Playing poker for profit while keeping the day job.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Limp-Shove is the new Check-Raise?

I read an article recently that laid out a potentially risky way to play pocket aces in a specific set of conditions. The problem was laid out thus: Getting dealt aces is great but when you're in early position your raise looks as strong as it is and people get out of the way (unless they're unlucky enough to have hit a monster of their own) so you don't get much action. What you need is a situation where there is pressure on players to get their chips in and where a limp begs to be raised.

Depending on the blind structure of the tournament it happens at different points but there's usually a point where players are getting short of chips relative to the blinds and the table gets very aggressive. If limps are virtually always getting raised then it's a potential spot to limp the aces, invite the raise and shove over the top. The shove looks like it could be a small/mid PP not wanting to play the flop and invites a call from a range of hands that you have in a world of trouble (AK->AJ, mid PP).

You do need to have an eye on the table conditions though, I've tried this on three occaisions now when the situation has looked promising and twice it's worked like a charm getting me heads up with a dominated hand. The other time it pulled in 3 callers and I ended up out of position facing a dangerous flop of Ks Js 4c (for the record I check-raised all-in on the flop and stacked two of the three who both had KQ).

It's not often that it's useful but at a point in the tourny where getting some value from the aces is crucial I think it's worth considering.

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