Harrington on Hold'em Vol 2 - Low M & Red Zone play

momoney2

momoney2

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Dec 17, 2007
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I checked out and read Harrington on Hold'em Vol 1 earlier this year, and found a lot of valuable information in it. And since I've always suggested that when it comes to poker books, "Check it out from your local library first. Then if you like it, go ahead and buy it." I finally got around to buying all 3 volumes a few months ago. (I got a great deal with a AAA discount from B&N.)
But now onto the point, I finished re-reading Vol 1 about a week ago and just started reading Vol 2 the last few days. I was reading Harrington's advice on Low M stack sizes and Red Zone play, and was quite surprised to see the play that "Action Dan" recommends.
If any of you have read HOH'E Vol 2, and can offer your take on Red Zone play, I would really appreciate hearing your opinions. For me I totally agree with aggressive all-in play when your stack is short, but all-in with T6o when the BB has 1/2 his chips already in the pot? :confused: Even from the cut-off this seems way too aggressive with a likely call from the BB.
But it may be this lack of aggression on my part that has prevented me from cashing more frequently.
 
reglardave

reglardave

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I think the point here is, when your M gets too low, and you sink from Red to Dead zones, you lose your ability to inflict ANY damage to anyone's stack. At that point, good cards no longer matter; you'll have to stand up against everyone still behind you. If you're first in in the cutoff, and your stack is not yet crucially low, the Gap Concept should apply to the blinds as well. In other words, even at attractive pot odds, the BB may lay down his hand based on what he percieves as a weak holding if losing would damage his position in the overall tournament structure.

There are 2 keys to this play,IMO. What Harrington refers to as "1ST IN VIGORISI" is vital, but even more key is relative stack sizes of the players you're moving on. In general, you don't want to make this play against a large stack, 'cause the % of his stack at risk won't deterr him, and a very small stack can't be scared off a decent shot due to the precarious position they share with you. But against a middle of the road size stack, it's a reasonable play, and just hope you have 2 live cards.
 
momoney2

momoney2

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Dec 17, 2007
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Dave, I appreciate your input. Thanks!
I've usually looked at stack sizes in comparison to the BB, as opposed to comparing my stack to the combined BB+SB+antes. (Though I've always recognized that the introduction of antes will put greater pressure on my stack more quickly. And picking up uncontested pots is more significant.)
Maybe this M comparison will encourage me to move to super-aggresive a little earlier when my stack size will still be formidable to my opponents. But I'll make sure to keep in mind which stacks make the best targets.
 
B

Bentheman87

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Sep 6, 2007
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Momoney, yeah I did think what Harrington recommended as overly aggressive at first, but think of it like this. When your M is 3, you're extremely desperate. Say you're on the cutoff with 10 6 offsuit. This actually is not a very poor hand, take a look at the chart in the back of HoH 2 and it shows which hands are in the top 10% top 20% all the way to the botton 10%. 10 6 offsuit is actually right about in the middle, probably in the top 60%. You have to go through just 3 random hands, and the button will likely fold since he's not getting as good of pot odds. So you have to go through 2 random hands that could be scattered anywhere from the bottom 10% of hands to the top 10%. So really, chances are your 10 6 is better than either of the blinds' hands (definetly not likely, but very very possible), or you are up against a slightly better than average hand/hands that will only be a 1.5:1 favorite against you.

So when you shove all in with a low M on the cutoff, you're really just gambling that the remaining players don't have a hand in the top 20% or top 30%, and more often than not they won't, and you're stack increases by a LOT when they fold.
 
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