NLHE Turbo Strategy

It seems like everyone and his dog has a NLHE strat posted these days. I remember when Glenn wrote up his back in about 2006 and everyone wanted it. It was distributed around the Internet and discussed on forums. Of course, Glenn winning freerolls to WSOP events year after year didn't hurt his cred' at all!

So since there are so many, and the good ones are readily apparent I decided to do something more like bullet points about things NOT to do. I will try to throw in occasional tips on the to-do side as well, but for the most part, these are the things I've noticed in NLHE Turbos on the Internet that players regularly do, guaranteeing that they will never win.

Before I get the whole "Yadda yadda yadda, you think you're a great player" bash, let me say that I'm losing recently, and most of it is my own fault. I'll make one or two fundamental mistakes during HU play and go from hero to zero in one or two hands, when I had the win virtually locked up. I have done that once yesterday and three times today so far. As well as one larger MTT non-turbo, four from the money, with the FT pretty much locked up (I believe I was 4th in chips). So I tend to reflect more and my theory is better when I'm losing. I think that is pretty typical.

Here we go:

It is MTT, but it usually only consists of about 2-4 nine-handed tables, so it's almost like a STT, it so quickly gets to the final table. Maybe 15 minutes. The levels are only three minutes, mostly double blinds. Starting stacks are never much above 10bb's at any given time (unless you truly chip up).

~Get rid of the pride, just because someone went all-in on your SB and you have 62o doesn't mean, "How dare you try to steal my blind? Fine, you want to play for stacks? All-in fine with me!"

~Stop trying to bluff AI in a multi-way, often raised pots

~Don't leave yourself with one blind or less just because there are players raising every hand and you haven't found a good enough hand to go with. Think of it this way, even if you double or triple up, you still have no chance to win leaving yourself this short! The blinds rise every 3 minutes, plus there are antes. You can't really afford to wait another ten hands just trying to find something worthwhile. Pick your spots, figure out how you can get HU with the raiser or take the chance while someone behind you is sitting out temporarily (peeing maybe?) or doesn't have the type of stack that can take a hit even with your short-stack. You don't have to be rash or stupid to find a good opportunity to get it in with a mediocre or even bad hand. Pick your spots (position, position, position/opponent/HU pot/suited connectors/high card/any pair/decent connectors, etc).

Remember that in a WTA scenario that 2nd place pays the same as dead last!

~There are some players who take on tight players consistently. You don't need to do this. Most people at the table are extremely loose and horrible. I always think, "Oh, goodie, so-and-so is here for an easy double up!" Don't take on the person not playing many hands, when you can double through the big stack maniac, and then double again as he is taking on all comers left and right and sucking out a fair amount of the time, not even counting when he actually does have a hand and gets excessive action.

~Don't steam and target one player because he doubled up through you and sucked out majorly. Yes, watch when you can get it in good against him, especially HU, but don't keep saying to him, "Come at me, bro!" with your crap hand. Because he will.

~Stop timing out just because someone keeps raising in front of you and you want to 'teach him a lesson' by refusing to fold, just letting the clock time you out. This is really juvenile and petty. I can just see them sitting there, "You won't get ME to fold! Don't you see that was MY blind? Don't you see, I limped? I raised FIRST?" (whatever the case may be). You don't look 'cool,' you just look like a douche, because you refuse to fold on your own.

~Stop stalling. Waiting for the blinds to double before they get back to you doesn't exactly help you, dude. This is a WTA scenario. Stalling with a short stack does not help your case, just gives you even less BB's to work with.

~FPS pretty much goes out the door with this one. Sure, there are a couple of spots to get creative, but they are few and far between. Why raise a hand you have to call all-in with? Seems elementary not to do this, but I see it all the time. Every table, every game. I always say, "Give them the opportunity to do the right thing first!" Don't just let them call a baby raise and then put YOU to the test. Yes, sure, sometimes they have you beat all along (99 vs. KK, etc), but most of the time they don't, and even with the 99 vs. KK scenario, unless it is a horrible flop for you, the money is going in anyway. Don't be the caller, don't be the scared money player, be the bettor, the raiser, the all-in'er First. MAKE THEM PAY.

~Stop overcalling in multi-way raised pots. I don't care if you think you are getting a good price. That theory goes right out the window in a tournament where the entire event might last 30 hands. If you don't have a shoving hand and no ammunition there aren't many reasons to overcall multi-way, NOT as the closer in a raised pot.

~Don't just keep calling in the SB because you feel like you are getting in cheap. If you wouldn't play that trash for a bet, why play it for a half bet? You need that half blind as ammunition to make your move. That extra half blind might be the difference between getting a bigger stack to lay down a marginal hand later. Not to mention you might actually win the whole thing simply because of saving bets here and there by not playing trash hands. Continually bleeding off chips simply because the pot hasn't been raised is a losing strategy and one of the most common mistakes I see.

~Once you get HU, if you have a good stack and the other guy is virtually handing you the win, stop doubling him up unnecessarily. I see this all the time. And I also win these HU matches most often as the underdog, when a big stack keeps doubling me up with marginal hands. I am a tight player, I fold a lot. So why in the world would you keep doubling me up when you know I'm picking my spots carefully? Someone told me that I am wrong in this theory. Well, I have been told I'm very wrong by several players. And I am certain they are correct in many situations. But I'm just speaking of a particular situation that seems to happen very often in these WTA turbos. You have the chip lead, by far, the blinds are outrageous and the short stack is handing you the win. You just have to wait for him to blind himself off and get it in bad, desperately. So he has a three blinds left or something like that. He has never raised once, mostly won't even complete. So suddenly he goes all-in on you. You have Q5o, you insta-call. Why? I was told this was a pretty premium hand in this situation. I disagree. DON'T KEEP DOUBLING UP A PLAYER WHO IS GIVING YOU THE WIN ALL ON HIS OWN.