Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Those Who Love To Call, Float

If there is one generalisation that would describe losing / inexperienced / bad (delete as applicable) poker players it is that they call too often... sure there are times when a call is undoutedly the best play - but as a principle... euccchh.

Poker strategy follows fashions... 4 betting is the new 3-betting, UTG is the new place to steal blinds from - and now any player with a weeks worth of 2c / 4c no-limit experience is a master of the 'float'... calling in position on the flop with nothing, with the intention of taking the pot on a later street if your opponent shows weakness.

While good players spot situations where a float is a nice play - it is my opinion that far too many calling stations are using this 'strategy' as a (poor) excuse to do what they really wanted to do anyway - to call. Whereas before they would call without the odds with a gutshot and 1-over simply because they liked to call... now they are a strategy master... with their cunning float play!

Back to fashion... mentioned this for a good reason - since the latest floating craze is not the first strategy to play into the hands of horrible weak calling stations. Oh no - those of us who have been around poker for a while will recall the (excellent but alas much abused) Gigabet Dialemma... using those extra chips in a tournament above the table average to take (somewhat) minis ev risks when the big stack would give you many positive situations later... a callers dream strategy right... I knew I was beaten with my 22 on a 9-10-j-Q-A board with 4 spades, but my call was due to Gigabets theory...

Anyway, something new will come along soon - in the meantime todays food for poker thought is to make sure the situation is right for floating... and you are not just making a thin excuse to call.

GL at the tables, Mark

1 comment:

AllanDuke said...

I used to float with garbage, but that was because I was a calling station and didnt know any better. I float less than I used to, but thats because if I'm in a hand lately, I'm going to be the initial raiser/better. Good cbets are better than floating IMHO.