Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MTT Strategy: Check-Calling Light For Value During Silly Time

I have had some good runs lately at my small stakes. Took down a 180 SNG on Stars and final tabled a $2 1R + 1A this week. So, once again, I am going to impart my ass-vice on how to play as good as me. Here we go.

1) Suck out a lot. For example, if you have JT on a Jxx rainbow board and you shove into Aces, be sure to let running tens hit the board. Also, if you call a min re-raise to your 3x raise steal attempt and you are holding 43 hearts, make sure that the board comes J33 to crack Aces. Honestly, this is easy sauce. Not sure why everybody on real money poker sites don't do this.

2) Here's a trick I've found that seems to help maximize value in a very specific period of the tournament know as crazy time (also shove time). This is when the blinds have raised and outstripped the stack sizes. In other words, there are too many people in the tourney now to support how high the blinds and antes are, and the average stack size is therefore very small relative to the starting pot.

At this point, I make a few observations.

1) People will be raising light to steal;

2) People will be calling light to try to hit; and

3) (This is the big one) People will shove to win with any cards on any flop if you give them the chance.

This means that in this specific set of circumstances, you'd do well to call if you close out the action (as against a single raiser in the big blind); and are ideally up against just one person. In this case you can play it pretty much like heads up against an aggro donk.

So, if in position, you should probably be willing to go check check with top pair flopped to try to induce the turn push, and call open shoves on the flop if you have even middle pair.

Out of position (which I am if I am calling min bets or 2.5x from the big blind), I like to check if I have hit the board at all. 90% of the time I am getting the shove from a hand that has missed.

Now, of course, sometimes I'm up against the high pair or the guy who hit the board better than me, and I look dumb. In that case I pay them off, or maybe I suck out (see #1 above). But often, even if I lose the pot I am still alive. I think that one reason is that I am using crazy time to maximize my winnings on top pair crap kicker or worse.

What are your thoughts on the check-call for value?


Julius_Goat is a MTT player who has never won an MTT. He writes strategy posts.

1 comment:

1Queens Up1 said...

check-call is a very strong move. I find when those aggro donks who always raise my farking blinds then cbet the flop, my 27th level thinking check-call on the flop throws them off.

I like to put these people on a hand. Like Ace-King or Ace-Queen. This is a hand typically raised by aggro donks who have ESP or something, plus you can only be dealt A-A or K-K like 220 times in 1 calendar month, so A-K is most likely.

Check-calling a non-ace, non-king flop then pushing my 3k chips into a 900 pot on the turn I find makes me a winning poker player.

Im also a pro too, wanna sponser me?