Monday, March 17, 2008

A strategy reminder

I played in a satellite on Sunday and sucked it hard. But it wasn't tactics that made the difference, it was strategy. The hands I played, I played as well as can be expected. But in some ways, the regularly scheduled events spoil us.

Imagine you are in a field of 500 and the top 150 get satellite seats. Easy pickings, right? Well, did you remember that you start with 1500 chips and its a turbo? I didn't. Or better said, I didn't pay it any mind. A big mistake.

What should be the strategy going into a shallow stack turbo? Top 10 hands. There is no room to get fancy, maneuver post-flop with suited connectors, etc. You have $1500 in chips and you're dealt 98s. Are you going to call $200 chips here to see a flop? If so, you're playing like a hope-a-tron. Deeper stacks, maybe. Not a turbo, maybe. Deep stacks and not a turbo? Now we are talking.

Back to the 98s. What do you do now when the flop is K93 (not your suit) and its up to you. You gonna bet? If he bets 100, you going to call? Do you see your stack shrinkling like someone is pouring acid on a stack of pancakes?

"So using your logic, if I am in a short stack turbo satellite and I dont get a top 10 hand in the first 3 levels, I am just going to lose and that's that?!"

Yup. Probably. But you'll always have the ATC push (first in only) at about $800 chips. Ironically, once you get to level 3 and its $100/$200, $800 had better be from late position.

Good luck chip-hunter.

1 comment:

HighOnPoker said...

You're dead right, Columbo. You may be blinded to a shortstack, but once you hit push/fold mode, if you are smart enough, you can steal enough or win enough cointosses to stay viable. In a lot of satellite tournaments, you only need 2-5 winning hands to cash, depending on the size of the pot. There are many times when it looks like I'm in trouble folding to the satellite prize, only to double up on a marginal hand and suddenly be back in comfortable folding mode for a few more levels.