After getting sucked out on at the bubble of my Tuesday night league, I rallied on in the BBT SKILLZ game last night.
RAZZ was the game, and its one of my better games (NLHE, TripleDraw, then RAZZ. I have to work harder on Omaha). I was up to a good start early, then on a lean stack, and then on a tear to secure my first BBT 09 win and my TOC seat for a chance for a visit to the big show.
I consider it funny when I listen to a good razz player like Jennifer Harmon talk about remembering all the board cards. I KNOW you need to do that in stud, but really, who does that in RAZZ? I use my patent pending razz strategy that I call "84B".
The 8 stands for 8 or better starting hand. I rarely play a non 3 to an eight hand even for a non-complete bet. and likewise, I rarely fold an 8 regardless of the action before 4th. Now I will note how many "little cards" are out there and more importantly, how many "little cards" that do not match one of mine. If you count "littles", like many books advise, you need to disregard the ones that would pair you. Those are "rocks" to you. I never try to calculate the card my opponent needs to make a better 7 than me. Even if I was willing to put in that effort, how many times would I be correct? Close to zero.
The 4 stands for 4th street. If I brick and my opponent does not, I am folding 90% of the time. Really. Maybe more. The exception is when he bricks harder so that his board is still behind mine.
The B stands for the board. I play "transparent" in that I assume that my opponent has 2 decent in the hole and that he will assume that I do also (which I do). Because of this, its VERY hard to bluff me off a hand early. If your board is better than mine though, I NEVER CHASE IN RAZZ. LISTEN. "NEVER". EVER.
The footnote is pot control. I never try to build a big pot before 5th street. And I am very happy check-calling even after 5th. There were at least 2 hands yesterday where people sorta laughed because they could not figure out why I was not pushing more or betting in certain circumstances. Razz plays like a one-legged driver. Its either gas or brake and never both. I stick with brake and switch to gas only when I feel I have the lead in the hand.
All this sounds simple, but the patience to actually follow it can be brutal. BUT, thanks to my recent commitment to escaping bad situations, I could not have had a better result.
At the final table, I accumulated chips like a mad-man and by the time we were heads up, I had a 3-1 chip lead. Sweet.
Am I the best razz player? Not by a LONG SHOT. But my style works darn well.