There is one simple way to lose money playing poker and that is to simply make life easy for your opponents. At the end of the day you make money from your opponents poor decisions and the more that they make then the more money that you make. The great Doyle Brunson taught us this in his classic book “SuperSystem”.
For example let us say that you have AK in early position in full ring. Most players have a very tight range from this position and especially so when they raise. But look what happens when you do raise conventionally and make it 3.5bb.
Your opponents are going to suspect that you have AA-JJ, AKs, AK and AQs. So when they call you then they are calling with two goals in mind. The first is that they can get potential implied odds against your hand and simply fold on the flop if they miss.
Opponents Having Position
When they have position then this helps them to play even more accurately against your hand and this is why position is so important in no limit deep stack cash games. However if you limp then you have done several things all of which are good.
- Firstly you have told your opponents absolutely nothing about the quality of your hand. You would limp just as easily with pocket pairs down to deuces and Broadway hands as well as maybe suited connectors if your range was wide enough.
So a limp underplays the true strength of your hand and let us say that it is limped by another player and the button decides to raise with A-J. Your limp in this instance as coaxed the button into raising and is something that they clearly wouldn’t have done had they know the quality of your hand.
The A-J could have quite easily folded against your early position raise fearing domination and now your limp has enticed a hand that could have folded into a hand that has actually taken an aggressive stance by raising. Your play has dragged your opponent away from making a good decision into making a bad decision.
Now before we continue, I am not saying that you should play like this all the time but it is certainly something to consider. Let us look at another more obvious example. It has been raised and re-raised before the action gets to you in the big blind once again in a deep stack cash game situation.
You have Qd-Qs and the stakes are NL100. The first raiser made it $3.50 to go in early position and a middle position player makes it $14 to go. You decide to four bet to $45. Clearly then when you decide to four bet then you are making what could be a committal move but you are also asking your opponents to commit as well.
Deep Stacked Play
POKER FACT: In deep stack ring games with mediocre players then a pre-flop four bet tends to only be done with AA-KK!
The fact that you have neither of these holdings means that they are more likely in the hands of your opponents. You will really only get action here from those two hands and only a full ring novice would get involved with JJ here or AK and these are the only two hands that you beat.
Nearly all decent players at NL100 would fold those hands but you are allowing your opponents to play mistake free poker. You may argue that your four bet gets information but a min-raise to $28 would get the same information if they five bet shove on you.
- Your number one goal in poker is to help your opponents to make mistakes and not help them to play proper poker.