How to play tables with a Cap

    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,910
      I played 100 hands or so on a NL2 "Cap" table on FTP over the weekend.

      Apart from the cap, it seemed that players were very loose, and fold equity just about did not exist.

      Also, although table appeared to allow me to take my entire bankroll to the table, most people at the table had stacks ranging from half the cap to twice the cap, and newcomers brought about double the cap.

      I played tighter than I normally would, and took away about 50 bb, though at one point I was ahead several hundred.

      Is this a standard scenario for these tables?
      Are there articles here that mention what adjustments should be made for cap tables?

      Thx,
      --VS
  • 5 replies
    • phathustler
      phathustler
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      Joined: 03.01.2011 Posts: 23
      I haven't played those tables, so I can't really attest to whether the looseness you saw is any different from typical NL2.

      Reading over the rules for cap games though, it sounds like you want to note that the effective stack sizes are cut down to the cap size. Generally (if the cap is low enough), this means you want to be defaulting to a short-stack strategy.

      Moreover, you (as always) should be trying to assess whether other players are overlooking the importance of stack sizes and have some glaring leaks because of this that you can exploit.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,910
      The only two times I've played these tables, it seemed that everyone ELSE was trying SSS, so I went rather loose, and after 100 hands or so I was 22/18 w/ AF 4.

      Seemed to be successful at this table.
      Although short-stacked, there were two players with VERY high vpip, neither of whom lasted long, so I made about 50 bb on this table. I was tight compared to them, and loose next to most of the rest.

      I'm finding it fun trying something new, so I'll play with these for a while.

      It would be nice if the experts did a strategy article covering cap games.

      --VS
    • tokyoaces
      tokyoaces
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      Joined: 01.04.2009 Posts: 1,883
      There's several articles and videos about playing 40bb stacks ...

      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/sss/1852/1/
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Yes, I did sss when I first started.
      The premise though, is that you are using sss to exploit the bss players at a full ring table.
      sss is specifically NOT recommended against other ss players -- it is in those very articles.

      The cap artificially limits a player's stack. So since EVERYONE's effected stack is 30bb, sss would seem not to apply.

      My read so far is that the cap tables are populated by weak players who hide behind the cap to make sure that they don't lose too much.

      I've been trying to play a changing game, based on who I'm in the hand with, and based of course on my cards.

      It does not appear that many pokerstrategists play cap tables though.

      --VS
    • phathustler
      phathustler
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      Joined: 03.01.2011 Posts: 23
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      Yes, I did sss when I first started.
      The premise though, is that you are using sss to exploit the bss players at a full ring table.
      Remember to make a distinction between playing SSS and actually having a short stack, and playing BSS and actually having a big stack.

      The reason SSS works against BSS players isn't because the guy playing BSS has a big stack. It works because BSS relies on having a large effective stack size, but he has a small effective stack size and doesn't adjust when he plays you. You're exploiting the fact that he's playing a strategy that doesn't make sense for his effective stack size. His actual stack size is irrelevant; it's the disconnect between his strategy and his stack size that is important.

      So, the same principle should apply at a cap table. If you find players are playing "inappropriately large sized" strategies for the effective stack sizes, then you can exploit them by playing SSS for the same reason that it works in a normal game.

      This is maybe a subtle distinction, but important.


      sss is specifically NOT recommended against other ss players -- it is in those very articles.
      This recommendation has an implicit assumption. The problem isn't that they're short stacked. As far as you're concerned, all else equal, there's no difference between you sitting down with 30bb against a guy who has 30bb or who has 400bb. If they both play badly, then you'll profit against them. If the 30bb guy makes "BSS decisions", he's going to lose against you as badly as a guy with 400bb playing BSS against you, because they're using an inappropriate strategy for their (effective) stack size. If the 400bb guy makes "SSS decisions" against you, you're going to be breaking even against him.

      The recommendation is probably motivated by an assumption that other short stack players are probably playing a strategy that's more appropriate for their stack size. In this case, you lose your advantage, not because they have a short stack, but because they are playing an appropriate strategy. This is the exact same reason you don't have an advantage playing SSS against a guy who has 500bb but properly plays SSS against you.

      It's more difficult to teach people to recognize an opponents strategy than to teach them to read stack sizes though.

      I've been trying to play a changing game, based on who I'm in the hand with, and based of course on my cards.
      Good, this is what you should be doing all the time :D All the SSS / BSS stuff is just defaults anyway that are designed to exploit some notion of an "average player".