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Thread: What to do when no cards come

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    EddieRich's Avatar
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    Default What to do when no cards come

    I just played a $1 70+ player tournament on Bodog and only got a face card in 3 of my hands. The best hand I got was pocket nines, and the flop was KQ6 and the other players started betting like crazy. Needless to say, by the time the blinds got up to 100/50, I only had 490 chips left. I literally folded every hand as the button circled around the table. My final hand was Q6h and I shoved. Of course the flop had AKx, so I lost.

    So the question is, what do you do if you keep getting 62o, 95o, 23o, etc.?
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    J_Verschueren's Avatar
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    Structure, starting stack and how did you get down to 490?

    In a Turbo on Stars, 50/100 is the 4th blind level and, if one hasn't gotten a hand to double up with, one should still have like 1100-1200 chips out of a starting stack of 1500.

    Without hands at that point, what you do is hope it gets folded around to you on the button or the small blind and ship any two cards. Because, from the CO onwards, you need some card strength. You can ship most semi-decent, high card strenght hands and pairs from the CO. In middle position that becomes big aces and mid pairs and upwards. In early position, big suited aces, big pairs and AK only.

    If you don't get any hands you just fold until you reach the desperation stage (this differs from site to site... some sites have such weak players a 3BB shove has a chance of getting through), at which point you just go with any high card strenght, decent connector or anything which has suitedness and connectedness first in from any position.

    If you bust, you shrug, fire up another tournament and repeat. Variance dictates you will have clusters of bad hands. You will also have clusters of good hands, which will mean you'll walk that same tournament. I don't recommend a lot of bobbing and weaving in the early stages of micro-stakes tournaments. The real money comes from playing both a short and a big stack much better than your opponents in those.
    Last edited by J_Verschueren; Sep 29th, 2011 at 11:45 PM.

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    I'd say "let me see the HH" but Bodog sucks in this regard. :)
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    1500 starting stack, not sure how to answer "structure". It's just a typical MTT, no re-buys or add-ons, 10 minutes per blind level starting at 15/30. Each hand was taking over 2 minutes to finish because the players were slow as shit.

    How did I get so low? I would get suited connectors, middle position, let's say 78 spades, and the blinds are at 30/60. Someone raises to 180, 3BB, so I call. The flop is Kd,Qh,3c, so I missed everything. The other players start betting 1/2 pot, so I fold.

    I got pocket nines, I call whatever the bet was, probably 3BB again. Of course aces kings and/or queens come out, someone makes a pot size bet, so I had to fold.

    But honestly, I was continually getting un-suited rags every hand. The other players were obviously multi-tableing because it would take them forever to make a decision, so the blinds increased by the time the button came around again. I wouldn't get anything even remotely playable until the button had gone around the table 2 or 3 times.

    So what I'm asking, is there a strategy for times when your not getting dealt any playable hands, and/or the board just won't help you out?

    On a brighter note, I then played a cash game and won $8+, so I recovered my $1+.10 tournament buy-in.
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    "1500 starting stack, no re-buys or add-ons, 10 minutes per blind level starting at 15/30." = structure. You got it.

    "I would get suited connectors, middle position, let's say 78 spades, and the blinds are at 30/60. Someone raises to 180, 3BB, so I call." = huge leak. This is a MTT, not a deep-stack cash game. I wouldn't even call a limp as you are just not deep enough to get proper implied odds for these type of hands.

    "I got pocket nines, I call whatever the bet was, probably 3BB again." = another leak, very passive. Again, its not deep-stack cash. I don't know what your stack was but I'm sure this is a push/fold spot.

    "So what I'm asking, is there a strategy for times when your not getting dealt any playable hands, and/or the board just won't help you out?" Yes, I just play my game. I don't just play my cards, I also play the situation I'm in. Some hands have different value in different situations. For instance, with 1500 chips at 10/20 blinds I will open fold KJs UTG. At 100/200 I'll open shove.

    MTTs have a different skill set than a cash game might. You can't play them exactly the same way.
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    Default What to do when no cards come

    Since everyone misses the flop approximately 65% of the time, use this knowledge in position to pick up a lot of pots when no one else has a hand, either. In other words, stop playing the hand you have, and play the hand the other guy DOESN'T have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyckyRych View Post
    "I would get suited connectors, middle position, let's say 78 spades, and the blinds are at 30/60. Someone raises to 180, 3BB, so I call." = huge leak. This is a MTT, not a deep-stack cash game. I wouldn't even call a limp as you are just not deep enough to get proper implied odds for these type of hands.
    I didn't call a limp, it was 3BB, "standard" bet.

    Quote Originally Posted by RyckyRych View Post
    "I got pocket nines, I call whatever the bet was, probably 3BB again." = another leak, very passive. Again, its not deep-stack cash. I don't know what your stack was but I'm sure this is a push/fold spot.
    I'm completely lost here. Why would I push? The point of this post is that none of the hands I can actually play are getting any help from the flop. In that hand, I had to fold post flop. Had I pushed, I would've been out sooner.

    Quote Originally Posted by RyckyRych View Post
    "I just play my game. I don't just play my cards, I also play the situation I'm in. Some hands have different value in different situations. For instance, with 1500 chips at 10/20 blinds I will open fold KJs UTG. At 100/200 I'll open shove.
    If I had ever gotten KJs, I might have played it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve McQueens View Post
    Since everyone misses the flop approximately 65% of the time, use this knowledge in position to pick up a lot of pots when no one else has a hand, either. In other words, stop playing the hand you have, and play the hand the other guy DOESN'T have.
    I've tried that, sometimes it works. But with a shrinking stack I can't afford to bet big from the button and get called if I'm holding 63o. I have to hope that everyone else folds to my bet so I can clean up. That doesn't happen very often at the lower stakes. Even going all-in, someone usually calls.
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    "I didn't call a limp, it was 3BB, "standard" bet."

    --Exactly. You called a bet of 180 with eight-high. I wouldn't have called a bet of 60 (a limp) or any bet for that matter. That's what I meant. Your implied odds just aren't there, which is what these type of hands need.

    "I'm completely lost here. Why would I push? The point of this post is that none of the hands I can actually play are getting any help from the flop. In that hand, I had to fold post flop. Had I pushed, I would've been out sooner."

    --I was under the assumption this was at 30/60 and you had well under 1500 chips. TBH it depends on the details. If its early (like 10/20) I can see calling and set-mining for sure. If you can recall the exact spot it would be great. If you face an LP raise and only have about 15-20 BBs or so then 99 is a fine hand to shove with. In this case you take the pot down preflop you don't have a flop to hit. If you do get called 99 can still win without hitting the board, you do not automatically lose if you get called. Yes, an overcard or two might come but your opponent might not hit either or might call with 88-22. Will they have TT+ sometimes? Sure. Again, it depends on the situation and the ranges your opponents might be playing. All we really have is a generalization at the moment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve McQueens View Post
    Since everyone misses the flop approximately 65% of the time, use this knowledge in position to pick up a lot of pots when no one else has a hand, either. In other words, stop playing the hand you have, and play the hand the other guy DOESN'T have.
    Excellent advice and if you happen to get caught with your hand in the jar, which is why some are afraid to do this, remember ... you're never that much of a dog! What's more fun than snapping off Mr. Friskie Ace/King when he catches you with 6-3 off and you catch a three and beat him?
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    Let me try and explain things a bit differently because you don't appear to be grasping what Ryck and I possibly take for granted or "common knowledge".

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieRich View Post
    I didn't call a limp, it was 3BB, "standard" bet.
    Ryck is saying that even if it's a single limp to you, you cannot call with a suited connector. Even if you do manage to hit your hand and get payed off for your full stack, you don't get enough chips back to make up for all the chips you burn calling limps and small raises with these types of hands and nissing.
    And that's not just because you're not very deep, it's mostly because the $worth of individual chips rises as the tournament progresses. If you wanted to "buy back" the chips you lost speculating at the start of a tournament when you needed them (when higher blinds roll around), you'd have to pay much more for them than you did at the start of the tournament.
    Therefore: tight is right. In a sit&go you would only play QQ+ and AKs (the latter only when first in) and dump everything else except for set mines during the early levels. And you would only play speculative hands for 1BB from LP or the blinds if you get favourable pot odds (at least 4:1). In a regular tournament, these requirements can be relaxed as accumulating chips matters in a larger MTT, but accumulating chips against calling stations is hard.



    Quote Originally Posted by EddieRich View Post
    I'm completely lost here. Why would I push? The point of this post is that none of the hands I can actually play are getting any help from the flop. In that hand, I had to fold post flop. Had I pushed, I would've been out sooner.
    Ryck is not saying you should push, just that pushing or folding are your only options.
    If you just call the raise with the 99, you're inviting players behind you to come along and try and hit an overcard on you (typical thinking: "the guy who raised has an ace, the caller has a pair, if I hit a king or a jack here I'm good"). That's really bad. We don't want this to happen, so let's look at the option of raising.
    Seeing as you're probably not deep enough to raise and, mathematically, get away from your hand if re-raised, you should probably just move in if you decide to raise. Raising is a good option. Raising accomplishes many nice things. It says "I don't care the guy ahead of me just raised, I'm putting more money into this pot, because I fancy my chances of winning it." I can assure you that shrinks that nice looking KTs behind you and, when it gets back to the original raiser he shouldn't love his AJo as much either, as it doesn't stack up well against the bulk of your range when you make that move. If he calls, he's taking the worst of it and your shove has made you money, regardless of whether he binks an ace on the flop. Will this guy bink an ace on you or flop broadway? -sure: damn near always, as far as you're concerned, but that's because you simply don't remember the myriad of times the flop comes 3-6-7, the turn a Q and the river the 2d.

    But, let's say, because of the way this tournament is playing, it's a raise to you with the 99 and you're almost sure you're going to be called way too light if you shove and, possibly, by multiple players. Then your only option is to fold and wait for a better opportunity to stack somebody. Calling is just never an option in that spot, almost regardless of the blind level (nines are too strong to setmine, except when it's properly deep, IMO).

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieRich View Post
    If I had ever gotten KJs, I might have played it.
    That's fine, as long as you get to open with it.



    Quote Originally Posted by EddieRich View Post
    I've tried that, sometimes it works. But with a shrinking stack I can't afford to bet big from the button and get called if I'm holding 63o. I have to hope that everyone else folds to my bet so I can clean up. That doesn't happen very often at the lower stakes. Even going all-in, someone usually calls.
    So what if you get called? -if the guy has aces, you're more dead with a pair than with the 63o. Like TIME says, watch that guy with the big ace miss the flop and his reaction when you bink that 6 or 3 on the turn. Then take advantage of it.

    Edit: to further this, it is said one should be truly humble when playing poker. Tommy Angelo (http://tommyangelo.com/) begs to differ to a certain extend and I agree. Sometimes it's necessary to shamelessly muck or show a hand, just to establish one's impervious to peer pressure. I.e. "you can't force me to play conservatively/predictable".
    Last edited by J_Verschueren; Oct 1st, 2011 at 12:57 AM.

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