h1

Getting played back at

September 24, 2007

What to do when it feels like someone is playing back at you?

It’s one thing when playing aggressively at 6 max, but it’s different when I’m at a low buyin SnG. At 6 max I expect it on occasion because I know I am playing aggressively so I expect 3 bets once in a while, and I 3 bet and even 4 bet with less than AA/KK myself. But the low buyin SnGs are just not played well, limping/cold calling, minraising preflop, ect. When I’m first in I make proper raises preflop, steal from late position, raise from the blinds when it’s limped to me and I have at least an average hand, and c-bet most of the time that I raise preflop. This is a lot more aggressive than most players at these SnGs, plus I adjust as the table gets shorter and as the blinds raise. I think this bothers some of the other players who probably see this as overly aggressive, or at least, impolite.

The result is I get played back at, get more aggression directed against me than the other players seem to do. People will 3 bet me preflop, or shove preflop or on the flop against me more than against the other players. Then it’s a matter of timing and luck; I’ll fold if I have to risk my entire stack with just a raising hand, but I don’t understand someone who calls my mid position raise from the SB, checks an AK3 flop, then pushes against my flop bet while holding 99?

But things like this happen infrequently. More likely, I’m sitting preflop with AT in late position and raising, or c-betting a flop that I’ve missed, in which case I’ve got to just throw it away. This is not good for image, but image has no value if I lose and get knocked out of the tourney anyways.

On the other hand, this may be largely a matter of perception. Either I feel embarrassed about my aggressive play and read too much into the plays back at me, or because I raise/bet more often than other players do I get played back at more often because other people aren’t raising/betting to begin with.

Anyway, if I think I am being perceived as too aggressive, I’ll sit back for an orbit or so and wait for premium hands unless I’m too short stacked to be able to wait. If I have a big stack, I don’t care much what the other players think, and I’ll keep raising whenever I feel like it.

~

Which brings up another issue; I do quite well if I hit a hand before the blinds get to stealing value. All I need to do is be able to raise freely when the blinds rise and the table get short, and then I’m in my comfort zone with regard to cards / aggression. The problem is that playing really tight early on to avoid leaking chips often results in being a low stack when the blinds get to stealing value. I’m not quite sure how to combat this. Either I need to be more willing to limp into pots with drawing hands hoping to find one that hits, and / or to start getting aggressive earlier while the blinds are still relatively small.

Or should I be playing deeper stacked games, so that I have more time for my tight opening style (and I believe, better playing) to collect chips? The problem is that I already often find these SnGs taking too long to play. One option I haven’t considered yet is trying the 6 player SnGs instead.

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