Dial-A-Dealer - Home & Corporate Poker

Monday, April 09, 2007

Just gave a response to a post on Blonde and wanted to instil it in my mind for tomorrow.

400 runner $30 freezeout. 5000 starting chips. I'm setting out to place top 5 where the real money is.

First hour - The table is solid. Ideal. I play Harrington poker and move up to 14k by the end of the hour. Average stack now at 8k, chip leaders on about 23-28k.

[b]Question 1[/b] - What should my second hour strategy be? Blinds are now at 150/300. I have a very solid table image and every time I've moved to showdown I've had a strong hand that was legitimately played pre flop. Should I be seeking to up the aggression and target medium stacks' blinds? Should I be trying to get into pots cheaply and take them down? Or should I consolidate, wait for decent starting hands and continue to play a Harrington style game? (bearing in mind the table is pretty tight and no-one is really making moves.)

Second hour - I decided to increase the aggression and use my table chip lead, but I didn't really get a chance. AK was busted by AJ, and after an aborted blind steal attempt when blinds were at 300/600, at the end of level 2 my stack was down to 6k.

Third hour - It's push with any two time with blinds up to 400-800. Luckily I score pocket 6s that hold up and then hit a short stack's Ace rag with AQ and I'm back up to 16000.

[b]Question 2[/b] - This puts me back in the mixer. 55th of 95, but the chip leaders are moving away - top 5 range from 50-65k. Blinds now up to 600-1200. At this point, what is my strategy? Do I wait for a decent hand and push? Do I have enough chips to raise from late position with decent suited connectors? One aborted blind steal will cost me 20-25% of my stack. Or do I consolidate, hang in there for the bubble, and play SLAG then? This is where I'm really struggling.

Halfway through the third hour I got moved to a new table. I was cursing. I didn't have time (I think) to hang around studying these guys.

I wasn't planning on making any moves till I'd at least briefly scoped the table. But on the second hand of this new table, something came over me. In my BB, holding 45, it was folded round to the small BB, who min raised. I re-raised. He called. He checked the flop, no A or K, I pushed, he called, I lost. Wrong forum for hand analysis, but a general question...
[b]Question 3[/b] - If you spy a spot where you think you might resteal some chips with 16k and blinds at 600-1200, is it worth it, or do you really need deeper stacks to do this? Because if you get caught with your hand in the till, your stack is decimated...

I don't know whether I should have gone for this resteal, with no knowledge of the min raising villain, or whether I'd have been better off waiting for a decent hand. But I wanted to protect my blind, show the table that I couldn't be bullied, etc.
Any strategic help you can give would be much appreciated. Ta.

My thoughts
Hi mate, iv just been thinking a lot about this and re-read some of my old material from my MTT days. Iv recently gone back to online MTT's and it really is a totally different beast to live MTT or cash. Heres a few of my thoughts and i hope they are of some use. I apologise if my tone sounds patronising i dont mean to.

First things 1st, dont have a mindset of top 3. Your mindset is winning the lot. This means chips and lots of them. And poker tournaments are supposed to be fun. The comps i have won i have won by raising ALOT and have had a lot of fun in. By raising you control the pot and force other players to have a hand. You get a good image and will get paid with your big hands. Approach the game from a 1st or nothing viewpoint.

Q1) I think you have to find a style of poker that you are comfortable with. I like to play very lag and play lots of pots to attempt to accumulate lots of chips that i can use well later on. You get masses of action when you actually get a hand its a whole lot more fun :) These chips and this style mean ppl dont fuck with your BB and make so many tricky plays against you. You get feared. Ideally you want the BB quaking as soon as he sees you on his SB.

In the example you give i really would start to raise with a lot more regularity now. Dont raise too often from the button as it just looks dodgy but from the cutoff and hijack raise with any 2 cards with potential when 1st to enter the pot FROM LATE POSITION. Play more marginal monsters more strongly than before too. I often think JJ and AQ turn into re-raising hands when 1/2 the field has gone. Build on that solid image you have shown but bear in mind that a lot of players wont have noticed and will only be playing their own cards. USe chip stack management when entering into large pots.

Q2) Do not take your foot off the pedal. This is a mistake that a lot of players make at this stage myself included. They stop accumulating and wait for a big hand. What happens is their stack dwindles, then they finally pick up a hand and everyone gives them immense respect and passes. Keep raising in unopened pots as long as the blinds are not too short-stacked from late position. The cards you have really dont matter that much as you wont be getting involved if anyone calls you or re-raises you. The beauty of this is, even blind squirrels find the nuts and you will get paid hansomely when you hit a flop hard.

One thing i would say at this stage is you really can play a bit of high risk high reward poker. Pick on the weaker opponents and call their raises with non-dominated cards like 56s or 89o IN POSITION. On non-scary boards you can after a bit of practice detect a weak continuation bet with a missed AK and snap them off with aggressive re-raises.

With regard to the 45 hand, DONT be calling any raise at this stage unless you hold a BIG BIG hand or you have a big big stack. No calling raises with KQ, no calling raises with 99, none of that bollox. If you are gonna make your move here, do it preflop as % wise you are not gonna flop a nice board for 45 often enough to get paid.

Q3) Re-raising is the easiest way to accumulate chips in MTT tournaments. You have to know your player mindset but against a button/cutoff raiser with an M of 8 im re-raising all-in (assuming the chips stack dynamics are good) about 1/3 of the time. You NEED chips, never let this fact leave your head. You have to do Everything you can to get them. If you can put them under pressure, do it.

If by chance you do suckout and win a monster pot with a bag of shite- lets say for examle you come over the top of a button raiser with 67s and he has AK and you suckout your 40/60- CHANGE GEARS. I find the only time to change out of LAG is when you get your hand caught in the till bigtime or ppl start to re-raise you knowing your starting hand requirements are unorthodox.

Anyhow, thats my thoughts, hope it helps. If you take 1 thing from this, take this. The first person to open the betting up preflop controls the pot. Bet and raise your way to a big stack and then scare the living shite out of the table with merciless raising and re-raising.


Blogger M3boy's Poker Blog said...

Well one of us will win monday m8, I can feel it

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Bud CopperDrake here, heading to Bangkok tomorrow, there till Sundayish, then to the beach for a week to ten days, if your around Thailand leave a message we could have a few pints, I have been living in Vegas for last three months and have many stories to tell. I know you haven't seen me at the tables I never made the migration when VC went to the new network.


3:10 AM  
Blogger Alex Martin said...

Hi Copperdrake m8, dont blame you for not making the migration, the handling of the changeover was poor.
Iv just arrived in Bangkok and am here till Sunday same as you before heading to Phuket for a couple of weeks. E-mail me @ alexander_martin@hotmail.co.uk and we can hook up for a beer.

8:37 AM  

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