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April 01, 2005

Folding the Best Hand

Posted at April 1, 2005 10:42 AM in Poker Strategy , by Greedy Gecko.

If you intend to multi-table your way to consistent, long-term profits in low-limit hold’em, then you’d better get used to the idea of folding the best hand. Whether resulting from overestimation of relative hand values, frustration, or simply too much machismo, many low-limit players pay heavily for their inability to lay down premium hands. For purposes of multi-tabling, you’ve got to detach the testicles and exercise some timidity.

Insight into the Psychology of Multi-Tabling
As discussed in the multi-tabling overview article, successful long-term results, with minimal attention being given to each table, requires a systematic and consistent approach. A trend in my multi-tabling approach is that a large portion of my profit is derived from a small number of big pots. Consequently, the strategy becomes minimizing my losses between those few big pots, winning and losing small pots as I bide my time.

How do you avoid losing large pots while you wait for monster hands? Simply, you have to be willing to lay down hands that are strong, but not incredibly valuable in the long-run, because they will only cause you to lose large pots.

It’s Only a Pair
The best example of a lay down where my hand may be best is in situations where I have top pair and top kicker (TPTK). For example, I hold AQ and the flop comes Q 8 2. Clearly I have a strong hand, and will bet it accordingly. HOWEVER, and this is where I differ from most low-limit players, this is not a hand I am willing to invest a large amount of my stack in. If there is significant raising in the hand, I will happily let my top pair go. NOTE: There is no difference between this example and one involving AK.

“But You Might Be Folding the Best Hand?”
SO WHAT! My willingness to lay down these types of hands results from long observation of the situations in which I win the most money. Specifically, I pull in the largest pots from fools with TPTK or a strong pocket pair that can’t understand that they are holding only a pair. It’s as though they are mesmerized, lusting over their two pocket cards as if they were pictures of the WPT host Shana Hiatt. Even if they were that attractive, I propose you get over it and be willing to lay them down.

Keep reading for continued discussion of my multi-table strategies. As always, questions/comments are always welcomed.

The Greedy Gecko