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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Grinding Online - Rush Poker

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If you are an online poker player, and you aren’t totally wedded to a different site, you are undoubtedly aware of the addition of Rush Poker to Full Tilt Poker’s arsenal of game options.  The concept is a very simple, yet brilliant one:  You are seated at a full table (either a full ring of nine or a table of six).  Just as in any poker game, you can either bet or fold your hand.  However, as soon as you hit the fold button, you are magically whisked away to a totally different table that may or may not have some of the same players with whom you were just playing.  You don’t get to see how the hand at the other table played out.  You just move on to another deal.

One of the beauties of Rush Poker is just how many hands you can see in an hour of play.  If you are someone who likes to play just one screen at a time, you will still participate in the same number of deals as someone playing 4-5 tables at normal speeds.  This enables you to amass many more frequent player points, as well as rakeback money if you are participating in one of the many programs available for that.

As far as playing styles are concerned, Rush Poker allows you to re-invent yourself into any type of player you would like to be, over and over again.  Why?  Think of it this way:  In a regular game, you sit at a table with a number of players who begin to get a sense for your betting style and how frequently you enter pots.  They have the opportunity to take notes on you, in case they run into you in the future.  Over time, you begin to be a known commodity, as more and more players come to understand your basic approach to the game.  In Rush Poker, you can throw all that out the window.  Each hand brings a different set of players.  Most of the time, if you enter a pot, almost all the players who were at the table at the beginning of the hand will never see how the hand plays out, so they will have no clue how you play post-flop.  As a result, you can utilize any number of different strategies for taking down pots.  Here are a few ideas you can incorporate into your game:

1)    Making even more use of position than normal- The button raise with any two cards (or four cards in Omaha) has become so overused that some players almost automatically come over-the-top of someone raising from that position.  In a regular game, if you consistently try and steal from the button (or from the cutoff, for that matter), players will soon become aware of that, and punish you with big three-bets.  In Rush Poker, the players in the blinds have no idea whether or not you’ve folded or raised the last ten times you’ve been in position.  Therefore, there is a much greater chance that your raise will be honored as a real bet, and unless they have a pretty powerful hand, they will fold.  Even if one or both blinds call, you will often be able to take down the pot with a continuation bet post-flop, or, of course, you could hit the flop.

2)    The early position raise- One of the things I’ve noticed playing Rush Poker, especially in the full ring setting, is how frequently players raise under-the-gun.  This is a very interesting strategy in a game where the average percentage of players seeing the flop is almost always a consistent 17 or 18%.  Players making this move are using this percentage figure to their advantage, as they are acting based on the assumption that players are, by and large, playing a very tight game, and will “know” that the under-the-gun raiser has a very powerful hand.  Therefore, they are expecting to be able to take the pot uncontested the vast majority of the time.  If you see a player raising under-the-gun, make a quick note about it, and then watch out for them doing it consistently.  Then, plan to play back at them when you have position later on in the session.

3)    Choosing how deep a stack you want to play- Buy-ins for Rush Poker are between 40 and 100 big blinds.  However, when you join a game, you will notice that some players have stacks that will be as large as 500 big blinds, and beyond.  It is important that you stay aware of a few things.  First, before entering a pot, take a glance at how big the other stacks around you are.  A really small stack might be ready to just push in and gamble against you (this happens quite frequently in Rush Poker), and a big stack may call, looking to hit a ragged hand on the flop.  Second, be aware of your own skills playing both small and deep stacks.  Players with deep stacks are looking to engage other big stacks in post-flop battles of strategy and skill.  If you feel at a disadvantage in that type of situation, the best thing you can do is the following:  When you have doubled your starting stack to 200 big blinds (assuming a max buy-in), simply leave the table, and then re-enter with a new buy-in.  This protects your profits from players who may have a much higher level of skill than you at post-flop play.  Don’t worry about the etiquette, because there isn’t any in Rush Poker.  Just come back in, and sit down at another table of strangers.

Currently, Full Tilt offers both limit and no limit Holdem, at both six and nine-player tables, as well as pot limit Omaha high and high/low at six-player tables.  There are also 135-player sit n go tourneys in no limit Holdem, and a variety of other tournaments played with the Rush Poker format.  

See you at the tables!

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