Dial-A-Dealer - Home & Corporate Poker

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Another night of mild frustration with limited success. Played all the majors (including the 5k's) on Tribeca. Went out with the missus shopping earlier and got a real telling off "Alex i think you should stop being so cocky and play like you used to. Stop trying to outthink your opponents and be patient." I was so gobsmacked (Suzanne doesnt play poker) that i literally froze.

So after thinking about it long and hard i decided i'd have a night of real back to basics stuff. No continuation betting, no semi-bluffs, no stealing, no re-stealing, no squeeze plays and definitely no stop and go's. Just get your hands and get paid. Made 2 finals last night in the 15k and a minor 5k event. Sadly came 8th and 9th respectively.

There are just so many reasons why abc poker doesnt work. Against observant opponents you simply dont get paid. They fold all but premium to you.
You simply have to get paid when you get a monster. If you flop trips on a flushing board in a hu or 3 way pot, somethimes you have to give a free card to let someone catch a little something. I know that Stu Ungar was famous for slow-playing vulnerable hands in risky situations but im coming round to the idea. Ill probably start to play my monsters a little slower from now on, especially against known opponents.

The re-steal is the most powerful weapon in end game MTT poker. When in the blinds against noted blind thiefs, aggressive re-steals from the blinds are hugely worthwhile. At a rough guess from my own experience, id say 20% of re-steals get called. Obviously if you do get called ur in sh it creek as mateyboy found out last night when he tried it against me with 68s v KK but i commend his effort. So if you have one of those awkward middling stacks and cant find a hand, the re-steal is your ticket to a couple more orbits.
When we use 20% as a guideline we can draft a specific strategy for re-steal play. Id say that ideally you want to increase your stack by 30% minimum with a re-steal (to combat the fact that your tournament life is on the line in 1 single hand).
Given that only 20% of the time you will be called (up that to 30% if your image aint all that) and that even if you get called you have a chance of winning then the re-steal is a marvellous play.
So what hands should you be re-stealing with? Well now it gets a little more interesting. Given that it only really matters if you get called you want hands that have the best overall chance against the original raisers range. Obviously all premium hands are re-steal hands, although AA and KK should be flat called to allow the raiser to hang himself postflop. In a tough tournament KK flat calling is nice as it turns you from a 67% favourite over a hand like AJ preflop to an 87% favourite post flop if your opponent is one of those who uses massive continuation bets when he doesnt hit.
Other hands that are useful for re-steals are not ones that immediately come to mind. If you get called then original raiser has AJ+ or (normally) 88+. At a totally random guess id say ur up against a big ace 50% of the time, medium pp 25% and premium 25%. Against this range the best hands for your purposes are ones that dont contain face cards. Domination is what you want to avoid here. Ace rag is EXACTLY the hand you dont want to re-steal with. Same with KQ/QJ/KJ/A9. Hands like 10s9s 78o and the medium pockets are all likely candidates. Interestingly have a guess what the odds or AQoffsuit beating 78sooooted at showdown are*.

Also im becoming less inclined to try and outthink opponents in MTT play. So many players never even stop and think about what your hole cards might be that it is slightly obsolete.
In a cash game you get respect for hands you represent, in big field MTT's, people want to keep you squeeky clean. Previously whilst holding a hand like QJo on a flop Kh, 10c, 4h i would (depending on opponents raise) play with him. Say he raised 3/4 of the pot id put him on a made hand such as KQ/KJ and call with the intention of winning a big pot if i complete my hand or taking it off him if a scare card (in this case any ace or heart) fell on the turn/ maybe river (if he downscaled his flop bet). Lately iv found this just aint working. Too many players adopt a calling station mentality and wont say fold.

Ah well, night off the comp tonight to have a giggle in Luton and see if i can survive (ahem) the night. Not really, in reality im going to play a lot of pots preflop, outplay every mother fucking last one of them and take the £12k home tonight, who needs day 2 when the field is gone in 3 hours?? ;) confidence and the fun of dreaming about winning is half the fun.

GL all, ill report in tomorrow.

* AQo v 78s. 58% favourite. Bear that in mind.

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