Poker Ramblings of cmitch

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Sometimes I feel sorry for them. They aren't even giving themselves a chance. I guess they are "taking their shot." I'm talking about the players that are obviously sitting down at a NL cash game with the last of their bankroll.

I have mentioned this before but I got to thinking about it a lot yesterday. I was playing a couple of 3/6 NL shorthanded tables with max buy-ins of $600 and a player sat down with $204.70. Why not $600, $300, or even $200? It was obvious to me that this was his remaining Party Poker balance. A guy that sits down with his entire remaining bankroll fits into one of two categories 95% of the time. He is either playing scared or is just gambling (double or nothing attitude). Either way, the rest of the players will get all his chips most of the time.

The Guy Playing Scared

  • He won't call much of a bet preflop.
  • He will fold to any raise or re-raise preflop or postflop if he misses.
  • You can almost always force him to fold any hand that isn't the nuts or pretty close to it.
  • You know where your hand stands against him 90% of the time.

Example - $3/$6NL Cash Game - You call Scared Player's min-raise preflop in position and everyone else folds. (Your hand doesn't matter at this point.) The pot is now $33. The flop comes all low cards and he bets $12 into the $33 pot. You can find out pretty fast if he has a high pair or just two big cards. A raise to $30 should do the trick. The scared player is folding almost every time he misses. With a flop containing all low cards, he is going to continue only with a big pair or set. You are betting $30 to win $45 and he is definitely folding more than 50% of the time. You only need to win 2 out of 5 hands like this to break even (if my math is correct) - any more wins than that and you show a profit. Some of those hands you may have a monster which increases your positive outcome even more. Against Scared Player, you are definitely coming out way ahead. Eventually he may take a stand but it will be too late.

5 Hands - Win 2 out of 5. Win 2 = +$90; Lose 3 = -$90; Net = $0

Win 3 out of 5. Win 3 = $135; Lose 2 = -$60; Net+$75

The Gambler

  • It won't take long to figure out if the short buy-in guy is just there to gamble or if he is just playing tight trying to double up.
  • The gambler will start going all-in a lot. Pay extra attention to what hands he goes all-in with.
  • He usually won't be paying attention to your play. You can tighten way up and set him up for his whole stack.
  • He usually goes all-in or check-raises all-in with Top Pair ANY Kicker or Flush/Straight Draws.
  • You almost have to view them like you would a short stack in the late stages of a tourney. He could be taking a stand/betting all his money with anything all the way down to 22. That is why it is very important to see how he is playing.
  • Most ideal situation is to have someone else double up the gambler. He won't change his style and his deeper stack will allow you to play a lot more hands against him.
  • Like the Scared Player, eventually you or someone else at the table will have all his money. The only difference is that it won't take much time for this guy to lose it all.

A lot of times some of the minimum buy-in guys will also fit into these categories. Loopy was telling me about a guy we know that bought into the 3/6NL game on stars with $400 of his $1,000 bankroll. He knew I was doing well at the NL cash games and thought he could also - good thought. Instead of sitting down at $0.25/$0.50 NL or even 1/2NL, he decided to sit at the 3/6NL because I had just won a $1,200 pot ($600 net) in one of my 3/6 games. I didn't watch him play but I'm sure he fit into one of the categories - he had 40% of his bankroll on the table.

Pay attention to how each player is playing and the games should be more profitable.

Good luck at the tables,


4 responses to "$204.70 - They have to give themselves a chance"

  1. That is a great post man. Thank you.


  2. Even at $.50/$1 and $1/$2 I see people sitting down with $45.75 or $123.06 all the time.

    No idea why you'd risk the remainder of a bankroll in a NL game unless you're there to gamble.


  3. Good stuff. I am only at the level of the $25 tables now. These 2 types usually make up 50% of those tables.

    I can handle making a little money $5 at a time. Good luck at the tables this weekend.


  4. You're an evil man with your poker racial profiling--fraidy-scared players of the world unite!