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Celebrity Poker as a Learning Tool

August 24, 2005

  1. In this Partypoker column, I have written quite a lot about hit-and-run follies, about the silliness of quitting the game when you've won, say, one or two buy-ins. There are quite a few players who regularly hit-and-run, and who believe they are doing the right thing.
  2. If the flop comes AKQ, he will definitely fold to your bet if he has nothing, but what do you do, having three-bet with AK, when three small cards flop and he comes out betting? Remember, there is hardly a maniac who is highly aggressive before the flop, but timid after. Most likely the maniac will put a lot of pressure on you when the flop is unlikely to have helped you. By playing like this, you will of course make money when you have him beat, but he will also force you to lay down the best hand every now and then, and he will often get paid off generously when he has a real hand.
  3. When sitting on the maniac's immediate left, you will not have a lot of information to rely on. Had you taken the seat I usually recommend for limit hold'em (three or four seats to the maniac's left, preferably with some weak callers in the middle), you would have had more information available to you in making your decisions. Also, you will have this information on exactly the type of Partypoker hands where you need it most (pocket pairs, suited connectors), in the position where you are most likely to play them (the last four positions).
  4. In pot-limit partypoker, one of the most important considerations in choosing your seat is the size of your, and your opponents', stack. If you are playing a small stack, then the best seat is almost always the one on the maniac's immediate RIGHT. You will be able to create some monster pots by either limp/re-raising before the flop or by check-raising after the flop. Because you can almost always count on him to do the betting for you, you have basically given yourself last position.

Most players know that if there's a maniac in your game, you should tighten up considerably, simply because it will be more expensive than usual to see a flop. (This is common knowledge, and I generally agree with this reasoning). Now, if you are sitting on his immediate left, you will be seeing even less flops than that, exactly because of the seat you have chosen.

Slow Playing AA to extract the most $$

Also, it is a frequent occurrence in pot-limit that whenever I win a big pot one or two partypoker opponents are busted because of this. When they decide to leave and better players take their seats, or the game becomes short-handed, then I often quit and call it a day. But once again, this has got nothing to do with hit-and-run. Any player that quits the game simply because he's up a certain amount cannot be a good player, if you ask me. Despite everything you think you see or notice, hit-and-run players are not doing the right thing- and they certainly are not long-term party poker winners . In my opinion, that's all there is so say about hitting-and-running; there's simply nothing more to it.

You never lose big against them, because whenever they have scooped a nice pot, they are out of there. But when they are most likely to be playing badly (when they are stuck, trying to get their money back) they simply cannot leave- even though their future expectation may have become negative, rather than positive. Thus: when they are likely to be playing well and are winning, they leave and when they are down, stuck or steaming they keep on playing- now why on earth would you ban players like that? The truth about hit-and-run is this.

Then, they simply cannot quit the game anymore simply because they're stuck, even though at this point they are by no means favorites to beat the Partypoker game. (This might be because they are playing a lot worse than usual, because they are playing against good or even excellent players, or because game conditions are unfavorable- for instance, when the rake is simply too high for the type of game they are in).