Saturday, August 28, 2010

Squeeze Play by Marty Smith

The Squeeze play strategy in poker tournaments PDF Print E-mail
So I released a new video for Paddy Power Pokerl today based on the tournament strategy - squeeze play. You can watch the video here to get the gist of it, if you don't actually understand what squeeze play is - but my guess is that most of you already do understand it. So the reason for this blog post is to emphasize how the squeeze play comes into play in low limit online tournaments.

Going over a few my hands recently I've actually discovered that I use this tactic quite often, especially in the later stages. Now this goes back to the Mzone report series where I discussed in the section about opening your risk window. That has mostly to do with the payout structure of a tournament, and when you just get into the money, realizing how much further you have to go to make significantly more money. The reason this becomes important when executing a squeeze play is that you simply have to be more prepared to get bounced out of a tournament when trying it.

You see in the video below that all of Dan Harrington's opponents folded, but you and I both know that at least one of them, probably the guy with the Ace-Queen would've called or re-raised all in - when playing most low limit online poker tournaments. So really, what you have to analyze just as much as executing a squeeze play, is how often you get this deep in a tournament, is it worth making the move at a certain stage because you're just not getting any cards, or measuring the potential of doubling up when you do get called.

I think this also goes to the psychological aspect of getting bad beaten over and over again in online poker, when somebody will make just a weak call against you in these situations, when either they should've clearly folded, or they call behind and suck out on you.
Most of the hands that I was looking at in my own library were in the smaller multitable tournaments, usually the sit and go variety. I have simply just found that it's better to be pushing in these situations and forcing the loose aggressive players to make tough decisions. Whether you get them out of the pot or not is another matter that you have to deal with from a psychological point of view.

One thing I can say is that it definitely helps to play a lot of volume of these multitable sit and go's, which in turn sort of buffers out some of these plays so they just aren't as painful as they might be when you only have one or two tables going. Bottom line with a squeeze play in online poker, the lower limit you play the less likely the play is going to work. So when you do shove, make sure you either have live cards or you're ahead of your opponent.

Beginner Strategy Part 1

Few tips for beginners to Texas Holdem poker.

*AVOID BLUFFING- If youre just starting out you dont know what makes a convincing bluff so there is not reason you should be trying to.
*Bet in proportion to the size of the pot- A big tell that you are a new player is raising a 30 chip pot to 600.
*Dont play every hand-Pick hands with charisma, not just a face card or two suited cards.
*Dont bet into the preflop raiser- also called a Donk bet, dont be a donk
*Avoid check calling with nothing- there is no reason to throw chips away drawing for a pair.

Texas Holdem

n Texas hold 'em, like all variants of poker, individuals compete for an amount of money or chips contributed by the players themselves (called the pot). Because the cards are dealt randomly and outside the control of the players, each player attempts to control the amount of money in the pot based on the hand the player holds.
The game is divided into a series of hands or deals; at the conclusion of each hand, the pot is typically awarded to one player (an exception in which the pot is divided between more than one is discussed below). A hand may end at the showdown, in which case the remaining players compare their hands and the highest hand is awarded the pot; that highest hand is usually held by only one player, but can be held by more in the case of a tie. The other possibility for the conclusion of a hand is when all but one player have folded and have thereby abandoned any claim to the pot, in which case the pot is awarded to the player who has not folded.
The objective of winning players is not winning every individual hand, but rather making mathematically and psychologically correct decisions regarding when and how much to bet, raise, call or fold. By making such decisions, winning poker players maximize long-term winnings by maximizing their expected gain on each round of betting.