Sunday, July 26, 2009

game work

I am swapping hand histories with someone right now. His first hand history pointed out some things I could have been doing better in my game.

1) Punishing Limpers. I would get AQ in the small blind and have 3 limpers. I would just complete, for a couple reasons:

a) seeing monsters under the bed. What if BB wakes up with a hand? what if that 52/4 guy actually has AA this time?
b) trying to be cute - hitting my ace and crushing people limping with A7.

Bad play - raise for value. Chase out the limpers, win chips.

2) Punish the short stack. In bubble situations, whenever I'm not the big stack, I would go into "survival mode" - fold my hands and wait for shorty to bust out. Of course, if he doubles up, then I'm in more trouble.

If the shorty is on my left, I can assist in keeping him down. Push all in with a wide range. Force him to call off his stack with garbage. Keeping making him have to make tough decisions. Don't just leave this all up to the big stack - steal his blinds yourself (you still need them, afterall).

I used both of these tactics in a tourney today and they both helped me. In fact, I punished limpers on a complete bluff:

Absolute/UB Cereus No-Limit Hold'em Tournament, 20/40 Blinds (8 handed) - Absolute/UB Cereus Converter Tool from

CO (t803)
Hero (Button) (t2370)
SB (t1465)
BB (t1925)
UTG (t2122)
UTG+1 (t1905)
MP1 (t1440)
MP2 (t1470)

Hero's M: 39.50
Preflop: Hero is Button with 2, 9
1 fold, UTG+1 calls t40, 1 fold, MP2 calls t40, 1 fold, Hero bets t180, 4 folds

Total pot:

Limpers were in every hand - making me ill. Begone, limpers!

Here was another hand won based on a read and not my cards...

Absolute/UB Cereus No-Limit Hold'em Tournament, 30/60 Blinds (8 handed) - Absolute/UB Cereus Converter Tool from

SB (t703)
Hero (BB) (t2470)
UTG (t1305)
UTG+1 (t1365)
MP1 (t3122)
MP2 (t1085)
CO (t1740)
Button (t1710)

Hero's M: 27.44

Preflop: Hero is BB with 9, Q
3 folds, MP2 calls t60, 3 folds, Hero checks

Flop: (t150) 10, A, 2 (2 players)
Hero checks, MP2 bets t100, Hero raises to t260, 1 fold

MP2's stats at the time were 50/7, with a 16 aggression factor. This means he's limping into half the pots and then betting them almost every time, whether he hits them or not. Well, I decided that he didn't have this ace, and might not have had the ten or the deuce, either...

Total pot: t350

Sadly, I bubbled in this tourney - the small stack got lucky (despite my attempts to crush him), and then my ICM shove with 79s got called (by Q9, egads) and I was toast. But I feel like I played well.

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