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Poker Strategy For The Rest Of Us: Danielle Andersen

Andersen Discusses Playing With Deep Stacks

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Danielle Andersen Credit: Jay NewnumIn an effort to provide valuable tools and tips that are relevant to even the smallest games, Card Player is pleased to bring you Poker Strategy For The Rest Of Us, which will focus on everyday situations that occur against the poker world’s most casual players.

Pro — Danielle Andersen

Concept — Playing With Deep Stacks

Pre-Black Friday, Danielle Andersen was one of the most prolific cash game players online. She was a staple in the high-stakes six-max games, playing as high as $25-$50 no-limit hold’em under the screen name “Dmoongirl.”

Andersen was featured as one of the subjects in Bet Raise Fold, a documentary that followed the journey of three successful online poker players before and after the U.S. government action that essentially ended online poker in the country. Post-Black Friday, Andersen decided not to uproot her family from their home in Minnesota and move to another country. She has been playing on a few of the small sites that still allow U.S. players and has been traveling every few weeks to Los Angeles, to play live no-limit hold’em cash games at the Commerce Casino where she is a regular in the $10-$20 and $25-$50.

Andersen runs her own blog and can be found on twitter at @Dmoongirl.

She recently sat down with Card Player to break down a live cash game hand.

The Hand

In a live $2-$5 no-limit hold’em game, a player limped in early position, the villain ($1,400) limped in middle position and the hero ($1,850) raised to $25 with KClub SuitQClub Suit.

Both limpers called and the flop fell QHeart Suit6Club Suit3Club Suit. It was checked to the hero, who bet $65. The first limper folded and the villain called. The turn was the 5Spade Suit and the villain checked again. The hero bet $115 and the villain check raised to $300.

The hero called and the villain bet $200 when the 4Diamond Suit hit the river. The hero called and the villain showed 5Club Suit3Heart Suit to scoop the pot.

The Interview

Steve Schult: Our hero makes it $25 from the hijack with KClub SuitQClub Suit. It seems like a fairly standard open preflop, but given how deep the stacks are, what kind of range would you be isolating these limpers with and would you make the bet sizing any bigger?

Danielle Andersen: In general, I’m going to say this is fine. It’s an okay raise size. But with really weak players, I’m going to be widening my range that I’m isolating them with because I think I can get paid off in a big pot with them. I would be isolating mid pocket pairs, suited connectors, and I’ll just be raising a lot of hands.

SS: As far as the sizing goes, would you make it any bigger because of how deep the stacks are?

DA: The sizing is as small as I would go. I wouldn’t mind making it a little bit bigger. I think you could make it $35 and in live poker you wouldn’t be out of line. But at the same time you have a hand that is going to play well after the flop and you don’t necessarily be putting in too much preflop.

SS: We hit a monster flop and the only thing I can even ask you about on the flop is his sizing. Would you bet more or less than $65 into $80?

DA: I’m definitely going to bet a little less because I think that continuation bets should not be such a high percentage of the pot. He’s betting close to 80 percent of the pot there on a c-bet. Of course he nailed this flop but he is kind of hurting himself when he doesn’t have a hand.

I typically never go more than 60 percent of the pot with a c-bet. This is kind of skipping ahead, but he is betting like 80 percent of the pot on the flop and then about half of the pot on the turn. I think it should be reversed. I think our bets should be smaller on the flop and then a larger percentage of the pot on the turn. You are going to be c-betting that flop more often than you are going to be continuing on the turn, so if you are making an 80 percent of the pot bet, it’s going to have to work a much higher percentage of the time to make that a profitable play.

SS: Do you think he should be betting bigger on the turn?

DA: That particular turn card is a scary turn card because it’s my experience in live poker that people like to see the flop and limp-call with low suited connectors or small pocket pairs. So that is a card that probably hits his range because you can see him limp-calling a raise with like 5-6 suited or something like that.

SS: When the villain check-raises to $300, what is going through your mind? What kind of range are you putting him on and what is your course of action on the turn?

DA: It’s kind of the same range that I just talked about. Sets are a possibility, 5-6 is a possibility. It’s so hard without knowing anything about the player because some players just don’t like to be bullied and they might be taking a stand or something. This is a small raise so it doesn’t really matter because you are never folding. You’ve got position, implied odds, and you may very well have the best hand.

I’m never really raising here because all you are really doing is raising out hands that you have beat and could potentially get yourself into a tough situation where you get four-bet and then you are having to lay down your king-high flush draw.

SS: Our hand isn’t very disguised. If a club comes on the river and we shove a lot of money in there, it’s going to look like what it is. If we hit a king or a queen and he still wants to fire out for a big bet, we could still be behind. So what are your thoughts on the implied odds and is there even really that much?

DA: I guess there’s probably not that much, but the bigger thing more than the implied odds is having position here because if that club hits the river and he did flop a set or something, it is very likely that he is still going to continue to lead. Especially because when you are the preflop raiser and you are betting the flop, it is more likely that you have a queen or an overpair and he won’t be very scared of that flush card.

SS: On the river, it puts four cards to a straight out there and he leads very small. What do you make of this bet size?

DA: This is one of those things where it’s so important to know your opponent. There are some players that you can fold this to and there are some players that you are never folding this to. You know, there are some players who are just rocks and they are looking at this and are just looking to get paid what they can and are 100 percent of the time going to show up with a straight or a set and are just trying to get paid.

There are also some players that just look at board, figure you don’t have a straight and then decide to take a small stab at it. If I don’t know anything about the player though and I have no reads then I am probably not folding here because you are getting such a great price on the pot and people will sometimes show up with random stuff.

SS: How would this hand have changed if you were only 100 big blinds deep and you got check-raised on the turn?

DA: I’m probably still just flatting on the turn because I don’t think you are ever getting called by anything that doesn’t have you beat and you’re potentially pushing out hands that you do have beat. So I think the same concepts still apply. I struggle with this a little bit though because so much of what I do is player-dependent. I could play a hand two completely different ways based on who the opponent is.

SS: Do you ever turn this hand into a bluff on the river and try and make two pair or a set fold?

DA: The problem is that our line just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if we do that. There just aren’t a whole lot of ways that we can show up with a straight. If we have a deuce, maybe we are raising, but we have to be weary of a seven because that hits their range more than ours. If it was a scenario where an ace makes a straight, then since we are the preflop raiser, we have much higher equity in making our hand look like a straight.

The other thing is that the small bet is sometimes used as a blocker bet where they have two pair or a set on a straight board and they are a little scared, but other times players are using that as well because they think this is the only way to get called. So it’s not necessarily a sign of weakness and I’m probably not trying to jam this person off a hand without more information.

*Featured photo courtesy of dmoongirl.com.