Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Had a Sneaking Suspicion...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Favorite New Line and Why it is Perfect for Short Stackers....

One of my Favorite things about Poker, and especially ShortStacking, is using players preconceived notions against them. This is part of the "changing gears" that you hear about all the time, but you can take it much farther than that. One of the nice things about Shortstacking is that you don't have to take the time to establish a table image, as most players already have a preconceived (and misguided) notion about what type of player you are the moment that you sit down at the Table. My new favorite "value line" is nothing new or groundbreaking, but it takes perfect advantage of those notions and the ego that SS haters attach to the style.

The basis is this: If you flop a big hand that is obvious, start with a bet. Lets say you raise preflop with AQ of hearts and get a caller. The flop comes down 9 6 3, all hearts. You flopped the nuts. Conventional wisdom, and natural urges tell you to slow play and let them catch up. The problem with this is that they are going to be very suspicious of any flop check with a big move later, and unless they have a set or maybe the K of hearts, you might get some money from them, but not much. So since there is nothing to lose, bet it. It looks like a steal and since most players see SS'rs as tight, overly aggressive push-monkeys, they aren't going to buy it. They will call with a lot of single pairs, weak draws and ANY overpair.

Now that you have set the stage and got them involved, check the turn. It almost doesn't matter what the card is. Check it. Now it appears that you took a shot to win the pot but you are a spineless, unimaginative push-monkey and are giving up. This sets the stage for the next step....

Shove the River! By playing this line, it appears that:

You missed the flop and continuation bet the flop to take it down. Their call scared you. The turn didn't help (or you would have shoved, that is what you do, after all) and then, when you smelled weakness, you tried to buy your way out of your bluff by shoving all in (it only costs a little for you to shove, you are a Broke-ass SSer after all and it is the only move you know).

I have found that this is almost universally how they perceive this line.

Imagine their chagrin (and my titty-rubbing joy) when they call and I turn over the nuts to crap all over their A-9 (or whatever crap they tricked themselves into thinking was good enough to beat your "Bluff") and show a play so imaginative that they NEVER saw it coming from a "simple-minded Shortstacker".

There are of course a few exceptions to this line, but it works great when you flop that obvious big hand and want to extract value (it works very well when you flop the trips on a paired board as well). It really tends to throw opponents off balance because now they can't pigeon hole you into a non thinking shove monkey which is where they are comfortable with you being. Play around with it a little but I guarantee that it is a VERY worthy addition to your arsenal.

If you generate any feedback with this line or have variations, please let us know. We love the discussion.

P.S. Congrats to our own Short Stack Hero, Lorin Yelle for buying his first House. He closed last Friday and moved in Yesterday. He now has a Righteous "Man-Cave".

Friday, July 3, 2009

Bing Blang Blaow- Cashout (on my Titt1es)

From the mind of the legendary $.25/.50 heads up no limit player, Ch3ckraise. With no further ado, I now present to you the remastered version of Bing Bang Blaow- Cashout (on my Titt1es).



ch3ckraise: BING BLANG BLAOW
ch3ckraise: CH3CK RAISE IN THA HOUSE
ch3ckraise: I JUST WON $50.00 FROM YOU
ch3ckraise: U COULD HAVE USED IT TO BUY SOME FOOD
ch3ckraise: BUT YOU CANT NOW
ch3ckraise: CUZ IMMA CASH IT OUT
ch3ckraise: AND RUB IT ON MY TITT1ES
tilted1: wtf


ch3ckraise: BING BLANG BLAOW
ch3ckraise: CH3CK RAISE IN THA HOUSE
DANGEROUSS: fish
ch3ckraise: I JUST WON $50.00 FROM YOU
ch3ckraise: U COULD HAVE USED IT TO BUY SOME FOOD
ch3ckraise: BUT YOU CANT NOW
ch3ckraise: CUZ IMMA CASH IT OUT
ch3ckraise: AND RUB IT ON MY TITT1ES
DANGEROUSS: fhaggot, stfu w your stupid ni**er song

Iplay4funn: omg
Iplay4funn: how can u call with with that
ch3ckraise: BING BLANG BLAOW
Iplay4funn: hmoron
ch3ckraise: CH3CK RAISE IN THA HOUSE
play4funn: is calling the only thing u kno how to do donk?
ch3ckraise: I JUST WON $50.00 FROM YOU
ch3ckraise: U COULD HAVE USED IT TO BUY SOME FOOD
ch3ckraise: BUT YOU CANT NOW
ch3ckraise: CUZ IMMA CASH IT OUT
play4funn: whats wrong with u
ch3ckraise: AND RUB IT ON MY TITT1ES

ch3ckraise: BING BLANG BLAOW
ch3ckraise: CH3CK RAISE IN THA HOUSE
DANGEROUSS: donkey
ch3ckraise: I JUST WON $50.00 FROM YOU
ch3ckraise: U COULD HAVE USED IT TO BUY SOME FOOD
ch3ckraise: BUT YOU CANT NOW
ch3ckraise: CUZ IMMA CASH IT OUT
ch3ckraise: AND RUB IT ON MY TITT1ES

(Observer) oneOuttedsir: GOD DO U EVEN KNO HOW 2 PLAY
(Observer) oneOuttedsir: I HOPE UR MOM GETS CANCER
ch3ckraise: BING BLANG BLAOW
ch3ckraise: CH3CK RAISE IN THA HOUSE
(Observer) oneOuttedsir: LETS PLAY $100NL HU PU SSY
ch3ckraise: I JUST WON $50.00 FROM YOU
ch3ckraise: U COULD HAVE USED IT TO BUY SOME FOOD
ch3ckraise: BUT YOU CANT NOW
ch3ckraise: CUZ IMMA CASH IT OUT
ch3ckraise: AND RUB IT ON MY TITT1ES
(Observer) oneOuttedsir: IM SITTING WAITING FOR U

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Alternative Line #2: The Mega-Raise Pot Shove



Unlike the previous example, this one does not actually need to be AK per se, but rather any medium-strong hand with showdown value. Here is the criteria needed:

1. You are in one of the blind positions.
2. You have a medium strong hand that doesn't play particularly well post-flop out of position, preferably in this order:
AK, AQ, AJ, 99, ATs, 88, KQs, KQo, ATo, KJs
3. You have no more than two limpers in the pot and first limper must be very loose, with a VPIP of 30% or higher. The higher the VPIP, the looser on the above scale you can go.
4. You raise to approximately 1/3 of the effective smaller stack.
5. You shove all in on any flop when called.

The theory: You do this because the alternatives are to limp (which clearly sucks and will never show any real profit), make a normal raise, or move all in. Making a standard raise makes your stack size really awkward for post-flop betting and makes these hands very difficult to play since you will miss the flop about 2/3 of the time. Moving all in is a fine, though sub-optimal play. Even a fish realizes that he needs a showdown value hand to call a bet this size and it will scare away his business virtually every time.

So let's be straight here from the get-go: usually when you attempt this play, your opponent will fold. In that regard, it is no different than shoving over a raise with your premium hands. You don't expect to get called with those hands in every instance, though you are happy when you do. When he does call, take a look at what happens in the example above. By raising one third of the effective stack, you are facing your opponent with a pot-size bet on the flop and offering him odds of 2:1 to call. In other words, you are putting him in the position of making the largest mistake.

Surely, for a bet this size on the flop, your opponents will only be calling when you are beat, right? Wrong. Here is a list of common calls you will see in this spot:


1. Top pair or better
2. Any pair
3. All draws including gut shots
4. Overcards
5. Naked aces

In a nut shell, very few good hands and a whole lot of complete shit. Once again, this play in not done for any kind of deceptive purposes, but rather is a strong psychological lure for weak-minded opponents and gamblers. By targeting exclusively loose opponents who have pretty much already told you explicitly that their hand was not good enough to raise but they wanted to see a flop anyway, you are seducing them into making a bad play.

Of course, when you flop a relatively strong hand, you should either bet very small or check. Typical opponents who are bad enough to call a raise this large in the first place are primed to make a hopeless bluff at such a large pot. By relatively, I mean relative the the board and your opponents likely calling range. A hand like AK on an A-2-2 board is extremely strong and even weak opponents are not likely to stack away with QJs in this spot (though they sometimes will!), but of course he is not getting helped by any free cards, so give him a chance to piss his money away.

Why does this play work? Perhaps it is best not to ask such questions. Never in my career have I been bad enough to get lured by such an obvious ploy, so I can't even begin to imagine what is going through the mind of someone who does. Admittedly, this play was not created by myself, but rather snatched from the hands of a short stacker who is much better than me. When reviewing his hand histories, I was astonished by the horrible calls his opponents were making, including a K7 on an A-A-5 board when he was holding KQ! I began making this play indiscriminately only to soon find that it was never working when I wanted it to, and "working" when I didn't want it to. It has only been recently that I have found it to work astonishingly well against very loose opponents. Against typical opponents or unknowns, you are better off either limping or moving all in with these types of hands.