Taking on the big boys

No limit hold’em cash games are not just about playing deep stacks. It is true that playing deep stack play is much more difficult and this is why many players struggle to do well in no limit hold’em. However if you are a novice poker player then playing a minimum stack may just be your best option rather than playing with a full stack and there are several very important reasons for that. Firstly you can play at a certain stake level with far less money but the key difference is in how much more difficult it is for technically better players to outplay you.

Let us look at how that is the case by looking at how a good player outplays weaker players. In deep stack situations then good players tend not to outplay weaker players before the flop. This is where it tends to be more of a case of hand versus hand and is why limit hold’em is all about big cards before the flop. So it is difficult to get an edge over opponents pre-flop in no limit hold’em when the bets are small in relation to the total amount of money that could be bet after the flop.

So strong players tend to outplay their weaker opponents beyond the flop but that is only the case when the depth of the stacks allows for play on all three streets! If this is not the case because one player has a short stack then many of the weapons that a good player has at their disposal are blunted somewhat. If the player with the short stack tries to get their entire stack into the middle either before the flop or on the flop then the stronger player cannot outplay the weaker player further down the streets.

It then almost becomes a hand holding contest and this is why strong poker players simply do not like to see the presence of short stack players on their table. So there can be no better recommendation than that as to why a novice would be better off playing the table minimum stack size. No strong player will be happy to see advice like this being bandied about because it is in their interests to have weak players playing with as much money as possible. But do not play into their hands and protect your own interests by considering a short buy in.


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