Saturday, March 21, 2009

Daniel Negreanu's Small Ball Strategy-Turn Play Part 4

Turn Play (again, this is for deep stack tournaments)

Overall Philosophy on the Turn
On the turn it is important to protect your stack in favor of protecting the pot. You may end up giving away free cards, but that is not a sin. The reason is that it's often better to have an opponent outdraw you for free in a smaller pot than it is to play a big pot for all your chips.

It is NOT about maximizing the equity in every hand you play. Winning small pots, having the best of it in big pots, and avoiding the chance of going broke by risking all your chips. Tournament play is not like a cash game.

In deep stack tournaments, careful play in marginal situations is what separates the top players.

Also on the turn, take your time. Think about what you are currently facing, as well as be one step ahead and plan what you'll do on the river.

Playing Overpairs
It is rare that an overpair is in the lead when an all-in pot is played on the turn.
No matter how big your one pair is, it is rarely ever going to be good enough to risk going broke with after the flop.
Avoid traps. Sacrifice value. Lose a few extra pots to protect your stack.

Have Position On The Turn
It allows you to get maximum value from your hands and bluff more successfully.
For example, you can call a bet on the flop and when a scare card comes--completing a flush or straigh--you can take the pot away. Of course, you need to know which opponent is conservative and know that you can have the made hand.

Check-Raising The Turn
1. Avoid it as it makes the pot bigger. If out of position and you get called, you'll be faced with a tough decision on river. And, it may cost you a pot you would have won if you get re-raised, when you had a draw.

2. With the Nuts: Check raising is a play to make if it doesn't take the "play" away from your opponent who may want to try to re-steal with what he thinks is the better hand. So, if you check raise with the nuts, you are doing so thinking your opponent will make a big move in response to your play.

3. As a Stone Bluff: Once you know your opponents, you can make a bluff with a check-raise on the turn. But you need to make sure that you know your opponent's betting patterns and to play your hand in a way so that your opponent believes your lie.

Bluffing is believable story-telling as you make bets that are not out of character for you. Outlandish bets that don't fit your style will alert your opponent that you are bluffing.

Representing Hands on the Turn
Use "fake outs" to help you win more pots. You can't expect to hit your draws and straights often, and bluffing is a way to turn those hands into winners.

Rules on How to Play Draws on the Turn:
1. Figure out your pot odds.
2. Figure out the odds of hitting that card.
3. Figure out your implied odds. The stronger your opponent's hand on the turn, the more likely you will get paid off if you hit on the river.
4. Factor in bluff outs if you know your opponent real well--bluff outs are cards that could hit the river that will scare your opponent into folding his best hand. To do this, you really need to know your opponent and his likely hole cards. Key: You must have a very good read on your opponent's tendencies to make these plays--if not, avoid the bluff-outs.

Next: Looking For Tells

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

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