Monday, January 29, 2007

Playing Short At The Cash Table

Recently I've been running into a lot of people who buy in very short for No Limit games.

I've mainly been playing the Tribeca $.5/1 Hold Em tables, and most of them seem to be there to gamble in the hope of a quick double through.

Sometimes it works and they rapidly disappear with a profit, sometimes they change to a more conventional style once they have won a few all-ins, and mostly they lose and disappear - perhaps after a few reloads.

It's not a playing style that appeals to me, and I don't know how well thought through their strategy is.

As an example from the weekend, I made a 3BB raise from early position with KK and a middle position short stack pushed all-in for about 20BB, which led to the action coming back round to me and of course I insta-called.

He had A3. No suckout, and he was gone.

Now what is he expecting to happen here?

Every so often I'll have a very marginal hand (though rarely in early position) and his 20BB investment wins 4.5BB when I fold. (My raise plus the blinds).

Mostly he is going to get called as around a 70/30 underdog - by a dominating ace or a pocket pair - thus losing in the long run.

Surely the times he picks up 4.5BB can't compensate for all the times he gets it in as a big underdog?

I suppose for a recreational player on a very small budget there is a buzz from the times when A6 beats JJ, etc. but I'd have thought there would be more fun in buying in for the full $20 at a $.10/.20 table and playing lots of pots, rather than buying in short at a bigger table and lumping the lot in the first time an ace or pocket pair appears in your hand.

I know the Rolf Slotboom book on Pot Limit Omaha outlines a short stack strategy, and I'm planning to read it soon, so perhaps my views will change then.

For now, I'm quite happy to see a few of these guys at the table, as more often than not they leave empty handed.

1 comment:

Drizztdj said...

It makes much more sense in PLO to gamble it up pre-flop because rarely are you more then a 60/40 dog if you push with any semi-decent wrap/sOOted holdings.

Trying to do this in hold em is more like playing a slot.