Monday, September 21, 2009

Being a good short stack ninja

I think I normally play the role of short stack pretty well, at least in live tournaments. I think it's an essential skill for bar league poker. Most players are loose passive or loose agressive so a logical counter is tight/agressive. Bar league blinds are also pretty fast so you'll reach a short stack pretty regularly.

I've always struggled with super shortie pile and when to just gamble. Case in point, a hand from last week.

We were playing 5 handed and my stack to blind ratio had evaporated to 2 bbs. When I get this low, I figure I'm getting action so I might as well just see what cards I get.

I let the bb go by. 52o is no hand take to battle with action ahead of you. LB? 82s. Again, more action ahead of me.

When I finally get the button with my .5 bet, I'm of course dealt AA. Sweet!! I quintuple up and the blinds raise. Sweet. Back to two bets.

This is where I struggle. My next hand was 58c and the table really seems weak looking at their cards. I seriously consider shoving but muck in the end.

Sure enough, it goes blind vs blind and they just check it down. I would have had a full house and tripled up.

What are your thoughts when you get very short stacked? Any two cards? Wait for something pretty? I hate shoving into action, even when very short. Seems like suicide.

I'd love to hear some thoughts on this!

-- Posted from my cell phone that starts with the i.


Daly said...

im pushing anything suited, any face card combos or any ace if i have less than 5 big blinds (if there is no action in front of me)

BLAARGH! said...

I think the big problem is letting yourself get down to 2bbs. You should be shoving way before you get there - your AA hand shows that. You had to quintuple just to get BACK to 2bb, where you're just as dead again. Shove when you have some FE at 10bb when you feel you have a good situation. Attack the shorties. Stay away from the big stacks. blah blah blah. You put yourself in a much better position to take the thing down if you get get called and win, and taking down the blinds gets increasingly important. If it's a satellite, obv your strategy changes and holding on with 2bb might be your best shot.

Memphis MOJO said...

From Daly: "(if there is no action in front of me)"

Exactly. Harrington says be the first one into the pot.

diverjoules said...

Sometimes a bad beat puts you in the less then ten BB's position. But I agree with making sure you have Fold Equity. It is a weapon that is underused by many and feared by many. Many players who have nothing invested in the hand will fold better hands to you, fearing losing half their stack should they be wrong about your holding. CHIPS are weapons. Don't forget that. And who is playing to just make the money. Unless just making the money is life changing money, you should be playing to win. Even second place is okay in my book.. LOL..

matt tag said...

10 BB is the start of "I'm desperate" time - I usually start going at 6-7.

When around 10 BB, look for the knuckleheads in front of you who are still limping into pots with Ace-rag and connectors, and shove all in over them if you think they will fold. AT+, any pair, KQ are all hands you can legitimately do this with.

When down at 6-7 BB, it's important to be able to guess what the ppl behind you will do when you're on the button and cutoff. You should be shoving in with a huge range. One high card like K4 is fine - you're hoping to get folds 50%+ of the time, and if you end up getting called by say 99, then your K4 will win 30% of the time.