Saturday, January 17, 2009

Poker pearl #16 - Playing from the big blind

You are in the big blind and the button or small blind raises and you have A-K or A-Q. Do you reraise? That's what most players would do. Let's say that you have J-10 or Q-10 instead. Now would you call or fold or?

Eric "basebaldy" Baldwin (shown to the right) has crushed multitable tournaments online for years. He's also done well in live tournaments. Below is a tip about playing the big blind that he gave in the Dec. 31 2008 issue (Casino Edition) of Card Player magazine.

In the big blind against aggressive players, "I like to just call with a lot of my bigger hands, like A-K and A-Q, and I like to reraise them with hands like J-10, Q-10 and Q-J. The reason for that is that they are going to call a lot of the time when I reraise if we are deep-stacked.

"If I do it with A-K, and the flop comes jack high and I bet again, so many people put me on A-K or something similar and float me. Then, I don't know where I am at. If I do it with J-10 and the flop comes jack high, I bet and they call, and I end up getting value out of the hand. Now, if an ace or king flops, my bluff (bet on the flop) is going to succeed a lot more.

"So by reraising with those kind of hands, on an ace- or king-high board, your bluffs are working more often, and you are getting value when you actually hit."

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