playing loose enough in high-ante games is a much
less common problem among online poker games players
than playing too loose in low-ante and average-ante
games. When players in a game cry out, "Here
comes a live one," what they mean is, "Here
comes a player who plays too many pots, who always
wants to get into the action, who doesn't consider
the odds before calling, who calls to the end with
next to nothing when two aces are staring him in the
face." Put more succinctly, what they mean is,
"Here comes a sucker."
when you play too loose for the ante? Well, even if
you play very well from then on, you have the problem
of playing a worse hand on average than your opponents
who are playing correctly according to the ante. Consequently,
you figure to lose to them as long as they play as
well as you.
they don't play quite as well as you, you figure to
lose to them because their starting requirements are
higher than yours, and so the hands they play against
you will, on average, be better than yours.
running bad. It's been a nightmare of missed draws,
second-best hands, and heinous suckouts. Your image
is shredded; it seems like every time you enter the
pot the others just pile on. Wallowing in your misery,
you now find yourself holding pocket aces under the
gun. Assuming that you're not so despondent as to
fold, should you call, raise, or call hoping to reraise?
COMMENT: Many players in this situation, feeling snakebit
like they are, will want to slow-play their aces.
This is wrong on the face of it, but it's even worse
because they have two contradictory reasons for doing
so. On one hand, feeling snakebit, they want to minimize
their loss in case their aces don't hold up. On the
other hand, they're in a deep hole and imagine that
a big volume multi-way win will get them well in a
hurry in case their aces do hold up. In any event,
their thinking is tainted by their feeling, and so
their actions-whatever actions-are fundamentally misguided.
Let's review some basic math. A-A is a big favorite
against any single random hand (about 3.5 to 1 over
J-T suited to a suit other than the aces; about 8
to 1 over 7-2 off suited in suits counterfeit to the
aces). But A-A will win only one time in three or
four against a field of six random hands. The math
is immutable: If you don't raise with pocket aces
and let a lot of limpers limp in, you're giving yourself
the worst of it.