How to play 30-40bb stack when card dead

dave3096dave3096 Red Chipper Posts: 30 ✭✭
In low buy in tournaments ($200-300) in my local casino, I have been having trouble playing a 30-40bb stack when completely card dead. I would say I am viewed as a solid TAG, although I always look for spots to exploit. The problem arises when I become completely card dead and am forced to fold to the point that my table image becomes rock-like. It seems that every time I think about making a move, the action goes raise/call before I can act without regard to card strength and I end up folding. How do you find spots in these difficult situations? When I finally get a hand and play aggressively I get little action due to my image. I have no problem mixing it up when I can but at times I feel I fall into this abyss. Thoughts? Thanks.

Comments

  • uglytunauglytuna Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
    30-40BB is an area where you need to be careful. Lose a hand you in the dreaded shove-fold range. If you can chip up to 60BB you can play comfortable again.

    If you do fold for 2-3 orbits it will be hard to get paid off when you do have a hand.

    My advice is to open up your range OTB,CO and HJ. Open more pots in position. When I am around 30-35BB I look for spot where I can 3B or restove over LP
    Openers. This is an excellent source of chips.

    Key is to pick your spots careful and execute. Find the players who can are tighter and 3B wider from looser players. Hand selection and position is key.

    TIP: Call less when your stack is between 30-40BB. Fold or Raising is your best option.
  • uglytunauglytuna Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
    30-40BB is an area where you need to be careful. Lose a hand you in the dreaded shove-fold range. If you can chip up to 60BB you can play comfortable again.

    If you do fold for 2-3 orbits it will be hard to get paid off when you do have a hand.

    Use your tight image to open lighter front LP.

    My advice is to open up your range OTB,CO and HJ. Open more pots in position. When I am around 30-35BB I look for spot where I can 3B or restove over LP
    Openers. This is an excellent source of chips.

    Key is to pick your spots carefully and execute. Find the players who are tighter and 3B wider from looser players. Hand selection and position is key.

    TIP: Call less when your stack is between 30-40BB. Fold or Raising is your best option.
  • dave3096dave3096 Red Chipper Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Good advice, thank you.
  • JulesJules Red Chipper Posts: 440 ✭✭✭
    @uglytuna I think this very helpful advice. When you say hand selection is key, what are you 3 betting or maybe even 4 betting with? Dave stated he's ready to make a move yet again he faces a raise/call and his opportunity dwindles. How can he battle that?
  • Eon137Eon137 Red Chipper Posts: 164 ✭✭
    In these tournaments, you have to find spots where you can "steal" chips to stay ahead of the blinds. If you are at 30-40bb early in the tournament when everyone else still has a comfortable stack, this may require some high-risk moves, but your alternative is to blind away anyway, so pick a spot an go for it.

    If you are at 30-40bb and so are most of the others at your table, then you should be able to steal a few small pots uncontested if the bigger stacks are out of the way. The other small stacks will be just as afraid of you as you would be of them. If you have been playing fairly tight up to this point, and all of a sudden start making aggressive plays, you will likely get away with doing this a few times before anyone tries to look you up light. I'll do this, and if I feel the table is starting to get fed up with my newly displayed aggression, I'll "courtesy show" a very strong hand when everyone has folded to my raise to reinforce the idea that maybe I really do have the goods sometimes. This usually makes them think twice before standing up to me. Also, you may just get lucky and hold a strong hand when someone does decide to call you, and then you are back to a comfortable stack again.

    These fast structured tournaments can be tricky in the 30-60bb range. But the constantly changing stack sizes can give you an advantage if you are able to adjust your playing style to them more quickly than your opponents.
  • uglytunauglytuna Red Chipper Posts: 109 ✭✭
    Great spots to reshove is very table and player dependent...
    If you have a loose player opening up the button, I'll give them less credence and I will to reshove with any Ace, KQ-KT, any pocket pair. Suited Broadway's. I think this is a fair range to reshove. Sometimes you will run into it but our play is close to optimal, if the stars line up correctly. Can't be results ortiented.

    If this player is a TAG or a bit and he opens the pot. I'll
    pass.

    Open shoving from LP with 9%-12% hand range is acceptable, especially if the blinds are weak.

    Must pay attention to the table, game flow, your image, and players tendencies. If your game is sharp you will find some good spots to steal blind when in the 30-40BB range.
    Lastly, I recommend going down in a blaze of glory. Don't be that guy who blinds themselves away. I rather pick a questionable spot before being blind down to crumbs.
    These stack sizes requires lots of practice and experience to feel comfortable.

    One more recommendation, always be opening pots when you want Fold Equity on your side from 20BB stack or less. If a player in front of you has limped or raised, prepare yourself to be called, if you ship it. Deeper stack players tend to gamble and call more once they has any investment in a pot (even if they limped)

    Good luck.
    -Tuna
  • BoilerAceBoilerAce Red Chipper Posts: 400 ✭✭
    This thread is a good one. I played in a very generous stucture tournament in Tunica a couple of weeks ago. After over 3 hours, I had suited connectors once (which I won a small pot), and no AK/AQ/AJ, etc. I still had 8-9 BB. I finally got a A-10, shoved a limper who called with 66 and was knocked out.

    I too struggle in a tournament where I can't get good cards at the start to give me some flexibility to make moves. I find myself waiting and waiting for a hand so I can get a stack to work with. I'm much better about shovign all in with one hand (the proper way) instead of my old self of getting blinded out. However, I feel like waiting til the last possible minute and getting a hand makes me last longer than "taking a stand"...more of a chance of getting solid cards to play. I watched a guy next to me wait until he had 1-2BB, get a good hand and make his stack back to healthy. One of these times, taking a stand will prove profitable for me I guess.
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    Don't worry about looking like a rock. In fact, don't worry about your image at all in these small tournaments. If you're a versatile player that plays differently under all the various situations we find ourselves in tournaments, the opponents that matter (the winning ones) will never get a solid read on you. There's just no time in these small tournaments to worry about your image.

    side note: That includes balancing ranges. You only need to balance ranges when you are playing the same people day in and day out (usually cash games).

    The key here is that you are aware of what players might be thinking about you. If you think players have labeled you a certain way, you can use that to your advantage. If you think a player you know and often play with is making a move, move all in with your :2s :7d. If he thinks your a rock or just playing too tight, he should fold.

    Worst case scenario...... he calls with :As :Kh and knocks you out of the tournament. You can use that play to set something up in the future. It's a memorable loss that could play dividends later. You could also show the bluff if you think it will help you later in this card room (but I wouldn't recommend ever showing).

    Before I dive any further into the Meta-game and continue to contradict myself, let me get back on topic. Don't worry about forcing things until you start dipping below 20 BB's. For the record, I'd rather be card dead then picking up hands like :7s :9s and :Kd :Jd in a tournament.

    Instead of fretting about your shitty cards and desperately looking for moves to pick up a pot or two....use the energy to focus on what the other players are doing. You will be able to use that information when you ship it with 18 BB's.

    You're only looking for one or two spots when the later rounds of a tournament come around. Since you haven't hit cards for a while, odds are that that will change just in time for the "ship it" stage of the tournament.

    Think about it, How many times have you gotten super premium hands in the early rounds of a tournament and won a gigantic pot? Not many, unless someone else gets coolered. The big, tournament changing hands, are won in the late rounds when you and someone else with 15-25 BB's clash.

    When these super-primo hands come in the LATE stages of the tournament......these usually two outcomes. 1. You get outdrawn (but you got it in good) or 2. You get the boost needed to cash in the tournament.
  • SaintsTigersSaintsTigers Red Chipper Posts: 238 ✭✭
    Look to 3 bet with blocker type hands like A-x and K-x. If you have a tight image then your 3bets will get a ton of respect. On the other hand, v. the right villains you might consider flat calling raises with your big pairs since the 3bet will scare them.

    Also, postflop pot control lines with TPGK type hands are good. With a tight image it's hard to get called 3 streets and be ahead with just top pair. So check more turns. Conversely, double barrel c-bets with semi-bluffs and air are good because your fold equity is really high given your image.

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