Sometime back I was playing a tournament at one of local card houses. It was a free-roll game with several hyper-aggressive players who over bet many pots. I had played with most of the players before and have a reputation as a solid player who knows the math at a visceral level.
It was truly bingo poker. There were several all-ins with immediate re-buys. It felt like a street fight.
I woke up with pocket queens in late position. There was an early position raiser of around 5 to 6 times the big blind. There was one call so far. It was my turn to act. I just called since I felt a raise against such players wouldn’t get any folds. And it might prompt an all-in that could turn into an all-in fest.
Although I had a super-premium hand, pocket queens are still vulnerable, especially against multiple players.
The flop with fairly dry with only 9 high. There was significant sized bet and a call. The current pot was over 1/3 of my stack. I was pretty sure I was ahead at this point so I went all-in.
The next player to act pointed his finger at the first player to make a big bet after the flop and said emphatically: “I am not worried about you!” Then he looked at the next player who had called, pointed his finger at him and sternly said: “I am not worried about you!” Finally, he turned, pointed his finger at me and confidently said: “I am worried about you!” Then, he folded! I laughed heartily and was quite flattered by this powerful compliment.
The two other players called my all-in bet. My queens were ahead of the other two players on the flop as I expected, and they held up on the turn and river. I won the hand and my stack increased about three-fold.
Note: The player folded pocket Kings and would have won the hand if he had stayed in.
The Moral of the Story
The moral of the story is that when you play excellent poker and have a great table reputation, others will respect your play and act accordingly. This respect creates many benefits. You will not be pushed around as much, players will respect your plays and when you do bluff you have a higher probability of getting away with it.
And finally, one of the most important benefits of playing excellent poker is that as you move to higher stakes games you won’t have to break bad habits that were developed at the lower levels.
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