Shorty – I Will Strike Down Upon Thee With Great Vengeance And Furious Anger – Part 1 Shoving Ranges

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Poker Theory
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In Poker people short stack because they think it gives them an edge. When we buy in for full we are going to have to make decisions on the Flop, Turn, and River a lot of the time where as most of the short stacks play will be Pre-Flop and then on the Flop largely taking away any further decisions on the Turn and the River because by that time most of their stack will be in the middle making it hard for them to make `mistakes`. Go to any Poker forum and you wont have to search far to find someone complaining about playing against short stacks.

Short stacks are obviously a reality and for the time being are here to stay so rather than whinge and moan about them the best thing to do is to learn how to beat them with as large a stick as possible. This is what this article is aiming towards and i am going to use a nifty little piece of software called All In Expert to give you an idea of how we can exploit the leaks that most of them have.

We are going to use three different types of short stack for this, and we are going over shoving ranges in the first part(We open, shorty 3bets, we shove) and calling ranges in the second. Just a note that we are talking about playing against `pro` short stackers and not recreational fishy players and we are mainly talking about late position wars ie. Co/Btn/Sb opens. Now most of these type of players will be using a HUD of some sort and will see us playing something like 15/12 – 18/14 so we will be an ideal target for them to 3bet us.

So this is the scenario and all hands are 9 handed:-

Poker Stars $0.10/$0.25 No Limit Hold’em – 9 players –
SB: $10.00

BB: $10.00

Hero (BTN): $28.69

Pre Flop: ($0.35) Hero is BTN with X of diamonds X of spades

6 folds, Hero raises to $0.50, SB raises to $1.75, 1 fold, Hero Shoves What Range?

So the first villain we will tackle is 9/8 with a 4% 3bet and who is folding less than 60% to a 4bet. This type of shorty is basically 3betting based solely on his hand strength rather than attacking weak opens.

So first things first and we have to construct a 3bet range for him which is going to be pretty easy, once we have done that we need to construct a range that he will call with if we decide to shove against his 3bet, again for this type its going to be pretty easy. once we enter them in to All In Expert it will then give us a range with which we can profitably shove when he 3bets us.

This is the range i came up with, on the left we have the range i think he 3bets with and on the right we have the range which i think he calls a shove with:-

Once ive entered those ranges along with money in the pot plus amount the shorty would have to call, All In Expert came up with the range on the right that we can profitably shove against this villain type. Not surprising that its going to be very tight giving how tight a 3bet range he has. So here we can shove 2% of hands and show a profit.

Now everyone is going to realize against this villain we arnt going to exploit him by getting in to 4bet shoving wars with him but we are going to exploit him by constantly stealing his blinds knowing full well that when he does decide to 3bet us we will actually exploit him again by folding nearly all of our range comfortable in the fact that we are taking his blinds constantly and that we practically get to play the BTN twice having him on our left knowing he never gets out of line.

Next up we are looking at a villain playing 13/12 with a 7.5% 3bet who is 3betting on average 10-12% from BTN/SB/BB and is folding to 4bet more than 60%.

So same again i have to go through the ranges again and see what we can come up with, obviously this is going to be a touch more difficult to do because its going to be quite debatable as to how his range is weighted with bluffs and value.

These are the ranges i came up with:-

So ive gone for a 12% range and feel he may call a shove with about 5% of that range, now that may be a touch out as he may be a tad tighter with what he calls with. As we can now see from the results on the right, it now becomes profitable to shove with around 15% of our range. This range is going to include all PP`s along with a lot of hands that hold blockers to big hands.

So now we have 2 ways of exploiting this villain, hes probably still folding his blinds to us a bit too much but now we are starting to exploit his wide 3betting range by shoving on him quite frequently. Most of these type of villains are not going to be good enough to adjust to our tactics and those that try to will either tighten up way too much which means more money for us, or will loosen up too much which again is going to mean more money for us.

Now we get on to what is my personal favorite and that is the shorties playing pretty wild 18/16 with a 10% 3bet but are averaging about 18% from BTN/SB/BB and going as high as 30% in some cases against opens from CO/BTN/SB. The great thing about these guys is that most of them are still folding to 4bets a massively exploitable amount of the time and usually a lot more than 60%

So that said here is the ranges that i tried to put together for these guys:-

As we can see above ive gone for quite a wide 3bet range but still quite tight when it comes to calling a shove(some of these guys are even tighter) and the first time you run a simulation like this you think that you must have done it wrong and it cant really be profitable to shove nearly 100% of our range against these guys but as is shown its theoretically correct to be shoving 88% of our hands when it comes to facing a 3bet from a villain like this.

Now obviously we probably arnt going to take it to these extremes but you get the idea, we can shove a very wide range against these guys time and time again to abuse them and make good profit.

So thats just giving a pretty basic idea on how we can play back at the shorties and make their life hell. Id recommend anyone  who hasnt used the program before to download it and have a play with it as its a really cool piece of kit. In the next part im going to look at calling ranges when we 3bet a shorty and they shove.

All the best.

  1. xxcara88xx says:

    this hurts my head just looking t it!! lol

  2. Michal Todt says:

    pretty interesting read. Looking forward to part 2.

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