Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Heads Up Continued

So I mentioned that I'd been playing a bunch of these heads up SNGs on Full Tilt, with good results. So I thought I'd put down a few thoughts on how I play them to see what people thought about the strategy that I've developed, and to give me something to look back on in a few years and think "what a moron!"

1) I don't open-fold my button. Hardly ever will I toss away my hand from the button. It doesn't matter how bad the starting hand is, on the button I'm getting 3-1 on my money to call, and against a random hand, I could very well be good. I see my opponents throw away their button hands a lot, and I can't help but think that it's a mistake. And one reason I think it's a mistake is

2) I raise a LOT from the button. With any two cards. ANY two cards. Let's start with the fact that if I don't bet or raise, my opponent doesn't have the chance to fold. So by not betting or raising, I'm removing one of the ways I can win the hand. And since I'm going to have position on every other street, increasing the size of the pot when I'm in position versus the hands that I'm out of position is +EV. If you don't believe me, think about it this way - if we played 1,000 hands together heads up, and on 500 of them I had position and the pot was $120, and on 500 of them the pot was $40 and I was out of position, how much do you think I would make against an opponent of relatively equal skill over those 1,000 hands? Yeah, I don't know either, but having position is a huge advantage, and if I can play for more money when I have an edge, I'm gonna.

3) Bottom pair is huge heads up. Most flops miss most hands, so bottom pair is quite likely going to be good. And I'm certainly going to bet it like it's good, once again giving my opponent that opportunity to fold.

4) Your opponent is going to overvalue their draws. Not every opponent, and not every draw, but I've found a TON of opponents on these low-stakes SNGs pushing with flush draws and straight draws and nothing else. So if you value small pairs more than they value draws, then you'll be willing to call their shove with middle pair and let them stack off with a naked draw. Now sometimes they'll get there, but less often that they hope.

That's just a few things I've observed over the past couple of weeks. I'm sure I'll come up with more drivel as I play more of these things. So far I've run my last $80 into $200, jumped up to the $21 SNGs, hit a bad patch of variance (lost 3 in a row at 80% favorite) and dropped back to the $10.50 SNGs. I'll probably hang out at the $10 level until I get to three or four hundred in the bankroll, then move back up. I'll take occassional shots at higher levels now and then, but I don't plan on playing constantly higher than $10 until I have at least 20 buyins for the next level. That said, my bankroll management is usually for shit, so don't hold your breat for me to wait at $10 until I get to $400.

1 comment:

Riggstad said...

Always raise from the button. Always

Another thing I employ is folding from the bb to a raise with marginal holdings.

A long time ago, when I played a lot of HU, I tracked results and it proved that by doing so, you won something like 45% more blinds than your opponent.

Another secret is to eat fig newtons while playing heads up. Either that or wings.

Maybe it's because you have to pause most of the time to clean your fingers off before acting. This pause gives the illusion of deep thought, I guess :)