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The Road to Fame and Fortune


Playing the players

By: Ov3rsight @ 06:07 (EST) / 82 / Comment ( 0 )
On the average table with a $1.50 buyin, you'll find some people who have a decent grasp of the game, but also a lot of people whyo appear as not having the faintest idea what they're doing. My goal is to exploit those people. I want their chips. That's basically what every poker players strives for: end up on a table with people playing badly, and run over the table.

Today, I got seated in a 27 man SnG, and after grinding it down for about an hour, we hit the final table. The final table in these 27 mans usually arrives somewhere around the 3 minute break we get after an hour of play. Usually, there will be between 8 en 10 players left. This one was no different. As most of the time, I was in the lower ranks, hovering around 5th place. It's typical of my style - I tend to play very snug until we hit the final table. A VPIP if less than 20% is perfectly normal for me. My PFR will be a little below that: I don't play many hands, but when I do I rarely limp in, I usually come in for a raise.
Once we hit the final table and the bubble approaches, with any luck I'll be seated to the right of the shorter stacks at the table. My favorite place as it means I'm in the perect spot to steal their blinds. Again, this table was no different. Both people to my left we're playing ultra tight, nursing a 8 BB stack like it's worth everything. Typical players looking to hold on and mincash. Excellent situation for me. I open up my game, and if they keep folding to my button raise, I'll even throw in a raise with the 7,2 offsuit.

It doesn't take a long time until we hit the money: 5 players left, and I'm in third place, with the big stack to my right and playing (in my opinion) very badly. He's not taking advantage of having a big stack at all, folding way too often. A quick look at my HUD tells me the following: seat 1 (40BB, 122/25/6), seat 3 (28BB, 48/28/23), seat 4 (7BB, 49/33/4), seat 7 (31BB, 47/16/7), seat 9 (26BB, 49,33,4). In case you're wondering: first number is their stack, 2nd is the number of hands I have for them, followed by their VPIP and PFR. As you see, this is an excellent table for me: these guys are playing way too tight, and when they want to play a hand, they limp. Which means I come in for a raise with just about everything: any paint card, pair, suited connector is good enough against these people. By the time the first guy is out, my VPIP/PFR is upto 38/34. And why not? These guys are folding to my raises, limp-folding, a generally not playing anything except the nuts. They're not even playing the top 10 hands at this point. 50 hands after the final table begind, we're heads up - me and the original big stack. My stats are up to 41/39, he is still at 27/5. And by now I'm simply raising everything, regardless of my hand or position. He's just folding anyway. And if he does play, I pretty much am done with the hand unless I hit the flop.

And even if I don't, I'm willing to keep firing. At least half a dozen times by now I've seen him call a preflop bet, call a flop bet, call a turn bet, and then fold the riverbet. The one time he gets a chance to bet, he's minbetting into a 25BB pot.

In the end, I finished 2nd. Every once in awhile he will actually get a hand, and when I keep firing with my top pair and he has a better kicker, lights go out. Looking back, I'm mostly satisfied with my play. I ran over the table like a bus runs over an ant, catapulting me into a 3-to-1 chiplead heads up. Overall, a very profitable table for me. Looking back, I'm not 100% satisfied though - I could have won this. Without overestimating myself, I was by far the better player here, not because I am such a good player, but because my opponent was downright terrible. You can't play heads up and only come in for a raise 10% of the hands. So I walk away with 2nd place money, good for over 6 buyins. I'm happy for today. On to the next tourney.
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