02-06-06 [poker]I think I've grasped one of my big leaks in the heads up game. When we were deep stacked I think I was playing at least as well as Dustin, but when we were short stacked I often blew off my stack, particularly when I was behind. One of my leaks was this situation :
I have some sort of decent hand on the button (like QJ or KT or A8). I open raise. Dustin calls in the BB with any decent hand. Now, the pot is very big compared to my short stack. I don't really have any moves. If I make any bet I'm pot stuck. I whiff the flop. Dustin checks to me. I bet whether I hit something or not. Most of the times I'll have missed. Dustin calls with any pair. This is great for him, because he's just risking that preflop call, and if he hits a pair, he gets my stack. It's terrible for me because I'm basically pushing my whole stack all the time, and if he doesn't hit a pair he can just fold the flop and I only win a small pot. Obviously on a short stack I'm way too predictable about pushing hard from the button no matter what comes on the flop. I need to check behind on the flop more often, with whiffs and also with good hands. I might also try some limping preflop when I'm on a medium stack, and perhaps also some more folding preflop.
This happens to me in that horrible region of M between 5 and 10. M below 5, you just push, okay. M above 10, you can still play poker. Between 5 and 10 I have a really hard time, and that's where I lost most of the matches with Dustin.
The numbers : if I have a 13 BB stack (M = 8.7), I open raise on the button to 3 BB. Dustin calls, the pot is now 6 BB and I have 10 BB behind. If I make a decent bet on the flop, like 4 BB, I'll only have 6 BB left and the pot would be 14 BB and I'm totally pot stuck. On the other hand, Dustin in the big blind only has to call 2 BB to see the flop, and if he flops something he can get my whole stack, +13 BB, which happens about 1/3 of the time, which is just hugely +EV.
He's risking 2 BB to get +13 from me, and I'm risking my 13 to get +3 from him. That's way out of whack and very bad for me.