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Old 01-12-2018, 05:02 AM   #1
Machinist
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Playing "Short Stacked"

In my local card room, I mainly play 1/2. However, my bankroll has reached 12k and I think I should move up to 2/5 since my skill level is definitely there. However, the local 2/5 game has an average stack of 3k and an uncapped buy in so I feel like if I buy in for 500-1000 I would be at a significant disadvantage compared to all the crazy large stacks. Is buying in for 150bb when everyone else is at 600bb that big of a disadvantage? Would my strategy be any different from 1/2 when I'm used to being the big stack at 200bb?
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:31 AM   #2
ReGen
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

How does the game play? How willing are the regs there to give action to shorter stacks when they themselves have marginal holdings? For example, if most pots are straddled and the standard open is somewhere around 50, you more or less are in push-fold territory with a 500 stack. And that is boring. And if you double up, you still are a short stack. And if you see a few flops, miss a cbet, and are down to 300... well, I think you get what I am saying.

Also, are you used to playing 5-600 BB deep? What will you do if you buy in for 500 and double twice? Are you comfortable putting in 1500 on a river bluff since it is +EV?
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:52 AM   #3
Petrucci
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

As long as you have the ability and experience to adjust your game properly (tune your opening range, not calling to many big preflopraises with suited connectors or gappers and so on), its perfectly fine to sit with 100-150 BB, even though many of the other stacks have alot more. This is cashgame, not tournament- where in tournaments being a very short stack have alot of well known disadvantages that simply isnt the case in cashgames.

My own experience is very positive with this type of strategy (buying in for 100 BB when others buy in for 300 BB or even more), because i get so easily payed off due to many opponents view me as a "non treatning" shortstack. Also they forget to adjust to my shorter stack in many spots (wich for example i exploit by going for the limp/reraise line with some premiums, or just flat their opens with KK/AA), wich gains me alot of +EV situations that i woudnt have got in the same way with a bigger stack.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:47 AM   #4
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

The concept is no different from 1/2.

In cash game pots, medium stacks have an advantage over deep stacks not the other way around.

The medium stack can play a tight range and aim to get value from TPTK situations without having to worry too much about being bluffed while the deep stacks are often focusing on trying to stack each other and are willing to play looser and more out of line against other deep stacks. This can lead to some uncomfortable spots for the deepstacks...

In multiway pots, both preflop and postflop, deep stacks will often have to fold to agression from a medium stack because they are sandwiched by another deep stack.

Some tournament players think that in cash games, big stacks can boss around small stacks. This only happens if the small stack is a weak player or scared of being felted and potentially having to reload. When its heads up, the effective stack size for both players is exactly the same i.e. the size of the smaller stack.

Read this book:
Small Stakes No Limit Hold 'em by Ed Miller, Sunny Mehta, and Matt Flynn
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:55 AM   #5
Nogyong
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

If you think you're good enough to cooler others more often than they cooler you, the obvious disadvantage to playing shallower is that you're potential payout will be less.
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Old 01-12-2018, 07:29 AM   #6
Petrucci
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogyong View Post
If you think you're good enough to cooler others more often than they cooler you, the obvious disadvantage to playing shallower is that you're potential payout will be less.
Since you didnt quote anybody i am not sure if this was aimed at me or not- but if it was, i wasnt talking about "coolering" people more than they cooler me. I was talking about that its very common for players to make big or more basic mistakes against a shorter stack in some ways,compared to deeper stacks. (Such as putting in too much money with top pair hands, stacking off too light pre and so on).Sure enough, people make huge mistakes in deepstacked poker too- but its other types of mistakes.
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:27 PM   #7
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Sorry Petrucci, I wasn't commenting on your post, I was trying to qualify my own comments about medium stacks actually having a clear advantage over deep stacks.

If there is one obvious disadvantage its that you can't win as much when you cooler someone.
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Old 01-12-2018, 04:49 PM   #8
shorn7
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nogyong View Post
The concept is no different from 1/2.

In cash game pots, medium stacks have an advantage over deep stacks not the other way around.

The medium stack can play a tight range and aim to get value from TPTK situations without having to worry too much about being bluffed while the deep stacks are often focusing on trying to stack each other and are willing to play looser and more out of line against other deep stacks. This can lead to some uncomfortable spots for the deepstacks...

In multiway pots, both preflop and postflop, deep stacks will often have to fold to agression from a medium stack because they are sandwiched by another deep stack.

Some tournament players think that in cash games, big stacks can boss around small stacks. This only happens if the small stack is a weak player or scared of being felted and potentially having to reload. When its heads up, the effective stack size for both players is exactly the same i.e. the size of the smaller stack.

Read this book:
Small Stakes No Limit Hold 'em by Ed Miller, Sunny Mehta, and Matt Flynn
Basically all of this. Great advice.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:06 PM   #9
Joey913
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Yeah I wish the "big stacks can bully" myth would die. The way people can "bully" others is if they have a larger bank roll and thus can make riskier plays especially if they suspect another player isn't willing to get his money in unless he has a nutty hand. Bank roll, not stack size would matter more.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:36 PM   #10
ES2
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

150BBs isn't particularly short, but you might find yourself lower than that.

As Nog said, shortstacks can be at a sizable advantage. It sounds like you don't have a great grasp on stack depth so I'd study up on it and pay really close attention to it in the games.

One big issue is turn betsizing in big pots. This is because you might arrive to the river with something like 1/5 pot in your stack. So, for example, if you think you are against a draw, that's bad because it's extremely hard not to pay them off. That means you lose that money when they hit, but never get it when you win because a missed draw won't pay it off for any amount. So you need to just put it in on the turn.

Unless it is going to create a big stink, I'd buy in for even less and never top off. You might have a massive advantage on the money going in if the other players don't adjust for the reasons Nog suggested. The basic idea is to understand that you never have great implied odds, and neither do your opponents.

You'll still get practice playing deeper when you are winning. But you'll be more likely to build up your BR and stick at this level.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:50 PM   #11
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

How many people that have responded would take their $12K and go get into that 2/5NL game? I have that size bankroll & would never consider it.
At best, they'll say that they'll try a couple of short buy-ins & if it don't work, step back down. I don't want to step back down with only $9K in the frame of mind I'd be in. Screw that shytt.
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Old 01-12-2018, 11:51 PM   #12
ZuneIt
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

How many people that have responded would take their $12K and go get into that 2/5NL game? I have that size bankroll & would never consider it.
At best, they'll say that they'll try a couple of short buy-ins & if it don't work, step back down. I don't want to step back down with only $9K in the frame of mind I'd be in. Screw that shytt.
I spent $2k of my bankroll last fall taking my wife to the beach for a week. Much better investment.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:16 AM   #13
branch0095
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Playing in an uncapped 2-5 game like this can be pretty dangerous, but it really depends on how the game itself plays. I've played in and/or seen games over the years that were uncapped or allowed you to match the deep stack when buying in, and often times the game played much larger than advertised.

Yes it's a 2/5 game, but if most of the players really are playing 3-4k stacks, you may very well be walking into a game that's playing much more like 5/10 or even a smaller 10/20 game. If that's the case, then this game is a risky proposition for you and your risk of ruin could be immensely higher than it normally would be jumping from 1/2 to 2/5. Magnifying that even more is that your plan is to buy-in with 150bb stack. Obviously that's not short-stacked in theory at 2/5, but that leaves you moving up to an uncapped 2/5 game that may play much larger than advertised, and you're doing so with a <20 BI bankroll. With the swings involved in this type of game, it really wouldn't take that much of a downswing to destroy your bankroll in short order.

Look, I'm all for taking shots and trying to move up. Staying stagnant at the same stakes game forever really stunts your growth as a player, and if you are trying to move up then shot-taking is pretty important IMO. I'm just pointing out to you that with your BR and this seemingly very large uncapped game, you may very well be putting yourself at serious risk by just deciding to make this your normal game. It may work well for you and you keep consistently building your roll at this game. I just think that playing with <20 BI in a game where you'll be short stacking compared to most of the player pool you need to be willing and to move back down if things don't go well for you , as this really feels like jumping from 1/2 to 5/10 with a small-ish BR. Good luck to you , hope you make it work.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:55 AM   #14
sai1b0ats
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Your skill level is definitely not there. One way, possibly an expensive way, to get it there would be to dive into that game.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:28 AM   #15
6bet me
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Put 3k aside for the 2/5 game and make it 6 x $500 stacks. Be very strict and move down if you lose that 3k. This is the best compromise to allow yourself a chance of moving up without putting yourself at a significant risk.

As for being "bullied" by the big stacks: honestly, you actually have the advantage by being 100bb deep when everyone else is 600bb deep. These guys will be putting in $80 preflop with speculative hands like 86s and 44, which allows you to squeeze jam a tight range like {TT+, AQ+} and pull out all the dead money.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:03 AM   #16
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6bet me View Post
Put 3k aside for the 2/5 game and make it 6 x $500 stacks. Be very strict and move down if you lose that 3k. This is the best compromise to allow yourself a chance of moving up without putting yourself at a significant risk.
If the game typically has a straddle, then we need to adjust our buyin size and BR accordingly. If the game is 2/5 with a $10 UTG straddle, $1k is 100 BB. Buying into this game with less than $1k would likely be a mistake.

I wouldn't be very concerned with being "bullied" by big stacks. AA vs AJ usually kicks the bullies in the balls for $500-$1k at a time until the bully goes home crying to his wife.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:04 AM   #17
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

Quote:
Originally Posted by sai1b0ats View Post
Your skill level is definitely not there. One way, possibly an expensive way, to get it there would be to dive into that game.
I don't know if we have enough info to determine he is not skilled enough to play in the game.
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:58 AM   #18
Javanewt
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Re: Playing "Short Stacked"

I always buy in to my games with 100bb - 150bb, even when almost everyone else is sitting on 300bb+. The only adjustment is getting used to the bigger pre-flop raises, and we often have a straddle. I try to never limp in with speculative hands (suited connectors, small pairs, suited one-gappers) unless I'm LP and know the players behind me don't squeeze light -- or if they do the entire table will call giving me good odds. I never feel bullied by bigger stacks -- I think that happens more to people playing scared money.

Another note, at least in the games I play, many of the deep stacks play tighter than when they are shallow. They'll gamble it up with 100bb, but not with 600bb.

I definitely think if you are taking a shot moving up, you should stick to 100bb - 150bb buy-in until you know the game/players/etc. Then do whatever you are comfortable with and what helps you play your A game.
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