Head-to-head is killing me!

RammerJammer

RammerJammer

Visionary
Awards
1
OK, poker pundits, here's my latest dilemma. (Ever notice how much poker resembles golf? Work one glitch out of your game and another leaps up to take its place!) I am absolutely dominating at the single-table sit-n-go's. I mean I'm crushing. UNTIL I GET INTO H2H PLAY. Then the wheels come off. I've booked easily a dozen runner-up finishes against only three wins in the last week. And a lot of the time, I enter these matches with a seemingly insurmountable chip lead. The latest debacle? 7800 chips to 1200 entering heads-up. Twenty minutes later, I'm out in second.

Obviously, something is dramatically different in my game when I reach this stage. Is it becoming psychological? You bet it is! My confidence is badly shaken. I play tight, I play aggressive, I fold the rags, I raise the big hands, I keep in mind that values are dramatically raised in two-handed. In short, I do what you're "supposed" to do in that scenario. And I keep getting my head handed to me anyway.

Anyone else struggled through mastering this final stage of every tourney environment? Any tips?
 
Grumbledook

Grumbledook

Guest
When you are heads up you have to be agressive but don't get tied to a hand.

Generally its good to attack when you have the button and defend when you don't.

so raise when you have position and call unless you have utter garbage when you don't

Basically take calling out of your game at this point, its about high cards and pairs. Either check/fold or bet raise. If there are draws on the board make sure your betting enough to make sure the pot odds don't make it correct for them to call anyway.

You won't win them all but you should get your fair share. Remember you are both paying blinds and antes usually at this point so the pots are all worth winning even if you don't have anything. Most of the time the other guy won't have anything either.

Just keep it up and it will get easier with more experience, just don't play timid or very tight. If you keep your bets and raises to the same amounts (compared to pot size) then you will be hard to read. As they say practice makes perfect.
 
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Paynetothemax

Enthusiast
The only reason I hate heads up is because the cards you get 75% of the time suck and you have to deal with that hand that was dealt to you. One thing is never give an expression of your hand that will always give your oppenent the edge.
 
U

utrocket_315

Guest
heads up

i find that playing one on one is more difficult also. it seems like more bluffing takes place. even if u get really low in chips u can always come back to win, and vice versa.
 
K

KrRaP42

Guest
in heads up, usually high cards win it, so it is almost impossible to bluff in heads up unless its Moneymaker vs Farha
 
Q

Qui30114

Guest
Heads-up

Like Grumbledook said, the button is very important. But bluffing is impingortant when heads up to get road money. Personally, I am comfortable with moving all-in pre-flop wit any pocket pair. If you notice, even a pair is good heads up and raising with second pair is safe. That's my advice, but it's always better to learn yourself. Good luck!
-Qui
 
S

smtbonzi

Guest
Wish i had some pearls of wisdom for you here. All I can say is that when I get heads up and am way short stacked, it doesn't bother me to go all in with nothing. If I become the big stack, I kinda get a little off also. I never play the same heads up as I do with even three people. This is something I need to work on also. I think if you stay with what got you there to begin with, you should do fine.:icon_thum
 
N

nadirhassan

Guest
if u have a commanding cheap lead you have to make sure you dont let the other guy double up. only call his all-ins if you are convinced you have the better hand. Your K-7 suited may knock him out but more than likely it will bring him back in the tournament.
 
joshyb20

joshyb20

Visionary
Nadirhassan made a great point. Don't play too timid, but keep in mind that in h2h every hand's importance is sky rocketed, one bad mistake and you could be done, unless of course they make one too. Get on top and don't let him/her throw you off.
 
C

CHAD8

Guest
HEADS UP

The biggest problem i have with playing heads up ( in a SIT & GO or the final tables of a TOURNY) is that your opponent that u have been playing againts for in some cases hours suddenly changes his play drasticly. U know u think u got a read on him going into the HEADS UP play but when it starts its like u never seen he/she play ever. QUESTION: do u really have to change ur games up that much when ur HEADS UP?? Dont get me wrong adjustments are needed when playing against less people but how much is really nessisairy without changing ur style all together.:questionm :questionm


PEACE

CHAD8
 
S

sk1zz0t

Guest
When I play heads up, I play to the flop 99% of the time. The only time I won't play all the way to the river is on a huge bet.

If I'm the chip leader when heads up comes around, I will try to bully the other player out of the pot
 
W

Wlokos

Guest
When playing heads up, just about any two cards are OK, because you're only playing one person. The odds are that he has nothing much too.

Watch out when he/she goes all in preflop. If your opponent hasn't been overly aggressive, and they suddenly make a large bet or go all in preflop, chances are that they got a pocket pair, and probably a decent one.

You've generally just got to play a lot more stuff than you normally do and be more agressive to win in heads up play.
 
ytseshred

ytseshred

Rising Star
While it's definitely better to be more aggressive when it comes down to H2H play, I think something should be said about when you have the chip lead. If you are ahead by a lot, as RammerJammer said when he had 7800 to 1200, I'd try to be careful not to double up your opponent easily, because that only gives him more momentum if he catches something good later.

So if I think the opponent may have something, I usually don't try to get too flashy to give him chips needlessly.
 
T

ten-four

Guest
When playing heads up you dont always have to do what your supposed to be doing~ try bluffing a hand~ BUT represent an ace or something else that might have come up on the flop~ Heads up you have to mix your game but like someone said before Dont get tied up if someone comes over the top of you~ but dont be afraid to Push back:rock:
 
N

nakedmexican

Guest
what you all think of helmuth's play... its sucessful in real life how about online? anyone read his book?
 
D

DAVEANOVA

Guest
You have to bluff more often and instead of tightening up your play, loosin' up. My problem is getting to heads up. I know once I get there, I'll be okay. Just like in golf, I can hardly get the ball to the green but once I get there, I'm a great putter. I think your playing to much.
 
Four Dogs

Four Dogs

Legend
Awards
1
With heads up, things happen quickly. Your up to 2 or 3 hundred hands per hour. Anything can and will happen. Iv'e played heads up matches that have gone on for 1/2 an hour. The blinds become so huge that the chip lead can change drastically in just a few hands, so NEVER count an opponent out. You've got to play almost any hand. I can't tell you how many times an opponent has folded his hand against my 5-2 before I've even had a chance to check. If your on the button and your opponent checks after the flop, BET, nomatter what you have.
 
T

trent52

Guest
Is there any suggestion on when to go all-in on heads up?Like after 10 hands or so,or just when u get the big slick?All input is welcomed:)
 
J

jjhooksjj

Guest
It really depends on the type of structure because playing heads up at the final table of the wsop main event, in which both players' stacks would be deep is very different from the final two of a 5 dollar SNG... However, if the blinds are of moderate size or bigger, the chip lead is very important. I tend to play aggressively to obtain a chip lead, and then slowly chip away at my opponent with very little risk.
 
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