I managed to win a seat for the
$2000 No Limit Hold em event in a one table satelitte. I got
lucky when I slow played pocket Kings catching both blinds who
both flopped top pair. As an added bonus, I was given a poker
lesson by a very attractive young lady with a large bosom. She
explained how dangerous it was not to raise with Kings before
the flop. Bless her! Anyway I tripled thru and managed to outlast
the rest to gain a seat in the NLH event for a paltry $230.
It can be very annoying playing you play tournament poker and
you have waited two hours to pick up a hand. You finally look
down at a pair of Kings, raise 3 times the Big Blind and everyone
passes. Doh!... So what is the correct thing to do?
In the majority of cases the correct thing is exactly that.
If you raise 3 times the Big Blind with AJ in mid to late position,
then you must raise 3 times the Big Blind with your Kings (regardless
of position). That way your eagle eyed opponents wont be able
to tell what cards you play. If everyone passes, it's not the
end of the world. At least you didn't lose with them.
In the satellite I mentioned above, I picked up the Kings in
first position in a 9 handed aggressive one table satellite.
I figured if I flat called, someone in a later position would
raise, and then I could re-raise and get all my chips in the
middle before the flop. A cunning plan... that didn't work.
Everyone passed around to the blinds who smooth called. The
flop came Jack high and they both decided they liked it. So
it was just a matter of crossing my fingers and hoping neither
had two pair.
In Limit Hold'em there is rarely any justification in slow
playing big hands, especially in the lower limit games. If you
have a pair a Kings I would recommend that you raise at every
opportunity. The obvious reason is to make the pot as big as
possible, so you win as much as possible. Another good reason
though, is that you are better off playing against 1 or 2 opponents
with your Kings than against the whole table. Less players will
call 2 bets, and hopefully you wont lose the pot to anyone playing
5,6 of hearts. Post flop, the song remains the same. If it shows
3,7,J and your opponent bets, then raise him. Don't get cute.
If for example he has 10,J or J,K, and the next card comes an
Ace. Although it doesn't help either of you, it freezes the
betting because it scares you both. And the pot that you win
is that little bit smaller…
So as usual, I am being as contradictory as ever. But most
of the time, it doesn't pay to be too clever.