Monday, October 19, 2009

The Stop and Go Play

The Stop and Go is best applied in late stages of a tournament when hands such as AK and medium pockets cannot be folded preflop. However, the blind structure makes you almost pot committed at this stage.

Say for instance you are dealt 77 out of position. You raise it up 3x the blind which represent one third of your stack and you have no more than 2 callers. The flop comes Q95 rainbow. You missed the flop. The maths on the other hand tells you that the villain probably missed it as well. One does only pair up at the flop 1 out of 5 times.

It's time to act.

The Stop and Go play is to be the aggressor before anyone else are to act. If you push you then leave the decision up to the villain. Mr. Brunson states that the key of winning NLHE is to be the guy that puts the other opponent up to make a decision for all his chips. If you merely wait for AA or KK to be dealt to you, you will lose in the long run.

So straight up, here's what could happen. When your opponent hits his hand, say top pair or a better PP, he will most likely call and you will bust out. Tuff luck!

More likely though is that your opponent is the one sitting as underdog with AK or less. He might even be sitting as overdog with 88 but will still be forced to drop the hand. It's better to be the first to act as the one with strength as this manuever gives you the best chance to win with a mediocre hand.

Also note, if an ace were to come upon the flop you should not fire the trigger. Check it down and let go if you sense strength.

The Stop and Go is a great way to win chips when needed during the later rounds of a tournament. It's an alternative to an all in shove that many players make at this stage. The play does not work every time but it sure will increase your odds of taking a hand down over the all in shove preflop.

Good luck at the tables!

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