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BLOG: Blocking the Hail Mary

Tags: blog, blogger The Prince of Freerolls, freerolls, sit&go, the prince of freerolls.
Blog post published on 10 February 2014, written by The Prince of Freerolls.
The Prince of Freerolls avatar
The Prince of Freerolls
England, 22 years of Age.

I risked most of the money I had scraped together through Freerolls on a heads-up sit-and-go. Both of us put in 25¢ each, and the 50¢ goes to the winner.

I was playing against a guy called Jolep. He was from Russia, and I hoped he loved Mint Julep's as much as I did. Me and him could connect over that, talk about Julep's vs Mojito's, and it'd be a fun game.And then it wasn't. And then it took forever and it was miserable and it was the worst poker experience I've ever had in my entire life.

At first I thought it was because the way I was playing, something that I was doing that was causing it.I've always believed in raising the minimum most hands when you're starting out. You can mix it up with some bigger raises or just calling later on, but in the ‘first act' of the game when you're still feeling each other out, I believe that stealing blinds is a safer, and easier, method of accumulating chips.

So I raised him most hands. And he shoved all-in every hand he didn't fold. Then I mixed it up with by just calling the big blind. And then he shoved all-in every hand he didn't check.

It went on and on like this for a while until he got disgustingly lucky twice in a row and took my 25 cents off me. And each time he got lucky, he celebrated with an infuriatingly minimalist ‘yeah.'

It's a depressing thing, seeing the game you love being exploited like this. It was like trying to play soccer against someone who only flops. It was like trying to play football against a team that ran only Hail Mary's.
I'm sure we've all played against someone who has a similarly frustrating style. Someone who relies more on luck than their own skill.

So how do you fight these players? I never liked fighting fire with fire. Everyone gets burned, and I don't like fighting luck with luck either.

You're most useful tool you possess at the poker table is your skill. Sometimes it might not be the most effective, as my little foray with Mr.Jolep proved, but luck eventually balances out: skill does not. Why only focus on luck, when you can have skill and luck?

If your opponent's objective is to drag you down into the mud and shit of a game based soley on luck, then it is your duty to grab them by the throat and haul them back up into a proper poker game, where your abilities to actually play poker will give you the upper hand.

By only playing (and therefore going all-in) with premium hands, then you're adversary won't play the vast majority with the hands that they're dealt. Even they aren't going to risk everything on Seven-Deuce or Eight-Five, but that doesn't mean you can't raise them with it. If you both have terrible hands, then they'll fold and you keep the blinds.

If you play every hand aggressively, you can force your opponent to fold more times that you have to when they shove all-in. By taking this tactic, you will slowly but surely start to take the upper hand in the match.

And when the stars do align, and he goes all-in when you hold aces, chances are you'll have more chips and can end it there and then. And if he gets disgustingly lucky, brush it off. Let your skill take over once again.

As long as you can make them punt more times than they hit their Hail Mary, you'll win out. Maybe not gloriously, and maybe you won't feel much like a winner, but it'll count. And you never know, maybe you'll even run back some interceptions to.

Goddam it feels good to make them look stupid.




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7 comments on "Blocking the Hail Mary"

 doubletop77710/02/2014 08:58:17 GMT
This type of game is getting more frequent on min stakes tables because players dont care about losing. I hate this type of game and would prefer a nice 6 max table and play properly
 Theapple10/02/2014 13:22:08 GMT
yea happens all the time lately, esp on stars. just had a guy shove on my 3bet in zoom, with TT and he hit four of a kind so my kings were, well crap Tongue

i think i have lost like 90/100 times with KK now

its like they watch you lose badly and like 5 hands later you get AKs and ur like hell yea, you also hit a Axx rainbow flop and ur like awesome lets see if he calls. and he does, and you raise turn too and he calls again. and then a 'safe' 8 rivers the board, so you bet again. and he calls

and then he shows his A8o

 Macubaas10/02/2014 16:31:19 GMT
I have to agree with doubletop here, on this limit it's not too profitable to play heads up.

My personal advice would be to play multi-table sng or cash games if you have a bit of experience on cash. Keep us posted with your evolution mate!
 bowie198410/02/2014 16:53:13 GMT
Am I really red a blog on a heads up game cost twenty friggin five cents? Are you really was in shock when it turned out no sane person plays heads up games as some random sng or mtt? Im not sure the prince trolling here or hes never read another poker forum beside this one in his entire life, but as funny as these wanderings in micro stakes could be, the amount of energy he worked into this blog entires he could wander around some chart where it states which hands are good to start raising or shove in a heads up game, and boom, all of his problems have solved way before he started developing them.
 Nadezhin10/02/2014 20:37:37 GMT
Я jolep
 Fakiry12/02/2014 11:03:35 GMT
Either you missed a bit of your luck at the cards you were getting against him or you were playing more scared than you should. You say he was entering all-in every hand that you raised that he didn't fold... and you didn't had any good high cards in any of those moments? The best way to fight them is not giving up until you show him you can win too. But sometimes things aren't on our side and the best thing to do is just close that table and find some other guy to play against with.
 damosk12/02/2014 18:36:18 GMT
Interesting blog I have to say, made even mor interesting (really?) by th fact it was a 25c game where the grand winning total was 50c. Makes you realise that anyone can write anything about anything and loads of people will read it!

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