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Slow HU SNG against nit

    • animagne
      Joined: 20.05.2010 Posts: 12
      I mostly played turbos at party poker, but recently switched to stars. Today I decided to try out a slow HU SNG tournament (constant 5/10 blinds with 2k stacks) and ended up against one of the regulars on that limit (who seems to just grind instead of moving up from there as he according to sharkscope has made way more than enough profit to go up 3 or 4 limits higher even with extremely conservative brm and cashing out a lot), ofcourse until I started writing this post and looked him up I thought he was a total fish.

      It took me 123 minutes and 518 hands to finish it (obviously winning), but if he wouldn't have made such a huge mistake (probably because of boredom) it could have easily taken at least 2 hours more. Essentially he was playing 20/15 for first 200 hands or so and after doubling up (he was at 800 and I actually hoped to finish him off as it was booring already, when I had to play only 3 real hands in an hour...) he slightly opened up to 37/20, which obviously is way too low even for such type of hu (hence the nit part).

      The main problem was that I was unable to just grind it out. I was mostly playing in position (especially the first half of the game as I barely saw any flops oop). I was getting from time to time a random 3-bet or check/raise on flop, or just getting my c-bet and/or further barrels called with balanced range (usually top/2nd pairs, most draws (well at least once he called with a gutshot twice and drew it, when he clearly didn't have odds for that)) and rarely called when I had a hand, even though I use exact same bet sizing for everything from trash to monsters (well I tend to check/raise with good hands more when I'm out of position, since I generally don't want to get into tough spots, especially against tight range players, instead of slowplaying them, as he wasn't 2nd barreling enough for that). Even while I was always in position, it was hard to make any moves against him, as when he played back at me, he usually had something and I couldn't just bluff him off without risking most of the chips I hardly grinded out. On the other hand it was easy for him to bluff me off, if he wanted to, because he was playing so tightly as I had loose range and was unwilling to risk my chips when he was playing more aggressively.

      Obviously when I had 4:1 advantage the first time I shouldn't have overplayed my hand and just finished him off faster, however, does it generally have to go that long until someone gets like 3rd nuts against 4th nuts (well waiting for 1st nuts against 2nd nuts would be just crazy and getting anything decent usually gives you no value) or either of players gets bored and makes a huge mistake (which is probably the reason why this streategy was so profitable for him)? Or I'm just missing some essential point in how to abuse such playstyle?
  • 1 reply
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      If he is playing 20/15 HU, you can just play small-ball and steal way more of his blinds than he steals of yours. Obviously he has a strong range when he does play a hand, so you need to adjust your postflop evaluations. In addition, if you have such a large advantage in small pots, then you should tend to be risk-averse in large pots, and avoid bloating pots.

      Most casual players will simply get bored and will play really badly after 30 minutes. I don't think this is a sustainable form of poker because I don't think casual players find it satisfying. I'm sure there are some short-sighted jerks who just take the maximum amount of time on each decision until their opponents quit in disgust.

      When you are actively exploiting someone, this usually leaves you vulnerable to being exploited. Your nitty opponent could suddenly bluff you out of a pot, but if he is really a nit he won't do that very often. You could keep all of your ranges balanced and rely on passively exploiting your opponent, such as collecting way more walks than you should, but if your read is accurate you can do better with active exploitation.