Playing Against Donkeys!!

The life of a poker player ME!!! Dhruv Doshi

Saturday, March 24, 2007

‘The Pros Favourite Starting Hand’ – Hmmmmm?

Suited Connectors!!

When you seat down at a poker table and you have a great feel about the tournament you are about to play and everything is going right, you hit no red lights on your way to the club, your favourite dealer is dealing out the first hand and you see a very nice amount of money for 1st prize with your name written all over it, you look down and see your cards, you squeeze them out together and see 78 soooooooted in hearts!!!! You call a raise and the flop comes Ac Kh 9h
Did your day get a lot better?? Or have you walked into trouble??

The quote on the title refers to the pros who love their suited connectors as well as a lot of bad good and very good players. Everyone likes to see the 67 of clubs and everyone starts to dream about the endless possibilities that may come up on the flop.

I disagree!! I am not a big fan of the old suited connectors, sure I like to play them but I’d much rather see AK suited and AAs or KKs! Just going to talk about tournament for tonight, I got work to do and writing more than 1000 words on this is not very productive!

Tournaments and Suited Connectors

So in the early stages of the tournament a suited connector is a good hand to start with. I feel if you know what you are trying to hit and know the player, suited connectors can be very dangers, however it can also be very dangerous for you! For example you tend not to be drawing to the nut flush and maybe not the nut straight as well, early on in the tournaments I like to play quite tight as there is not much in the middle to win, therefore when you are sticking in a lot of chips I want to have the best hand and not take too many chances as I feel early on it is harder to get people to fold, which means you need showdown value.

Early in the tournament however is where there are huge implied odds with suited connectors, they are the best hand to crack AAs and especially at low level competition people will not fold AAs full stop!! They may not get all their chips in the middle but are unlikely to fold (basically call off a lot of chips, once faced with some resistance). However the big problem with suited connectors here is that when you call a raise, how do you know they have a big hand like AAs??? Also will you fold a 6h7h on a Ac 5c 4h 3s 3h board? Also even though they are the best hand to crack AAs it is still only a 23% shot! And that is with 5 cards showing, most of the time you will get bet off the flop. Also suited connector only hit 5% at most of flops, so calling a raise all the time with suited connectors may not be very profitable. Also what if they do not have AAs. The flop hits you big and Mr ‘AA’ checks and you bet the big draw and he folds. You have now called a raise of 3xBB and won 6.5xBB if you hit the flop big without him hitting it. 95% of the time you call off 3xBB and lose interest on the flop.

Middle stages I think is the time to play suited connectors more, when you have established a good stack only. I think they are the kind of hands to raise with in LPs and bully players. You can nicely represent a AK type hand with position if the flop is high and if the flop is something else hopefully you have hit it! On the short stack I would certainly avoid these hands, if you push and know you are getting called (no fold equity) do not push with 6c5c, you have 6 high!

Later Stage depending on the structure which is normally not good wherever you go, I try to avoid these hands completely, I will raise with them (but like I would raise with any two cards) but never call to see a flop. They are very weak hands when the blinds are huge and there are really no implied odds. The chances are a 3xBB would be a lot of chips and wasting them on the shot of hitting a big flop is not great especially if you end up drawing to a flush when you are only 1/3 shot anyway.

I think a lot of people get in trouble when playing these cards. A lot of good players get in trouble as well. Good players tend to tell bad players they over play hands like QJ and KJ well I have the same feeling about the 67 and 78s out there.

It must be remember that suited connectors tends to lead to drawing on the flop, and TJ Coultier always says draws are the death of holdem! When drawing you are always behind, even with a massive draw you are at best 50/50 (odd exception) assuming all your outs are live. Would you get it all in with AK vs 22 in the 1st level of a deep deep stack comp where you feel you have an edge? Not likely!!

That’s the best I can come up with today at 430am! Just trying to put off my work for another night

On a personal note, just being playing on UB, playing the $20 Omaha comps and the $35 and $120 bounty comps, good fun! Until I get coolered everywhere I go!!!!!

3rd in a $20 Omaha hi lo yesterday for $200 (good fun)
5th in a $30 Ultra Turbo Sat for $70, top 4 got a $215 seat
32nd in the $35 bounty top 30 pay, allin with pair and flush draw vs an up and down!
21st in the $50 top 20 pay AJ vs AK Button vs SB
22nd in a $10 rebuy with top 20 pay! AJ vs AK BB vs Button
30th in $120 bounty TT vs QQs on a 8 high flop to be 4th in chips, top prize $7.8k (cashed $100 worth of bounty’s and paid $195)
60+ish in $120 bounty KK vs AA
36th in $35 bounty 96 vs 64 on a Q 8 6 6 4 board, to be 2nd in chips

ALL GOOOOOOOOOOOOD FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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