Dealing with Card Deadness

Robert MRobert M Red Chipper Posts: 17 ✭✭
I went to a small MMT at the local casino recently and it seemed like I was getting garbage at an unusually high frequency. I know poker isn't all about the hole cards but when a top 10 hand in 3.5 hours is J8s in MP, it was getting pretty frustrating. Do I just chalk this up as a bad day or are there any strategies that I could have implemented that would have made the session better for me?
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Comments

  • Robert MRobert M Red Chipper Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    You play the hands you are dealt. No one ever asks what to do when you have a session where you flop three sets and turn two nut flushes, but the answer is the same.

    I’m not sure I know what you mean, could you expand on it a little more?

  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,623 -
    If you get a bad hand, fold. The fact that you got multiple bad hands in a row does not change the fact that your current hand is unplayable.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • Robert MRobert M Red Chipper Posts: 17 ✭✭
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    If you get a bad hand, fold. The fact that you got multiple bad hands in a row does not change the fact that your current hand is unplayable.

    Great, that makes sense, thanks. But does the fact that it was a tournament and having a limited stack make a difference? I guess I don’t like feeling helpless, just sitting there getting blinded away with nothing to do but fold.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,538 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Maybe try playing a strategy and not some big hands?

    What exactly are you hoping to hear?
  • Robert MRobert M Red Chipper Posts: 17 ✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Maybe try playing a strategy and not some big hands?

    What exactly are you hoping to hear?

    I’m just wondering what I could have done differently, which I guess might be difficult for you to answer since you weren’t there with me. What to you do when you can’t catch a hand? Do you widen your range and try to adjust your strategy at all? Or just be patient and wait for the more playable hands?
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,538 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tournaments (except, somewhat, for rebuys in that stage) are based on the life or death of the stack which cannot be replaced.

    Either you are finding leverage points to take chips or you are just dead money anyway.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,267 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 30
    I would personally watch the tight nitty players that fold a lot preflop and are very fit-or-fold postflop. Look to steal their blinds in late position (these kind of players usually pay attention to how few hands you've been playing.) Or you can also call/float if you get a chance to get in a heads up pot with them, and in this case you don't need cards.

    I have seen some players bluff in a tournament and then show their cards "to get more action". This might work in a cash game where you can wait for a good hand to get 'em next time, but in a tournament I don't like the idea when you're shorter stacked simply because of the fact that you might be under time pressure to steal blinds and pots to stay alive (you can't wait for a hand), and you don't want people looking you up light.
  • The MuleThe Mule Red Chipper Posts: 772 ✭✭✭
    Patiently play the hands you are dealt in the most EV way you can, then vent to your Skype group later.
  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,486 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I took down a 6500+ player tourney twice, both times being blinded down under 10bb after being card dead for a while. I pick my spots and steal blinds when i can. From co, btn, sb almost ATC are playable when you have nits in the blinds. Becomes Auto shoves and wait another orbit or two. Eventually the cards level out.

    I wouldn't panic until I'm under 20bb. Now if your getting marginal hands and still fall under 20bb you have to ask yourself did you play your marginal hands too passive and let yourself fall under 20bb?

    As stated above have a strategy and don't just rely on the cards your dealt. There was a video on CR in the past where a pro took down a SNG without ever looking at his cards. Position is KING! play the player, not your hand.

    Wanna brush up on your strategy go watch rounders :-)
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,267 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You might also want to read Arnold Snyder's Poker Tournament Formula books for more on how to use chips and position when you don't have cards, and why getting really short stacked sucks so hard for a skilled player.
  • dnoyeBdnoyeB DetroitRed Chipper Posts: 281 ✭✭
    If its over so fast you don't see a good hand then its probably going to run again really soon. Buy in the next one and maybe all your good cards will show in that session. The god of odds owes you!
  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 701 ✭✭✭
    dnoyeB wrote: »
    The god of odds owes you!

    The reality is that they don't. At all. They don't owe you anything. They can simply imply or infer what may or may not happen in the future. Once the next hand gets dealt, it's a new and unique hand in and of itself.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,267 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Joseph F wrote: »
    The reality is that they don't. At all. They don't owe you anything. They can simply imply or infer what may or may not happen in the future. Once the next hand gets dealt, it's a new and unique hand in and of itself.

    The wet blanket spoiling our good fun, lol I'm sure @dnoyeB was just being lighthearted, even though you're literally right.

    OK here's an interesting question for you @Joseph F . Let's say we're flipping coins. The expected value is 50% heads and 50% tails over the long haul, right? So let's say you flip a coin one time and then pause. Even though the EV is 0, we can never be at 0 after 1 flip (after any odd number of flips, actually). So after one flip, let's say we lose and we're at -1. Our future EV is 0. So our expected lifetime score for coin flipping now stands at -1. On the other hand, if our first flip had been +1, then our expected lifetime score for coin flipping now stands at +1.

    If in practice we always get some result on our first flip that isn't 0, and after our first flip our EV can no longer ever be 0, then how can the EV be 0 to begin with?

  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2
    jeffnc wrote: »
    You might also want to read Arnold Snyder's Poker Tournament Formula books for more on how to use chips and position when you don't have cards, and why getting really short stacked sucks so hard for a skilled player.

    This was a terrible book IMO
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭✭
    Robert M wrote: »
    Do I just chalk this up as a bad day or are there any strategies that I could have implemented that would have made the session better for me?

    You have to accept that some days the poker god will hate you. It is just the nature of the game

    As far as things you could do better? Not enough info in your question to answer.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2
    Robert M wrote: »
    Do I just chalk this up as a bad day or are there any strategies that I could have implemented that would have made the session better for me?

    You have to accept that some days the poker god(s) will hate you. It is just the nature of the game

    As far as things you could do better? Not enough info in your question to answer.
  • BoilerAceBoilerAce Red Chipper Posts: 388 ✭✭
    edited May 2
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Maybe try playing a strategy and not some big hands?

    What exactly are you hoping to hear?

    He's expecting to hear strategic ways that he can get better instead of a vague "get a strategy" comment. Persuadeo, I understand that you have evolved to a be a damn good player and you contribute a lot to this forum. That's great and all but many new and struggling players come here for help, and comments like that don't help. Your second comment is better about "looking for leverage points" but then it's ruined by you telling him that he's "dead money anyway."

    I remember posting a similar question in my own thread just like Robert M's. I still don't know the exact answer to his question and I've been here for 2 years now. Most answer's to Robert's question was answered in generalities and no specifics and I'm not sure he's any more well off than he was when he started. I agree with Doug Hall, that crappy cards with no equity need to be folded. In tournaments though, there's sometimes where you play for 3 hrs and you're card dead. The blinds are eating you up and then you are on to Push/Fold charts. Would you mind listing 3 tips of what you do when this situation happens (your strategy) and also describe what you thoughts/feelings are when you are running that bad for a long time? What plays are you trying to make? Give a few examples.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,538 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I can see your frustration, but it's not really fair. I, for instance, did not say Robert was necessarily doomed to be dead money, did i? Follow the grammar and you'll see that my implication is that if one does not have a strategy for eating up more than one's expected equity share, it doesn't matter if you receive it. That's precisely the nature of escalating blinds in action for all of us, and a big clue as to how serious tournament players avoid floundering. (Look at soto's fresh video series with gareth for many examples of the types of risks you need to be taking or consider taking, every orbit.)

    So then, from that Robert can extrapolate some things he might do, because i'll be damned before i start listing "tips" - which are never the basis of a strategy anyway and always a disservice to those who think they want them.

    And yes, for the record i do mind listing my strategy on a public forum. Yet it's never stopped me from aiding those who want to think about the game.

    Finally, as for running card dead - it's supposed to be like that. It's not a real issue. Maybe be grateful for all those times you were unexpectedly blessed by the deck - don't see a lot of posts about that.

    (And if there is something i have disapointed you with specifically, i am always a pm away.)
  • BoilerAceBoilerAce Red Chipper Posts: 388 ✭✭
    I'm really not out to start a battle....I'm really not. Robert asked a question. Your response was exactly, "Maybe try playing a strategy and not some big hands?
    What exactly are you hoping to hear? "

    He's hoping for an answer. A real answer. From what you said, we know he needs a strategy and waiting for cards is not the answer. That's great but his question is not answered. I know you know the answers! You know you know the answers :) I've read your posts, you have a lot of answers! I just expect more help from this forum then a post that doesn't say really...anything. I hope that makes sense.

    Back to the topic at hand....
    I find myself at tournaments waiting for cards as he does. Finally I'll a spot where the only limpers are tight players in early position., so I'll take my marginal hand and raise it up in position hoping to pick up the blinds. (my only strategy to get through the card dead before shoving). Well, they call instead and the flop brings an all in from one of them and I'm holding nothing that matches the board in position and no draw equity. If I call, I lose. I fold, I've now lost 25% of my stack and I wonder if I was better off folding that button hand preflop and waiting for a better spot...that might or might not have come. Yes, I only need this play to work X% of the time for it to be profitable...but I don't have time to put in a statically significant 30 plays in this tournament to get the percentages to show me profit. I have 1-2 tries and if they don't work, then I'm sunk.

    I'd love to know what kind of plays one looks for when one is card dead during a tournament.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,538 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We can just disagree on what answers are satisfactory.

    Basically, Robert is asking a giant question, one beyond a forum post, and i am breaking it down. He implicitly has no strategy if he thinks being csrd dead is a problem rather than a natural state. It's just his turn to be all in with air a few more times than the average bear. To my mind, we start there, and not go to the info dump.

    As for you, just look at your example. Two ep vpips that intend to see a flop - that is not a good spot at all, and risking significant chips to boot against players whose strategy is risking little. That's not sound. Instead, focus on the resteal - think about the "re" and what that must imply about that formation.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,267 ✭✭✭✭✭
    kenaces wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    You might also want to read Arnold Snyder's Poker Tournament Formula books for more on how to use chips and position when you don't have cards, and why getting really short stacked sucks so hard for a skilled player.

    This was a terrible book IMO

    It's 2 books. What specifically?
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,267 ✭✭✭✭✭
    BoilerAce wrote: »
    I'd love to know what kind of plays one looks for when one is card dead during a tournament.

    What did you and Robert think of Arnold Snyder's thoughts on the topic? Snyder referred to the famous Harrington book. What did you and Robert think of Harrington's thoughts on the subject, from Harrington on Holdem?

  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    kenaces wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    You might also want to read Arnold Snyder's Poker Tournament Formula books for more on how to use chips and position when you don't have cards, and why getting really short stacked sucks so hard for a skilled player.

    This was a terrible book IMO

    It's 2 books. What specifically?

    I read the original book(s) when they came out maybe 10+ years ago so I won't comment on new editions I haven't read. But the original books were pretty bad even back then and I highly doubt my opinion of them would be improved.
  • Sean OSean O Red Chipper Posts: 298 ✭✭
    When I’m not getting starting hands I can play, I remind myself of all the worse ways to be unlucky in this game. And there are a lot of them!
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,267 ✭✭✭✭✭
    kenaces wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    kenaces wrote: »
    jeffnc wrote: »
    You might also want to read Arnold Snyder's Poker Tournament Formula books for more on how to use chips and position when you don't have cards, and why getting really short stacked sucks so hard for a skilled player.

    This was a terrible book IMO

    It's 2 books. What specifically?

    I read the original book(s) when they came out maybe 10+ years ago so I won't comment on new editions I haven't read. But the original books were pretty bad even back then and I highly doubt my opinion of them would be improved.

    Why do I even bother asking?
  • BoilerAceBoilerAce Red Chipper Posts: 388 ✭✭
    edited May 3
    jeffnc wrote: »
    What did you and Robert think of Arnold Snyder's thoughts on the topic? Snyder referred to the famous Harrington book. What did you and Robert think of Harrington's thoughts on the subject, from Harrington on Holdem?

    Same here. I haven’t read Harrington on Holdem in 12 years I think...it’s still in my poker library. I loved that book’s format but I’ve seen it slammed more than praised recently with some people calling it out of date, way too conservative, and not applicable to today’s poker, etc. For that reason, I haven’t referred back to it. Thanks for the tip.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,267 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Why are you complaining about a book that's "out of date", when you aren't even up to date with the strategy in that one? It specifically tells you when to start caring about card deadness, and specifically what to do about it.

    Snyder then challenges Harrington's numbers and gives new numbers about when to start caring, with new ways to keep your stack vital with strategies involving position and stack size more so than card values.

    If there were quick tips to make you millionaires in tournaments, don't you think it would be easy for everyone to do it?

    If there are problems with the book, then read it and study it and evaluate it and incorporate the good ideas into your own strategy.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,365 ✭✭✭✭
    BoilerAce wrote: »
    Same here. I haven’t read Harrington on Holdem in 12 years I think...it’s still in my poker library. I loved that book’s format but I’ve seen it slammed more than praised recently with some people calling it out of date, way too conservative, and not applicable to today’s poker, etc. For that reason, I haven’t referred back to it. Thanks for the tip.

    Like you I read all the HOH books as they came out, and have not revisited them. It would only be natural that some of the material is dated, but at least they were decent books when they first were published.

  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 701 ✭✭✭
    Here in 2018, are there any books that legitimately deserve a read? With training sites like this one, software, databases, etc - It seems like writing a book which would become outdated rather quickly, wouldn't be worth the time. Is there even that large of a market for a poker strategy book anymore?
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