Getting all in pre-flop in full ring no-limit hold’em

When I play no limit Texas Holdem cash games then I often see players get all in pre flop with at least one hundred big blinds with hands that are very shaky to say the least. I think that there are a combination of factors behind this and the first is that many players come from a tournament poker background. In this form of poker then you are often forced to play with small to medium sized stacks. Only during the early stages of a tournament do you play deep stacked but that is usually over by the end of the opening three levels or so.

So most players and in fact all tournament players are constantly playing in the short to medium stack category. So players who are used to playing tournament poker often then come into cash games without the necessary experience of playing deep stacked. Another factor is that players are simply not that far down their development road and are exhibiting less skill. There is an evolutionary road that you travel down in poker and taking coaching and education is a great way to improve your game.

Another huge factor in why players play hands badly in full ring is that they may be experienced at playing shorter handed games like six max for example. Here the average hand values are substantially different and this can be a huge factor into why players do the things that they do. It is still a fact that many players take their advice and education from what they see on televised tournaments. Everybody is aware of how these programs are highly edited and even when they are not then they still depict final table tournament action.

Even if the action is from a cash game then they are often huge cash games with big named players and huge deep stacks. Let me quote a couple of examples that happened to me recently to show what I mean. It had been folded around to the cut-off who opened for $3 in a NL100 game and the small blind three bet to $12. I was sitting in the big blind with A-A and decided not to slow play and four bet to $46. The original raiser folded and the small blind shoved all in for his remaining stack and I called. I was expecting to see kings or possibly queens but I was shocked to see nothing but an AKs.

This is once again another case of a player overplaying decent second best hands. I actually lost this pot but had a massive 88% equity in the situation. Another situation arrived where I once again had aces and this time I was in a 300 big blind pot pre-flop with two other players’ one of which had QQ while the other amazingly had J9s. I don’t know what the guy with the J9s was doing in the hand but it looked like he started trying to steal and just ended up gambling.