It’s not Darts you know

A few weeks ago I wrote about a hand where early on in a tournie I 3-bet AQs pre flop and the next player shoved all in so I ended up folding. This induced guffaws and laughter from the initial raiser, who claimed in the chat box that he was “LMAO”. Now I doubted he was really sitting there “laughing his arse off” like it was the funniest thing he’d ever seen, especially since he’d folded too and just lost some chips. But I decided to take a look at the play afterwards in any case.

And after doing so I decided the fold was perfectly OK. I’ll 3-bet AQs but I won’t die with it on level one. But this particular opponent just wouldn’t let it lie, claiming he had never seen such terrible play.

Now I admit I’m not the best loser and I might put out a few a few sarky “WP” s when someone cracks my pocket Kings when they call off their whole stack with QJs. But this bloke takes the table captain chat thing to a whole new level. Every time he loses a pot he has some remark or other to make. In his mind he has never made a mistake and every pot he loses is due to the bad play of the opponent.

He is the ultimate smart arse and he also berates players with stats he got from PTR or Sharkscope – stats which I know for a fact are wrong because he’s done it to me.

Best of all the other day he told the table that he is a “very fine player” and a “top class player”.  Anyone boasting he is a top class player in a $33 double or nothing sit n go probably isn’t.  But to prove the point he called a massive all in overbet of about 1500 chips on a flop of A72 when there was about 200 in the pot.

With JJ!

And he was losing to KK! Now that really was LMAO funny.

In short he’s a real weirdo and it’s perfectly possible that he doesn’t play poker for the money or for recreational fun but just to chatter away mindlessly to an “audience” that ignores him or despises him (or both.)

Well he was at it again the other day.

There I was minding my own business in another $33 tournie. I’d noticed he was at the table but he hadn’t said anything (yet) and I wasn’t going to start a conversation with him. With blinds at 30-60 I raised 3 BBs to 180 and everyone folded.

“Hey Freddie it isn’t darts”, he piped up.

“What’s he on about?” I thought

“Beg your pardon?” I asked, foolishly letting my curiosity get the better of me. I should have just let him talk to himself.

“It’s not darts – your raise to 180”.

Jesus – so now he’s criticising pre flop raise sizes? I’ve heard it all now.

“Do what?” I asked rudely.

“3*BB raise is so 1993”

Joker. As if he was even playing poker in 1993.  Besides, if it’s wrong to raise 3*BB now then presumably it was also wrong 5 years ago, or 19 years ago, or whenever? All he’s done is latched on to the trend of players making smaller pre flop raises and decided that this is the way things should be. So I said to him:

“Eh?” two letters probably being more than a waste of time and energy on the twerp.

“You should raise 2.5 BBs MAXIMUM preflop” he explained.

This is just great. So now he decides how much I should raise? What he fails to recognise is that if everyone played like he does – and in his mind there is only one correct play in every situation – we would all play the same game and everything would be completely predictable. The whole point of poker is that people have different styles and the best players are the ones who can adapt to other styles. This means working them out and not just berating people when they do something differently to you.

Anyway, on the subject of raise sizes it is true that preflop raise are getting smaller these days, but this tends to be at higher blinds rather than at the lower blind levels.

During the during the recent iSeries live I heard Daniel Negreanu vehemently criticise Phil Hellmuth for raising with pocket 3s to 3k (blinds were 500-1000) when he only had a 14,000 stack and folding to a reraise.  Negreanu’s point was he should raise smaller because you’ll lose less when you fold to a raise, if that’s what you are planning on doing. And the other guy won’t act any differently to a 2.5 BBs, for example, or so the theory goes.

But I reckon this has gone too far. Raise sizes seem to have fallen and fallen right down to the bare bones – the minimum raise.  The amount of min raising I see these days is just bonkers. When you min raise you give the big blind 3 ½ to 1 odds. (Say the blinds are 50-100 and you raise to 200 – he has to call 100 to win 350 chips.)

And when there are antes the odds are even bigger! You could be giving the big blind circa 9/2 odds and even out of position that is some price with anything like a decent hand.  I would say that a very good player can call with any two at this price, even out of position.

If you are min raising, or making just slightly larger raise to say 2.1 or 2.2 BBs, particularly with smaller pairs like 22-88 I just think you are opening yourself up for trouble.

Well that’s just my opinion. But rightly or wrongly, if you continuously min raise my big blind I’m going to call you, especially if there are antes, so don’t get upset when you lose to some very strange hands!

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2 Responses to It’s not Darts you know

  1. Alan Fox says:

    All I can say is, turn off chat. You’d have to be mad to listen to some of the stuff people write in the chat box. 3X raising at 30/60 is obv fine and 3bet folding is fine aswell. It can hardly be expected that you 5bet all your 3betting hands, naturally enough you should have a not so polarised 3betting range so he’s full of hot air really.

  2. John Francis Murphy says:

    I totally agree with what you have to say. I would raise a minimum of 3X up to the the 50/100 blinds in an unopened pot while increasing to 3.5/4 X when there are a few limpers. Min raising while the blinds are low is possibly the worst thing to do and I shake my head and tut when I see it being done as it doesnt deter people from joining the hand, if anything it encourages action. Sure, as the blinds get higher and stacks get smaller then the min raise/2.5 is the better way to play, depending on the strenght of your hand and your position of course. Also, as much as it would have pained me to do so I think I would have folded the AQs to his allin there. It reaks of AK or at least minimum 1010. I’ll be honest, I have a tendency to berate players myself but that is genuinley due to absolutley terrible play. For example, calling my 3bet allin over shove when I have AK/1010/JJ etc when they have A3, A6, KJ etc.. Regardless of whether I win the hand or not, abuse is given. I could write forever but to sum up. Your right in what you say about raising about that guy… Just watch him get crushed to your AK next time he shoves with his AJ

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