Big Stack at table does not always = Great (or even solid) player

hott_estelle

hott_estelle

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Yes this may seem like a very simple concept, and OK, this may seem like a very simple statement that most of us already know, but you'll be quite surprised to know how many players immediately assume that a player with a big stack--such as double max buyin on a cash table (i.e. $100+ at a $50 Max buyin table)--is a good or great player. There are countless times I have noticed a player play overly tight and weak to a big stack because they assume the big stack is a great player and obv has a better hand than them. As basic as this concept is, sometimes we have to get down to the basics and analyze certian elements of our game that we may be overlooking, and hindering our performance in any possible manner; this post probably applies more so to the less experienced players, but it's never a bad thing to accentuate certain points that will be beneficial to our overall game.

This is a mistake that many new players/less experienced players make routinely, and even some of the experienced players at times let this slip into their mind and unconciously play differently against a big stack. A big stack does not = a great player. Instead of assuming this general statement is true for every big stack player, one should actually use his/her own reading abilities to judge what type of player the big stack is. Don't get lazy and just assume that the big stack plays solid TAG or premium hands because he has a lot of cash in front of him. I understand when multi-tabling, sometimes people don't pay attention to the other action going on at a table, if they themselves are not in the hand, but we can't ever get away from the basics.

The reasons why I'm writing this thread, is because of a couple hands I've witness the past couple days--both online and live--(and many more that I'm sure have occurred) in which one player did not go off reads but went off the basic idea that a big stack = good player.

One example I saw at a $50 Max Buyin Game .25/.50 blinds (don't have HH, but remember the hand)

Player 1 with about $60 stack raised standard raise of 4xBB with QQ from MP. Player 2 with about $130 stack (the big stack in this example) simply calls the raise. Everyone else folds.

Flop is 10-7-2 rainbow. Player 1 bets out about $5. Player 2 raises about $15 more on top. Player 1 contemplates for about 50 seconds, uses up time bank, and tells everyone he had QQ, and say he gives Player 2 credit for a premium hand, and says he thinks Player 2 has KK or AA and folds. Player 2 shows 44 and takes the pot, while laughing at player 1.

Obv Player 1 completely misplayed the hand. We could easily say it was simply a bad read, or that Player 1 is a very weak/bad player. Both are untrue. From my observations---by this time we had been playing for about 100+ hands on same table--Player 1 was a solid TAG player, who definitely made calls like this routinely against players with a similar stack or lower. Also, had he been going off reads, he would have realized that Player 2 had shown on a couple occasions on making plays at pots on the flop with low PP or just draws.

This example obv does not apply to every situation, and yes Player 1 played this pretty unconventionally, and we might think we would never make a similar mistake, but I've seen people routinely get out of their game when playing against the overwhelming big stack at the table because they assume that the big stack = good player. You should always be able to be comfortable in playing the best possibly poker and making the best possible decisions at any poker table, or else you should not be playing at that table. For example, if the fact that you could get your stack of about $60 on a table busted by a $130 stack at a $50 Max table, influences your play against that $130 stack to the point that you're not comfortable enough to put all your money in the middle when you believe that you have the best hand (because you could bust), then you should not be playing at those stakes. If playing against the big stack influences your play differently in any possibly way and makes you go against your conventional reads/style--in a way that it would be a very negative hit to your game and profits--then you definitely need to move down in stakes to become comfortable enough to play within your BR.


If this post seems a bit repetitive at times, it's just because I completely have written this on the fly and havn't edited any of it so just forgive me for that. I just wanted to get a point across on something I've been noticing a lot at the tables, and not in online poker. In live play at even the 1/2 or 2/5 tables here in Vegas, I see people play differently to a big stack because they're afraid of getting busted or afraid that the big stack is a "great" player. Anyways, hope this helps you in the future if you just read all this. I should probably try to edit this and make it a bit more readable, but I'm tired at the moment so I'm just going to go to sleep.
 
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edge-t

edge-t

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Great thread, but better players definitely has the biggest chance of being the big stack at the table WITHOUT READS. Usually after observing the table for a while, you can determine whether the big stack gathered his chip lead by sucking out, or he's a really solid player.
 
shinedown.45

shinedown.45

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I believe the same thing, I usually sit down and watch the chip leader for awhile to see if he/she show down cards to see what kind of player he/she is.
If lag, then I will play aggressively against this player.
BTW, great post estelle +rep
 
hott_estelle

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Great thread, but better players definitely has the biggest chance of being the big stack at the table WITHOUT READS. Usually after observing the table for a while, you can determine whether the big stack gathered his chip lead by sucking out, or he's a really solid player.

You could easily say that better players have a better chance at being a bigger stack, of course that seems like the obv answer, and sometimes this is true--but you still can't go against your reads or play any differently, which many people do, just because they're the big stack and you could lose all your money on that given table.

What I'm trying to say is, cash games are completely different from tourney play. In tourney play, there is a definite reason to fear the big stack at times, because if you lose all your chips at that table, you're out of the tournament (unless rebuy tourney). Anyways, on a cash table, you just shouldn't have that fear and you shouldn't psychologically assume that the big stack = good player. You shouldn't have that fear, if you're playing within your BR, and you should be able to make solid decisions and put all your chips at risk in times you believe you have the best hand--even if it is against the big stack at the table.

But my main point was, that certain players play differently against a big stack--and go against their conventional reads and style of play--just because the person they're playing against in that particular pot is the big stack; and some people do this without even realizing they are doing it.
 
reglardave

reglardave

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At times, lookin at a big stack in a cash gme has the oppposite efect on me. I'll play them more aggressively, hoping to carve a chunk of it for myself.

An example that comes to mind- I often play the .05-.10 cash tables at FT, and it gets my juices flowing when a player drags obviously their wentire BR to the table. I just YEARN ti grab some of it!
 
hott_estelle

hott_estelle

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At times, lookin at a big stack in a cash gme has the oppposite efect on me. I'll play them more aggressively, hoping to carve a chunk of it for myself.

An example that comes to mind- I often play the .05-.10 cash tables at FT, and it gets my juices flowing when a player drags obviously their wentire BR to the table. I just YEARN ti grab some of it!

I'm not talking about bring the max amount to a cash table. I'm talking about those who have 2-3 or even 4 times the max buyin at the table.
 
edge-t

edge-t

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I understand your point estelle. I used to give too much respect to the big stacks, until I start paying more attention on the tables that I played on. I realised that some of the big stack makes donkey play and dealt out suck outs so bad, that it'll make Virgin Mary swear.

My point is this: Without reads, I'm going on the defensive and assuming that big stack is reasonable enough good player, to accumulate a stack of that size(2-3 max buy-ins)

I'm not going to jump in and assume that every big stack at the table is a donkey who sucked out. That is another extreme... until I've established some read, or seen a few hands big stack has taken to showdown, I'm on defensive would be safer, is all I'm saying.
 
B

bill118911

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sometimes being big stack doesnt matter depends on how u play it if u get a big stack i would slow down some play good hands but slow down some of these guys and gals that get big stacks try and bully alot to get bigger thats when u can sit back and catch them
 
JenksVIP

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I love those people. They make me laugh cause since they got money they think there special
 
Crummy

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I agree, Just because you enter a cash game with a minium of $30 with $200 dosent mean your good. It could actually mean you are week and want to make yourself look good and have extra cash to bully people around with.

The last time I went to the casino I sat down at a $3/$6 Limit game with $40, this was 10 dollars more than the minimum required. I noticed a few people that sat down with more, a few with just the minimum. One girl sat down with $300 and as soon as she sat down she let us all know it was her first time playing live. You could tell too. I turned my $40 into $200 really quick, her $300 kept getting smaller. Just because you sit with the most chips dosen't mean to much. Could be good, could be bad!!
 
hott_estelle

hott_estelle

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I agree, Just because you enter a cash game with a minium of $30 with $200 dosent mean your good. It could actually mean you are week and want to make yourself look good and have extra cash to bully people around with.

The last time I went to the casino I sat down at a $3/$6 Limit game with $40, this was 10 dollars more than the minimum required. I noticed a few people that sat down with more, a few with just the minimum. One girl sat down with $300 and as soon as she sat down she let us all know it was her first time playing live. You could tell too. I turned my $40 into $200 really quick, her $300 kept getting smaller. Just because you sit with the most chips dosen't mean to much. Could be good, could be bad!!

People are misreading my thread, o well, maybe I wasn't clear enough but I'm not talking about buying in for the max-buyin. I'm talking about people that have more than the max buyin at the table.
 
reglardave

reglardave

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I seem to have sorta sent his thread off on a tangent, quite unintentional I assure you, and I do apologize, Estelle.
 
aliengenius

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I agree, Just because you enter a cash game with a minium of $30 with $200 dosent mean your good. It could actually mean you are week and want to make yourself look good and have extra cash to bully people around with.

The last time I went to the casino I sat down at a $3/$6 Limit game with $40, this was 10 dollars more than the minimum required. I noticed a few people that sat down with more, a few with just the minimum. One girl sat down with $300 and as soon as she sat down she let us all know it was her first time playing live. You could tell too. I turned my $40 into $200 really quick, her $300 kept getting smaller. Just because you sit with the most chips dosen't mean to much. Could be good, could be bad!!

In a limit game you should buy in for, and ALWAYS have, at least 12x the big bet in front of you (enough to see the river with every street capped). In 3/6 that would be at least $72. If you fall below that amount you really need to rebuy. [link broken ~tb]

As to the point of the thread (and incidentally related to how much you buy in for), I like to rebuy to the max amount allowed instantly. That way any pot I win will give me more than the table buy-in (and hopefully go up from there), which if others are willing to make the mistakes you point out against big stacks, so much the better.
 
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