Be creative, focus on IN-game dynamics, there is no need to look like a PRO

Posted by Vikram Singh on 2017-05-19 at 1:02 PM

Some time last year I won the 27$ DS 8K. It was October or November. I remember telling my coach back then – Bfizz11, how I had dished a bad beat on a fish and that he had been chatting trash to me since then

Rest of the table was full of regs and I was 1/9 so they took the opportunity to ruffle up the Chip LEADER. I got no qualms with a wasteman rufflin’ up my time calling me “fish” or whatever.

Bfizz11, who has won more than 500k online and has been grinding since way back. When I first started in 2009, he was playing and he still crushes. The guy has adapted his game when so many regs were never able to improve. He is on his one man ventures now.

He simply said “I wish I could have that edge of being perceived as a losing player.”

I didn’t quite grasp the full meaning of that passing statement he made but a lot of our future sessions emphasised ‘breaking the rules’ so to speak. Each spot has to be judged on it’s own merit.

This information suddenly exploded in my mind when I was taking lessons from another coach who simply repeated what Brian had, but in words that resonated with me a lot more.

He simply stated that ‘as a rule of thumb I don’t 3bet Value hands when I cannot be perceived as bluffing and sometimes I bluff with the worst hands when I look strong’

It became clear that in mid and low stakes games where the action is aggressive pre-flop and passive post-flop, the reduction in 3bets was absolutely necessary. Not because the villains call less or never folds, but combined with your stack size, they attribute skewed ranges on you.

A 30bb 3bet from SB looks super strong when MP opens with say 45bb. So why not 3bet with 69s instead of AA. In fact, in most situations where you have a stack deep enough to set mine, there should not be a 3betting range at all from SB.

Stack size > Position > hand because of the growth of knowledge among the pool of player. Yes, they have learned some winning re-shoves and steals and light opens and bluffs but they are not good post flop and are unaware of the importance of position and stacks.

Start looking like a fish on the table. Flat AQo to a UTG open, esp when you are deeper. Imagine if you had 99 in that spot, and 3bet. Would the villain’s play be with 22-88. At 60bb he will definitely flat his entire opening range. Now suppose you had blockers but a 28bb stack, what is the villain going to do with 22-88…it’s going to get you a lot more Fold Equity. He will be weary of that 3bet but at a shallow stack but not your 3bet 60-80bb deep. He will call every hand there.

Make use of this sort of thinking where you put stack size as the most important factor in the hand, and play each table with full focus, counting the big blinds of everyone on the table when the cards are dealt.

You will automatically pick up strategies to beat certain spots like opening light in late position. If you have jam stacks to your left, why not build a limping range from the button or overlimp small PPs. It throws opponents off and makes you less exploitable.

Next time you get a hand that is too good to fold and too bad to 3bet get it in just flat, even if it is an offsuit high Ace.

If you focus on your table, you will pick up so many in-game dynamics you will want to adopt a quirky strategy.

If I have 60bb and KJo OTB and face a 35bb UTG+2 raise, I will just muck the hand, why? Simply because the ‘big stack bully’ is what your opponents are aware off. Reverse the stack sizes, and the 3bet with blockers will look much stronger.

This strategy is so useful in late game where I have seen, and myself experienced, going from 1/20 to missing out the FT because as a big stack opponents expect you to be light, making you the most exploitable stack on the table.

I could go on about so many spots where people are taught just to do something because “it’s what you do in this spot.”

The correct strategy for playing any hand should emphasise stacks, then position and finally your hand. Play the game this way, your variance in mass field tournaments will greatly reduce. Heck you will be able to shove river with two napkins in some spots.

This hand is in fact a perfect example:

3betting here looks super strong, it just happens that Player 1 would have jammed anyway but we got dead money involved (winning reg) and were unlucky not to triple up.

It is this fear that inviting more people into the pot can lead to awkward spots that stops players from getting more value from premium hands but if you play this hand over 1000 times exactly like this, you will win more chips than you will lose even though you are liable to lose more times than you win.

Think about that for a while.

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Vikram Singh

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