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/Oct/2010

PSO Strategic Tip #2 ---- Playing the Deepstack

By: TT Party Car @ 04:27 (EDT) / 479 / Comment ( 2 )

As a member of PSO that has proved successful I will be sharing some tips that I use that allow me to accumulate points and receive a cash payout at the end of the month. Please check back often as I will post a new tip as often as possible. I am posting these to  improve the PSO community and to help players that are new to the game to better understand ways to play profitable poker. Good Luck at the tables.

PSO Strategic Tip #2 ---- Playing The Deepstack

The term of “DeepStack” refers to someone who has more chips then the other participants. This does not mean that you are the chip leader just that you have more chips than most at your table. Being the “deepstack” can create both opportunity as well as problems if not played correctly. I will say that once I reach 4000 chips in PSO I have an over 90% ITM ranking which is one of the reasons for my success. With that said I will take you through some of the advantages of being on the deepstack as well as some of the possible setbacks.

Being on the deepstack can allow you to “control” the game tempo especially in later levels (see tip #1 on levels if unsure of reference). Aggression in later levels will usually get paid off if used correctly. Lets go through some types of scenarios where the deepstack can be used to get an top finish.

For this example say we are at the 200/400 level and lets say you have a chip stack of 7000 with an average chip stack being only 3000 and most of the players at your table are on average or lower stacks. You now have the ability to open your range and play hands you normally would toss into the muck and use well timed aggression to add chips to your stack which you can help you to not only finish in the money but possibly post a top 3 finish for even more points.

Lets say you are in middle position and there are not to many players really playing many hands and you get 97s (Nine Seven Suited) you are betting into 2 remaining plus the blinds. You can do a little raise to 1000 (2.5x BB) which is a little more than the current pot. More often than not they will all fold to you. Even if they fold only 2 out of every 3 times it is still a profitable move.

The trick to this move is not to do it every hand and to do it only with “live cards” which by that I mean cards that have a chance of making a playable hand even against a possible monster hand suck as aces. Lets say from the previous example you bet the 1000 and everyone except the big blind folded and he shoved. Lets say he only had 1800 chips total so it is an extra 800 to call. You will obviously make the call since you would be getting great odds even against a hand like a high pocket pair. The main way to avoid any losses using this move is to only do this with “live cards” as I stated a moment ago.

On the deepstack I would recommend the following hands--- these are my guidelines and they do not have to be yours--- I am just giving you example of hands I would consider making that raise with.

Any Suited Connecter (including low like 34s)
Any Mid-High Suited One Gappers (example T8s)
Any High Suited Cards (example KTs)
Any High Connecters (example KQo)
Any Pocket Pair

Keep in mind that you still need to choose your spot and mix up your play. For example I would not recommend playing 97s UTG (Under The Gun meaning first to act) but if you get a AQo UTG feel free to do that small raise to mix your play up so that the table doesn't catch on to your play.

So now that you know how to use the deepstack against opponents there are ways that the deepstack can cause problems. Yes a deepstack can be a problem and I will explain how to recognize that problem and avoid it.

So lets say you were making plays like the ones I just discussed and you are up to 12000 Chips now. You have taken down 6 of the last 10 Pots and you begin to feel like you are firing on all cylinders and just setting up an ol' school beat-down. Maybe you even knocked out a few people and now there are some new stacks at the table. Well while you were doing that the guy sitting two seats to the left has been taking note of every hand you are willing to play and from what position and has been waiting for a time to get his easy double up off of you.

So everything is just rocking along and lets say we play our 89s and get a flat call from him. He still has 3000 chips behind and the flop comes 9 Q 4 Rainbow (all different suits). We are in position (acting last) so he checks to us knowing our aggression will force us to take a stab at the pot. Now here is the where you will make the decision. If a player checks to me in a situation like this with just middle pair and a weak kicker I will usually just take time and then check behind. Usually if someone calls when you are a deepstack they usually want you to bet for them. By checking you not only will get a free card (which can allow you to improve) but it will also let you control the pot size better and fold to an all in bet without losing more than your initial 1000 chip investment.

Now that you lost a pot of 1000 chips to Mr. 2 seats to your left you may feel like you must retake those losses (we all do it--- myself included). So you have now played for an hour and a half and built your chip stack up well and now you are primed to make some “bonehead” moves. I have made myself a new rule when I am deepstacked in any tourney not just PSO. My general rule is I will throw away the next 5 hands even if they are monsters. Why? It will allow you to forget about the loss and move on to “clear” poker again. Often after a loss as a deepstack you somewhat go on tilt and try to pull off bluffs and maybe open your range to wide or even play really bad hands from early position. So how is the best way to sit out those 5 hands? Run to the fridge and get yourself a cold beverage. You will come back about 5 hands later and be ready to jump right back in. This actually solves two issues at once; not only have you prevented yourself from being tilted you have also helped reestablish a tighter image among the table seeing as while you were out those 5 hands a few of the other players got to win a few pots.

One last final warning about deepstack play as outlined above is to watch your late position players. Are they getting to the point where there blind will make them pot committed? If it does you might want to tighten your play up just a tad to make sure you don’t get called with the same kind of hands you are playing and end up as a coin flip. Avoiding those moves will help make the small raise work about 75-80% of the time in taking down the pot without ever seeing a flop when done from from middle to late position.

So you did it you played the deepstack well and you are now coming back from the second break. Only 30 more people til the money and blinds are at 500/1000. You are sitting on 20K chips with the next player at your table at only 8K. Now this is a super easy time to pick up an extra 4-7K chips prior to the bubble (point at which players cross to in the money finish). Now all of your players at your table are in stalling/folding mode. There are only usually 5 hands that someone would call any raise with during this late stage they are JJ QQ KK AA or AK. Probability is on your side with this one. Set out a raise to 2500 every hand of the last hands until the bubble even with junk. No one will risk the ITM finish here with just 20-30 people until the cutoff. Even if you get called by a super short stack with Aces and you have 27o you are not that big of a dog considering the ante's and blinds that were posted. Your odds will work out in your favor over the long haul. There is one key exception to this do not call a huge raise if the odds are not there and you dont have the cards to back your bet. If the guy with 8000 chips ships it you should know that he most likely has a monster and that your pot odds will not warrant a call. Be mindful of these things and you should be able to play the deepstack well.

Using these tips should help improve your deepstack play and help you to make more final tables. Remember that First, Second, and Third all get BIG POINTS so aim high and hit these places and you will be sure to be a success in the PSO.

I wish you all the best of luck in the PSO and please check back often to see other tips especially for PSO members.

TT PARTY CAR

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