Since Hollywood Columbus opened in October 2012, I’ve had the opportunity to play much more full-ring no-limit hold ’em. $1/2 and $2/5 are typically spread, and I’ve quickly come to hate $1/2. I’m convinced that it’s unbeatable for any hourly that makes it worth playing, and the pace is dreadful. However, since I am a former online MTT grinder with very little full-ring experience, I’m certainly not confident buying-in to $2/5 for a full 200 BB stack ($1k). Not only am I short the proper bankroll for that buy-in, I am not yet good enough at this limit to justify it.
To compromise, I’ve decided to buy-in short at $2/5 ($200-$300) and to play a basic short stack strategy. This includes lots of limp-shoving and limp-folding when I only have 40-50 big blinds.
I have about 193 hours of data in my PokerJournal and while I’m in the black, I know that have a lot of learning to do. MTTs are still my passion but they don’t even run until next month, and even so I’d like to be more rounded and improve my full-ring game.
I do not need the money I have in my poker bankroll (I am not playing for a living) and I am comfortable short-stacking $2/5. Because the table max is $1,000 or 100% of the big stack, whichever is greater, the game often plays more like $5/10 as stacks can average > $2k. This doesn’t really affect my strategy, other than I may get looked up lighter than average (which is fine by me because I usually have it.) Once I double or triple up, it makes the play more interesting (read: difficult) for me.
Because I’ve played a zillion 180 turbos, I’d like to think my push-fold game is fairly solid and that I can make mostly +EV plays in a cash game with a 40-50 BB stack and play an un-exploitable strategy. For example, a late position player might open to $25, and the button and small blind both call ($82 in pot). I jam $200 from the big blind with JJ. In this game, nearly all pairs and lots of hands like JTs+ will call here. Snap call actually. That hand really happened and my opponent mucked after the board ran out ace high. That hand played itself, however I could’ve easily made the same play with a much wider range, and gotten 3 snap folds, while picking up tons of dead $.
While I feel a solid pro/reg can play nearly perfectly against this strategy, there are enough random people who are
bad not as experienced that I can take advantage of. In a game where we want to minimize our mistakes and maximize our opponents’ mistakes, I believe that playing this strategy can be profitable and fun. While some regulars seem to have an issue with it, others seem to love it (especially when I donk ship into them).
I plan on posting hands, thoughts, observations, & questions here, as well as my inquiries to some of the games better players & writers. Guys like Bart Hanson, Ed Miller & Dusty Schmidt come to mind.