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Zoom Poker Strategies

March 27, 2012

I’m playing $10nl full ring Zoom Poker, winning at a rather ridiculous rate over a very small sample (not yet to 10,000 hands). At some point I’ll move up, but Zoom, like it’s ancestor Rush Poker, is a variance monster and I want to have a solid idea how I want to play before putting my small post-Black Friday online bankroll at risk. Some thoughts so far:

  1. Even the fish are playing tighter (see the VPIP stats in the lobby) because they can quickly fold their marginal hands. It’s much harder to fold when you’re a beginner playing only one regular cash table.
  2. Because of the anonymity some players will do things and do them over and over again because you don’t stay at the same table. No one “sees” you do this over and over again, though some player will have stat trackers.

Some of the repeated plays that I’m seeing:

  • stealing from late position or the small blind,
  • open shoving preflop,
  • donking into the preflop raiser or it’s inverse, raising or check-raising continuation bets,
  • squeeze plays, and
  • general (non-squeeze) three-betting preflop.

Some of these things are much more common at higher levels of play than $10nl and I’m not certain yet whether the high frequency of occurrence is from players from higher levels playing at lower levels or from players who have just decided to try them out. The three-betting and sometimes the calling of three-bets are much more frequent than normal 10nl games, but are also particularly weak as you often get raised the minimum or slightly more – well under recommended three-bet sizing, and with marginal hands like Ax suited or middle pocket pairs, and when you three-bet you often get called with similarly weak dominated hands or hands lacking sufficient implied odds.

But overall my approach is pretty simple:

  • Open raise everything from the button if no one has opened
  • Open raise everything from the cut off position if the button seems tight
  • Fold everything from the small blind unless it’s worthy of three betting
  • Open raise all pocket pairs as well as suited connectors and suited one-gappers 56 and 57 and above from all positions
  • Use standard TAG starting hands by position for all other hands
  • Raise AK/AA/KK/QQ/JJ larger than other hands to get value and because I don’t think anyone at this level is tracking bet sizing
  • Always three-bet/shove AK/QQ/JJ. I may trap with AA/KK

That’s preflop. Keep in mind this is designed for $10nl 9 player Zoom Poker as I see it playing right now.

My weaknesses tend to be:

  • Calling preflop rather than three betting too often, including from the blinds with hands that I think dominate a stealing range. I really don’t play well without the initiative and without reads/stats regardless regardless whether or not I have position.
  • Continuation betting too often (85%) when the fold rate is marginal (40%, lower fold rate than Rush Poker; see this post about continuation betting http://www.anon-poker-blog.com/index/poker-basics-for-beginners/instructional-basic-poker/continuation-bet-success-rate/
  • Not being able to fold to “bad” aggression from my opponent. “Bad” meaning min-raises, overbets, strange lines like min-bet flop, pot-bet turn, etc
  • Trying to outplay these opponents. Its nice when you can call down a three barrel bluff with an underpair on the flop, but I really should not be trying to do this at Zoom Poker because I don’t have enough stats yet to be certain enough that it is a bluff.

So most of my weaknesses tend to be post-flop. A little bit of this is fine when I was starting out, paying off some winning hands to see what my opponent held when making that play, but if I’m going to grind then I have to stop doing that.
[My domain times out and does not allow me to log in from one of my writing IPs, so I’m using my old blog to post entries to move to the permanent blog at a later date]

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