Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kathy Liebert on Small and Medium Pairs

Kathy Liebert on Small and Medium Pairs

The following poker strategy advice comes from a book by Warwick Dunnett titled Poker Wizards. He interviewed the Super Stars in poker and packed all their strategic advice into one book with over 300 pages.

Here I am reviewing the advice from Kathy Liebert provided in the book.

Small Pairs
Pocket 2's to 6's

Kathy did not comment on small pairs. I will ask the author if he recalls whether she avoids these hands, or just forgot to discuss them.

Medium Pairs
Pocket 7's to 9's

Kathy talks about understanding your opponent, your position and your chip stacks in deciding whether to play these hands.

If Kathy has 100x's the big blind, and the player in an upfront position raises and he is also playing a lot of hands, Kathy will call the raise in late position. However, if it's a solid player making that raise and Kathy has 10 to 20x's the big blind, she will fold. The larger the stack compared to the blinds, the more she will consider other actions.

She does not call big pre-flop raises with these hands either. And, if she makes a move with a raise and gets re-raised she will fold.

She does give position a lot of respect in her decisions. An upfront or middle position raise will have her folding unless she has a big stack. A pre-flop raise from the back position is different. She will re-raise if she thinks her opponent is weak.

Kathy plays these pairs slightly different than Chris. With a big stack, Chris leans towards folding not wanting to lose a big stack set over set.

Like Gus, and any other pro, Kathy attacks players when she feels they are weak. That is why she is willing to re-raise a late position raiser. The interesting thing to me is that an opponent who raises in back position may have a strong hand like A-Q, A-J or even 10-10, but when he gets re-raised he may muck being afraid of pocket Kings or Aces.

I have only played against Kathy once. It was in an LA event, and she was to my left. I was playing real tight. On this one hand everyone folded to me in the small blind. I had A-A. I limped hoping to trap Kathy. She checked. I checked the flop. She checked. I checked the turn. She checked. I bet the river. She folded. The thrill of victory:)
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