Posts Tagged ‘short stack play’

Winging it, especially in free poker games but at times even in quite high stakes live and online poker games has become a standard type of play for many people these days. I understand the complexities of pot odds and implied odds but, one can never understand the odds of someone just playing their “gut”.

Almost everyone I know has a favourite hand as do I, but to play against people that will play anything (and do very well!) can lend to a change in style and technique. Poker pros say to fold “bad” hands and to that I ask what those hands are. When your pocket pair of queens gets beat by someone just loose enough to raise you with eight nine off suit then again I ask what is a bad hand?

I can honestly say that I believe there are no bad hands. Any two cards you end up with are gold if you play them right. I’ve seen someone fold pocket queens to a loose player only to find out they were bluffed off the hand.

As much as I hate being ruled at a poker table by someone that should not have a prayer, I have to commend them for the sheer stupidity that led to their massive chip stack!

Now understand that all of my views for this article are based on tournament play, and usually with rebuys. Cash games are a totally different matter. I won’t delve into that area as I don’t play a lot of cash.

Now let’s say you buy into a nice friendly home game tournament with rebuys for thirty-five dollars. Now say that you have only ten players for your tourney. Let’s assume that of those ten you have one loose player. And by loose I’m talking about that guy, you know the one, raising nearly every hand no matter the cards, getting beat on occasion but in general getting lucky and acquiring most of the chips early on.

How can this be you ask? Well I ask also!!

The great thing about rebuys and no limit is the ability to outlast those kind of players. If you do get taken out early on by the loose cannon there is still the chance to get it back with a rebuy or two.

My strategy only applies to my game play against such players and I must admit that it doesn’t always pan out but, overall the odds lean slightly in my favour. And that’s not to say that I’m a better player, only that these type of players usually can’t stop the crazy plays that got them all their chips. All you can do is hope that they stay loose and you still have enough chips to stay in it till they go bust.

I hope for at least my sake that the loose players I sit down at the table with won’t ever read this!

My point is that if any one of these players could change their play at the correct point in the game then we would all be in trouble. Think about it, give the loose cannon a mass of chips, and then all of a sudden they don’t play anything except for the “premium” hands for the rest of the tourney. In most cases I believe this person would be the top paid person of the night! If they could only find the switch to flip!

And what better place to practice your poker tournament play that at good ole where you get to play free poker games with nada zero risk of loss but can still win real money and get your bankroll paid for entry into cash sites when you’re ready to step up to cash games. Sweet.

Today I came across an example which I want to share with you. It’s about Bubbling satellites. I played a couple of these last week, and I have encountered it a couple times.

I played the $11 double shootout satellites to a $215 tournament on another site. Top 2 makes the ticket. I made the top 3. As so often, there are 2 bigger stacks and one shorter stack. And today I was the shorter stack.

I had about 1500; my 2 adversaries had about 7000. Blinds were 75-150, so not much room to play for me. But my opponents were both playing super tight. This is one of the tells you have to immediately pick up on when you get close to the tickets.

This means that they are players who are most likely barely have $200 as a current bankroll, and do not want to mess anything up (since its so damn much for them). That’s of course what you have to take advantage of.

Getting back to the situation, my 2 opponents were super tight. They could’ve easily taken me out, but instead I stole my way up to about 3000 in about 10 minutes.
At this point when you get reraised, be sure to fold, and let them have it. With the way the are playing, there will be many more opportunities.

The kept on avoiding me until they both caught a big hand (AA vs KQ where AA flopped a set and KQ the straight.) So they went on and knocked each other out. And I made the ticket.

Now I want to try to give you some advice how to maximize your chances.

1 – Always try to be aggressive.

The bigger your stack, the better. Always raise the shorties Big Blind. Since they are short they can’t afford to play.
So they have the chance push or fold. They will most often fold though, since you are so aggressive and are hoping you will go battle with the bigger stacks.

2 – DO NOT battle with the bigger stacks, unless you have premium hands!

You want the money from the shorter stacks, not the bigger who can either knock you out or cripple you!

Even if you have KK and there’s an ace on the flop, FOLD! You want to kill shorties, it doesn’t matter if you ship some chips to a larger stack.

3 – When you raise the shorties, and you get reraised (all-in), don’t hesitate to call!

These shorties often fill up with frustration and will often push with any ace or medium king.

Don’t be afraid to call with 10-8, where you are often only 60-40 behind. When the short stack has less then 30% of your stack, I would call with just about anything (given the blinds represent a reasonable portion of your stack)

I hope that this article makes it a little clearer to you that being aggressive is the best way in cashing in satellites on both the cash sites as well as free online poker.
Remember the minute you start tightening up and let the shorter stacks roam freely, you’re bringing problems that could be easily avoided!

And what better place to practice your short stack attack and defence play play that at good old free online poker where you don’t have the fear of losing money like you do at on money sites or live tables yet you can still win real cash

Plus the NoPayPOKER blog contains a huge pro written free poker games training series, with lessons from basic how to play poker for beginners courses to masters level. Complete the intermediate level course at least and you will find yourself in the top 10% of online poker players worldwide.

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