Archives for March2013


Should you abuse of continuation bet (C-bet)?

The continuation bet (C-Bet) was revealed by Dolye Brunson in 1978….and since then has become a really standard move. How should you use a move created at a time when a lot of current poker professionals were not born. Should you abuse of C-bets like Barry Greenstein who displays a C-bet rate close to 100%?

A C-bet is a bluff (or semi-bluff). You zsuceeded representing some strength pre-flop but do not like the flop you see. But maybe your opponent(s) do not like it either and you intend to use this strength post-flop in a semi-bluff approach. And you are right in doing so since 68% of the time your opponent will not improve his hand on the flop. Except that if it was that easy, we would all be rich. Several parameters need to be taken into account :

  • First, you need to have raised preflop and to have been the last player to raise (otherwise you loose the advantage of attacking)
  • You need to have as few opponents as possible (each additional opponent decreases your chances to win the pot by 15%)
  • You will meet greater success if you bet postflop after a check from your opponent (rather than raising first). With 1 opponent only post flop you have 40% of winning the pot if you raise 1st and 60% if you open after a check from your opponent.
  • Most importantly you need to have profiled your opponent : against a beginner C-betting light (200 in a 1200 pot) is more efficient and more profitable, against a good player you need to calibrate your raise and make sure of showing some consistency based on what has happened at the table
  • But you need obviously to take also the flop (and its texture) into consideration : some are hostiles other will help you. The worst flops to place a C-bet are highly connected ones offering multiple draws options, then you have the arid ones (8-5-2 rainbow) because you will not acquire much credibility on those, flops not offering flush draws options are starting to be a good option, flops including no connectivity and a high card are even better (eg K-8-3) because if your C-bet gets paid you are almost certain that your opponent holds a decent hand, flop including a pair are even more favorable
  • What should be the size of your C-bet? No clearcut anwser. 50% of the pot according to Harrington (which means that you need to win every 3 attempts to break even).
  • In order to avoid being too easy to read you should vary your bet amounts between 50% and 70%
  • Of course you will find in your way some agressive players who will hunt for C-betters, float on the flop and attack you strongly on the turn. To fight them back you can try the  »delayed continuation bet » : check on the flop and bet on the turn and especially on scary boards. It will be very difficult for your opponent to believe you have  »air » and if he was on a straight or flush draw (with only 1 card remaining on the river) he will be less likely to call. Very few drawing attempts remain interesting at the turn.

If you want to find out more about c-bet strategy please check our partner insights at onlinepokerrooms.org

How to play the bubble in a poker NLH MTT?

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  • To play the bubble efficiently, you need to anticipate and do your best to build your stack before that. At the end of a tournament a big stack which raises to 2,5 BB is a lot more scary than a short stack which goes all in with just 10BB.
  • Never limp (whatever the position), never, never. If you want to play the hand raise or get out of it.
  • Do not pay an all-in with A10 or44. A lot of players at the bubble have only one strategy which consists in waiting for a big hand top go all-in. It is much more profitable to steal 2 or 3 small pots than playing a coin flip.
  • Before the bubble try to understand who is playing scared money and who does not defend its blind : you will be targeting him with your stealing attempts but do not always steal from the button (not to make too obvious and to face a re-raise all in from a player you will have tickled a bit too much).
  • Make a difference between those who play to win (and which are quite active at the table) like you! and the other who would rather die slowly. You just have to bend down to collect part of their stack.
  • Figth back blind stealing attempts to make it clear to the player on your right that he should target someone else
  • Post flop, use your fold equity (if you have one) to play your straight draws more agressively than you were used to. Calibrate the size of your raise to always be the one that will push all-in. You want to be the one going all-in first if you need to rather than calling an all-in
  • Depending on the situation, if you are small stack (<10 BB) focus your attacks on middle sized stacks (especially those which do not defend their blinds and never raise). If you are middle stack (between 12 and 20BB) its a good moment to try a few squeeze (re-raise all in with a weaker hand like suited connectors to try to steal the pot preflop). If you are big stake you should be very agressive with middle size stacks avoiding to find yourself committed in a big pot (avoid big and small stacks).

What to do in a multi table tournament when your stack is above 25 big blinds?

In a multi table tournament above 25BB you should see quite a lot of flops while measuring your invesment

Multi table tournament

 

 

 

 

 

Blinds represent a small (or very small) % of your stack. You should use this phase in a multi table tournament to prepare the future : your criteria is the position, if the investment is not superior to 2 BB always go and see the flop, always complete your SB, play all possible connectors (even low ones like 34s).

If you do not improve your hand with the flop (or if pot odds are not favorable when compared to the probability of improving your hands) you should fold.

Between 160 and 250 BB :

- when opening you will rarely face 3-bets and should open up your game

- you should lower your 3-bet rate especially out of position

- you should consider 4-bets in bluff

- 5-bet bluff are too risky

Between 70 and 160 BB :

- when opening beware of 3-bets and play tight

- your rate of 3-bets should rocket

- punish 4-bet lights by a 5-bet all in

Between 25 and 70 BB :

- when opening you will rarely face 3-bets and should open up your game

- beware of 4-bets, opt for 3-bet cautiously

- punish 3-bet lights by a 4-bet all in

At these levels, big hands (AA, KK, QQ) deserve big pots and you should raise with these not asking yourself too many questions.

Regarding spectulative hands (e.g J10s) i am not a big fan of raising with these at the early levels of a multi table tournament. Should you miss the flop 2 or 3 times you will have lost a reasonnable number of chips early in the tournament. Contrary to the above, you do not hold a monster (or need to isolate players at the table to protect your hand) and you do not want to build a pot so big that you will not be able to let i go. You should play those hands when you have the position (by calling for instance a previous raise). Try to target nits or passive players when doinf so

What to do in a multi table tournament when your stack falls below 25 big blinds?

Below 25 BB in multi table tournament the preflop game becomes critical

multi table tournament

 

 

 

 

 

Entering a hand requires a higher investment. Preflop raises become decisive when you reached this stage in a multi table tournament. 50% of the time the hand will be won before seing the flop. Limit your range to pairs or broadways. You should also reraise as soon as you suspect having a decent advantage.

Between 10 and 25 BB :

  • When opening beware of 3-bets, play tight
  • Resteal (3-bet all in) is highly profitable
  • Try with average hands to deter limpers who try to value their speculative hands by raising up to 3,5 or 4 times the BB (if a limper only committed 5% or less of his stack preflop it is interesting for him to go and see the flop, but above 10% this becomes EV-)

Below 10BB : 

  • When opening steal blinds by raising all-in
  • Adopt a push or fold strategy
  • Open all-in but do not raise all-in a previous opening

 

Poker global strategy and objectives in multi table tournament

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INTRODUCTION :

You want to win tournaments when they only have just started? This lack of patience leads to bad decision making and you will too often find yourself in tricky spots. One key point when playing a multi table tournament is the spirit that you have the table : you should focus on all decisions, whatever the stake, the stage you reached in the tournament, the size of the pot. Your objective should be to make the best possible decision at any point in time and not think about the rest (ITM, bubble…). To meet success your objective should not be to win but to play a good poker, taking it one hand at a time.

OBJECTIVES :

  • Aim to reach an ITM between 5% and 15%
  • Good multi table tournament players usually have an ITM close to 10%
  • Of course you will need within that to finish among the final table at least twice over a hundred attempts

BANKROLL MANAGEMENT :

Never risk more than 1% of your bankroll (if you allocate 200€ to play poker in MMT, do not enter above 2€ buy-in multi table tournaments except if you are certain to have an edge at that limit)

WHERE TO PLAY?

If you want to find the top list of online poker rooms offering best in class 2013 tournaments we recommend :

Online Poker – Top15Poker is the leading site for online poker top lists including rules, poker room comparisons and top poker bonuses.

 

Freeroll : just one step away from transforming zero $ into real $

This is where a freeroll deserves its name

Freeroll

 

 

 

In this phase of the Freeroll adopt a game close to the one you played in the previous phase.
Respect raises in early position.
Try to steal pots which are not contested

Early position or middle position
Preflop go all in with any pair above 88 and AK, AQ and AJ if you are not facing a raise

Late position or middle position
Preflop add 77, 88 and KQ to your hands to go all-in

In a poker freeroll below 25 big blinds its a raise or a fold

 

 

 

 

In a Freeroll when your stack reaches < 25BB you should adopt a raise or fold strategy

Meaning preflop your either raise or fold. If a player raises before or after you you should go all-in with a legitimate hand.

You should never call (unless to call an all-in in specific cases)

Avoid agressive players who have a bigger stack than you do

Early position (UTG, UTG+1, UTG+2, UTG+3)

Preflop you should raise x4 BB with AA, KK, QQ, JJ and AK. If you then face a 3 bet you should move all in.

Middle or late position

Preflop add 99, 1010, KQ, KJ, AJ, AQ to open with X4 BB. If you face a 3 bet you should go all-in with all hands except KQ and AJ.

After the flop if you had raised preflop and have only one opponent you should raise with any hand and any board (between half and 2/3 of the pot). If you face a 3 bet, you should go all-in with top pair or a flush draw and also if you just have 2 overcards.