Sunday, August 19, 2007

Party Poker Steps SNGs - A View From The Tables

For some unknown reason I had the urge to go back to Party Poker this weekend... decided, after writing about Steps Strategy, to put my thoughts into action at the tables. The findings are well worth a post!

The original series on party poker steps strategy can be found here... there are 4 in total... will put them in a jump off along with the stars 180s some time soon.

My plan was to start 100 step #1 Sit N Goes and see how it went from there, after the first 20 I am the proud owner of 2 step #5 entries and one each of steps 3 and 1... not bad - waiting until the mood strikes me to do the step 5's - tried one of them and finished 3rd for a try again (got the chips in as 70% favourite but no bad beat stories here on Plan3t Gong!!).

Here are some random thoughts and insights from the last day and a half on the steps...

- The standard of play is horrible verging on terrible! Steps 1 and 2 are a minefield. Step 3 is like a $10 SNG at Titan (that is not good quality for those who have not played there!). I'd liken step 5 to a PokerStars $16, one or 2 people who know what they are doing but thats all....

- Bet sizing, nobody has a clue about how to size bets... overbetting the pots, underbetting them, slowplaying high pairs on boards with just about every draw you could imagine... all in to pick up 100 chips in blind money. Even a basic grasp of correct bet sizing can give you an edge, bet enough to find out where you are in the hand and not a chip more. If you have a big hand bet enough to build a pot by the river - no need to shove straight away... after all you'll be called by bottom pair most of the time.

- Ace-rag hands, played in all positions at all steps levels. An ace on board is bad news if you do not have one... if the pot is multi-way then check / fold those queens, there will be plenty of better spots to get your money in!

- Conversely, I have seen so many players bust with KK on an ace high flop... come on folks if you bet enough to get the info you need (half to 2/3rds of pot should do it) then use that info...

- Pushbotting... not too many pushbots around, even had one opponent counting my all-ins which was rather irritating! You need to adjust your ICM based ranges to account for the dofferent prize structure... and use a 'loose' default range for most opponents. At the end of the day a +$ev push will win you money over time whatever the situation... (but then again try telling that to the guy who called me with 6/4 off 'because he thought I was bluffing' !! I was not, my any-2 cards were a clear ICM push (and won the hand!!))

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