Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Playing Poker Against..... Yourself! (Part #2)

Part #2 week continues.... today a follow up for a thought excercise / poker psychology post introduced back in Feb - here is the link:

The general idea was that you found yourself at a table playing 8 'poker clones' of yourself... unknown to each other each player followed your stratetgy / tendencies and betting patterns.... you know this and have to adapt (your opponents do not) - what would you do to win in this game?

Thought this could be a useful logic puzzle for a couple of reasons... not only thinking about how others preceive your play, but about the general task of thinking through how to adapt to beat certain opponents (which is, after all, the idea of poker!).

For me (in no particular order!)

- I would be aware that a check heads-up or 3 handed on the flop mainly meant weakness and would be far more willing to bet into players after seeing them check (With a hand on the flop I will lead most of the time to try and build a pot, I will c-bet with nothing also... but very rarely check a made hand)

- I would fire more second barrels when my flop bets were called against 'myself', especially when the flop was draw heavy and the turn card 'safe' with reasonably deep stacks. This would counter my (probable over-use) of using flopped draws in position as a combination 'chase / float' (ie might hit the draw or opponent may check to me allowing me to semi-bluff the turn). Would take advantage of this passive behaviour by pricing out draws later in the hand.

- I would slow down considerably if one of my clones overcalled a flop raise. This is a bad habit when done too often... but with an extra strong hand and opponents who look like they are willing to build a pot I overcall from position too much... for example with a set on a drawless flop... player 1 bets flop, player 2 calls this bet.... Mark calls (sure this is useful sometimes but in the imaginary game against myself it would set immediate alarm bells ringing.... I am only doing this with a monster - draws / weak hands are pushed hard or folded here)

- With less than 10BB stacks if one of my 'clones' pushed all-in I would not rule out premium hands.... since (recently at least) I feel the urge to 'chip up' far earlier than before, open shoving aces and kings is pretty normal for me - as long as I have shoved recently.... would also shove a wide range in later position (from early position this would usually be a hand until about 5bbs (except in SNG situations))

Ah well, giving you all this information with which to beat me!

My question is - how would you beat yourself? and (importantly) is this easy to see and thus exploit by your opponents?

GL at the tables, Mark

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