Last post I talked about the structural implications of the $300 rule in Washington. Let’s talk about some more generally applicable structural issues in these games.

I played a hand recently on a modest stack of 600. A loose early position player made it 20, I made it 85 and a player in the blind, who I hadn’t realized yet was so loose, cold called the 85. The original raiser called and we all saw a flop of 77x. Long story short both of my opponents had 7x. What is happening?

If you saw something like that online you’d assume the player in the blind was mediocre and likely had a hand like AK they were no longer confident was good and so didn’t want to put in the 4th bet. Online, they just never have 7x in a million years. Typically nobody with any sense is going to put 85 in cold without a premium hand with the betting still open and with the stacks this shallow. I’ll give this guy his due though he is actually a really tough player to play against but his game, like many very loose street poker styles, depends on depth of stack which is just not there in this spot.¬†

This example illustrates one of the basic structural issues often ignored in these types of games, the SPR (stack to pot ratio) in this spot is too low for the player to outplay the opponents in the manner they imagine is possible. How are you planning to outmaneuver the guy with a top 5% range and barely 2X pot left in his stack, and out of position to boot. The game just doesn’t work that way, there are structural obstacles that no amount of skill (real or imagined) can overcome.

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