Poker Road Warrior: NL Strategy Session
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Friday, December 02, 2005

NL Strategy Session

Shark Wrote:

You have a good friend and fellow Shark Army soldier that won a seat in the 06 WSOP (World Series of Poker).

You are at the RIO with them and sweatin hard.

They are a lttle nervous (ha!) and you have 2 minutes to give them much needed advice before the the first break ends.

He/She sits with T11,500 (Tourney chips, 11,500) just above the starting stack of T10,000. You noticed they are nervous (duh) and playing super tight (to be expected).

Hyper aggressive John Phan is running over the table and plays about 60% of the flops. No other known killers, mostly internet guys looking to survive.

What do you say? You only have 2 minutes cause he/she had to go to da baffroom, and the lines are long.

Shark Tour Player zyzygy wrote:

A guy like John Phan is going to look closely at table image and how a player plays. Use this to your advantage. You have a tight image right now, so do the others who are playing conservative. Now you have to loosen up a bit and use that image. That said, don't go crazy, and make bad raises and reckless calls. Play position and play strong from that position. Eventually someone has to re-raise the pro who is using his image to run amok, why not you? Pick a solid playable hand in position, and be aggressive.

Phan is going to look to knock folks out pre-flop, or outplay them after. Don't let him do either when you have position. Phan is aggressive but not interested in getting his money in with a bad hand. This also lets the rest of the donks at the table know that you have some game, and may not be the one to pick on among the less experienced players. The best cure for an aggressive player is being aggressive back, it tends to knock them off their game a bit, especially since the only information they have about you is the play they have seen.

Simple advise, but it often works. In the end playing scared means your sure to loose.

ConnAir wrote:

I'd pat him on the back (maybe even share a man hug)
and tell him he's doing fine... and to "keep it up"

positive reinforcement of his gameplay
will give him more self confidence

Shark:

Doing fine? I didnt mention hes shakin like a leaf and just wet himself on Phans last 6X BB raise in the cutoff? haha

I say hes a theif and you need to get sum stones and use yer tight image to make him lay down his 84o that he keeps scarin the whole table with. Sure you may have to fire hard at the flop and turn cause he won't back down. Sounds good, bigger pot and I still have him slaughtered with most of my pockets. He'll look for a new whippin boy or he can try you on again if he wants. You are gonna meet these guys for 5 days (hopefully) might as well grab yer privates now (military term, sorry ladies) and start practicing being a playa. All the aggressive players with chips are lookin for marks. Not this one toofed, mr T starter kit wearin shark.

I think ya got him beat 80% of the time and you need chips just like he does. I'm not gonna be short stacked. I need chips

Shark NL animal tajmahal420 writes:

ZYZY's point about position is dead on. Phan is the type of guy who will play a mediocre hand out of position, especially early on. He's trying to build a stack, so if he thinks he can take advantage of a lesser experienced table, he will. Wait till you have position on him. With the blinds being relatively small (50/100), it's a great opportunity to make a stand without risking a big chunk of your stack. Hole cards don't make a lot of difference here, you're just trying to let him know you came to play poker. In position, re-raise. Just calling makes him lick his chops. And, you don't want three way action. He may come back at you, but unless he's holding a monster, this new aggression exhibited by you is gonna make him think twice. Use your tight image to get him thinkin.
Take down one sizeable pot from Mr. Phan, and you not only earn his respect, but the entire table's, even the dealer.

Point is, calm down! Go dry your pants, smoke 'em if ya got 'em, sit yer ass back at that table. You're just as good as anyone here. And you're at a bit of an advantage over John. You've seen him play on TV with those little pocket cams. He just met you, and is having trouble remembering your name. But not for long.

ConnAirJurer

IMO: The early levels of a tourney should be played tight/conservative
(I'm echoing the comments of 1/2 dozen authors/authorities on the subject)

I'm not worried about a phan/type stealing my blinds when my they're are almost meaningless... (1% of my stack aint worth fighting over... unless I got something to fight with... and if I got something to fight with... fight I will.)

In 2-3 levels (say once blinds are 2-3 hundred) then it would be worth 'moving/pushing' at the dragon... (and in one hand, taking back any/all blinds he may have stolen from you up to that point.)

Of course... the 'right' answer to any hypothetical question is:
"it depends." there are too many variables (and too many right answers) for any one approach to be correct.

fun to discuss it though...

who's next?

Shark:


Hes making the whole table play his game. When the table breaks me tight/weak buds gonna have 7000. the other 8 are gonna have 7000 and Phans gonna have 37,000. Now i'm not saying you need to be an over agg animal like him (hes got that down, your bud don't) but you should be able to get to 16,000 with this table a weak sucks. Its not always gonna be just blinds yer grabbin either.

This is a total IMO deal but heres my read on this. Doug (connair) is a master at going deep in tourneys. He really has a great knack for it and cashes a very high % of his starts. He also is short stacked alot, especially late. He is great at laying down borderline hands or even big pairs preflop to survive. Nothing wrong with this and it certainly works for him. Similar to a Dewey Tomko or James Van Alstyne. Rock solid, go deep but often fighting for chips to survive. This has been pretty much my style till recently I started taking more "shots" at pots and pushing players instead of playing conservative. I have found myself in money less but enjoying my big stack more and feeling like I can play more agg because I can survive a bad beat (or 3) and also can take on smaller stacks on coin flips or worse.

I don't have this style down but I enjoy it more and fits my personality better I believe. I also like the fact that I can fire up 2 more tourneys in a half hour if I get knocked it. What did I do wrong? How can I improve? Hey another event in 25 min. i'm in!

2 Comments:

At 8:12 AM, Blogger John "Netsurfer" Burrows said...

I like the commentary, it shows that there are many different viewpoints as well as successful approaches to the game and strategy.

Personnaly, I tend to be agressive, even when I shouldnt and find myself short stacked and fighting for air at times. But, more often than not, it pays off and I have breathing room to play. My style seems to be more of a combination of connair & Shark's, not necessarily the best of both worlds, depending upon who you ask, but a style that works great for me in Sit-n-Gos, but needs to be tuned for large MTT's.

Great write-up Shark, keep em coming.

Net.

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger Clayshooter22 said...

Ok, here's my take.

I like the pick a spot with Phan approach, but here's what I like even more. Find a few spots where Phan is not in the pot and bully the other guys. Blind steal, reraise, whatever you can get away with. I like to try to find a player or two that will fold to a decent bet and abuse them. Phan is gonna outplay you more often than not. Don't mess with him. Pick a fight with someone you can handle.

When you sit on a new table do you get in pots with the aggressive chip leader? I'd bet not. All it takes are a few choice pots against the others and Phan will see you playing the same game he is playing.

That's my 2 cents...hopefully worth a bit more.

Clayshooter

 

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