Letters to Doctor Jack
Dear Dr. Jack,
Every time I enter a multi table tourney or a single table tourney I always worry about losing chips. When I do lose a few chips I think straight away that I have lost the game. I say to myself, "You have to get over the average chip count now or else you will end up getting caught out by the blinds". So I stupidly call all-in with a bad hand and I inevitably lose. Is there anyway you can help me to keep my nerve when I’m low on chips and the blinds are getting bigger?
My question involves hands like AK and AQ. I find that when I am in late position and there have been a lot of players limping in ahead of me that there is not much point in raising pre flop with AK. For example, most players will call my 3x bb raise simply because they have already invested a few chips, and as I am unlikely to hit the flop then most of the time I am throwing away needless chips due to too many callers. Should i raise bigger or should i simply call the blind when there are a lot of people in the pot? Also is AK good enough to call anything with pre flop, i.e. if someone moves all in pre flop are there any situations in which you wouldn't call??
I always come up to these situations and never know what to do! If I have say 10Q hearts and flop comes down 2 7 K, K + 7 are hearts and 1 person bet x4, next guy raises x2 and then it comes to me. I am always stuck at what to do. I just sometimes fold or call. What should I do and should I take odds into consideration?
Dr jack please HELP me! I've had the worst bad beats ever and its hurting my pockets!!!!! I was playing in a ring game, had the rockets, raised it 4x the blind and hit a ace on the flop. Flop was rainbow so no flush out or straight; went all in of course (trip aces). I got a caller he had q j. The turn was a 10... then I thought you know whats coming out on the river? Correct the king!! Anyway got over that, I had to. Got some more cash still on the same table and pick up the kings with my first hand! "Oh" I thought can I get my money back from them aces? To cut a long story short I raise 4x got called, went all in and the river card did me again. I took 15 min out had a cup tea and went back to the same table. I pick up jacks (wow). In the last three hands I've had aces kings and now jacks (what are the odds on that?!) I just went all in got called (he had 2 k off suit )ithought no king on the flop and this is mine! Down to the river and again BOOM CRASH a king! Now what are the odds on getting those hands and getting beat on the river all the time? I'm wounded! Did I over play them? I just feel that this game is not for me, I know how to play but it's just stupid how that happened. I feel very low at the moment and so does my bank balance PLEASE HELP ME what should i do Dr jack?
I am having trouble with split pots, when it comes down to kickers. Sometimes they are split other times they are not. Is there a rule that governs this? Please help!
Is big slick always an "all in" move? If someone comes over the top of you and u have big slick should u go all in?
I have been playing now for the last 5 weeks or so. I tend to play stt's and mtt's a lot. I only play nl holdem and tend to avoid speed or turbo as I have read that a lot depends on luck. My usual buy in is about 10 euro. In the first few weeks I played without any real knowledge and was up and down a lot. I made the mistake of playing in some cash games and lost around 400 very fast and I think this was because of inexperience. I then read some strategy on the net. Basically it says; play starting hands of 1) any pair, 2)A and any suited card, 3)face cards only in late position. Then it has recommended different guidelines for calling raises etc for these hands and guidelines for playing or folding these post flop, turn and river. I have found my play to be more consistent and last night I came second in a 1000 freeroll with 350 players. I would like to continue playing NL and just wondering what book you would recommend so that I can improve my strategy. Also I often wonder if I should play suited connectors? What conditions should I play them? Any other tips very welcome.
I had ace 7 off suit in last position so I raised three times the big blind. I got one caller behind me and everyone else folded, which is what I wanted. The flop came jack, seven, seven so i have made trips! I check and he checks behind me. The turn is the 5 of clubs; he has 2 clubs in his hand and now there are 2 on the board. I bet 1000 which is 1/5 of my stack he raises over me another 1000; so i go all in. He calls! Club falls on the river and he has the nut flush! Should I have bet heavy on the flop even though he was lucky to hit his flush? I saw no danger on the flop as there were 3 different suits on it and no straight draw. What should I have done differently?
I played in a game last night, blinds 20 / 40. I was the big blind. First to act raised it 200 total. Four players called leaving a pot of 840, just over 5 to 1 on my 160 call. I called with Qs 9s and the flop came QQ! Needless to say I took it down, but then got called a moron by the first raiser (who held KK). i am happy with that play. can you tell me if i was right or wrong.
Dear Dr. J
Playing a single table tournament this morning on paddypowerpoker.com. $15 buy-in and I'm in the bb with 72 off suit. Every player before me went all in so obviously I called and won hitting a 77x flop. While I'm delighted my 72 off suit held up, what I would like to know is: Do you think this was dumb luck or just a dumb play considering the outcome?
On a game tonight we were debating the odds of pair of aces winning for you. Some say its 1 in 3. Surely this means you need to bet all in immediately to avoid the flop but you are not going to win much that way. How should you plat AA or KK.
Lots of good players play suited say 9 & 10, 8 & 7 these never seem to work for me. What am i doing wrong and how or when should you play them
Dear Dr J,If you have say a KQ or JT either suited or off suit and on the flop you pick up three cards that make you a straight e.g. AJT or Q98. What is the best way to bet so to milk as much out of an opponent as possible?
I don't know if i'm supposed to ask you a question like this but what does 'soft' playing and 'stack dumping' mean? Are they a form of cheating?
Please help me!!!
I've just been knocked out in the bubble (i.e. 5 places paid and I finished 6th.) playing in the $20 buy in $1000 guaranteed tourney on paddypowerpoker.com Sunday 26th.
I'm gutted at how I was knocked out. I was in the big blind and short stacked and everyone was stealing my blinds for the last ten mins, and I look down at the Cowboys..wohoo... me thinks "going to double up here and probaly make the money". luckily the big stack raises and I go all in... and after what seems like an eternity he calls... he shows QTo flop; TxT turn and river are no help and i'm out. Should I have laid down the K's in this situation and hoped to make the money?
I'm very new to the world of poker having only been playing for about 6 months. I've read 3 books on poker now and have a good idea about positional play, knowing good/bad hands to play or fold etc. I've been playing at $1-2 limit tables (on the internet) to get used to playing regularly, so I have the confidence to move onto tables for higher stakes. However, at low limit tables positional play, strategies and all the stuff written in these books designed to improve your play seems irrelevant because most of the people I play against will raise with any cards and play with only luck on there side and not knowledge of the game. Is there a way to play against these people who think nothing of raising from a middle position with 9&4 off suit? It's annoying because I feel like I'm not learning anything from the advice I've read.
I have now been playing for about 5 months on and off. Tried cash games but seem to lose for a good couple of days, then lose all profits of previous two days the next!! So am now playing mainly 9 seat NL Holdem single table tourneys mainly at $25 and $50 My bankroll goes up and down, but i am keeping my head just about above water. Can you please help me translate my statistics so that I can find out where the leaks are. It is probably VERY obvious to you, but I would like to use the statistics on an ongoing basis to improve: over 3673 hands, Games Won = 26%, Flops Seen = 31%, Showdowns Won = 18%, Wins if Flop = 50% Percentage of Action: Fold 41%, Check 16%, Call 17%, Bet 13%, Raise 11% and Re-Raise 2%. Percentage of Folds: PreFlop 59%, Flop 7%, Turn 3%, River 2%, No Fold 29%. What do these mean?? What are more ideal statistics to aim for?? Any help please!!!
Hello Dr Jack
I've been playing poker for knocking on year and do ok, but when I get in to the last two I get slaughtered! I'm quite comfortable with my game up to then. Do I need to have a totally different end game or just keep playing the same, only obviously a little more aggressive. I'm bored of coming second.
I’m a bit confused lately with online poker. I play most mtt’s. I like only to play good cards and found this is good up to level four or five. But then everything changes. The computer seems to throw out the most unbelievable cards. So my question would be-do you think it would be better to study the players you play against every day or study the cards come out
Dear Dr. Jack,
Thanks for your response last week!!! Another problem i have and i need help straight away, is pocket pairs!! They're costing me chips in games where i should be playing tight!! With low pocket pairs what should i do ?? (77 and under). I mainly go all unless i hold AA or KK just to steal the blinds!! Would you recommend folding pocket 3s from and early position or just flat calling and then putting in a raise from a late position? I feel if i have 44 after just calling the big blind and the flop comes 7 J 6 that my 44 is good in an un-raised pot. What would the doc do in my position with low pockets and medium pockets (7-9)?
Hi, recently I was midway into a tourny and had an above average stack. I called a raise from early position as I was on the big blind. I had King-Jack suited, spades, and flopped an open ended straight flush draw.
I checked, the original raiser, who was one of the chip leaders pushed all in everyone folded. I thought about it... Then folded as I wasn't sure how many outs I had and as there were only two of us in the hand, if I was getting the correct pot odds to call.
I didn't want to go bust on a draw. Just in case this situation occurs again what are the odds of a straight and flush draw coming off?. Everyone I've mentioned this to starts laughing and says I was crazy to fold, what is your opinion?
Dear Dr Jack,
My problem is that I can never make money online. Although I win regularly in cash or sng games live in casinos or with my friends, I just cant continue my winning ways on the internet. Do you think it could be the faster speed of the game or just a lack of patience? any advice is much appreciated.
Hi Dr Jack,
I hear people on about "Calling Stations" and "Maniacs" all the time while at the table! What’s the best way to play against these types of players and should I be taking extra risks or playing tighter??
Another question is what does "power poker" mean???
I look forward to reading your response!!
Hi Dr. Jack,
Last night I played in the PPP $1000 freeroll, with another 900+ player. It was a great tournament.
However, although I finished 21st, which was my best ever finish in such an event, I seemed to lose it whilst I was in the last 40 players.
My stack was highest at 125K, and a few hands later I'm going all in with my last 20K. Granted, I brought my stack back to the top again, and a 2nd time I had to go all in with my last 25K, which brought me back up yet again.
However, by final time I was beaten. I was dealt KQ, beaten by a pocket pair of 4's.
The question is this. I kinda felt myself tiring a little, my eyes not 100% focused, and the need for me to re-freshen, but I couldn't.
Have you any tips for preparation, how to keep yourself sprightly, and not fade, which is what I think happened to me? I played brilliantly at times, even bluffing 50K out of someone, but faded badly.
Help for the future please. Thanks.
Oh... and I love the column Doc!
Hi, my name is Keith,
I have been playing your site for a good while now and I've made a profit overall.
I play $3 tournaments and .25/50 cash games.
I make a profit on the $3 tournaments but only play the cash games for the bonuses, (royal flush). No matter what hand I play, good or bad, I keep losing overall. Now any tips please? Lol, I know the game but playing low cash games,
I can't work out why I keep getting beaten on bad beats,
Please tell me what should i do with low pocket pairs like 33,44,55? Because if i just call and don’t hit a three of a kind somebody is bound to have a higher pair, aren’t they? It's also the same story if I raise x4, although I’m narrowing the field somebody is bound to catch a higher pair than 33. Also if i go all-in I always seem to run into AA, KK, etc. But what would happen if I caught three of a kind (or even four of a kind) How should I play it? Should I put in small bets or wait for the other players to bet and then re-raise them after the river?
I got one more question, what should I do with the almighty AA, should I go all-in hoping somebody calls me or should I play slowly calling little bets at a time and pull them in slowly? But the problem with that is they may have two low cards, lets say 78 suited, they may catch a flush, straight or 2-pair,which wouldn’t happen if i go all-in as they would surely fold ,so please Jack, cure my poker blues!!!!!!!!
Plus I love the column!
Hi Dr. Jack,
I've lost count of the number of times I raise pre flop in late position with AK or AQ; get called by a player who had limped in from an early position or the big blind. The flop comes down with three low cards. If I check the turn card flops someone a pair if I bet the flop i get re-raised or called. I never seem to play it right. What do you suggest PLEASE!
Dear Dr J,
When I am playing a monster hand like AK AQ etc and I bet aggresively pr-flop but it is a ugly flop should I represent the cards or fold and save my chips?Marc
If you are playing a aggressive player and you know he bluffs ALOT and he is betting/raising all the time. So when I get a tempting hand (queen, 9 of suit ) to play and he does his big raise I normally call and run into a brick wall of aces or pocket pairs how can I beat this chump !!!!
ha ha S.O.S SAVE.OUR.STACK
I have been playing a lot of freerolls, however I last until the middle of the tournament then, because the blinds are so high I get short-stacked and have to go all in with a mediocre hand.
I normally find that when I go all in at this stage three or four other players jump in with me and so I normally lose. Are freerolls really just a crap-shoot? Do you have any advice on how to play them?
Dear Dr Jack,
I have recently begun playing two/three tables at once, either MTT, STT,
cash games or a combination of all. While I have no problem playing two
screens easily anymore than that is generally a problem. How do I
increase my speed? I also need some help with avoiding tilt on all
tables if something bad happens to me on one. Do you have any advice?
Hi Dr Jack,
Like lots of your readers, I find that in MTTs I was playing tight at the beginning of the tourney hoping to catch the muppets out and double up with a premium hand when called by some dross.
This would work on the very rare occasion and I would sometimes reach a final table between the $3 and $12 dollar buyins. Problem was it wasn't often enough to become a profitable player.
Two days ago I decided to try something different. At the beginning of a tourney I would still play tight but after about five or six levels dependant on my chipstack I would start to play more marginal hands like KJ in late position but only calling the pre flop raises and playing the hand from there.
Since doing this I have placed 1st, 2nd and 6th in my last 4 tourneys, only missing the money by one place in the other. Do you think this is a good strategy to go on with or is it just down to luck?
I wrote in not long ago talking about the average every day bluffer and bully. I have won three or four games now in live play but this advice I was given seemed to helped my live game while my internet game seems to be down.
I get no hands, I get small stacked and I get forced all in. Can you help me out one more time?
Hi Jack, Irecently joined paddypowerpoker and finished second in a $5 dollar multi tourney. I have been playing poker for roughly 6 months. I prefer to a lot of $2 and $5 dollar mulit tourneys.
I have been getting to the first break a lot of the time but i find i have been struggling after that. I have been wondering is it because a lot of players change their stratagy after the break? I tend to play tight for the first couple off hands and watch the rags go out with their low stack, but if i get a tempting hand i always get beat, then try and play catch up with my low stack then go out. So can u help me with a stratagy for after the break so i dont go out?
Hi Dr Jack,
I have recently begun playing in local tournaments; however I have yet to find myself with the local popularity increase or a "shark" reputation. I remain a mere, but stylish, goldfish. My main flaw is my inability to take my eyes off female opponents.
Now without meaning to sound sexist, I have been told there’s no such thing as female sharks, unfortunately for me I have yet to beat one. A combination of their hair toss, captivating eyes and crafty cleavage leaves me folding their bluffs and calling their nuts.
To put it simply, they shrink my stack to a laughable size. Personally I would prefer to have them impressed and in awe of my sizable stack and to leave me satisfied, for once.
All about Dr Jack
Dr Jack is one of four brothers from a large family of fifty two. A dapper gent, you will always see him in a suit. Although on the more debauched side, he claims to like a woman with a nice pair and has occasion to get blind drunk on his favoured tipple, “Gin”. He likes to run occasionally and would describe himself as straight, although most people do think he is a bit nuts. He was once caught folding to a gay waiter...
Flush with cash and a member of several affluent clubs, he once ran a marginally successful fresh water lobster farm. Unfortunately the business flopped leaving him feeling like a bit of a cowboy. He left the world of opulence to follow his heart all the way to poker heaven. His peers describe him as a “diamond geezer” and “one of a kind”. Those who have fallen foul to his superior skills refer to him with less gracious terms.
Dr Jack lives in a rather full house in the Cotswold’s with his two dogs Siegfried and Roy and a Bolivian tree frog called Boris.