4

On an amateur site. Holdem NL. SNG with 10 players. Stacks 50/100. Initial stack 10000. Blinds double every 22 hands.

At the beginning of the game (hand 4), I was on early position (next UTG), with AA. UTG limped and I bet 300 (3BB). Probably, I should I had bet higher, because as far as I know it's not good idea slowplay having rockets, but I did. Dealer and UTG called. Every one else folded.
I won this hand betting 450 on the flop and the two other players folded. I showed my pocket cards.
This is not the hand I wanted to ask. Just to put in situation.

Few hands later (blinds still 50/100) on the SB, I got QQ. No one raised before me (two people had called), so I bet 500 (+ SB 50). Everybody folded. I didn't show my cards.

A player asked what I had to bet more than with aces. So, as it was an amateur site and no real money involved, I told. Then, he tried to put me down for betting more with QQ than with AA.

First, I learned a lesson. Never tell my cards. Specially, to some kind of players.

Nevertheless, my question is:
It was really a bad move or he was trying to make me nervous or tilt? What should I have done?

My thinking: Having QQ out of position (SB), I tried to put out of the table anyone who had Ax or Kx with a bad kicker and find out how strong were the hands of the remaining players. Because of position on table and cards I had, I think those two hands were different situations. Besides, one should not have to play each hand in the same way, right?

About players: They are tight players, some of them quite aggressive. To play on that table, one has to have very good statistics. That kind of table don't accept most of the people of that site. So, they are all good players (for that amateur site). I was probably the one with worst statistics on that table.

Sorry for my English.

2

I assume the site you were playing on it was PokerTH, am i right?

First of all, you did not slowplayed AA in the first hand. You could certainly bet more preflop (say 400) to reduce the field to only one or two (you reduced it anyway) and/or bet more than 40% of the pot post-flop but in general you did not slowplayed them.

Also, is true you generally have to bet more with QQ on a looser table since QQ is obviously a more vulnerable hand than AA. But it's also a trap to change your betting pattern because of your cards strength. Perceptive players will understand what you do and they'll find out what your 500 bet means (eg. no AA). A better idea is to not change your raise size.

Personally, i don't and i never show my cards. Keeping your opponents in the dark is much better than showing them how good or tight player you are. If they want to see your hand, let them pay. Also, not showing your hand, you're establishing an image of a serious player. People that constantly showing their cards are generally showing a reckless image, aiming to tilt other players. But the truth is that you're giving perceptive players your style of playing and betting patterns. Never give information, unless you have a strong point.

If i was right and this site (ie. program) was PokerTH, you've right to assume is not so amateurish. The play there is quite tight and good after the usual trolls get busted in the first 10 hands and the usual 5 good players remain. You can check the statistics who the good players are (usually the ones with 130+ points)

In any case, it's good and friendly to talk for a hand, but when they start to criticize your play, you should close the chat and focus on your game, before they tilt you up.

  • You are right. It is pokerTH, but it was not a standard ranking game. It was an invitation game, in which not every body can join. So there were no bingo or troll players. I don't usually show my cards (I actually only showed AA), and almost never on ranking games. Nevertheless, I should no have told my QQ hand. Agree. Thanks for your answer. – Albert Oct 7 '15 at 13:01
  • By the way, all players on that table were 130+. I was probably the one with worst global stats and I finished last season over 160+ points. – Albert Oct 7 '15 at 13:05
  • @Albert, ah it was an invited game then. Yes, all players are generally to be good then ;) So it's more required to hide your cards against more than average players. I played on this platform about 1 year ago, i ended 176 in a season, then went for Pokerstars SNG ;) since i didn't liked that 22-hand blind level and only 10-man structure. You can't also analyze hands with a tool like PokerTracker, i raised a question back then, but never answered. – user1165 Oct 7 '15 at 13:20
2

The way you played pre-flop in both cases was fine. Maybe you could have raised more each time, but that's not the point here. In the AA case, you were raising when the current pot was 250 (50 SB + 100 BB + 100 UTG limper). In the QQ case, you were betting into a pot of 350 (50 your SB + 100 BB + 200 for two limpers) with two limpers. Further, you were SB and guaranteed to be out of position for future betting, so raising a little more here to induce folds isn't a bad idea. These are both reasonable actions given the game situation you were in, IMO.

The problem would arise if, given a particular game situation, your raise size was dependent on your cards. If you would have opted to raise AA differently from QQ in either of those situations, then you give away some information about what cards are likely to be in your hand. For example, some people will open raise in a given situation for more if they're holding something like JJ hoping to just take the blinds, while they'll just min-raise with AA. These players are inadvertently telling you that they don't have a premium pair when they bet. You want to make sure your bet sizing is context-dependent, but not on your cards.

So, given the action that you describe, I think the opponent's criticism of your play was ridiculous. I think criticizing opponents in general is ridiculous, though, since there's no reason in the world to try to get your opponents to play better and think more about their hands.

  • When you said context, what did you mean? Position, stack, blinds, opponent(s) and pot all together but no cards? It's a good point. When I bet 500 I did it thinking in position (SB) and my cards. So, I rose higher because QQ are strong but not as strong as AA and any Ax or Kx with low kicker could have beaten them, so I wanted them out. However, could be true I was giving to much information. Thanks. – Albert Oct 8 '15 at 8:34
  • You don't suggest otherwise in your post, so I am guessing you don't have a history with this particular opponent. One hand in one session taken in isolation in a particular situation probably isn't enough to tip people off to any trends. If you hadn't revealed your hole cards to your opponent, I'm guessing he would have no real ability to tell whether you were more likely to hold QQ or AA there. With a larger mutual hand history, maybe some sizing tells would become apparent to him. – Chris Farmer Oct 8 '15 at 14:27

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