Sunday, July 11, 2010

Guide to Slow Playing (Intermediate)

The Slow Play is a tricky move that can be useful in particular situations,but it is often overused, especially from beginner-intermediate players.
Against certain opponents slowplaying is always a big mistake,especially against loose passive ones,that won't build up the pot for you and will often call your bets.
The most important reasons not to slowplay are:
-You may not build a big pot as you were hoping to;
-A following card may hit that allows him to outdraw you, otherwise scare him away from the pot.
Betting with strong made hands is profitable against draws,as they will not put more money in the pot if they miss their draw.
Checking against draws with hands like sets is a big mistake,because the draw will have incredible odds to improve,and you'll end up winning small pots and loosing big ones.

So when is slowplaying correct?
Slowplaying is correct if you have the board completely monopolized so that your only chance to win some money is to induce your opponent to bluff you or letting him improve his hand in the following streets.

One example of this situation is when you flop quads.
If you have a hand like 10 9 and the flop comes 10 10 10 , then your opponents may only put more money in the pot if he has a pocket pair or he makes a full house in later streets, so slowplaying here is the right move.

Tend to don't slowplay with sets (you might solwplay with top set if the board is not particulary drawy) as they are hands with which you will make a bigger profit betting out against top pairs.
You can slowplay a larger amount of hands against maniacs,they will often bet many times even without a real hand, so let them do so.

Here is a last advice: loose aggressive players should slowplay less than tight aggressive players, since they play many hand aggressively, a slowplay might actually seem suspicious to their opponents, while betting out ,as the loose aggressive player always does, will build a bigger pot while hiding the true strenght of the hand.

So always slowplay following theese rules, and the Slow Play will be a very useful weapon in your game!
Hope you liked this article, many more are yet to come!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bankroll management (Beginners)

Bankroll management is probably the most important subject to be a winning player in poker.
In the long run a good player will be successfull and will make a profit, but in the short run he might actually be loosing due to bad luck.
To be sure that theese downswings won't eat up your entire poker money endangering your poker carreer you should manage your bankroll and never play too much money in a single tournament or cash game.
Invest wisely your poker money, no matter how little it is.
So how much should you invest?
Lets make an example:

Jimmy starts playing poker with 100 $.
What limits can he play?
For Sit n Goes i like the 50 buy ins rule.
So Jimmy can play Sit n Goes up to 2 $.
In Multi Table Tounaments (MTT) he should instead have 100 buy ins because variance (alternation of good and bad luck) is higher.
So Jimmy can play MTTs up to 1 $.
And cash games?
For cash games 25 buy ins are enough.
So Jimmy can play 0.02 $ - 0.05 $ called NL 5 (even if slightly out of our requirement).
Even if this money seems ridicously little, it is the only way for a player to have almost no risk of going broke.
Now I'll talk about doing level up or down.
Let's see Jimmy's case again.

In Sit N Goes Jimmy should move to the 5 $ ones when he has made 50 buy ins for the higher level, so when he has made 250 $.
In MTTs Jimmy can move up to the 2$ ones when he has 100 buy ins for the higher level, so 200$.
In Cash Games Jimmy should move up to NL 10 (0.05 $ - 0.10$) when he has made 25 buy ins for that level, so 250 $.

And what about level down?

In Sit N Goes Jimmy should level down to the 1 $ ones when he has only 50 buy ins for that lower level, so 50 $.
In Mtts he should play the 0.50 $ ones when he has 100 buy ins for the lower level, so 50 $.
In Cash Games Jimmy shoud level down when he has only 25 buy ins for the lower level, so 50 $.

Levelling down is especially important because playing low limits with a bigger than requested bakroll is even safer, instead with a smaller bakroll going broke is much easier.

When is bakroll management not fundamental?
- If you are a losing player, in fact you will eventually lose money in the long run, so bankroll management is useless.
-If the money you are playing is not that important compared to your income.
In this case I still suggest you to use it, but if going broke is not a problem to you, then you can actually play higher limits.

Hope you liked this article, and remember that this concept is fundamental in becoming a successfull player.
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