Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

DN's HORSE sense

The latest Card Player magazine I picked up at Garden City (June 6, 2007 casino edition, Vol. 20c/No. 11c) has an article by Daniel Negreanu entitled "A Crash Course to Winning the World Series of Poker $50,000 HORSE Event". I was underwhelmed. The advice given is:

1. Satellite in.
2. In the early rounds, play a standard cash game style, perhaps a bit conservatively.
3. Play tight and try to break even at a game you aren't familiar with. "Think in terms of minimizing your losses rather than trying to get in an extra value-bet." "Don't let that be the game that destroys you."
4. HORSE favors players who prefer board games (RSE) to flop games (HO). Work on your stud games.
5. Short stack play in HO requires you to make "now or never" decisions. This isn't true in Stud games. You can be very patient, even to the point of leaving yourself with just one ante.
6. High-low rounds give you the best chance of surviving an all-in as a short stack. Stud/8 is the best of both worlds for a short stack.
7. Until you're short, forget that you are in a tournament at all. It doesn't have much effect, outside of recognizing when your opponents may be making desperation plays.

I think this advice is more suited to "how to limp along as long as possible in HORSE" though it may well be true that in a field of aggressive pros, playing tight, ABC poker may actually be the best counter-strategy. But, nobody is going to win by just waiting around for good hands, even in a limit tournament.

Here are a few key points I think are useful in HORSE:

1. Know how much it will cost you to play a hand to the end. You may get involved with a hand "cheaply" that will still require you to commit all your chips by the the river. Conversely, sometimes your opponent can't get you all-in without your assistance. Don't be scared to leave yourself that last bet or two.
2. Many players just don't understand 'E' very well. You will have plenty of opportunities to play a low against multiple highs. Try not to be on the wrong side of such situations.
3. Razz is the best game for stealing pots, and is your best chance for accumulating chips with a medium stack.
4. As stacks get shorter, high-only hands go up in value in split-pot games. Avoid them earlier, when play is likely to be multi-way.
5. It's surprisingly easy to turn a small stack into a big stack in the O and E rounds. These are your best chances for a comeback.
6. Some players simply cannot stop themselves from making a move on you, particularly in the stud rounds when they have scary boards. Let them. You will need to call down in some uncomfortable spots when the pot is large, but unlike PL or NL games it is usually not too expensive to be wrong.
7. You will not be able to win by waiting for opportunities to double up. Winning lots of small pots is a vastly preferable strategy, because you may not be able to stack somebody when your good hands come along.
Tags: horse, poker, review, strategy, tournament
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