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Sunday, June 29, 2008


I think its fair to say that opinion is divided over short-stackers, while some people see this as a legitimate tactic, others look on shortstackers as the lowest of the low.
At my usual 50NL 6max cash games there are a number of regular short-stackers, most of whom make a loss, but some show a small profit according to my pokertracker stats.
There is one guy in particular who buys in for $10 and either folds or pushes every hand, never a call, never a raise, its all in or nothing, he multi-tables 6 or more at a time and must be showing some kind of profit, I wont name him, but I'm sure any Full Tilt regulars at 50 NL with know who I am talking about.
For me this type of player is pretty easy to play against, first you identify his range, (this is easy when he is multi-tabling, and you can data mine through PT), once you know this you can simply play the hands that beat his range and fold the hands that dont, this works pretty well for me, although I do avoid sitting to his right.
Against short-stackers playing a more orthodox style I tend to play my normal game, though I am more inclined to call them down, knowing that my losses are limited to the size of their stack.
This got me thinking, that if I am more likely to go to showdown against a short stacked opponent, then maybe I can reverse the position and take advantage of opponents calling me down lightly by short-stacking with $50 at NL100 or even NL200.
By playing a TAG style while short stacked at higher stakes, maybe I can get bigger raises called and more $100 pots than by buying for the max on a 50NL table.
I know that conventional wisdom says you should always buy in for the maximum, but I think that maybe this tactic is worthy of some investigation.
If anyone has tried this, I would be very interested in the results

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Table selection

I have long been of the opinion that table selection is one of the most important factors in winning online poker, but recently I have been reviewing exactly what makes a 'good' table.
My natural game is pretty tight (I'd like to say tight/aggressive, but one out of two aint bad) so I normally look for a pretty loose game where I will still get callers when I raise for the first time in three orbits.
Using PAHUD I look for tables where 2 or more players have a VP$ of over 40% with a table average VP$ of around 30%, or higher if possible.
The difficulty then comes with the fact that nearly all the pots I play are bigger than average, and with a couple of calling stations on the table, after a raise with maybe two callers, and a continuation bet with one caller, or maybe more, I have odds to call with almost any drawing hand, which can start to get expensive when I miss (and I miss a lot of draws).
I have been wondering if there is a better way to play, maybe by picking tighter tables to play on and playing more hands, a more LAG style.
This way I get to play more hands, see more flops, for less money, and once people see me playing more junk, I should get called down even more when I do hit a hand.
I'd be interested to know how any readers pick their cash tables, is the loosest game always the best ? I notice that from time to time, there is a big queue for a particular table for no apparent reason, I guess there must be a big fish sat there to have 7 or 8 people waiting for a seat, but I don't see the need to join a queue that long, as surely the fish is the first to leave and by the time 6 or 7 people in the queue ahead of you are seated any value must surely be gone.
If anyone has any strong views either way on this please post a reply.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lady Luck

I played a short session recently which just served to remind me how big a part lady luck plays in proceedings when you sit down at a poker table.
I played for a couple of hours without really getting into any big pots until with 22on the button I called a 13 x BB reraise to $6.50, hoping the initial raiser would just call.
He did and the flop came A92 rainbow.
It was checked to me, and hoping that they were both slow playing AK or AQ I bet the pot of around $20.
The initial raiser reraised all in and the other player folded, leaving me with a decision.
The villain was playing around 44/28 or something so I called, hoping for AK and not AA, he flipped A9 and I was celebrating until the 9 on the turn gave him the bigger Full house and I lost around $75.
I think the loss tilted me as I determined to take a stand against a couple of serial raisers soon after.
The first was on another table where the player to my immediate right kept raising my BB from his SB, and after folding A3, A5 and K9 I decided I would take a stand next orbit with any two cards.
As expected he raised to $2.50, and I pushed all in for around $50 with 75o (Yeah, I know), he insta-called with pocket Queens, and I was kicking myself until my straight hit on the river.
Back on the original table, another player kept reraising my $2 raise from the button to $12 on his BB.
After this had happened about 5 or 6 times, I decided I would again take a stand the first time I had any kind of hand on the button.
A couple of orbits later I find AQ and raise to $2, he reraises to $12 (again) and I push all in, he calls with AK. The flop is 55J, another J on the turn gives me a split, until a queen on the river hands me the full pot.
Despite being up around $100, I decide to call it a day before I tilted away the lot.