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card dead, how do you guys deal with it?

nahcretep Posts: 108Subscriber
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
Hi guys,
I play the 2/3 100$ cap at commerce. I have been super card dead the last couple sessions and have to fold literally for hours. Just want some advice from you guys.
1. what do you guys do in general? get up and fight another day?
2. how to adjust hand ranges when this "card dead" phenomenon happens? such as after folding for an eternity, 74 suited UTG starts to look really pretty....
do you guys play some hands you normally would not play to gamble, or keep some momentum going?
3. when I finally open raise pre flop after 2 hrs of folding and get 3 callers, I often feel vulnerable because my hand range is some what face up in my opponents eye. ( 90% people in this stakes can't range hands but some times when they put you instantly on that Ak AQ hand they are actually right haha ).
so how do you guys approach this type of situation? raise more pre flop to get less caller? try to just win a hand to gain momentum? or play more fit/fold strategy post flop?
PS. my stack size is often very shallow now getting eaten away by the blinds

thanks for any input!
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Comments

  • RecreationalRogerRecreationalRoger Posts: 757Subscriber
    Nah,

    1. Yes.
    2. I resolve that if I'm going to start playing hands outside my normal range, I at least try to do it on the button, or the CU. Remember what Ted Williams said about swinging at pitches outside the strike zone - you swing at pitch one inch outside, they start throwing them 2 inches outside; you swing at them 2 inches outside, they start throwing them 3 inches outside; you start swinging at them 3 inches outside, you're hitting .220.
    3. Everyone's got a different opinion on how many callers you want with AK. However as far as depleted stack size, an easy way to solve this problem (especially in your game with 100 cap) is to buying for $200, put $100 on the table, and the other 100 in your pocket. Every time you get under 95, you can take a 5 chip out of your pocket and add it to your stack. If you find this annoying, you can keep 4 25 chips in your pocket and add on every time you go under 75. Nothing says just cause you're blinded down to a $53 stock you have to play a $53 stack. Unless the commerce has some strange rule about how/when you can add on. But at Parx I can add on anytime out of my pocket as long as I don't go over the table max buyin.

    Roger
  • Doubleupnow Posts: 94Subscriber
    I recommend that you switch to the $100-$300 2/3 blind game at the Bike. This will allow you to open up you raising range in these situations. With 100 big blinds it easier to play suited gap connectors etc. Playing in the Commerce game it is very difficult to play those types of hands in a profitable manner since you are so short. In addition you get free food and can earn up to $5 an hour for playing at the Bike.
  • PhulHouze Posts: 200Member
    I think opening up your range is important, and I agree that doing so in position is key. If you can sit there for hours without raising and then get 4 callers, you are playing in quite a juicy game. I know that where I play 1/2, if someone hasn't played a hand in hours, they raise to $15 and the whole table snap folds. There are a lot of variables including your raise sizing and position that play into this, but if you are playing $100, can raise to $15 w AK and get 4 callers, you should just let the cards do the work and get it in w 2 barrels. Sure you'll sometimes get called and lose, but the dead money is going to be so close to the size of your stack that, given your equity in the hand, you can just profitably get-it-in with AK - your opponents will rarely have hit the flop hard enough to continue. If they are the types of opponents who will continue with any piece of the board, you will still be in good shape when you miss, even when they've flopped top pair, FD, or SD.

    When you are this shallow, you should play the same way when you hit - don't get tricky because you flopped your king, as it will soon become obvious that you are bombing when you miss and betting 25% pot when you hit.

    It sounds to me like you're feeling card dead because your standards of profitable cards may be too high. I'd open up your range a bit, especially in position. However, you need to be willing to get your stack in when you have decent equity, even if you're a bit behind. With shallow stacks and loose villains, the size of the pot quickly approaches stack size, so the pot will often go to whoever has the biggest balls. Though you will lose buy-ins here and there, over time you will profit.
  • WackabrewWackabrew Posts: 400Subscriber
    I would second the comment about moving up to the 2/3 game at the Bike. I'm not sure if you are playing the $100 cap game because of bankroll considerations, but that type of game is going to be super high variance, and you will never be able to beat the rake in Cali in a $100 capped game (look at it this way...one and a half players are being raked off the table EVERY HOUR), so even if you run above expectation for a while all of your profit is going to go to the house. The other issue is that you essentially can't play to set mine or play suited connectors (forget about gapped suited connectors) profitably because the stacks are rarely going to be deep enough

    I would also echo Roger's sentinment that you need to constantly be topping off. Playing a 20BB stack in a low stakes game will never be profitable in the long run. I would essentially be open shoving like the top 20% of hands in that scenario

    With respect to running card dead, what is your typical opening range? It does help to start opening a little bit lighter from late position, but i wouldn't say that you should do this without knowing what typ of range you are typically opening.

    When I go card dead, I try to pick out one person at the table and play their hand with them in my mind. Try to figure out what he has based on what the action has been and see how close you are to the range you assigned him when the cards get shown down. You'll find that it keeps you focused on the game and will help you improve your hand reading skills at the same time.
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    agree with always topping up. I do this at a 100-300 game just so i can be as deep as possible.

    Players playing at this level will have no idea wtf a range is and will just be playing off their hand strength alone so i wouldnt be worried about it too much.

    I dont ever run into being card dead since i play so many hands that folding for even 1 lap is super rare for me.

    I also think you should find spots to squeeze. With stacks that are going to be this shallow even if you have shit and someone raises and gets a caller or 2 just ship it in. With the amount of money in the pot and the stack sizes in question your cards dont matter since there will be enough money in the pot to make it +ev.
  • PhulHouze Posts: 200Member
    Mike said


    I also think you should find spots to squeeze. With stacks that are going to be this shallow even if you have shit and someone raises and gets a caller or 2 just ship it in. With the amount of money in the pot and the stack sizes in question your cards dont matter since there will be enough money in the pot to make it +ev.
    +1 - Playing a game that is this shallow means that it is almost always incorrect to enter a pot (especially a raised pot) and then fold. Therefore, one of the few ways to exploit your opponents is to get them to fold out their equity once they've entered a pot or to force them to commit preflop or otf with inferior holdings.

    FWIW - I think this also makes your concern about playing hands "face up" somewhat irrelevant, because once you've entered a pot, your opponents should know that you have premium cards and are planning to just shovel all your chips in as soon as possible
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    you should not be changing your strategy whatsoever because you are card dead.

    playing with consistent discipline is an edge.

    If you are raising strong hands after being inactive for hours and getting a lot of callers why would you ever "open up your range"?
  • grindbler Posts: 131Member
    I remind myself that, on average, I'm going to have 2 plus EV spots per hour in live poker.

    this translates, through variance, into sometimes having no plus EV spots for hours on end, and then sometimes having 10 plus EV spots per hour.

    It all comes out in the wash.

    Patience. Whats happening now that you can't control isn't that important in the long run. (unless you decide to blow up right now out of impatience?)
  • PhulHouze Posts: 200Member
    Skinnybrown said

    you should not be changing your strategy whatsoever because you are card dead.

    playing with consistent discipline is an edge.

    If you are raising strong hands after being inactive for hours and getting a lot of callers why would you ever "open up your range"?
    I don't think anyone said to specifically open up your range because you are "card dead." What I (and others who posted similar responses) are saying is that if you are not finding a single playable hand in several hours, you need to redefine what is playable.

    The other issue is postflop play - OP seems to upset that he is getting too many callers for his preflop raises and does not know how to proceed postflop. If you are playing a strategy that involves waiting for super-premium hands, and you are playing this shallow and getting several callers, post-flop is not even a concern - just get it in.

    If you don't think it's profitable to raise pre and then just get it in w AK on any flop, even with an SPR of 1 or 2 (because you are only getting called by 2p+), then your strategy should involve raising an even wider range and increased bluffing.

    Either way, there's not really any such thing as "card death." There is a way to exploit every table and opponent, and it's up to you as a player to make use of the cards and position you are given to do so.
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    PhulHouze said
    I don't think anyone said to specifically open up your range because you are "card dead." What I (and others who posted similar responses) are saying is that if you are not finding a single playable hand in several hours, you need to redefine what is playable.
    Can you explain how "redefining what is playable" will not lead to you widening your opening range?

    I was referring to this in my original post.
    RecreationalRoger said
    I resolve that if I'm going to start playing hands outside my normal range, I at least try to do it on the button, or the CU.
    I think this is bad advice.

    Basically, all I'm saying is that if you have a solid strategy it should not be changing at all because you are card dead.
  • The Clubber Posts: 110Member
    I agree that at the stakes you're playing, lots of people aren't adjusting to the other players. A lot of times when I try to force action by opening and firing c-bets regardless of whether I hit the flop, I still get called light and lose more money.

    A few ideas

    1) Plan ahead and have a phrase you can repeat to yourself when the feeling of restlessness from being card dead starts to build. Something like, "My ability to save money by folding is one of my edges over my competition." Or "I can't control the cards, but I can control my bets and my reactions." It's totally fine to leave when you are too frustrated to stay disciplined.

    2) Another thing to think about - Are there ways you can draw enjoyment from the game when you're folding hands. Maybe you like the chatter and meeting the personalities at the table, Maybe you like the puzzle of guessing other players' ranges and feeling the pride form correctly identifying their hands. Try to find a way to have fun that is independent of having good cards to play.

    3) One situation where you can get away with forcing the action is a squeeze play. Identify a player that is opening way too often (shouldn't be hard at 2/3) Most people adjust by calling too much rather than 3-betting more. If you find one of these spots where you have a couple callers behind a loose raiser, firing a big 3-bet should take down the pot often enough to be profitable, but high variance. Let's say you have a player opening top 18% of hands, but will only call a re-raise with JJ+ and AK (3%), That means you will get folds 88% of the time, and the times you do get called you still have some equity.

    4) How do players in your pool react to a limp / reraise? Usually this is such a narrow range that when I see it, I fold almost everything worse than QQ. If that happens at your game as well, you can try occasionally limp / re-raising as a bluff. I would pick hands that have some equity when called like suited aces or suited connectors.
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    1) this seems ok on the surface.

    2) this is stupid. Why would you want anyone else to have any idea that you can read hands at all. If you are bored just start shoving when people open. Its never going to be a mistake in a game like this.

    3) If there is every a situation where someone is raising and getting a couple callers just always shove. I dont even think that this will increase the varience because your WR will skyrocket. You will get folds so often. If they are folding 88% of the time you can profitably shove with ATC

    4) dont limp raise. its fucking stupid. You need big hands in your opening range to protect your other hands. Just because you would fold JJ to a limp RR doesnt mean someone else is going to.
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    Mike said

    1) this seems ok on the surface.

    2) this is stupid. Why would you want anyone else to have any idea that you can read hands at all. If you are bored just start shoving when people open. Its never going to be a mistake in a game like this.

    3) If there is every a situation where someone is raising and getting a couple callers just always shove. I dont even think that this will increase the varience because your WR will skyrocket. You will get folds so often. If they are folding 88% of the time you can profitably shove with ATC

    4) dont limp raise. its fucking stupid. You need big hands in your opening range to protect your other hands. Just because you would fold JJ to a limp RR doesnt mean someone else is going to.
    keep it friendly yo! weez all here to learns.
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    Change seats. If possible change tables. This doesn't have anything to do with "changing luck" but wiping out your hand history.

    At the table a FEW players are paying close attention. A few more are paying some attention. Others are not paying little attention to anything. But one of the easiest thing for everyone to pay attention to is a play NOT playing any hands.

    If you keep moving seats, you will be wiping that hand history to all but the most aware players. If things don't change for you... change tables and start fresh. The last thing you want is to fold for three hours, get AA and then have everyone fold to you. So make it harder for them to track your play.

    Also, look for spots to limp into the hand in late position. Then take some time to fold when it comes to you. Draw some attention that you are in the hand. I am NOT saying Tank on every fold. But take 3-6 seconds.

    DO NOT talk about how you are card dead. DO NOT sit in the same spot folding hand after hand. That just makes it easy for them.
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    Mike said

    4) dont limp raise. its fucking stupid.
    Ruling out ANY play is just even more fucking stupid. There are occasions for just about everything.
  • SkinnybrownSkinnybrown Posts: 286Member
    JCW said

    Change seats. If possible change tables. This doesn't have anything to do with "changing luck" but wiping out your hand history.

    At the table a FEW players are paying close attention. A few more are paying some attention. Others are not paying little attention to anything. But one of the easiest thing for everyone to pay attention to is a play NOT playing any hands.

    If you keep moving seats, you will be wiping that hand history to all but the most aware players. If things don't change for you... change tables and start fresh. The last thing you want is to fold for three hours, get AA and then have everyone fold to you. So make it harder for them to track your play.

    Also, look for spots to limp into the hand in late position. Then take some time to fold when it comes to you. Draw some attention that you are in the hand. I am NOT saying Tank on every fold. But take 3-6 seconds.

    DO NOT talk about how you are card dead. DO NOT sit in the same spot folding hand after hand. That just makes it easy for them.
    Never thought about doing this. Great ideas, thanks!
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    Why do you even worry about being "card dead"? Poker is not about cards, poker is about making profitable bets. All you should be worried about is making +EV decisions at all times. Cards you are delt have nothing to do with it. You need to understand this to the level of unconscious competence and you won't have "being card dead" problem any more cause this problem exist only in your mind.
  • The Clubber Posts: 110Member
    Mike said

    2) this is stupid. Why would you want anyone else to have any idea that you can read hands at all. If you are bored just start shoving when people open. Its never going to be a mistake in a game like this.
    Don't think you're reading carefully. I didn't suggest you tell everyone what your reads are, just that you use the time you're folding productively by practicing hand reading.


    4) dont limp raise. its fucking stupid. You need big hands in your opening range to protect your other hands. Just because you would fold JJ to a limp RR doesnt mean someone else is going to.
    I think overall limp / reraising strong hands is a bad play when done for value since most players usually correctly read this as extremely strong and many correctly fold. However, if the player pool reads this play as extremely strong it might be a profitable move as a bluff, especially when stacks are shallow. Since you hope not to go to showdown, the actualy equity of a limp / reraise bluffing range shouldn't matter too much, suited aces seem like good candidates since a) you have a blocker to AA, b) you are about 32% vs JJ-KK and c) you have 30% vs most other aces. I haven't done the math, but it seems like if you have a lot of fold equity, and about 30% equity when you do go to showdown, it should be a +EV play.
  • nahcretep Posts: 108Subscriber
    Hi Guys thanks for the feed backs!
    To clarify card dead and stack size:
    - getting dealt K/5, J/6 type hands for long period of time. not even a hand worthy to over limp?
    - usually I'm down to about $40~60$ ( this is 2/3 blind $100 cap game, when you are down to $50 they let you add on for extra $100.)

    Stan Hackett- I like the 100BB game, didn't know they have it at the bike, thought low stakes game are all capped in LA. will try the bike next time, thanks!

    Skinnybrown- I agree for same strat most of the time, maybe be slightly different when deep. But wanted to see what people think when playing card dead. maybe finally getting dealt something "better looking" like Q10 UTG after folding 70 hands. should i get involved if my usually play is open fold. ( the reason for getting involve could be too bring some kind of activity back such as putting chips in the pot, get some info on how player react to you, or set up for something later? even if at the current moment is a -EV play )

    JCW - love the idea to change tables for a clean image! as i hated when I am finally involve in a pot, my range is almost face up or at least my opponent knows I have something, and play better against me.

    LimP re-raise - given some table dynamics, I like it with AA or KK. Its best when crazy guy sits on my left. when my image is good, I raise, get one caller and he folds on the flop. when I limp, crazy guy opens and whole table calls, or get some spaz shove and i collect money. this is for the weird $100 cap game though. But yeah, maybe another thread for the pros and cons of limp re-raise.
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    nahcretep said

    LimP re-raise - given some table dynamics, I like it with AA or KK. Its best when crazy guy sits on my left. when my image is good, I raise, get one caller and he folds on the flop. when I limp, crazy guy opens and whole table calls, or get some spaz shove and i collect money. this is for the weird $100 cap game though. But yeah, maybe another thread for the pros and cons of limp re-raise.
    I would suggest for every time you have AA in a limp re-raise situation you have about 5-10 bluffs. UTG limps with big hands can be good in the right table dynamics + Stack sizes. But really the play is better with a bluff hand. You just need to show up with a huge hand once in a great while since most of the time you will not get to showdown.

    But it is a great play to toss in a couple of times a week. You get to pick up a small pot and "balance" your UTG limping range by representing AA in a UTG limp.
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