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Took the night off...

No poker for me last night. I'm still a little fatigued from battling that cold over the weekend. So I took the night off to relax with my wife and went to bed early.

Tonight's plan is to hit PokerStars for a bunch of hands at the $100 NLHE tables. I'm about 600 VPPs away from picking up my SilverStar status and 1200 VPPs away from clearing my bonus. And in an effort to test myself, I may just try some $200 NLHE in the couple weeks at Full Tilt. My game may not be perfect but I know I'm a much better player today than I was when I last tried playing $200 NLHE.

I'll leave you with a hand I played the other night.

No Limit Holdem Ring game
Blinds: $0.50/$1
5 players

Stack sizes:
Hero (UTG): $101.50
CO: $120
Button: $115.05
Villain (SB): $94.50
BB: $48.90

Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is UTG with 7♣ 7♥
Hero raises to $3, CO calls, Button folds, Villain raises to $6, BB folds, Hero calls, CO calls.

(I'm fairly new to the table. No reads. Villain's min-raise is stupid so I'm assuming he's a donkey.)

Flop: 3♣ Q♣ 7♦ ($19, 3 players)
Villain bets $6, Hero raises to $20.5, CO folds, Villain calls.

(If his min-raise meant a big hand, I'm raising because I know he won't fold a big hand. If his min-raise simply meant that he's a LAG donkey, I'm raising because I think he's a donkey.)

Turn: 8♥ ($60, 2 players)
Villain checks, Hero bets $30, Villain calls.

(I need to build the pot. A half-pot bet is good enough to get the pot big enough for a river shove.)

River: 4♥ ($120, 2 players)
Villain is all-in $38, Hero calls.

(This shove screams busted flush draw. I think I'd called before Villain's shove was fully registered by Stars' software.)

Results: (in white below)
Final pot: $196
Hero showed 7c 7h
Villain showed Ac Tc

Have a good one!


Sean Swift said...

Wow! I'll take "how to overplay a medium-marginal hand" for 800, Alex!

By the way, thanks for your comments on my blog...didn't know you were still reading! That said, I understand what you're getting at (my roommate is using that exact strategy), but my question is this: why do you have to be that tight in the first 2-3 levels?

More specifically, if one can limp a few times early with 8-7 suited or a A-high flush draw, why not? You can get away cheaply if it doesn't hit, and you can almost be assured of making the money if it does. I know there's no value in being the chip leader once the money comes, but to me, there is value in amassing enough chips early where you can watch the other morons fight it out and not worry about being blinded to death.

Klopzi said...

Sean -

Honestly, there's nothing wrong with playing some pots cheaply early on in SNGs. However, it's rarely worth it. Unless you flop a monster (eg. set or better), it's just not worth it. And it's very easy to get strung along with a draw or top pair.

As for amassing chips, you'll rarely find yourself with a stack so large that you can avoid gambling a little later on.

It's much easier to develop a squeaky tight table image while others are dropping out. Once you've got less than 10 BBs in your stack (or even less than this depending on whether or not there are other stacks shorter than you), you use the tight image to steal blinds by pushing all-in.

With blinds increasing rapidly in these SNGs, you've got to fight the urge to play poker. It's all about making +EV plays and making it into a position where you'll make the money.

I'd recommend that you continue playing your strategy and having your roommate play his. After 30-50 of these double-up SNGs, compare results. I can almost guarantee that "tight is right" is these double-up games.

Maybe I'll play some double-up SNGs over some beers tomorrow night and see just how well a super-tight gameplan works.

Sean Swift said...

Hey man...thanks for the response.

To clarify, when I play cheap in the early levels, it's flop-or-fold. I may see one more card if someone does something stupid like min-bet, but other than that, I'm just looking to hit a monster.

If you do end up playing these, would you be adverse to blogging about one or two of them? I'd be very curious to see a practical application of what you mean.

Klopzi said...

Sean -

I can definitely give my thoughts on those SNGs. Keep in mind though that I'm a very mediocre SNG player. I wouldn't trust anything that I say as gospel. That being said, I'll do my best to give an honest assessment of the strategy that I use.