Online poker has definitely evolved and the poker strategy changed over the years. When I first started playing, players played super tight, and 3-betting was pretty much exclusively for value. A common stat range for a full ring player 9+ years ago would be something like 12/6. Pretty big VPIP/PFR gap, and super tight. 6-max wasn’t even very popular yet.
Part of being good at poker is staying ahead of the evolution curve. I’ve tried to pride myself on staying ahead of that curve, creating new poker strategy and seeing how to exploit what other players were over looking. A lot of these approaches I’ve taught, and others have caught on to eventually over the years. However, one thing that I’ve done and taught for quite some time still isn’t being commonly used. It’s not something that’s too hard to understand or implement, so not sure why people still haven’t caught on. That one thing is what I like to call the “gas and sip” and stop and go.
Some people might be familiar with the phrase “stop and go”, from tournament poker. That’s where you call a bet pre-flop and then shove the flop. It’s usually of course when you’re short stacked, and you can do it with a wide range of hands. This isn’t quite the same, but somewhat similar principles. In the “gas and sip”, you call pre-flop, check/call the flop, and then lead the turn. I’ll usually do this with air, over cards, gutshots, or really big hands where I anticipate a check behind on the turn. You just want to make sure you’re using it in the correct spots.
I’m going to lay the basics, or the fundamentals of what makes a profitable gas and sip play:
Any spot where you know your opponent is opening wide AND continuation betting wide. Special emphasis on the and. So, most common spots this occur of course are when your opponent opens in the CO or button, and you call in the blinds. Instead of check/folding when you whiff, or check-raising, you pull out the old gas and sip. Here’s a real example:
You’re in a 6-max cash game. The action folds to the button who is a regular running at 26/23 (3.4 AG), and he opens 2.5 bbs. The SB folds and you have Ad9s in the BB. 3-betting here would be ok sometimes, but calling is also a profitable play, and you decide to call. The flop comes: 3h Jd 5d. You check, your opponent bets and you call with an overcard (maybe 2), and 2 backdoor draws. The turn comes 4c and you bet 2/3rds pot, and your opponent folds. You scoop the pot.
Now, why do we bet the turn? We’re probably still ahead of our opponents range on that kind of texture. If you feel comfortable with playing the check/guess game on the turn, then that’s fine as well. Typically speaking though you’ll probably face a lot of second bullets against most opponents that are aggressive. Against some really aggressive opponents, you may lead and they might decide to raise with air. I mean, you just called out of the blinds, your range can’t be that strong of course. However, you’ll find most opponents will give up in this spot without a hand, and you’ll scoop a pot. Oh, but did we answer our question? A little bit a I guess, but here’s more.
The percentage of the time we can get our opponent to fold a better hand, meaning 3x, 5x, some mid pairs or a better ace like AQ for example, we just scooped a pot when our equity REALLY sucked. And that’s another extremely important point. This line is really easy to implement. Keep it primarily to players opening in the CO and BTN to start, and you can play around with it from there. You’ll print some money from this, but don’t tell too many people please.
Oh, special bonus if you know the reference to the line/title of this blog. No google cheating. Hint: It’s from a famous American movie.
Alright, happy fishing my friends.
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