... ok well not really but here is a bit of a rant on it.

In Poker, we work on probabilities and the probable chance someting will happen based on circumstances around us.

Scenario 1 : If we are facing a large all-in preflop raise from a very tight opponent and we have QQ

Scenario 2 : If we are facing a large all-in preflop raise from a very loose opponent and we have QQ

We have decided that if we can judge we are behind to AA or KK we will fold, anything else we will call.

In Scenario 1, it is more likely our opponent has AA/KK as he only bets strong hands

In Scenario 2, it is less likely our opponent has AA/KK as he bets any hand

We have no idea what he has without being telepathic what our opponent has so we have to go on what is more or less likely.

Now, how likely is it purely from an odds point of view.

For Scenario 1, we will give our opponent the top 5 hands (AKo/AKs/AA/KK/QQ)

For Scenario 2, we will give our opponent and AJ+ and JJ+ (after all he might be loose but he is likely shoving the top of his range)

Using odds alone

vs Scenario 1, we are 40% to win

vs Scenario 2, we are 55% to win

It might only be an under of -10% and an over of 5% but it makes the difference in the long-run.

This makes playing against the very tight opponent risky in the long-run and vs the loose opponent more profitable in the long run.

So what does this have to do with Zoom?

Well, you are only going to get dealt top 5 hands like AA/KK/QQ/AK about 2.5% of the time and about 5% of those occasions your opponent will have a similar holding within that same range.

So it is around 1 in 800 hands that you will be dealt a top 5 hand and so does your opponent.

I am going to take a stab in the dark and say a typical hand would take 30 seconds in a regular cash game, averaging out long decisions as well as quick folds. I am sure this isn't 100% accurate but lets use that for arguments sake.

So for a regular cash game you will see this once every 6 and half hours!!

Now lets say for Zoom you are ONLY playing top 5 hands. This means you are folding 97 hands (so thats 5 seconds max per fold) and playing 3 hands out of 100 (so call that 30 seconds).

So it would take you 9.5 minutes to play 100 hands and 76 minutes (so an hour and a quarter) to play 800 hands.

So it takes 5x as long to play hands like this in cash as it does in Zoom.

Now lets say we are 4x multi-tabling, increasing the lag for folding from 5 seconds to 10 seconds (since our fingers arent THAT fast) then we can see 100 hands every 4.4 minutes and 800 hands every 35 minutes.

So we are pottentially seeing a nut vs 2nd nut preflop hand situation once every 35 minutes rather than once every 6.5 hours

Again, let me highlight that these time-at-the-table figures are very rough and whilst they aren't DEAD-ON accurate, I would say that they are close enough to prove my point.

Now this isn't counting the amount of times you have the nuts and your opponent doesn't and you chip up easily... it is just focusing on the times you will face someone with the nuts and you have close to it or vice versa.

So its great for those that see Zoom for this purpose, play STRONG tight ranges and only get it in when they have the nuts... because they get paid.

For the rest of us, playing two pair, bottom set or flushes on paired boards, we are the fish feeding them.

You should NEVER play Zoom with the same mentality as regular full ring, you have to give your opponents a LOT more credit for hands than you normall would.

The main reason for this is that it is hard to catch a hand in regular cash games, sometimes even just a pair.

It is NOT hard to catch a hand in Zoom and if you are stacking off in Zoom, unless you have the nuts or are playing against a sea of fish, you aren't getting paid.

So if you dont have the time to fold 97% of hands and play either for small pots with a good hand or a big pot with the nuts, then Zoom isn't for you.

I might be over-simplifying things and I am sure there are spots where Zoom can be worthwhile playing small ball poker, I haven't found this and i might be a bit cynical but regardless of the reality of the game in general over my specific encounters, you MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST give Zoom hands a lot more credit for being stronger than in regular cash because MORE OFTEN they are.

And in Poker, MORE OFTEN is the factor we must always focus on

ADDITIONAL : We all know that multi-way pots are a bad idea. This is because there is a high liklihood that one of our opponents has a hand due to the odds.

We know that if it is 6-way our AA just won't hold up as someone got better on the flop.

We need to think of Zoom in the same fashion.

Look at it like Goldilocks and the three bears.

The first porridge is too hot, the second is too cold and the third is just right. Forgetting the hot/cold issue, and just focus on it being 2/3 wrong and 1/3 right.

So in a multi-way pot, the first few opponents out of the pot had a bad bowl of porridge by 1 opponent had one just right (a winning hand)

This method of filtering uses the factor of multiple players as a variable for determining that you are behind, more players = strong filtering of hand ranges = poor odds of being ahead.

In Zoom the method of filtering uses the factor of reduced time/multiple hands being seen and folded as a variable for determining you are behind, more hands folded = strong filtering of hand ranges = poor odds of being ahead.

So think of Zoom like multi-way pots.. you can have confidence in top set being ahead but at best you are against a pair or two-pair, at worst you are against bottom set... the same is true in the opposite side of the cooler.

-baud2death