Does Stack Size Matter? (Part 3)
‘Magic’ Hands in Deep Stack Strategy (No Limit Cash Games)
Most players are intimidated by the prospect of being at a cash table with a deep stack – even many of those who sit down with a full buy-in and then double up to 200BB tend not to hang around too long (if at all). Of course it is perfectly reasonable to leave with a 100% profit intact, but wouldn’t it be nice to turn that into 300%, or even more?
You would be forgiven for believing that with so much to win/lose you should be playing only premium hands, but suited connectors and small pairs are the champion pot-winners.
The ‘magic’ feature of these deep stack hands is how well disguised a flopped monster is, thus increasing the chance of emerging victorious against another deep stacked big, albeit conventional strong hand.
The usual premium hands like AK are still welcome but they are also the type of hand your opponents will expect you to play, and alarm bells will ring when the flop comes AK3 – someone with AT/AJ or even AQ will probably not risk a massive stack here.
But give them AK instead, and your call with 33 has hit a potential jackpot. If you are in position the pre-flop aggressor could well do all the work for you and realise too late that you’re not coming along for the ride with another kicker. And if you limped in early position and are the sole caller of AK’s button raise you can check-call or build the pot with a check-raise. This latter option will be even less of an indication that you have 33 if you had mixed up your play with a pre-flop raise and were called or re-raised but, either way, your opponent will be prepared to back up AK even against aggression on a flop of AK3.
All this isn’t to say you should be entering pots every time you are dealt ‘random’ cards! Nor should you make a habit of raising or calling with low pairs or 67s to an extent that you’re advertising your strategy, rather be selective with hands that have this kind of potential, picking spots in which the right player(s) – other big stacks – will be in the pot with you. Another possible banana skin to be aware of is when you manage to hit a flush at some stage with 67s but lose a big pot to a higher flush. With this in mind, particularly in pre-flop raised pots, you would prefer that your monster hand with 67 is a straight rather than a flush. Note that big stack strategy is aimed at ‘monstering’ up to an even bigger stack, so be prepared to let go of a flop such as J74 here as it‘s simply too weak to invest in (you may be ahead but is it worth it?).
Good luck at the tables!