THE BASICS OF JACKPOT POKER – EPISODE 6
With Americas Cardroom bringing the Million Dollar Jackpot back to the Jackpot SNG games, I thought it would be a great time to cover some basic strategy concepts to help you maximize your longevity in the games while awaiting that life-changing spin.
Preflop, Flop, Turn
I don’t think there’s too much to talk about the first 3 streets in this one. A standard raise from me on the button with both my opponents calling, then checks all around on the flop and turn. Perhaps an argument can be made for me continuation-betting on one of those two latter streets but even as a huge proponent of aggressive postflop play (more on that in a moment), that seems a little thin (at best) to me. This board smacks a SB calling range in the face and when added to the BB’s mid-card combination potential (ie value-hands like weak 6x and 9x as well as 75, 85, T7, T8 type draws), cbetting here with very little equity starts seeming like a blind kamikaze mission to me.
In my opinion this is where things begin to get interesting as we’re now in a situation where both of our opponents have checked three times, making the likelihood of either of them holding a strong value hand quite small, though to be fair it’s slightly bigger than it would be on a brick river since a top-pair/two-pair hand will be much more inclined to check now that there’s an obvious potential straight on the board. Still, with what seems like very little showdown value in our holding now and two opponents showing extreme passivity, surrendering the hand seems a tad too weak at these low limits where players are often not very adapt hand-readers and are thus much more likely to fold mediocre holdings against an “obvious” hand.
Besides, when we consider that our button-opening range contains all the suited jacks J7s or better, as well as J9o+ and pocket Jacks, and that it’d be completely reasonable for us to play at least a couple of them in the exact same check-back way on this flop and turn (specifically JJ, JA, J9, though you could make an argument for cbetting the jacks on such a draw-heavy board) while our opponents hold nearly no combinations of any of them since the first two would show up preflop and the third would likely fire the river at a very high frequency at these recreational-player-heavy limits, and we appear to have a distinct range advantage. So once we recognize that, the only question remaining is what sizing should we bluff with.
Generally speaking, when my hand is highly polarized (meaning I am very likely to be holding either air or a top-tier hand with very little in between), is when I want to size up my bets. In fact, a polarized situation is where you’ll often see professional players employing an overbet and betting more than the size of the pot; a move I considered for a moment but ultimately decided against, settling on a near pot-sized bet since I think it tends to look a tad less “bluffy” to inexperienced players (though this is definitely the “feel-play” part of the hand and I wouldn’t fault anyone for thinking otherwise).
Both my opponents quickly folded, giving me a pot I seemed at least a little unlikely to take down otherwise, though it’s not out of the question that I was bluffing the best hand against something like the SB’s weaker ace and the BB’s low connectors. But as I’ve discussed in past episodes of this blog, when in doubt in a hyperturbo game, I always prefer erring on the side of aggression.