Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Short-Stacked Play

Maybe I'm wrong (nahhhh) but I believe knowing how to play when you're shortstacked is critical to your success. Being shortstacked doesn't mean you're out by any sense, but you cannot play the same way as you play when you have an average stack.

If anything, I find I play BETTER when I'm shortstacked. No limping (not that I limp much anyway) and aggressive play. People tend not to want to call all-ins unless they have a big pair. And usually people don't have big pairs.

I once came in second in a tournament after being so shortstacked I had ONLY ONE CHIP. I shiat you not. Granted, the chip was a 500 chip, but still!

When I come in the money either I got chips early and kept my comfy lead till we're in the money, or I'm shortstacked and make a great comeback. I NEVER COME IN THE MONEY BY CRUISING ALONG AS MS. AVERAGE. Let me tell you, I am ANYTHING but average.

Last Saturday when we got to the final table, there were a few shortstacks there. Fortunately, I was NOT one of them. One guy (who I didn't know) was lamenting about his chip status. I gave him encouragement, saying it didn't mean much, but he needed to double up ASAP.

"You cannot wait till you're down to nothing. You need to make a move now, before you have any less." said I.

Of course Jew Boy's two cents were "Jo, you know this is a competition, right?"

Yeah, I know it's a competition. But the shortstacked guy was limping in and then folding. Jesus - the only thing he's gonna accomplish is maybe beating some traffic home.

I know myself that when I'm in a tourney if there is a short stack betting after me, I'm very cautious cuz you just never know. And I HATE calling and all in - I'd rather be the one in first. I like making my competitor make that tough decision. Either he folds and I win the blinds (yay) or he calls and hopefully that call puts me at better than 50% to win.

Last week at Wednesday poker, Jew Boy was VERY shortstacked and came back to win the game. That's the kind of playing that impresses me. He changed his play and it worked. One or two double ups is all you need.

BTW that guy didn't make it to the money. He didn't listen to Auntie Josie.

Play smart.



Gary said...

I had forgotten about that little exchange. That was pretty funny. Jo's absolutely right; I called her on giving aid and comfort to the enemy. But I guess she's got a big heart, and mine is full of ichor and vermin.

IMO, there's a few can't miss rules to shortstack play, two of which Josie mentioned: Measure your stack in terms of multiples of the BB. Don't wait too long, lest your stack have no power. Don't be cute if you have a big hand - just shove and even if everyone folds you get blinds and antes. A dry ace or even a decent king is usually sufficient for me to move in when I have less than, say, 5 BB's. Tall suited connectors can work but stay away from SC's lower than ~89. Lastly, most people have a tell when they're shortstacked: If they look at their watch or the clock while making their decision, it's usually a good sign that their hand is weak, even for being shortstacked.

Josie said...

As usual, Jew Boy and I don't exactly agree. Jew Boy's version of a decent King is K-5 and no, I don't recommend pushing with that. And if you've been reading along, you know how I feel about dry aces too. If you're gonna do it, you have to have TWO decent cards. One does not make the cut. One decent card puts you at less than 50% to win if you get called. IMHO - But I DO agree with the rest. :)

dbcooper said...

Playing short stacked is something most people struggle with . You are absolutely right . No limping. Either raise or push. It's an art playing short stacked. Just like playing as the BIG stack is also an art. Some people get tons of chips and give them back just as quick. Playing short you gotta focus, look for the right cards at the right time and go for it.

Josie said...

Yes, Coop, Yes!

You are so right about the timing too, which I didn't expand upon enough.

@Jew Boy, I think Coop, may be a male version of me....of course I could still kick his but in a tourney. :)

Memphis MOJO said...

version of a decent King is K-5 and no, I don't recommend pushing with that. And if you've been reading along, you know how I feel about dry aces too. If you're gonna do it, you have to have TWO decent cards.

I agree with both of you, ha. If the table is playing tight, I side with Gary. If not, then I agree with Very Josie. You have to take what they'll let you get away with.

Gary said...

I would actually consider K5o as dry as dust. A decent K is 9 or over, preferably K10 but depending on whom I'm going against that's not a hard and fast rule.

Tonight btw was a disaster for both of us, alas.