Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Bouncing around a bit this morning in my neverending pursuit of truth, justice and poker perfection, I noticed Pauly had a piece in the online version of Poker Player Newspaper, where he admitted to playing a lot of turbos.

I do, too, for a lot of the same reasons. The busier I get --- and I've been very busy lately --- the less likely I am to want to think about spending four or five or six hours glued to the computer screen, which would happen were I to run deep in a normal-paced SNG. Last night, for instance, after working a long morning and sneaking in an afternoon nap, I finally said awfuckit and fired up Stars for a couple of turbos. I took one down, too, a $27, 45-player job, for an itty-bitty bankroll boost to my depleted Stars account.

A lot of people stay away from turbos because the structure necessarily dictates high variance and a lot of bad beats. The flip side, as Pauly duly notes, is that a lot of the players suck; these things draw action junkies who are there to get the chips in, often as soon as possible. Add in the fact that turbos are often a couple or three percentage points cheaper in terms of rake paid to the site, and these things can be very profitable.

I'm pretty similar to Pauly in how I play these; I look for a chance to pick up some cheap chips early, though I don't force the issue in the early levels as much as you might think. Amazingly, if I had to recommend one word for playing these things, it's 'patience.' Players tend to panic and jam their chips before they're really forced to, and if you watch for the players getting splashy and short, you can often get the chips in with the best of it. Here's the pivotal point: Would you rather get 1,500 chips into the pot in a pure coin-flip situation, or would you rather get 1,350 chips into the pot as a 2:1 fave?

A little patience makes all the difference. Seems odd to say that in connection with a format where the action is so forced, but I do believe it.

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