Saturday, December 06, 2008

HU21: At every opportunity

A marked improvement in my heads-up game came when I recently decided to open raise every single button at the beginning of a match.

Most players don't know how to respond. They aren't comfortable calling or 3-betting much more often than they do normally.

Attempting to steal every blind from the button is an aggressive move that automatically puts many villains on the defensive. It's a direct application of the advice that you should run over your opponent at every opportunity until you're given reason not to.

Sometimes, I know my villain and don't open every button. Sometimes, I'll get 3-bet a lot and have to scale back. Sometimes, the flow of the match dictates that T4o and 95o are just too crappy to attempt to play.

But there are many times when opponents will play too tight and hand over their blinds until they have a strongish hand. Then when they raise, it's easy to fold and resume stealing next hand.

I've been picking up a lot of HU tips, and they're truly making a difference in my game:

_ Watching videos on a regular basis is the best way to improve. I've been watching several DeucesCracked series and dedicating a lot of time to study. In order of my opinion of these series, here are the videos I'm currently watching: DogIsHeads UP, Parallels, Hand Readers, Movin' on Up: HU NL.

_ Two-barrel bluffing works pretty well in 3-bet pots.

_ AJs is a terrible 5-bet shoving hand.

_ Against frequent 3-bettors, floating and bluffraising the flop are fantastic options.

_ When there's a draw-heavy board on the turn, check-calling is not a good option most of the time. I should usually check-raise or fold.

_ No one ever believes the double check-raise. Nor should they, because it's usually a bluff (at least when I've tried to pull it off).

1 comment:

Greylocks said...

This is also generally correct strategy if you make the final two of a tournament or sit-and-go. The chances of the other player knowing how to play heads-up are pretty slim, and most try to sit and wait for a hand.