View Full Version : Help taking first more often

02-04-2004, 03:08 PM
Hello everyone,
I was looking at my last 200 sngs and realized that I've been having a real hard time taking first when it gets down to heads up play. Heads up has always been my weakness, but Iíve never had results like these before. Here are my stats:

First- 22 times
Second- 49 times

In 60% (42) of these games I was in the chip lead or just even with my opponent. I took first only 12 times. In about 30% (21) of them I had a chip lead of 2 to 1 or more and blew it almost half the time. Does anyone have any advice on playing heads up? I usually play aggressive, but how aggressive should I be with hands like Ax, KT, QT, KQ, JQ? I usually raise 3 times the blind with them, but should I just push all in with most of them?
Also what hands should I be calling a short stacks all in, supposing blinds are at 200/400 and theyíre down to 2500 in chips.

Kurn, son of Mogh
02-04-2004, 03:21 PM
I'm no HU expert, but I've been having a bit more success lately. I focus on 3 things:

1) be aggressive
2) randomize my play
3) pay attention to my opponent. Be alert for something that doesn't make sense.

02-04-2004, 03:40 PM
What level? What site?

What sorts of mistakes are your opps likely to make?

How many 3rd's have you gotten? 4th's?

It looks like, unless the blinds are small, you could do better by pushing in every hand.


02-04-2004, 04:59 PM
Well hereís a complete break down of the 200 sngs I was talking about:
107 $50 Party sngs (First 13, second 32, third 6)
32 $100 Party sngs (First 5, second 7, third 9)
The rest are divided into $30, and $50 single table and two table sngs at P*.
14 $30 sngs (First 1, second 3, third 4)
29 2 table $30 sngs (First 1, second 4, third 2, fourth 5)
15 $50 sng (First 2, second 2, third 0)
3 2 table $50 sng (First 0, second 1, third 0)

Less then a month ago I cashed out my Party account and moved to P*. I read your post Craig, and let me tell you the tables at Stars have much more solid players then a $50 or $100 sng at Party.

Recently, I cashed out my P* account and went back to Party. Though I really loved their 1500 in chips and 2 table sngs, I made the switch because I donít want to wait 15 minutes to get a game going.

Let me tell you so far I've played 25 $50 sngs since making the switch and have finished first 4 times, second 7 times, and third 4 times. I had to readjust to the 1000 chips structure but the plays people were making more then made up for that. I recommend to everyone to move some money to stars and play there for a while, maybe 25 sngs is. Then make the move back to Party it'll do wonders for your game. Again these 25 sngs are a small sample and I'd say that in 4 or 5 of them I just got lucky (the blinds really do get rediculous), but I really think your going to do well after making the switch.

02-04-2004, 05:27 PM
When I get into a heads up situation, I am very aggressive. I try to take the lead and steal several pots but a word of caution because when your opponent does make a hand, they will undoubtly get a decent amount of your chips if you are not careful. As stated in a previous post, be very aware of what your opponent is doing at all times, and how they react to what you are doing.

Another thought is to do a couple of low buyin heads up tourneys at pokerstars, this will give you some practice when there is not so much money on the line.


02-04-2004, 06:05 PM
Go and play against sparbot:

it is free and a very good player.


02-04-2004, 06:10 PM
If this sample is even close to statistically correct, it suggests you are not being aggressive enough. Only if you fold too many hands, especially after you have already put some money in the pot, should you lose this many headsup at the pp 50 level. (I am assuming that you do not often reach headsup before the 200/400 level. If you do, then you can make mistakes related to being too loose or too aggressive.)

Do you limp headsup? Do you call small raises instead of folding or going allin?

Still, 12% first is not too bad, and 30% second is ungodly good (unsustainable). The 6% third is quite wacky, suggesting maybe you are passing up +EV situations 3 handed, though this is fairly inconsistent with your claim of usually having the chip lead heads up.

Is there a typical way that you lose? How long is this data from?


PS Your numbers are great, so I would worry more about sustaining them than about getting more 1st's.

02-04-2004, 06:44 PM
I'm not complaining Craig, but like you said I should be finishing first more often. These 200 are from the middle of December they don't include my recent 25 sngs at Party.

My play basiaclly is I limp in with avergae hands, suited connectors, and usually always call my sb. I call those raises that double the blind, and usually move all in with any A higher then 7. I've lost about 25% of the time when I was called with an Ace kicker higher then mine. Playing these wrong maybe?

02-04-2004, 07:02 PM
I don't like limping when the blinds are bigger than 10% of the effective stack. I often steal with fairly bad hands. I don't like calling raises. I have less 1sts than 2nds (at 109) /images/graemlins/frown.gif