The fishtank part 2

Two-time WSOP winner Scott Fischman has joined the team and is here every month to
answer your questions

Dodging the bullet

I was playing in a $1-$2 no-limit cash game the other night. It was a fairly tight table until this bloke sat down. I was playing tight because he was playing so loose, and he got a bit lucky and built up a big stack. I got pocket Jacks and raised $15 pre-flop. He looked at me and told me it was ‘an interesting raise, about seven or eight times the big blind’. He called and the flop came down rainbow rags, and I bet out $20. He called that after a little look, and the turn brought an Ace. I bet out another $35 and he re-raised another $50 on top. I thought about it and folded, but I can’t stop thinking about the hand.

Tom Brand

SF: I can’t really say whether he had you or not but I will tell you that you can’t let results like this affect you in any way – win or lose, you have to stay on an even keel. This is one thing that makes good players great. They’re able to leave any emotions out of their head no matter what’s happening at the table. The hand you described is pretty standard stuff for no-limit. The only way to counteract it and come out ahead in the long run is to try and vary your actions a bit. Don’t always bet out and then fold to a raise. Don’t always check when the Ace hits and then fold to a bet. You see what I mean? Try to make your decision for each pot separately and use as many factors available to you at the given time. If you’re the type of player that always folds a big pair when the Ace comes out then other players at the table will start to call a lot of your raises with the intention of bluffing you later on. If you don’t want to fold when the Ace comes try to check and call. Hopefully this will keep the pot a little bit smaller and, in turn, his bets will be smaller as well.


A-J is a hand that has given me and many others nightmares! It looks like a good hand but always seems to play really badly. Early on in an online multi-table tournament I can fold it without any problems, especially in mid position. But when the tournament has been going for a while and the blinds are worth picking up, say 300- 600 and your stack is about 5000, what’s your play here?

James ‘trustme’ Conway

SF: Good question. First of all, I think you’re right to hate A-J! Here’s a tip that may help you out a bit. Late in the tourney when the blinds are high like you describe, try to worry more about your possible stealing positions and your stack, along with your ability to control the table, rather than the actual cards you’re being dealt. It would be okay for you to fold A-J, but then to push all-in on the button without looking at your cards if, for example, the guy in the big blind was really tight. This way, you pick up a round of blinds with a little less risk than the A-J and you can wait for better hands to play with.

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