Friday, March 20, 2009

Daniel Negreanu's Small Ball Strategy-Flop Play Part 3

Flop Play (for deep stack tournaments)

Pre-flop: 2 1/2 time's big blind raise
Flop: bet 50 to 80% of the pot
Avoid betting consistent amounts on flop: like lower range when bluffing and higher range when you have a strong hand
If you have nothing, and get check raised it's ok to fold. Sometimes you will have a hand and get paid off big.
Rule: Majority of bluffs in small pots, and have the best of it in big pots. And position is very important in small ball. When you have it, use it. When you don't, respect it.

When you flop a drawing hand:
Worst thing to do, is to bet yourself off a draw. Just don't be consistent--always check a drawing hand.
Key factor in decision:
1. Chip stack size. Semi-bluff all-in with a low stack.
Check a drawing hand if your opponent's raise will represent too large of your stack that you must fold.
2. Stage of the tournament:
Safer earlier on. When later and pots are big, want to win pot now.

Marginal Hands on Flop
It's ok to check. You don't want to play a big pot. Risk less money.

Losing The Minimum
If you get played back at, it's ok to be cautious with your hand unless your hand is strong or suspect your opponent is bluffing.
You want to avoid playing big pots that require a lot of guesswork.

Advice: Pros don't bluff as much as you think. They want to have the best of it in big pots. Pros win because opponents don't believe them.

Guidelines to Flop Play
When to bet:
1. When you miss flop, have position, and your flop bet will win because you think your opponent missed the flop.
2. Good hands that need protection. K-J and flop J-8-4
3. Monster draws to trap opponent
4. When you pick up a tell and feel your opponent will fold.

When to check:
1. A drawing hand and want to catch a card cheap.
2. Flops that pose little danger of outdrawing your hand.
3. Marginal hand on a dangerous flop--coordinated flops.
4. When you suspect opponent has caught a big hand on the flop.

Checking the flop keeps the pot small.
Raise the flop as a pure bluff where you feel opponent is weak and will fold.

Calling on the flop to steal the pot later
When you are in position, against one opponent, your hand is unimportant. What is important is the strength of your opponent's hand. You call on the flop, and take it down when your opponent checks the turn either because he is weak or the turn card looks to make your draw.

Appearing to Play Weak Poker
What you give up are free cards.
What you gain is trapping your opponent.

Overall: Small ball poker will keep you involved in lots of pots, but you want to win the pots you are suppose to win without taking any unnecessary risks.

Next: Turn Play

From the book: Daniel Negreanu's Power Hold'em Strategy

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