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Smokin' Poker - The ABC of 2NL

Helping newbies to bubble up from the bottom of the fishtank
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/Nov/2012

This video's great because...

By: ArtySmokesPS @ 10:50 (EST) / 816 / Comment ( 0 )

This review is about part 5 of Grayson 'Spacegravy' Physioc's series of videos for beginning Sit n Go players, which you can find here: http://www.pokerschoolonline.com/articles/Session-Videos-Spacegravy-SNG-Series-Part-5
It deals specifically with the final part of the tourney: The heads up battle.

This video's great because... it directly led me to turn a 25c investment into $3.23, despite very little previous experience.
Coming from a full ring cash game background where patiently playing a tight ABC style is profitable in the long run, I had almost no heads up experience until recently, and I'd not played many tournaments either. Grayson's series has been a great primer for me, but this episode is particularly brilliant. In 51 minutes, Spacegravy identifies the biggest mistake that beginners make in heads up games (not playing enough hands) and then offers a strategy for how to dominate the game.

As a cash game nit, I'm used to folding hands like KJ and AT pre-flop, but I know these hands are monsters heads up. What I didn't quite realise is that all sorts of other much weaker hands that I previously considered instafolds suddenly become RAISING hands when heads up in a SnG with short stacks. Grayson says we should be raising up to 80% of all the hands on the button when heads up, and we should also be raising most of the time when our opponent limps in the SB. I was skeptical at first, but the day after watching this video, I made it to heads up in a 45-player SnG, and decided to LAG it up when the villain and I had about 25bb each. I was AMAZED at how often villain folded. Hands like 87o on the button were easy raises. Villain was just giving his chips away. When he raised, I knew he had at least an ace or a pair, so I could then fold my junk.
When I play full ring cash, my VPIP/PFR stats on my HUD are usually around 14/10. In the SnG I played after watching this video, the large number of HU hands I played meant my stats were 74/70 when I finally won.
Grayson plays a clip of a real game to show his strategy in action. He points out that it looks weird to raise hands like T3s, but when his opponent folds so often, it's clear that it's a profitable move. The video also shows that after raising hands like 86o, it's perfectly fine to c-bet dry flops, especially when they are ace high, as villain will rarely bluff-raise or float. He'll just give it up if he doesn't connect. Heads up against weak tight opponents, c-betting is like printing money. With certain hands (big aces and kings, medium pairs or better), you can use Grayson's push chart featured in videos from early in the series. If you've min-raised a hand like A9, A6s, or 88, and villain 3-bets, but stacks are only 10bb, it's stack off time. You can't fold after committing a fifth of your chips. Sometimes you'll be dominated, but even then you have a chance to suck out. With slightly larger stacks (relative to the blinds) limping is sometimes appropriate. It allows you to fold if villain raises to represent a monster.
Grayson fails to win the heads up battle in his video, but his advice is absolutely golden. Anyone just starting out in SnGs (especially HU SNGs) needs to watch it immediately. Just don't get too good! I want my competition in the microstakes SnGs to remain soft!

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