Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Picking Up Dead Money

Unless you are a luckbox or cardrack like Jamie Gold in the 2006 WSOP Main Event, you'll rarely win a tourney without picking up lots of uncontested pots. The key is spotting the right opportunity and using selective aggession to make the correct play. To my knowledge, I've never seen an article that summarizes all of the different opportunities where you can pick up dead money, so I think I have some original content here based on my playing experience and study of the game.

Picking Up Dead Money:

1) The Continuation Bet. If you raise preflop and it checks to you on the flop, continue to take the lead by betting. This is best used in position against weak opponents on uncoordinated boards like Q72 rainbow. If the board is scary, like 987 with two suited cards, you may elect to do a delayed continuation bet (assuming you missed of course) by checking the flop and then betting the turn if your opponent doesn't show any strength.

2) The "First In" Bluff. This is simply being the first player to bet in a multi-way pot. If you are the first to bet when everybody has missed the flop, you are likely to take it down right there. Like the above, it's best to try this on uncoordinated flops so that nobody can/will call with a draw. Also, make certain that one of your opponents is not a calling station or you will bleed chips. Gus Hansen makes this move a lot.

3) The "No Interest" Bluff. A postflop bet made in a multi-way pot, it typically comes on the turn after the flop is checked around. Example: you are in SB with two cards and nobody bets the J63 flop. The turn is another 3 and you lead out with a bet. Your opponents probably don't have much here and they may think that you hit trips or were looking to check raise a jack on the flop.

4) The Standard Steal. If the preflop action folds to you in late position or SB, raise. If you are in BB and it folds to SB who limps, raise. This is best done with a tight image and a decent stack size against weak opponents with smallish and medium stacks. Big stacks rarely fold to a steal (especially in position) so save your chips.

5) The Re-steal. A slightly more advanced move where you come over the top of a suspected steal attempt with a big raise. Again, it's best to do this with a tight image and a stack size larger than your opponent's to put maximum pressure on him/her.

6) The Stop & Go. This is basically a post-flop re-steal when out of position by calling a suspected preflop steal attempt and then jamming the flop. Example: the button makes a suspected steal, SB folds, you call in BB and then jam the flop forcing your opponent to have a good hand. Once again, it's important to have a tight image and a decent stack of chips when attempting this move.

7) The Squeeze Play. An advanced move that basically goes like this: a player makes a small preflop raise, one or more players call and then you make a gigantic raise. The first raiser has to respect your re-raise and once you get past the initial raiser, the others are likely to fold their medium strength hands. This play obviously won't work if the initial raiser has AA or KK, but most of the time he/she won't have the rockets or cowboys, especially if they are loose preflop. Make sure you have a healthy stack before making this move and raise at least the pot if not all-in.

8) The Secret Move. This bluff is so good that I've only been called on it about 10% of the time. I'm shocked that this move is not written about in any textbooks (that I know of anyway) and I rarely see it utilized by even the best, most experienced players. And you think I'm going to tell you what it is? BAHAHAHAHA!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a great summary! Thanks for posting!

2:49 PM  

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