11-30-05 [poker]For some reason I'm really dominating the 3-table tourneys, but I can't do very well in the big multis or in the NL cash games. I think I know my main problem in the big multis - I have trouble playing patient & focused for long enough, those things take hours. I'm not sure what my problem is at the NL cash tables. They're a much deeper stack situation than I'm used to in tournaments. On party you typically have around 100 big blinds at the NL cash tables, an M of 67. I find myself getting my top pairs busted and getting bluffed off winning hands.
Today I played a 3-tabler and wound up making 2nd place. At the end there was a tough player named FLMAN1945 who was playing basically my style of poker, and it showed me how tough it is to play against. He had the big stack and was just dominating the table. He was stealing lots of blinds, and when other people tried steals he was frequently reraising them allin, stealing their steals. He had the ideal scenario, I was on the 2nd or 3rd stack, and there were some small stacks, so we medium stacks had to play it safe to make sure the small stacks got knocked out. By the time it got heads up he had me chipped 3:1 and I had little hope.
The power of the open-raise is at its best when the stacks are around M = 10. You can open raise a standard 3xBB. Now, the problem is anyone who calls know they're risking their whole stack. If they reraise, they're basically pot committed at that point. Just calling sucks because you don't hit your flop often enough for it to be worth fishing around. The great thing for the open-raiser is they're applying pressure without committing very many chips. If you reraise allin (any reraise is essentially allin), the opener can now decide whether to call or not. This is crucial - they get to decide when a hand is actually a big allin or not. That lets them call with their big hands and fold their weak ones. If they fold they don't lose too many chips, and they make up for it with the blind steals, and of course when they actually get a good hand and bust you.