Sunday, February 28, 2010

Running Drills

Remember in high school, running wind sprints from baseline to baseline on the basketball court, your flat-bottomed Converse or Keds slapping the wood all the way down and back so many times that your feet stung and your lungs were ready to burst? For us wrestlers, we not only ran the sprints, anddid  the usual regimen of calisthenics, but we also had quick succession round robin wrestling matches. All of that is what Rush is like.

Okay, maybe I exaggerate. Nevertheless, I have come to think of playing Rush as skill exercises, refining endurance and muscle memory. And Lord knows, I need the workout.

The common knowledge/sense about Rush is that one plays the cards, position and math; and the psychology of the game that exists on a consistent table of the same nine or ten players is not much of a factor. So, it boils down to opening up with your strong hands preflop, steal liberally from the Hijack to the Button, and consider the stacks.

Not quite.

There is a psychology that plays out in Rush. It manifests itself in trends such as defending blinds with a 3-bet. Everyone knows that late position steals are likely, and its effect is defending the blinds has become more commonplace as well. A perceived strong move is countered with an even stronger (perceived) move, which typically results in a fold or 4-bet.

We know that late position bets are made with a fairly wide range. I wish I could say I knew what the typical blind defense range is, but I don't, because my own range is probably tighter than most, and because I fold to such resistance except with the stronger hands. Still, I have started to develop a notion that nearly any pocket pair or Ax hand seems to be adequate for a re-raise from a blind. I could be wrong, because like I said, I haven't seen too many showdowns when I make a blatant attempt to steal.

As a result, I've cut way back on my late position steals. I'm playing anywhere from 14 -17% of my hands overall, and even my Button steals may be at 7% or so. I fold 7To, no sweat.

There is one exception, and it applies to nearly any hand I may consider playing: the stack size of potential opponents.

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, $0.10 BB (9 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

saw flop

Hero (CO) ($9.90)
Button ($3.39)
SB ($33.17)
BB ($10.97)
UTG ($3.98)
UTG+1 ($3.80)
MP1 ($9.63)
MP2 ($10.66)
MP3 ($6.89)

5 folds, Hero bets $0.35, 1 fold, SB raises to $0.60, 1 fold, Hero calls $0.25

Flop: ($1.30) J, 9, 8 (2 players)

SB bets $0.60, Hero raises to $1.20, SB raises to $1.80, Hero calls $0.60

Turn: ($4.90) A (2 players)

SB bets $1, Hero calls $1

River: ($6.90) 10 (2 players)

SB bets $4, Hero raises to $6.50 (All-In), 1 fold

Total pot: $14.90 | Rake: $0.99

Any guesses as to what I had? How about my opponent?


Crash said...

You both must have had KQ?

Memphis MOJO said...

The villain didn't have K-Q or he wouldn't have folded at the end. No idea what he had. With such a big stack, he might the the aggro type, so anything goes.

Were you suited (Kh-Qh)?

Yakshi said...

I like Mojo's guess. I'm going with Kh Qh.

By the way, thanks for the invite (!!!), but I won't be able to make it to Vegas. Good luck!

Crash said...

Dang, I missed that he folded.

bastinptc said...

Why not anything between TQ and 89s?

Forrest Gump said...

B, for me any hand ranges depend on reads and past history - otherwise i think there's too many variables for the math to be usable. Any notes on villain?

I've adjusted and very rarely re-steal these days. It was break even but not worth the headache and being OOP. I will raise T7s into an unopened pot from late position still though - depending on stack sizes and opponent...