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Thread: Speculative hands vs Power hands

  1. #1
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    Speculative hands vs Power hands

    I recently began analyzing my play to a greater depth and found that my play has evolved to a point where my perception of different starting hands has started to define itself.

    Most people who play with me on any type of regular basis know that the range of hands that I could have at any given time is limitless whether i just called or raised in early position. It is just as likely that I have a hand like 46os as AK suited. I play more than my share of pots and often have my opponents gunning for me because I win my fair share of them.

    I classify the hands that I play into two categories: SPECULATIVE hands and POWER hands.

    People's generally think I am the loosest, most reckless player ever and I love it. I rarely show down my POWER hands because I am a firm believer in taking down pots early with these holdings. My SPECULATIVE hands however often make their way towards a showdown in which my opponents are stunned with my holdings when they are turned over and I take down a monster pot.

    I'd like to hear what others might have to contribute to this topic. How wide of a range do you generally play? Do you feel you can be a profitable player leaning towards one type of hand or the other or do you need a great mix of both???

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    This will probably be a short post but...

    I think that there are certainly different styles of play, some more profitable than others, but certainly an array of styles that could yield a positive return. The real deciding factor is the game.

    Cash games allow for more flexibility given the greater number of blinds. Softer games of course can be played a number of ways and still be profitable. In situations were the effective stacks are very small (>20BB) there is much less room for creativity. In fact, once stacks get around 6-10BB there is pretty much a cookbook for the perfect way to play. Deviating from this is almost never correct. (ICM calculations, SnG power tools, mathmatical theory, these would be GREAT topics to research and discuss).

    So, assuming we have big stacks, most often a cash game, I am definitely a fan of opening the range. Once you have become an experience "loose" aggressive player I feel that you can create more situations were you are a huge favorite. By creating the image that you are "bullying the table" or "playing crappy hands" you can increase the chances that you will get paid when you get your monsters. So, as long as you can break even (or even accept slight losses) with your "speculative hands" you are creating value in the long run. Could write more but pizzas here.
    "You have it in your power to turn a bad-beat around simply by realizing this simple truth: The more bad beats you encounter, the luckier you are. It's a sign that you are playing against opponents who continually take the worst of it, and if you can't beat someone who always takes the worst of it, you can't beat anyone"

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    My range of starting hands is certainly not as varied as my dear friend, Ryan's, but I do try to adjust my play (and therefore, aggressiveness and loose play) to the nature of the table.

    I have a very fond memory of playing cash down at Caesar's (now Horseshoe) Indiana, when I raised with a very speculative hand in middle position. The big blind had a tendency to call when the odds worked out for him, and was likely to play any two cards from any position -- hint hint ---

    Two players called, so of course did the Big Blind. My speculative hand stayed speculative, when the flop brought me an open ended straight draw. The BB checks to me, and from my middle position, I followed my initial raise with the obligatory continuation bet. The flop had come 8 high, so everybody calls - convinced my big cards hadn't hit.

    When the straight came to me on the turn, my hand strength was still relatively hidden. I bet, and get one caller. The "oh so wise" big blind folded.

    Another blank comes on the river. It's hard to read the straight on the board, so I decide to overbet the pot to try to convince this guy to think I'm trying to get him to fold -- he bit -- and BIT big!!

    I announce that I have a straight and the entire table has to look twice at the board to try to verify that a straight was even possible. Oh, brother, was that guy M-A-D!

    The best part of the story is that Ryan "SirPokerBroker" Holland was sitting in the big blind seat. As he joins in the group looking at the board to find the straight, you can finally see a HUGE BRIGHT LIGHT BULB pop up over his head.

    Ryan slowly turns 180 degrees in his chair, staring down the table at me while I'm stacking this monstrous pot, and says ---

    "Wait just a minute -- you RAISED with that hand!!!"

    I just giggled and took pride in knowing that a girl can successfully change up her game once in a while too....
    We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like.
    Jean Cocteau
    French dramatist, director, & poet (1889 - 1963)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ohpokergal View Post
    The best part of the story is that Ryan "SirPokerBroker" Holland was sitting in the big blind seat. As he joins in the group looking at the board to find the straight, you can finally see a HUGE BRIGHT LIGHT BULB pop up over his head.

    Ryan slowly turns 180 degrees in his chair, staring down the table at me while I'm stacking this monstrous pot, and says ---

    "Wait just a minute -- you RAISED with that hand!!!"

    I just giggled and took pride in knowing that a girl can successfully change up her game once in a while too....
    Dana owns Ryan
    The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.

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    Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

    --Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

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    Quote Originally Posted by charlton49 View Post
    Dana owns Ryan
    That's alright Ryan, Dana owns me too

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    Quote Originally Posted by ohpokergal View Post
    The big blind had a tendency to call when the odds worked out for him, and was likely to play any two cards from any position -- hint hint ---

    The "oh so wise" big blind folded.

    The best part of the story is that Ryan "SirPokerBroker" Holland was sitting in the big blind seat.
    HEY!! I got away from this one and avoided getting owned in this hand, however, I'm sure she owned me at some point later on at this table

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    Quote Originally Posted by PokerBroker View Post
    HEY!! I got away from this one and avoided getting owned in this hand, however, I'm sure she owned me at some point later on at this table
    Oh no, I never owned you, Ryan. Not only had we agreed to stay out of each other's way, I needed you to protect me from those guys down at your end of the table.

    They wanted to strangle me before the day was over!

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