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Poker stacks

When I decided to start my poker vlog, I thought the east coast poker scene was underrepresented. The other reason was that I felt the process of creating the vlog would help me focus on my game more and make me get better.

After running into some issues filming for the vlog, I decided to pivot the channel while I work on being able to film again and take a deeper look into some of my plays and give them an honest critique.

stack of poker chips on a poker table

Working on My Poker Game

For this hand, the game is $2/5 NL at Parx casino outside Philadelphia. The player pool at Parx ranges from strict regs down to complete newbies. Most players might as well play their cards face up as they make many apparent plays. 

I have been working on the balance between going for value and not getting money in bad. I keep trying to instill that “when they go all in, they usually have it.” 

Playing Against LoJack

This situation came up a couple of months ago; I am UTG and open to $20 with A♣︎J♣︎. I get calls from the LoJack, cutoff, button, and big blind. 5 ways to the flop with $102 in the pot, and we see J♠︎3♣︎6♥︎. 

This flop looks good for our exact hand and should be suitable for our range as we could have all the over pairs, top set, or a back door draw at worst. 

I lead out for $40 when the BB checks to me and only the LoJack calls. Now with $182 in the pot, the 3♠︎ peels off. 

The LoJack shouldn’t have two pairs in his range and shouldn’t have too many 3’s besides A3 suited. Sitting here with top pair top kicker, I feel comfortable we have the best hand and size up to $75, still around 40% of the pot. 

The LoJack thinks for a minute and then shoves for $285 total. When he does this, what are we beating here? The only thing the villain can have that we are ahead of is a flush draw semi-bluff and pairs like 10’s or 9’s. 

These hands are highly unlikely, and the bet just screams strength. Even though we are getting great odds to call, we only need to be right ~27% of the time to be profitable. However, is there any chance we are good here? 

Probably not. Players at this level don’t usually understand fold equity or semi-bluffing and rarely put all their money in here with less than trips.

However, folding here opens us up to exploits from good players. Most low-limit players are not that good and will be content to overplay their strong hands here to “avoid” getting outdrawn.

This is why I think this is a clear fold.

Our edge on the game will pay off in the long run but it will pay off less if we have less chips in front of us. Getting money in bad now just digs us a bigger hole to recover from. It leaves us less on the table to leverage in a better spot.

Let me know if you agree or if this is too nitty a fold.

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