Monday, August 06, 2007

How to Stop Tilting Against Calling Stations

Disclaimer: Every instance of fish in this post refers to the loose-passive calling stations kind of fish, not the nitty weak-tight ATM’s or other kinds of fish. Further, even while I may be using ‘he’ as personal pronoun when talking about fish, this does not mean I imply all fish are males. My sincere apologies to female fish out there.

Nothing can be more annoying to sharks than sitting in a pool of fish and missing all the flops after raising preflop for a long streak. So much dead money out there, but it seems the only one actually contributing dead money isn’t the fish calling your PF raise from the SB with J6s because it’s SOoTED, but it seems to be you. Every time you raise your AK/KQs etc either OOP or IP you get at least two callers, but to no avail. And your c-bets get no respect, yet you keep doing so because it’s ‘correct’ and because you could still have the best hand.

This can lead to many things, like ending up calling huge raises when you actually do manage to hit the flop, or worse, playing too timid like limping OOP just because of fear you’ll miss the flop again.

Why shouldn’t this affect sharks? Quite simple. Getting called by 2 fish and missing the flop is no bad result at all! Check/fold, next hand…

It’s quite simple, let’s say you hold AKo, raise preflop UTG to 4xBB, and get two callers who can be classified as calling stations. AK will hit top pair about 35% of the time, and you put less than 33% of the money in. That means you earned sklansky bucks even when missing the flop. The pot is now 12.5 to 13.5BB. Now you could c-bet like 8-10BB with your 6 outs, but if you expect to get called by at least one player like 80% of the time, that’s money you could have spent better.

So instead you check/fold, and use that saved money for the next times you hold AK. And when you actually do manage to hit one bloody flop get paid off decently by some fool who called you PF with A3o or K9.

Another trait of fish seems to be a quite particular one. It’s one advanced players make to induce a river bluff to get more value, but fish do so for other reasons.

Let’s say you end up in a multiway pot from LP. You hold a decent draw on a J high flop, and decide to take a look at the turn. On the turn the EP fish bets out again, and you call because you think he holds a weak hand. On the river an ace or king arrives, completely missing you, but fish bets out like $7 in a $20 pot.

Even while you KNOW exactly what this bet means when done by a fish (fish thinks he’s beat so he bets small to keep himself from losing much money ), I found out that raising in this spot is futile. I can raise to $20/25/30/37, and still the fish calls way too often with exactly the kind of hand he was representing: J with a lousy kicker.


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