goes down on the weekend and always comes back with money.

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  15. Poker is barely even about the cards, it's all the game about the game. Of course, i'm terrible at poker.

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  16. lol you really hate hellmuth dont you!

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  17. I really hate Hellmuth. I know the whole Poker Brat is part of his mind games but it's SO ANNOYING.

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  18. Great post, i'm really into poker blogs and reports, read around on 2+2 sometimes. Love the stories.

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