Zoom 2 NL Strategy

Aballinamion

Aballinamion

Visionary
Hello Cardschat poker community, I am trying to figure out a strategy for Zoom games at poker stars 2 NL and 5 NL. 6-max
First thing I would like to say, that I have learned with Nathan Black Rain Williams is to look to Stack Sizes before anything, and in Zoom I believe this is religious.
The Stack Sizing of our opponents in the table changes drastically our odds to improve our hands postflop.
The Zoom is like a Video-Game: The level Easy is when we are with 100 BB stack and trying to find an opponent with 90 BB at minimum. Why is that? Players who tend to go with 99 BB or less in a Cash Table are most Whales and Fished. Once in a while we are going to find some of these players with 99 BB or less playing a Short Stack Strategy, but it is quite a few and it does not change our overall strategy.
The level Medium is when we are with 150-200 BB in a Zoom table looking for another player with the same volume of Stack Size.
The level Hard is when we are with 250-300 BB deep in a Zoom table
The level very hard is when we are 350-400 BB deep in a Zoom table and so on.

I Play real money at Poker Stars, 2 NL and 5 NL mostly for almost an year and now I am making a serious experience in the Play Money tables and the conclusion of my experiences are listed below:

A) Avoid to play out of position at all costs, specially when you are versus a player with 99 BB or less.
B) Never call from any position, unless extremely necessary: the game will be mostly 3bet or fold.
C) Open 100% range from SB when it comes in Gap and the Villain in the BB has at least 80 BB (If SB has only 100 BB)
D) Avoid all OFF-Suited combos from EP (UTG/MP). Play the Off-suited combos from the CO and BTN when possible, when players ahead have a decent Stack Size behind.
E) Never enter marginal spots versus short stack/broken stack players with 90 BB or less
F) Classify players in the table not as TAG, LAG or FISH but accordingly to the Stack Sizes. I elect to use Light Blue for Broken Stacks and Red for players with over 200 BB.
I also use Yellow to mark players who make idiotic things.
G) Learn to fold the top of your range when behind even versus Broken Stacks or versus Big Stacks: AA, KK, QQ, JJ, TT, AKs, AQs, AJs, ATs, AKo, KQs, etc FOLD because the important is not the hand but the situation we find ourselves in the table.

To clarify some aspects of my studies and experiences I put my hands at Boom Player.
I am open to opinions, critics, ideias, suggestions and also to form a serious group to study the aspects of Deep Stack poker.

I believe 6-max Cash and Zoom games are the future of poker so we better learn how to play it perfectly.

The hands I play today (November 27th, 2019) are here:

https://www.boomplayer.com/poker-hands/All-Hands/Most-Recent?search=Aballinamion

Here are some examples of how I played KK

Example 1) KK in the CO Deep Stacked versus a Broken Stack from EP:

https://www.boomplayer.com/31980770_7DC7A6631D

Example 2) KK in the BB MWP vs one player Big Stack and other Broken Stack:

https://www.boomplayer.com/31980520_EBCE370AF3

Example 3) KK in the BTN plays passively in a very strange board configuration:

https://www.boomplayer.com/31980503_8788E5AE22


Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa
 
LevySystem

LevySystem

Rock Star
While I think you made some valid points I think focusing on other aspects of you're game first is the better way to go.

Working on you're deepstacked game will cost you more time as its more complex. Also it will increase variance, wich don't get me wrong can be beneficial, but in a game as tough as zoom, I believe we should reduce it whenever possible.

Focus on volume instead. Try to hit those 50-100k Hands a month depending on if you're working or not and that will get you the hudstats you need + the experience out of a big sample of hands and situations that will increase you're understanding of the game.

Studying specific spots for deepstacked game will increase your winnings for those specific situation but whilst you're playing nl2-nl50 You want to learn how to play and implement and work out strategies and gameplans That will make you a better player overall. Also keep the rake+rakecap of limits below nl50 on stars in mind.
 
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Aballinamion

Aballinamion

Visionary
Thanks for your candor

Studying specific spots for deepstacked game will increase your winnings for those specific situation but whilst you're playing nl2-nl50 You want to learn how to play and implement and work out strategies and gameplans That will make you a better player overall. Also keep the rake+rakecap of limits below nl50 on stars in mind.[/QUOTE]

Thanks a lot for your comments, I will take them under consideration in my gameplan and game strategy from now on. Could I bother you with a very serious question, in which I am considering starting a new thread to discuss about it, a very sensitive point you touched, when you brought the rake and the rakecap of limits below 50 NLHE in mind.
Well my dear friend, the truth is that is just because I am unable to beat the field of 2 NLHE at Poker Stars, most because I really don't understand how to beat the rake, which Poker Stars claims to be 3.50% but in fact, the rake is 10% or 8% for 2 NL and 5 NL, (please, correct me if I am wrong).
Why do I think it is hard to be the rake:

A) Articles tend to explain that we should play Tight when the rake is high. But, here is the big problem: How do we play Tight at 6-Max Cash tables, either regular or Zoom Tables?
If we get to Nitty playing at 6-Max tables we would be eaten by the Blinds sooner than later.
On the other hand, we cannot play too Loose, we cannot defend too much the Big Blind, in general, what I am poorly trying to say here is that we cannot call very often and we cannot see a lot of flops.

B) I read this article of Upswing Poker about Rake: https://upswingpoker.com/rake-poker-strategy-adjustments/

C) Summarizing, we are not able to play very Tight because the Blinds run fast at 6-Max tables, specially Zoom ones, and we are not able to play Loose. We have to play as chameleons and opportunists always seeking the best spots to explore. ( I guess)

Sorry, my question still stands. What are your strategies and tactics to beat rakes of 8BB/100, 10BB/100, 15BB/100 and so on. Sometimes it seems that it is only possible for super qualified professionals. (Which I am not. I am just a recreational player with a lot of curiosity).

Thanks again!

Regards;


Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa
 
LevySystem

LevySystem

Rock Star
[...]when you brought the rake and the rakecap of limits below 50 NLHE in mind.
Well my dear friend, the truth is that is just because I am unable to beat the field of 2 NLHE at Poker Stars, most because I really don't understand how to beat the rake, which Poker Stars claims to be 3.50% but in fact, the rake is 10% or 8% for 2 NL and 5 NL, (please, correct me if I am wrong).
A) Articles tend to explain that we should play Tight when the rake is high. But, here is the big problem: How do we play Tight at 6-Max Cash tables, either regular or Zoom Tables?
If we get to Nitty playing at 6-Max tables we would be eaten by the Blinds sooner than later. [...]

I think you are over thinking this a bit. I don't believe That you're problem is the rake, The problem you have is you're loosing to much money. Probably because you're inexperienced postflop.
In fact you should check youre winrate for each position in you're HUD. If you're loosing more than 100bb /100 in the bb you're not just loosing the blind but are also missplaying the hand postflop wich leads to loose more money. While it's not easy You can certainly have -20bb/100 on the bb in nl2 wich is pretty decent and will be hard to get at limits like nl100. I'm guessing even positive wirates should be possible since people are pretty terrible postflop. The blinds won't eat you...

Focus on thinking in terms of ranges, play tight smth like 18-24 Vpip 14-20 PfR and 3bet 6-8. Once you get more confident postflop you start loosing up a bit. Even 14-16 Vpip Nits are still making money at nl16...

Learn how to use and read a HUD properly and focus on preflop stats. Thats a thing thats tough about microstakes zoom, the amount of people you play in the same pool will be between 600-1k people. Wich means getting reliable information on you're Villain will take ages.

Also take things like WtSD into account. Everything above 30 is a calling station and/ or is playing too passive postflop. Work on you're W$WSF and W$SD

Work on you're mentalgame and review your sessions daily and split the time you invest into the game 50/50 study and play.

Follow this and depending on the a volume you play you should be able to play nl10 in 3 months.

Keep it up ;)
 
F

fundiver199

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The winrate on Zoom tables will always be lower than on regular tables. This is because, Zoom appeal less to beginners, and even they play fewer hands, because they can fold and be zoomed on to another hand right away. So if you are struggling to beat Zoom, then the first and most effective step is really to just move to normal tables instead and look for those with loose and splashy players on them.
 
Aballinamion

Aballinamion

Visionary
ok

Hey guys thanks a lot for your comments. Now I would like to continue the subject and state that I have no ideia how to use these information you told me to:

"Also take things like WtSD into account. Everything above 30 is a calling station and/ or is playing too passive postflop. Work on you're W$WSF and W$SD"

I utilize the HUD in cash games like this: VPIP/PFR/AF/3Bet/Fold to 3bet/ C-bet Flop/Fold to C-bet Flop/C-Bet Turn/Fold to C-bet Turn. However, as a beginner player, I don't know for sure how to utilize thins like WtSD and W$WSF.

In the VPIP I put a pop-up to know how much players are calling position x position
In the PFR I put another pop-up to know how much players Open Raise for position.

I say that I don't know how to trust information that goes beyond the Turn, because my professors teach me that we need a huge amount of hands in the Turn/River for making reliable decisions.
For example, it changes dramatically my decision making process the numbers of hands I have played with some x Villain:

A) When I have a sample between 0-100 hands, I strongly tend to consider the Villain a Regular, unless, of course, the Villain makes some weird move that could change my mind. Nevertheless, I try to use my common sense and when I see a great variance, or discrepancy between VPIP and PFR I usually change my mind a little. Any difference and distance above 7 between VPIP and PFR I tend to consider the Villain a Fish.
If the difference is more than 10 and I have a sample of only 100 hands played with this hypothetical Villain I would consider him a Fish, but even so playing carefully postflop, always considering the other Stats as AF, 3bet PF, Fold to 3bet PF, etc.

B) When I have a sample between a 100-500, let's us picture an example, I have played 434 hands with a Villain whose Stats are (Cash Game, 6-Max, 2 NL and 5 NL)
VPIP 20
PFR 16 (OR UTG: 15%/MP: 18%/CO: 25%/BTN 42%/SB: 37%
AF: 3
3bet PF: 10
Fold to 3bet PF: 52%
C-bet Flop: 54%
Fold to C-bet Flop: 48%
C-bet Turn: 46%
Fold to C-bet Turn: 40%

I consider this hypothetical Villain described above as a Tight Aggressive/Regular player.
When he opens from EP (UTG/MP) I am quite sure he is strong. It is a player that sometimes, in a condition that I have enough equity, I would put up some semi-bluffs in the Turn, but the sample of hands I have (434 hands) impacts directly my decision making process: I am aware most of weak Regulars have trouble to lay down some strong Combos, specially when they feel they have equity and position. I think it is really a bad ideia try to overbluff Regulars like this out of position.
How can I bluff a Regular who is thinking in the level zero of the game sometimes. We are tired to see over and over Regulars at these specific Stakes (2 NL, 5 NL) not to leave AA, KK postflop, no matter if a comet hit the board, no matter if there are Straight Flushes in Hero's range sometimes these guys simply cannot leave their hands, which makes the bluffing process kind of harsh and arid.
There are Regulars that I played over 1 thousand hands and I am still not able to bluff this guy in the Turn or River. What I am trying to say is that polarization should be the name of 2 NL and 5 NL: players are ridiculously unbalanced to the side of Value (TAGs) or to the side of Bluff (LAGs).
Regulars will fold too much to 3bet and 4bets, fold too much to Squeezes, The BB and SB will fold thousands of times, continuing with only 30% calling range and 15% 3betting range, these Regulars will fold postflop too specially to Check-Raises Turn in dry boards and also dry Rivers. Some Regulars are still playing their hands, not their Ranges, even today.

C) When I have a sample of 500-100, specially versus Whales and Fishes, I change dramatically my gameplan and decision making preflop and postlfop. For example, if I have played more than 500 hands with the entire table, and I am playing Zoom, I know the guy in the MP has 56 BB Effective Stack, Stats of VPIP 45 PFR 3 AF 0,8 and I got for example the medium part of my range UTG (QQ-88, AJs-ATs, A5s-A4s, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, T9s, 98s, AQo+) and remembering that the CO, BTN, SB and BB are also Whales like the Villain in the MP and all of them have less them 70 BB Effective Stack.
Now with this part of my range I can unbalance my play and raise which size I believe is more suitable for the situation ahead: sometimes I raise 5x from UTG with this Range, when there are only Whales in the table, sometimes I go for 6x, 7x even 10x. Why? Because these guys call way too much, they overcall. They use to play passively postflop most of their range, and when they show aggression I simply run because I know it is pure value (Considering players which could have AF between 0 and 2 for a sample of 500-1000 hands played, and the Whale gameplan is to bet values and fold non values)
I also make nonsense bets postflop versus Whales like this with a Broken Stack. Let us suppose I played 872 hands with a Villain whose stats are VPIP 34, PFR 15, AF 1,2 and he is in the BB with only 48 BB Effective Stack and Hero is in the Button with 7-15% Range and it comes to GAP. The SB is a Nitty and now I like in Hero's shoes to be creative, specially when I have the top of my range. If I have AKo, AQo, AJo, for example, and it comes in Gap in a spot like this, I raise 4x from the BTN, knowing that the guy in the BB is not even thinking about Odds. And if I hit a Jack or a Queen, a King whatever and let us suppose there are 10 BB in the Pot, Villain BB has 44 BB left, I sometimes, of course, make a C-bet of 44 BB with my Top Pairs Decent Kickers, Top Pair Top Kickers, open ended, Flush Draw, and so on.
However, if I am facing a Regular in the Big Blind and he has 100 BB Effective Stack, I would be Opening 3x with almost my entire Range and if I got a dry board I would C-bet 1/3 Pot, If a got a semi wet board I would C-bet something like 1/3 and 1/2 Pot, and when the board is very wet and connected I bet 1/2 Pot at maximum with my entire range, when in position, not considering the hand I have at the moment, but the Fold Equity, the way this Regular is seeing me on the Table, as a Tight Player as well and comes a board that I believe it is good to represent my range then I C-bet. Otherwise, I see no reason to be very creative at the Micros.

D) When I have a sample of over 1000 hands. Now I really start adding a few bluffs Preflop and Postflop, for example: Generally, I open from UTG something between 2x and 4x, depending on the Table Configuration and my short term gameplan. And usually I open from UTG something like 10-15% of my Range. But sometimes there are many Nits on my Left, who elect to fold a ton versus EP Open Raises, and when I find a situation like that I increase my UTG/MP range like that:

22+, A2s+, K2s+, Q5s+, J7s+, T6s+, 95s+, 85s+, 74s+, 64s+, 54s, 43s, 32s, AJo+

But, there are only a few spots where we can open so wide from UTG without risking our winrate. When there is a ton of Fold Equity I raise 2x, 2.5x because it doesn't make any difference for the NIT. And for the times I get called from the Blinds because the odds are really good I am protected versus a good part of the BB's Range, have position, initiative and hands that could play postflop very well, and also hands that usually realize their equity in Position versus the Blinds very good as a 74s, 64s, absurd hands that most players never think about opening from UTG. When when we have a huge sample of one thousands hands played with the whole table we can (not that we should) start to be creative and trying to get our opponents when they less expect. Nobody is expecting a TAG to be opening a T6s from UTG/MP because this TAG has 15% Raise from UTG, so he represents a very narrow and strong range.

Sorry for being so long in my explanation. Now I would like to ask the players in the Forum, and specially you who brought the observation about the WtSD and W$WSF, how these things I said about sample of hands impacts our reading of these information?
Should I trust small sample sizes when it comes to WtSD and W$WSF? How to get the most reliable information about it, and once again, thanks a lot for your work.

Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa
 
LevySystem

LevySystem

Rock Star
Hey man, sorry its been a couple of days, i wasnt Home.

I utilize the HUD in cash games like this: VPIP/PFR/AF/3Bet/Fold to 3bet/ C-bet Flop/Fold to C-bet Flop/C-Bet Turn/Fold to C-bet Turn. However, as a beginner player, I don't know for sure how to utilize thins like WtSD and W$WSF.

First off, thats a pretty decent HUD. Essentially the 3 W´s give you an idea of what kind of player youre playing. A example:

Imagine someone with WtSD 25 W$SD 53 W$WSF 49. What does this tell you? 1. Hes a Regular, probably a good one. 2. He makes his money on showdown, but looses vs aggresion. Thus he will be playing a breakeven/ loosing redline with a winning blueline. = Huge Nit postflop. You can pretty much snapfold second nuts if you get that raise on the river ;D

Id create another Widget just for WtSD, W$SD and W$WSF. Imo its easier to split relevant Infos so you dont have 1 big blob of numbers

I say that I don't know how to trust information that goes beyond the Turn, because my professors teach me that we need a huge amount of hands in the Turn/River for making reliable decisions.

Yes. Especially when youre playing micros. Even getting The relevant infos on postflopstats overall will be a struggle on nl2 zoom. Once you play Nl10 that will be easier. But TBF its not like you need them anyway at these stakes, there is enough other edges.


Sorry for being so long in my explanation. Now I would like to ask the players in the Forum, and specially you who brought the observation about the WtSD and W$WSF, how these things I said about sample of hands impacts our reading of these information?
Should I trust small sample sizes when it comes to WtSD and W$WSF? How to get the most reliable information about it, and once again, thanks a lot for your work.

Regards;

Carlos 'Aballinamion' Barbosa

Look the more the better. You can get first Hints preflop on samples such as 100 hands per stat. Alltough 500 id count as pretty reliable. Postflop you can get a hint on smth like 500-1k Hands. They really start becomming important once you have a 10k+ sample on villain.

Try to understand youre own game first. Reading Villains sounds nice, but realistically most people you are playing have probably no gameplan at all. Use the postflopstats to understand youre own style, and thus finding leaks.

Hope this helps alltough its been a while :)
Keep up youre enthusiasm!
 
akgross

akgross

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Your observations and recommendations are good and many should keep this in mind. The most important thing is not to lose your bankroll in this discipline. There are enough hands with dominant flushes and full houses with your AA or KK. Still need to take breaks between sessions. Won most of the bankroll, then for a while you need to take a break.))
 
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