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Short-handed games

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  • Short-handed games

    Is there anything on PSO on how to play these types of games? I haven't found anything and because you play satellites all the time you invariably (if u don't get knocked out at the start) end up spending half your time playing against only 4 players. If there isn't, is there any chance we could have something? Common sense alone tells me that starting standards must change...

    Also, what about heads up play?

  • #2
    Of course you're right, starting standards do change considerably. Think of how your hands change value in a 10 handed game when you are in late position and you are the first to enter. Small and medium pairs increase alot in value (and do not need to be played for a set) as does Ax (which in other cases should be mucked), short handed pots generally go heads up and these become solid holdings. COnversly, "drawing hands" such as connectors go way down in value as you will not have multi-way pots. Obviously, "monster" hands greatly increase in value. Most important is that you must be much more aggresive when opening. I never "open-call" in these short handed pots. This is particularly the case if the blinds/antes are large, which they typically will be in these situations. Here, you must try to steal the blinds often (3xBB seems to be a standard opening raise in NL, and one I typically use). Of course, if someone else has alredy open-raised, you must tighten up considerably again (muck junk aces and the smaller pairs), but if you hold a "monster" definately reraise. In these situations you must play a significant number of hands; if you stick to a 10 handed strategy you will be "blinded" out of the tournament.

    The same concepts apply to heads up play where you must be even looser then in a 4-handed pot. You really should be willing to play at least half of your hands (should be obvious why this is so) and you should be even more aggressive. When I have been heads up in the sattelites I see a lot of players calling my big blind - this is an obvious show of weakness, and I often raise the pot with anything (usually winning right there). I don't think you would be making a mistake if you never call the big blind (and you should be folding less then you are raising). ALso, you need to call raises from the big blind most of the time and reraise frequently. You cannot be timid heads up and win, however if your oppnents are passive you will typically grind them out.

    SHort handed play post-flop is otherwise similar, but keep in mind that opponents will typically have lower quality holdings (allthough they are actually more likely to hold an ace, so be carefull if one flops). When the blinds are big there is more luck involved in short-handed play, but I find it much more enjoyable then playing 10 handed and spending two hours watching slow played kings getting beat by 8 high straights.