Can’t fold KK

by ~ October 22nd, 2010. Filed under: Fold equity, aggression and bluffing, Rush/Zoom Poker.

One of my tilt/overaggression/spew issues comes up when I can no longer fold KK postflop. Similar situations apply to AA/QQ/JJ/TT or AK/AQ on K or Q high flops.

Largely this comes from playing very low levels of poker and then moving back to more reasonable levels. At the lowest levels players will live and die with top pair on a flop, even if the top pair is a 9. Or with draws, even if the draw is a gutshot draw. They’ll also pay you off with top pair but no kicker, like K5s on a K high flop when you raised with AK and bet every street. When you play players like this you really can’t fold KK most of the time because you’ll be ahead too often. Once in a while you will actually be losing to 55 that flopped a set, but most of the time the resistance or aggression from your opponent comes from

  • lack of understanding of relative hand strength, from
  • fear of folding a pair, from
  • overestimated draw strength, from
  • panic with top pair, or from
  • sheer frustration or drunken thinking (“if I shove here he can’t call this”, usually performed with Ace high that missed the board or with a runner-runner draw).

Often with big hands they love to slowplay so they won’t try to get value until late.

This is my experience with $10 FR Rush poker. This is how you make money at that game; bet with value or position, c-bet almost always, but only fold when you find resistance and you have nothing. If you have anything at all many times you’ll be ahead of what they’re calling/min-raising/bluff-shoving with. And this applies even more so to players who have less than a full stack. Take a full stack player a little more seriously, though often they just got lucky with awful play and are now in the process of giving their winnings away.

My problem then comes when I’m unable to dump this attitude when I go to $25nl. I don’t take it with me to $50nl or $100nl; apparently I view those games more seriously and view my opponent’s differently, but with $25nl FR either at Stars multi-tabling or $25nl FR Rush poker I don’t give players credit for the possibility that they may indeed hold a good hand. The statistical result of this error is that my W$SD is low and I’m leaking buyins by paying off players with my second-best hands.

At Stars this seems to be mostly self-correcting; whether it’s the environment (since this is where I’ve played most of my hands) or whether it’s the multi-table as opposed to the Rush poker situation where I get more stats and some visual reads from hands that I see, or it’s because I mix in some $50nl or $100nl tables I still seem to win overall at Stars, whereas at Rush I’ve lost my $150 and more that I won playing $10nl Rush and actually have to step back and rebuild.

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