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TENACIOUS D – Kickapoo

The New Short Stack Strategy

This is a play i learned about last week and i have used it with surprisingly great results. It is called the Stop and Go.

First of all, What is the Stop and Go?

The normal short stack strategy is, when you get good cards, put all your chips in the middle and hope for the best, but in this situation you are actually giving better odds to call you with any two cards than with this strategy. Here is how this play works – Some one raises the normal amount and even though you are the short stack, with reasonably good cards, you just call the raise with the intention of going all in after the flop. Ideally you are out of position but it really does not matter that much in the end because if you went all in pre-flop it is the same cards, situation, etc… By just calling the bet pre-flop and pushing on the flop your opponent will now have to call to see just 2 more cards instead of 5 with an all in pre-flop. This reduces the odds your opponent has to call and so it increases your fold equity hugely, especially 60% of the time when they miss the flop all together.

Here is an example- You are two hours into a tournament and the blinds are 150/300 and you stack is 1800, while the average stack is 7000 chips. You are holding AJ in the big blind, everyone folds too a player in late position who makes a standard raise to 900. the rest of the players fold and the action is on you, in this situation you could happily go all-in but our opponent will definetly be calling our re-raise and at best we would be 50/50 coinflip. But lets assume that our opponent is holding a pair of 8’s. Rather than coming over the top, you call the raise which leaves us with 900 chips. The flop comes K 5 9, and we move all in. Our opponent is now faced with a tough decision to call if he didn’t hit the set and is stuck with lower middle pair, therefore if they fold we take down a decent size pot with the worst hand, whereas if we pushed pre-flop we would probably be out of the tournament.

By increasing our fold equity it improves our chance of winning the hand, even if our opponent decides to call we are in the exact same situation as we would have been if we had pushed pre-flop. They would have improved there hand either way the chips went in, this way just gives us a better chance of winning without contest. The cards that come out on the flop have no influence on the way we play the hand as our intention at the beginning is to move all in at some point in the hand.

Only use this play heads up, it loses its value if there is 5000 chips in the middle and they are both getting 5.5-1 on there money to call. This play should be used sparingly though and only in certain situations against timid or passive opponents. If you have a great hand QQ+ push pre flop because you really don’t need fold equity there, you want them to call, but if your stuck in a bind with mediocre-good cards try the stop and go next time your short stacked and tell me how it goes.

Credit to the Poker Bank who i learned the play from and got a lot of the ideas, its a great site that everyone should check out, i dont know who writes it but they are very informative and easy to understand.

Hope it works out! GL on the felts

I believe it was Harrington who had a theory I really liked in which when he had a small stack and picked up a monster he would bet half his stack, and then put the rest in regardless of the flop. Its a strategy I have had some success with. Half the stack would attract enough attention but not enough to seriously diminish the odds of your monster hand against a bunch of randoms.

Here is a scenario that occured to me this weekend at a Gutshot FR where I should have used this play.

I had 77 with a mid size stack. BB- one limper and the SB had completed. I put them on mid strenght hands (maybe Ace-Small or King-mid since there were no raises)- nobody playing at this table seemed especially tricky.

I went all in hoping to steal the $ in the pot.

Limper clled me with KQ. (he outchipped me by a few).

Flop comes 885 Turn was 3 River was Q ( )

If i used the stop and go here i think there was enough fold equity that he would have folded after the flop and I would have been still alive.

Instead my all in push screamed middle pair and he called me assuming a race (which of course he won-

have used the strategy, relatively effectively, on a couple of occasions, but there is one issue with it that I have encountered: With high blinds, people try to steal from the button a lot, especially if they think they can push a short stack around. If you limp in from the SB (lets say with AJ like you used in your example) to a steal (with say, 45 suited), you are allowing them to see a flop when a reraise would likely elicit a fold. Even if they have the equity with their 45, often times they’ll read you as having a pocket pair above 5, meaning their killed. Now, lets say they flop a couple draws or a low pair. At this point, when you push, they will be probably getting the odds to call with a flush draw, so you are up against a draw, rather than having already taken down the pot.

Anyway, the bottom line is that you just need to know how to use this strategy. You have to know whose aggressive (and likely to steal) and whose conservative (probably raising with a premium hand and also likely to fold if they miss the flop). Great strategy if used right though.

Originally posted 2005-08-07 11:04:29.

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