Dial-A-Dealer - Home & Corporate Poker

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A few issues I want to quickly discuss here guys. In the realm of small(ish) stakes cash games short handed I have found that there is definitely an optimal strategy that I find useful. Don’t play more than 2 tables at once. 2 tables allows you to be more selective than many of your competitors in terms of hand selection. It also helps if you are doing something in the background that you can stop and start easily, such as writing a report, essay, or in my case updating my cv. There are some very juicy cash games out there, but you need a combination of factors. You need at least 2 weak players at your table and your seat needs to be good. The biggest improvement I have made of late is seat table and seat selection. I look at a table, 2 known strong players, forget it. Two calling stations, bingo, ill try and get a seat ahead of them and value bet them to death. Two highly aggressive players, ill play them WITH POSITION. In these short-handed small stakes uber-aggressive games, your main weapon is position and post-flop skill combined with pre-flop selectivity. I won my biggest cash pot to date last night, $145. That’s a lot of money to me. The thing was, I did earn it, but only because I gave myself the opportunity to win a big pot by getting behind 2 perpetual re-raisers (also helps if you flop the nut straight with the nut flush draw J ). The point im making is that table and seat selection are directly proportional to, id guess, about 20% of your profitability in short handed games.
Problems. I dropped 2 buy-ins last night thanks to one dodgy outdraw and one well played hand from my opponent. I wasn’t too downbeat as id already won a lot earlier. But it affected me mentally when I dropped another buy-in thanks to a ludicrous outdraw minutes later (2 outs on the river- happens all too often). But THIS was where the shit started. I had lost my nerve, I was now feeling scared of outdraws, and playing on 3 tables. I should have quit and had a cup of tea there and then!!! But, as always happens, I felt this money was too easy and would be going away. I proceeded to fold two winning hands in $40+ pots because I was convinced I was beat, alas, that would mean my oponents actually had brain cells. 1 guy gets ALL HIS $ IN with KJ on a flop of AJ4 rainbow. I fold Kings here, certain im beat. The CALLER, calling for more than $70 calls with J,10. WOW. This shit actually happens.
Problems occur when you are playing with scared money. My mate Rob regularly plays the £100 PL at Luton. He buys in for £100. Blinds are £3/£3 (I think) and the running hourly rake is £8. That’s scared money in my opinion. If I sit down at that game, im sitting down with a minimum of £300 and preferably £500. You don’t give yourself a chance to play poker properly if you CANT CHASE OFF WEAK DRAWS!!!
By playing with scared money you also get into shit with people who bet into you. Say you have Aqo. Flop comes KQ7r.Assume an aggressive player bets preflop and then again postflop. You have seen him bet the pot here with AA or 88. So, you do the correct thing if you are unsure and RAISE. This should give you information. Say you both have $50 and the pot when he bets is $7. He raises $7. Against a lot of people, im laying this hand right now, but he’s loose aggressive. I re-raise to $14. He calls. Turn, 8. Not a scary card, particularly. He bets here again, another $8. Im not sure here, so I call. River 4. He bets $10 again and now I just want to see his cards as his hand does not make sense. He flips Q8,a turned 2 pair. Now, there’s not a lot different you can do here, but always be careful of players whom you cannot put on a range of cards.
Iv also struggled lately with the limp re-raise from UTG players in small-stakes STT’s and MTT’s. Say you have KK in the cutoff, numerous limpers. The 1st limper re-raises. Its very tricky here. Here is what I have deduced,if you know nothing about their play. Call on VC or Betfair. Fold on Ultimate Bet or Stars. Seriously, im still waiting for my theory to be proven wrong. See if the buy-in is more than $10 on UB and Stars they actually have an idea and they more than likely have AA. But on VC the mid-to-low pairs are all-in material pretty eraly on for a lot of these guys.
Tip of the day. Only change gears at a table where the competition is good enough and the stakes are high enough. IE DEEP into a $20-$50 MTT or at a cash game where your opponents play more than their hole cards. These players are a rarity ;)
Gl guys, im off for a lovely sunny walk with the lady.

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