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08/21/2005: "wisdom cries aloud in the street; in the markets she raises her voice"

i don't pretend to be smarter than i am; i try to accurately judge my skills and knowledge - i think being honest with yourself can often save you from acts of hubris.

that said, i can certainly parrot words of wisdom when i see situations that exemplify the moral.

make the jump for "why you don't limp pocket aces".


PokerStars Game #2389072798: Tournament #11571597, Hold'em No Limit - Level III (25/50) - 2005/08/21 - 12:18:53 (ET)
Table '11571597 1' Seat #4 is the button
Seat 1: Foo Bum (1670 in chips)
Seat 2: M3G4L1TH (4555 in chips)
Seat 4: Econ5496 (2460 in chips)
Seat 6: sellthekids (1960 in chips)
Seat 7: 75900 (1810 in chips)
Seat 8: NoNugs4You (1045 in chips)
sellthekids: posts small blind 25
75900: posts big blind 50
Dealt to sellthekids [3s 3d]
NoNugs4You: folds
Foo Bum: folds
M3G4L1TH: calls 50
Econ5496: folds
sellthekids: calls 25
75900: checks
* FLOP * [7c 3c 5d]
sellthekids: bets 95
75900: folds
M3G4L1TH: raises 95 to 190
sellthekids: raises 310 to 500
M3G4L1TH: calls 310
* TURN *[7c 3c 5d] [Th]
sellthekids: bets 1410 and is all-in
M3G4L1TH: calls 1410
* RIVER * [7c 3c 5d Th] [4c]
sellthekids: shows [3s 3d] (three of a kind, Threes)
M3G4L1TH: shows [As Ad] (a pair of Aces)
sellthekids collected 3970 from pot
Total pot 3970 | Rake 0
Board [7c 3c 5d Th 4c]
Seat 1: Foo Bum folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 2: M3G4L1TH showed [As Ad] and lost with a pair of Aces
Seat 4: Econ5496 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 6: sellthekids (small blind) showed [3s 3d] and won (3970) with three of a kind, Threes
Seat 7: 75900 (big blind) folded on the Flop
Seat 8: NoNugs4You folded before Flop (didn't bet)

this is a Poker Stars $50+$5 SnG paying the top 3 places. we are down to six players.

as you can see, in the cut-off, M3G4L1TH wakes up with pocket aces and decided to limp, calling the BB of 50. i am in the SB, so my 3s are only costing me 25 more. fate smiles on me and i flop a set and double-through M3G4L1TH.

now, had M3G4L1TH represented his hand properly, raising 3-5xBB as is customary, i certainly would have folded. yes, it can be argued that M3G4L1TH would have then maybe only won the blinds - but - he would have won something.

the purpose of raising is not to just build a pot - you are also eliminating drawing hands, narrowing the field. when you act tricky and try to use 'advanced play' you often open yourself up for serious consequences.

when the innocuous looking flop of 7 3 5 comes out, M3G4L1TH has no idea where he is at. since he didn't raise, i could have limped with 7-3, 3-5, 7-5, and, of course, i could be four-to-the-flush.

i make a smaller than pot-size bet. while my set is strong, i need information. when M3G4L1TH raises, i am concerned. it is possible that M3G4L1TH flopped a set larger than mine - if he has i need to know here. honestly, had he gone all-in instead of raising, i might have folded. i dunno if i would have had the balls to do it, but an all-in would have been representing a hand stronger than mine. since he didn't go all-in, i have another chance to gleen info and i reraise. this is a last ditch effort to see if my set is good.

what isn't shown by the hand history is M3G4L1TH's delay in calling my reraise. i can only guess he was confused, maybe worried. i don't think he put me on a set.

the turn dinks the T and i am thinking that maybe M3G4L1TH's call of my reraise has him chasing the flush; i have certainly seen many poor players chase in low-cost tournaments. my all-in is to force his decision: if he is going to chase, he is going to risk his tournament.

i was both pleased and surprised when M3G4L1TH called and turned over aces; after all, he limped!

i have seen wired aces limped three times in the past two weeks, two of those in live play. in all three instances, i watched those aces get it broken off in their ass. there is a cardinal rule here: limping with strong hands often will hurt you more than help!

so how did i fare?

final hand heads up saw both of us flop a queen, with Econ5496 having a jack kicker.


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