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Old School thread - reposted

Old School thread - reposted - Tue Mar 08, 2011, 01:05 PM
Astro705's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 461
This is OLD OLD School - it was passed on to me and i figured I would re-share it.
From the archives:

Taken from Daniel Negraneau's Sub forum on PSO. (now lost, I fear)

He was responding to a player who felt he played well, made it deep but, always seem to run out of ammo towards the end, and at the mercy of his cards.

'Binding' of two forum posts made by Daniel Negreaneu in response to another player at PSO. Unfortunately, the original post is lost to the bit bucket.

Daniel Negreaneu wrote:
From the description you've given me of your play, it doesn't appear that it's going to be the formula for winning these types of tournaments. You are going to have to step up your play some, if you are hoping for better results.

I'm trying to be too harsh on you here. I will say that I am impressed with the fact that you seem to be very aware of what your weaknesses are. So what can you do to better your results? Here are a few ideas you may want to try:

1) Start out playing the tournament the way you normally would (waiting for premium hands). If after several levels you haven't had a whole lot of playable hands, "manufacture one". What do I mean: if you haven't played a hand in 20 minutes, you can bet that some or most of your opponents may have you pegged as a rock. If your stack has dwindled to the point where you are in jeopardy of becoming a dreaded short stack, make an aggressive play, BEFORE that happens.

Chances are you won't get called, so your hand is immaterial. I know for a fact, that some pros DON'T EVEN LOOK AT THEIR HOLECARDS AND RAISE PRE-FLOP if they feel the situation is right. What makes the situation right? Well, who is in the big blind? Does it look like people behind me are calling or folding?

2) Start playing your opponents hand along with yours- this is a difficult step in any poker player's growth. You now understand what a good hand, and you also understand what a good flop looks like for your hand. That knowledge alone is nowhere near enough. You see, more often than not, if two players take a flop heads up, the flop with help no one! It's the player who wins these pots that will succeed and gradually increase his stack. Getting good at this part of the game isn't easy. It takes experience, focus, and ultimately... talent.

3) Pick a "spot" at your table- observe your opponents closely for the first 30 minutes of the tournament, and try to find the "weak spot". The weak spot is NOT the maniac who plays every hand, it's the one that, "Is waiting for premium hands as well as a matching flop." Sound familiar? Smile. Once you've found the weak spot, attack him relentlessly. Give him no breathing room whatsoever. Don't give him any unnecessary action, but keep pushing him around till he pushes back. Raise his blind, defend your blind against him and outplay him before the flop. Re-raise him pre-flop if you think he'll fold. In a nutshell, make him just hate you by the end of the day Smile

4) No fear, and no regrets- never and I mean never worry that you are going to broke making a stupid play with a bad hand. If the play makes sense at the time to you, then live with it regardless of the result.

Sounds to me like you just need a jump start. Get in there and fight! Let the lion that's inside you come out. I promise you that the following is true: better to be a reckless fool, than a timid bystander".

Well, for big events I actually draw a picture of the table before hand, with the player's names at their seats, and the button in front of me. Then I'll look to see who will be in the blinds when I'm in late position and devise a strategy based on THEIR tendencies. What do I look for?

Quite basically, who defends their blinds liberally, and who plays too conservative in the blinds. I add to that, their level of trickiness, a 10 being very tricky/aggressive and dangerous with a 1 being a straight forward player (i.e. little bluffing and always betting out with a hand and checking a draw or missed flop).

Now what I'll do is try to find the BEST spot at the table to do my stealing and also be wary of the spot at the table where I need to have a strong hand. Ideally, I'd want that "sweet spot" to be on my button or just next to it, but if not, you have to make due with what you get. Sometimes, your "sweet spot" is right under the gun which isn't great, but it's not all that bad either if you utilize it well. People generally will give you more credit for a UTG raise, thus neutralizing the fact that there are more potentially strong holdings behind you.

So in a nutshell, when "running without the ball" or "stealing" you want to attack the straight forward tight players, and avoid the loose aggressive players.

You'll soon learn that your starting requirements aren't nearly as important as other poker skills, mainly (post flop play). You can read a chart in virtually any book on starting requirements, but any "pro" will tell you that they rarely stick to "the book". If they did, they'd become too easy to read, and give up a lot of equity to their opponents. I said this in another post, but it holds true here as well: when deciding to play a hand that is "sub par" just be sure to pick the right opponents (the right opponents being weak tight players). Example: You are on the button against the tightest blinds in the world. The small blind will only call a raise with pairs higher than 10's, and the big blind will only call with jacks or better and AK. You are dealt 2-7 offsuit on the button... what SHOULD you do?

That's an extreme example I know, but I think it helps illustrate the point.

I'm going to tell you what I think it correct, but be forewarned that it goes AGAINST conventional wisdom. I have a simple rule that goes like this:

"If they are playing too tight, I'll play like a maniac; if they play too wild, I'll sit tight and wait my turn."

Now I know that doesn't answer your question, but it's usually the most important thing I consider when "stealing". To answer your question, I would just say that it's time to start getting aggressive when:

1) You are in jeopardy of becoming a short stack
2) You are a big stack against weak stacks
3) Your opponents are all trying to squeak into the money

Hope that helps a little

Wed Mar 09, 2011, 03:05 AM
PanickyPoker's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,168
An incredibly good read. Thanks for digging it up, Ode.
Wed Mar 09, 2011, 09:22 AM
roomik17's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 4,556
great read where did you find this?

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