In cash game poker You don’t play to see flops
Why wanting to see flops is a recipe for disaster.
In cash game poker, especially in limit texas hold em, the game is all about raising people pre flop when you have a good hand and trying to see the flop as cheaply as possible when you have something like 56 suited that could make a monster winning hand.
It’s an often quoted theme that with a starting hand of AA in a cash game you will either win a small pot or lose a big one.
In our six handed SNG it is your job to make sure that people pay a high price to see the flop when you have a big hand but you don’t limp into pots hoping to get lucky. You don’t have the chips to be able to afford this.
Take the following scenario:
It’s middle stages in the SNG. All six players remain (unusual I know!) You are in the big blind and wake up with QQ.
UTG limps for 100, seat two folds, seat three limps 100, seat four limps 100 and the small blind completes. What do you do now?
If you don’t raise enough this is what happens:
You have to raise to 400, 500 or even 600 chips.
This makes the chances very high that everyone is going to fold back around to you but if you simply check and limp in you will lose a big pot rather than winning a small one.
Similarly if you don’t raise enough and simply minimum raise or raise 300 then if UTG decides he wants to come along for the ride then everybody else is going to have odds to make the call and jump on the train.
In this situation winning 350 chips by raising everybody out of the hand is a massive win for you. You are not trying to double up every hand you play, you are simply trying to thin down the number of poker players that you want to play your hand heads up against.
Make sure you raise enough so that you don’t see a flop. In the same game I make sure that neither of the two players can play without committing a lot of chips to the pot. But I simply don’t want either of them to hit an Ace on the flop with their miserable A2 limp.
You don’t play to see flops. You play NOT to see flops. In fact the fewer flops you see the better!
If that means everbody folds to you then so be it, but there is no need to try and be greedy by getting as many people in the pot as possible! You will get enough hands to play to win the tournament without over playing any of them!
In this $5 tourney you simply play solid poker to take them down time and time again whilst seeing as few flops as possible.
Of course occasionally you run into someone else who has a bigger hand and that’s usually the end of your tournament when you have KK here but it’s much more preferable to get knocked out by AA or even AK than slow play and let someone play their 9,10 and get lucky on you.