08 February 2006

Comment Contest, and How to Play the Big Fish

"Listen," he said. "Poor people sweat. Rich people perspire. Me? I'm just cool. I defrost." Tunica dealer Alex, as heard by Otis.

First, the contest. It will be pretty simple. I want to give back to those folks who come here regularly, who chime in or give me their harsh criticism, encouragement, or feedback. This blog is more for me than for anyone else, and if it is ever encouraging, educational, or entertaining, than that's a bonus. So I'm giving away a free Junior's Cheesecake (delivery included). Junior's in Brooklyn is one of the best cheesecakes in all of America. I know there's no free lunch, but maybe a free dessert (or a free gift for your significant other...). To be elibigle, just leave a comment on any post. We'll run this from 8-13 February, and I'll use my trusty random number generator to select from all those who leave a post. I'll post the winner on 14 February, and if it works well we'll have regular contests like this.

joemeli sat down in the 4s after my first orbit yesterday in the 6s of a $5/10 full limit table at Party. For the 52 hands that we shared the table, his stats: VP$IP 78.18, PF Raise 0.00, W$SD 20.0, -$361 for the session. Now how do you participate against a fish like this? A player like this counts on a few tactics to stay alive: that most players don't have hands and will fold to post-flop aggression, that he will get paid off when he does have a hand, and he will cause other players to lower their starting hand requirements. Let's review the session and my play:
  • I raise UTG+1 with 88, joe calls from bb (five to flop): flop comes 5d2h9s (joe checks, I bet, button raises, joe and I call with one other), 4c (check to raiser who bets, joe raises and we're out to the raiser call), 2s on river (check/check) joe has 54o, button has Ac9c and scoops pot
  • joe calls a raise and a call in sb, checked down to river with T3AA2, where joe bets and is called by the other caller; joe has Q9o, caller has K9o and scoops the pot with his K kicker
  • joe calls raise on button with 4h3h, board 8c2hKc (joe calls raiser with bb check/call), 2d7s (everyone checks), pot won by JTo
  • joe calls mid raise with Ks3s (bb calls), flop comes 4h8hKd (bb bets and is called by both), Kc on turn (joe bets and is called by bb), Qh on river (bb bets, joe raises, bb calls and scoops pot with Th9h
  • joe limp/calls raise in late position, board is 3d8c2d and he calls bet, 2s on turn and he folds to the bet
  • joe calls UTG+1 with four other limpers, 2s4d2h (he's the lone caller), 3d (he calls), Kd (he bets and scoops to the fold)
  • joe calls my raise in bb with Jc9c, flop comes Qs3c4h (joe bets and I call with another), Tc (joe bets and is called-I'm gone), 2s (check/check), joe is beaten by QhJh
  • in sb, joe check calls board then bets to river and scoops to the fold with board of 36498, all spades
  • joe limps then raises the flop and bets the turn to take the pot with board of 4s2sTd5s
  • joe loses with Kc3c on board of 2AQK7 (he bet the turn and calls the raise, then calls river)
  • joe calls raise then has to call sb re-raise with Qh2s, flop comes Qc7h4c, joe calls a bet and a call on both the flop and the turn when the 6d comes, Ah causes everyone to check and he scoops to beat TT and JJ
  • joe calls a raise and sb call with AdKd, joe bets to two checks on both flop and turn then calls a river bet with board of 256TT (river bettor had 43 for the flopped straight)
  • By this time I'm foaming at the mouth and get aggressive raising with KhJd, joe calls with Qc5s HU; flop comes 8s2s3d and joe calls my bet, Qh comes, I bet/joe raises/I re-raise, 4s comes on the river and he calls my bluff
What do we know so far about joemeli? He will call pre-flop with literally any hand, he never raises pre-flop even with very strong hands (AKs), he will bet any flop, he will raise turns when the card hits him, he will stay to the end with almost anything, and he won't fold to aggression if he has anything. I'd like to say that my last play was some sort of well thought out aggression, but it was probably closer to impatience than anything. I'll quickly fire out the hands that took him down, mainly to me:
  • I have 74o in bb and check to his Qc9h, board reads 7K729 (he calls my check raise on turn and calls river)
  • joe stays in to the end with Jc4c on board of 7K79Q (I check river with JJ after betting the flop and calling his turn bet)
  • joe forgets that three-pair doesn't count when he raises the river on board of 7T646 with three clubs (bb had 58s and check-raised the turn)
  • joe scoops a pot with KJo on board of 6KTQ7 (ATo was beaten)
Finally, joe goes 2-12 over fifteen hands (he sat one out) to crash out
  • K5o and stays in on board of 54T77 (8s6s)--came in third to the guy that stayed in with A7
  • Q7o and stays in on board of 8J99K (I had AA)
  • T2o UTG limp/calls and stays in 89Q4T (I re-raise his flop raise then bet out with AA)
  • Q3 limp to my sb call and check, 384A4 (he stays in to the end)
  • 54o is rewarded with the wheel, board of 2K3A5
  • Js8s calls my raise from sb, bets/calls my raise on board of 7sAd3c, then calls down next cards 4s3d (?)
  • joe calls button, then calls flop and turn Jc3d2dQd, joe re-raises the 4s river only to fold to third bet
  • joe limps with 72o, 69T8J gets him to call, then he raise/calls river (QhJh was ahead the whole way, beating his baby straight)
  • joe gives me the rest of his chips with AJ to my AT on board of 6T598
What do we learn from all of this? Well, I'll be interested in everyone's thoughts, but here are my takeaway's:
  1. First, don't be joe.
  2. Closely linked to #1, don't let your kids play for you. Ever.
  3. joe is obviously why many of us play, but joe can definitely get you off your game at times. Remember that you can't bluff joe, so there is no need trying to get him off of a hand. joe stays in to the end with anything (sometimes without anything, but mostly with at least bottom pair).
  4. Jam and get heads-up, then bet your hands. For one thing, you don't want to triple joe up when he does somehow find a hand that wins. joe tried to be tricky at times, what with his turn and river raising. Just keep jamming, figuring that you'll win more from him than he will from you because you know you have a hand.
  5. I think chase less against him, unless you have other folks in the hand attacking him. This goes a bit counter to #4, but it doesn't make sense to pay him off by chasing. It just gives him more chips to prolong his existence, chips that may go to someone else.
  6. Don't chat. Don't bring attention to him, don't give him cause for concern, just know that his starting requirements are that he actully did get dealt two cards. We can't be sure that this is a requirement as he never held only one card, but it's a good assumption.
  7. Do you keep jamming with overcards? I think so if you have a strong ace, as he has shown he will stay in with far less. I wouldn't slow down until the river, but I'd be interested in other thoughts here.
  8. Don't get impatient. I have lost both to joe as well as to others at the table by wanting to get into the action too much. Other joe's are usually closer to 50% VP$IP and play a bit better than joe did, but again I would be interested in how others deal with this.
  9. Recalibrate when joe leaves. It's back to the grind when joe leaves, so don't forget that.
I don't usually see joe's at the table, as it's more likely to find low VP$IP players. If you find them, you have make sure you are playing your best to maximize the positive hit to your bankroll.

ADDENDUM: Felicia, I can't figure out how to comment on your blog (can't email you and keep getting rejected as no friend). My LJ nickname is csquard. But I still don't understand all the hoops...


Blogger Nick Christy said...

I think you see a lot more joe's at the lower limits. I have thought about how to play them often, because I find they are the weakness in my No Limit game, often loosing a chunk of change on a bad call/raise that I thought I could make because well it was against joe. Rule #9 is very important. I also struggle with how to play big cards against joe, often AQ will win against him regardless of it it improved or not, but should we take the chance? Should we put money into this hand when there is a board like 3h5h9c3c7c? How often will you loose to two pair, trip 3s, 46off, club flush, etc... Does this make it not worthwhile to see out your cards because it is just as likely he holds Kh4h?

Just some random thoughts...

12:54 PM  
Blogger Wes said...

I think there are two keys to playing that type of player.

1. Isolate.
2. Value bet like a mad man.

That's about it.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

For #5 I wouldn't chase at all and definitely leave any fancy check-raise bluffs out of the game against him.

I'd label him as a calling station and only value bet him.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Marshman88 said...

cheesecake and poker...what a combination!!!

3:55 PM  
Blogger kurokitty said...

Hey- Vegas trip is March 3 to 6...

4:36 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I keep jamming with overcards on the flop and turn against players like Joe if I have position. But that also depends on Joe's aggression factor. Against passive players, it's easy to keep jamming if you know they'll call. If you fear a turn check-raise, you may need to let up a little bit. Ed Miller wrote about this in the 2+2 Magazine recently. What was Joe's aggression factor?

5:23 PM  
Blogger TenneFee said...

just trying to win the cheesecake - cheers

7:44 PM  
Blogger Scott Cunningham said...

cheesecake, yum...

7:50 PM  
Blogger paige cunningham said...

Count me in!

8:12 PM  
Blogger fisher777 said...

Count me in too!
P.S. nice fish in pics :-)

9:00 AM  
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10:39 PM  

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