September 09, 2009

The Serial Shortstacker

Low self esteem? Do you hate the world? Think its a dog-eat-dog world and you just got to look after numero uno? Scared to raise those pocket 2s? Well, if so, finally here's a post just for you, and following on from my Player Types mini-series.

Risking the wrath of the small but very vicious army of Small stackers out there, I decided to give my thoughts on what are, surely, the most detested of player types. The Serial Shortstacker. "Hey," I hear them scream, "that's not a player type, that's a STRATEGY".

Well, that would be right, except I didn't call the player type the short stacker, I called him the SERIAL SSr. Yes, unlike the other min buy-in money types that play at the micros, who do indeed tend to just donate their 20bb before going to bed for a bit of fun, or the scared money types, or the guys who might try it at a new level to get a feel, the serialSS actually ENJOYS the strategy, and positively aspires to play this way regularly.

Now although everyone else hates them, and they are aware of that, the Serial SS has to come to terms with this. They have a contempt for the bigger pool deeper stack players who, they know, indeed, positively loath them. So they deal with this by building a virtual wall in their minds to cope their unpopularity by in turn loathing every single poker player (probably everyone in the world full stop) other than themselves, which presumably goes with their general phsyche. . They avoid the insults, having received so many of them, by turning off their chat boxes, so don't waste your time expressing your frustration each time they push with their 33 and hold up v your AK, or they stop-and-go and catch on the river v your hero call when you were ahead . Just think of summer roses, karma, and Bhudda whilst gritting your teeth. That way you don't play into their hands, and end up donking money to them or the rest of the table. Donking money away is bad of course, but donking money to the SerialShortstacker is plain criminal.

The SerialSS relies entirely on you not noticing, (or forgetting about) their transparent strategy. And it works, as long as you get bored and play into their predictable limp reraise (sometimes they do this by min raising too). Just limp along with them, and fit fold the flop. Don't worry, if you hit 2 pair, they will gladly give you their measly 20bb as they stop-and-go the flop after their limp reraise didn't work. Never, ever call with a speculative holding against these numpties, you never have the odds. Put them all in withAk-AQ, JJ-TT, flat call their raise with AA-QQ, and throw the rest v their open raise.

The SerialSS will have you believe that his is a fine, complex and thoughtful strategy, full of deep thinking and many variables. The fact that none of them have ever seen a turn card with money behind in their miserable lives escapes them. They are so used to thinking about things entirely from their own perspective that they have no desire to delve into the higher level concepts of no-limit deep stack (no need to hand read after all). ........."And why should I", I hear them shout. ........Why indeed.

Cmon guys, lets keep the discipline up so we can stop paying them off and rid ourselves of this pox once and for all. My solution to the Serial shortstackers would be to make them play at tables where the MAX buyin would be 20bb, but the min buy in would be 5bb. Let them hone their skills there, with their own kind (who they also hate, by the way).

The Serial shortstacker has no favourite player (other then themselves obviously, but who they also sub-conciously detest) as no "known" players have become "good" and arrived at high stakes by playing their crappy, hugely selfish SS strategy.

Ps - playing these types is actually quite difficult, and my brief strategy notes above for playable hands are just that, so please do not rely on them for game theory, as there is far more too it. The aim of this post is simply to briefly "reflect" about them . In fact, adjusting to a 20bb stack when they do come to your tables comes much more down to maths and less to psychology (and thus very different/simpler than deep stack philosophy). I am serious about wanting to beat this type as the games would be better as a result, and there is good information out there pertaining to open raising with them still to act, calling their raises, and such, and thinking in relation to the remaining stacks. Please use it. However the very best strategy is simply to find games without them.

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