I've discovered a pretty major leak in my game over the last week or so. Lets start from the start. I was playing typical tight weak, betting my AQ in position, get called from the blinds, checking the King high missed flop. Pretty soon I wondered whether I could cbet more often, and answers came back as yes, from everyone I knew. One very successful player mentioned you should have a reason NOT to cbet, which of course I took as, cbet em always.
Obviously I've learned that can't be done, but the bugger is the 35/5 that is calling me in position (and out sometimes) all night, waiting for signs of weakness then pouncing, folding when we show real strength. So one way to work on these guys is to double barrell and show the strength, but with air, it's a very dangerous game and timing is everything. Lets look at a typical situation:
- We bet AJs, flop is horrible, we doubt he has anything, cbet, he calls, check the turn, he bets, we fold.
- We raise 66, two overcards including an ace, cbet, he raises, we fold.
- We raise T9s, flop is ordinary, we check, he raises.
- We raise AKo, flop is AK5r, we cbet he folds.
Frustrating. I'm still usually lost at this point against the villain, and am starting to tilt a bit. The first 3 hands were pretty standard, we were checking out his range, now we know he's either had the goods each time (unlikely), or he's feeding off our weakness. If he kept folding to our cbets, I'd just keep cbetting, but he's playing back a lot. So we take a step back on hand 4. He has shown initiative each time, why not check. If he bets, reraise him. If he checks bet the turn strong, especially on a blank card. Now the thing is, we my not get any money out of him, but especially if we check raise on the flop, we have sent the notice out that our checking doesn't always mean weakness. Same on the turn, we bet with AA on a AT7r flop, he floats, so we check the turn. We get paid off big time on the river sometimes by a hand that would have given up to a double barrell, like JJ. And in the process we are protecting our future against this guy, who will now question whether or not we are weak.
Now this isn't a "every time I must do this", it's more a throw it in there occasionally to mix things up. It allows you to cbet a lot less with air against this guy, but not get raised on even giving up the hand by not cbetting. Like if we delay cbet then, he might think we were trying to trick him again.
I've tried this a few times the last few nights, and it's really helping against the 35/5 that usually has me baffled a bit. Hopefully this has helped with a pretty major leak of mine, to not think about things when I'm constantly cbetting.