Monday, July 14, 2008

Short stack strategy

Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:56 pm Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post

Sundays seem to be my casino days. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I said I was going to take a break from the casino. I did. For a week. And now I’ll wait another week before I go again. I don’t want to wait, yet I will. In the mean time, I have a couple things to mull over.

I’m already working through my issues with big pocket pairs. Last week I had to fold Pocket Aces and Kings. The good news: Queens worked well on a couple occasions, and I managed to crack a guy’s set of aces when my twelve-outer nut flush/broadway hit the latter, and then the same two cards came up again for another broadway. I was up $150 fairly early on.

And then the short stacks showed up.

The first guy I had never seen before. He comes to the table with a big smile as a couple other players do recognize him. The woman to my right, a regular, and known by readers as the gal who caught me nose-mining, asks him, “Are you here to give me my money back?” There follows a discussion about a bad beat he had delivered. He puts down about $20 in red and $80 in white. Within ten hands he’s lost half of it.

As I mentioned above, big pocket pairs have been causing me problems, mostly, perhaps, because I have been catching them in the blinds. This time, KK in the BB. There are two limpers, one of which is the newcomer, the other is the woman to my right. I’m not going to mess around this time and raise to $20 ($1/2). Mr. Short calls immediately and Missy goes into the tank.

Missy thinks aloud. By the time she folds, I know she is holding A5. The flop is all low, 234 rainbow. Shorty has $25 behind so that’s my bet, which he calls. Missy says, “I would have hit my straight. Dangit.” Shorty flips over 96c. The turn is a blank and the dealer lays out 5th street face down. Turns up the side facing Shorty so he gets to see his 5 before I know I’m beat.

OK, I can handle it. Thank God he was short. Still, I think it wise to take a little walk, maybe call the wife, whine a little, get it out of my system and come back to the business now at hand: waiting for the opportunity to knock this donk off the steep mountain path. By the time I get back t the table, no more than ten minutes, he’s gone, busto. Note taken.

Shorty #2 didn’t show up short-stacked. He had a full buy-in of $100. I remembered him from previous trips. He played a lot of hands, complained a lot, went into the tank a lot, asked players what “they could possibly have?” and then fold, or, on one hand, call with QK off with paired Aces on the board. It wasn’t long before he was down to $65 or so.

Shorty #3 came short and stayed short with about $50. A clean-cut kid. Seemed polite, quiet. He was set mining.

From mid-position I limp with 9s. Shorty #2 had already limped UTG, as did Missy. Shorty #3 is BB and checks. Flop comes 9, 10, Q. #3 checks, #2 checks, Missy checks, as do I. The board is scary enough, but I’m going to hold out to see what comes on the turn. It’s the 5c. Now there’s two clubs out there. Everyone again checks around to me and I read this as a good time to bet. I bet the pot. #3 in the BB calls, #2 UTG pushes in for his remaining $65 or so.

Tank time again for Missy, and for me as well. Missy has about $125 behind. She’s saying things like, “I want to call, but I’m worried about him (pointing to my stack).” I’m thinking about the hand Loki9 outlined last week with Mr. PE. If she calls, how do I handle this? I may very well be behind at this point, but I’m not folding with my set against two short stacks, for more than likely Shorty #2 is calling the all-in with his last $30 or so. Someone has the straight, someone has two pair, someone is on a draw. Who knows? But right now I’m thinking about Missy. I am certain I have her beat and I am hoping she calls. If she does, I will re-raise her all in. Alas, she folds.

All of a sudden, #3 says, “I’m going to need some help here.” Having seen him donk off with the KQ, I’m thinking he has two pair or the draw. I still don’t know what #3 has, but in that he called my pot-sized bet, there’s a good chance he holding KJ or 8J. I call his all in, and as I anticipated, #3 puts his money in as well.

I’m still kinda liking my chances here. I starts a little chant: “No suck outs, no suck outs.” The dealer turns over another 5 and I let out a little whoop. #3 turns over the straight and #2 turns over 10s full.

Oh well, I’m back to about my original $200. $213 to be exact. Time to maybe call it a day.

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