Steven Holloway on Poker

nzherald.co.nz's Steven Holloway blogs about poker

Steven Holloway on poker: Zooming forward

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Zoom is an exciting, fast paced cash game recently introduced by PokerStars that allows players to fold a hand as soon as it is dealt to them. Photo / Thinkstock.
Zoom is an exciting, fast paced cash game recently introduced by PokerStars that allows players to fold a hand as soon as it is dealt to them. Photo / Thinkstock.

The main reason I don't spend a lot of time playing poker at the casino is the wait.

That is no slight on Sky City casino, which does its best to provide quick and easy parking, table seating and dealing - but it still takes too long.

I have developed poker-impatience and the root of my new intolerant outlook is Zoom poker.

Zoom is an exciting, fast paced cash game recently introduced by PokerStars that allows players to fold a hand as soon as it is dealt to them. They are then moved to another table instantly with new opponents.

Based on 'Rush Poker' - the brain child of the now defunct Full Tilt Poker, Zoom eliminates any kind of waiting and has brought back the excitement from when I was first learning the game, where the cards zipped by, hand after hand, every one exciting.

I played a staggering 330 hands in one hour in my last session of Zoom (three tabling a 6-max game), where at the casino I would expect to see 30 hands on a good night in that same time.

The immense action helps me stay focused and is perfect for when I have a spare hour or two and want to get in as many hands as possible.

"But there is no strategy with zoom, you can't out play people, everyone just folds until they get AA or KK," my flatmate recently told me at our home-game.

If this were true the games would be extremely exploitable and you should probably just raise every hand and make a living off the blinds. However it is not, and for profitable players their opening ranges, strategy, hand reading and positional play are all calculated with the same precision and analysis as in regular games.

The fact that you face different random opponents each hand, does allow you to mix up your game a lot more. No one knows if you have three-bet the previous four hands in a row and pre-flop aggression can often be rewarded with respect.

Note taking is important too and with a small pool of players you often come up against the same guys and it's good to remember what you have seen from them in past encounters. If you find out someone is re-raising pre flop with 34ss note it - it may help you with a decision down the line.

Casino cash games have their benefits too. The standard of play is undoubtedly softer at Sky City then it would be at similar stakes online and the thrill of winning a big live pot is unparalleled on the virtual felt.

But for me my time is precious, I want as many hands as possible, I want to get the most out of my 'poker time' and I don't want to wait.

Hand(s) of the week.

The two best hands sent in this week came from Kiwi poker player Brendon Stern (poker9876) who is a cash game specialist on Party Poker.

He didn't need to be too special in these hands however. Enjoy..

***** Hand History for Game 10616262278 *****
$400 USD NL Texas Hold'em - Tuesday, June 28, 16:04:39 CEST 2011
Table Table 195057 (No DP) (Real Money)
Seat 2 is the button
Total number of players : 6/6
Seat 1: MacMonal ( $444.98 USD )
Seat 5: SantoTomas8 ( $429 USD )
Seat 6: arsenik666 ( $366.20 USD )
Seat 3: bill_le_cook ( $494.10 USD )
Seat 2: poker9876 ( $777 USD )
Seat 4: yoa63 ( $1,534.56 USD )
bill_le_cook posts small blind [$2 USD].
yoa63 posts big blind [$4 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to poker9876 [ Ad 5d ]
SantoTomas8 folds
arsenik666 folds
MacMonal folds
poker9876 raises [$10 USD]
bill_le_cook folds
yoa63 calls [$6 USD]
** Dealing Flop ** [ 3h, 3d, 3s ]
yoa63 checks
poker9876 checks
** Dealing Turn ** [ 3c ]
yoa63 checks
poker9876 bets [$14.50 USD]
yoa63 is all-In [$1,524.56 USD]
poker9876 is all-In [$752.50 USD]
** Dealing River ** [ Qh ]
poker9876 shows [ Ad, 5d ]four of a kind, Threes with Ace kicker.
yoa63 shows [ 9h, 4h ]four of a kind, Threes.
yoa63 wins $757.56 USD from the side pot 1 with four of a kind, Threes.
poker9876 wins $1,553 USD from the main pot with four of a kind, Threes with Ace kicker.

***** Hand History for Game 10456126884 *****
$600 USD NL Texas Hold'em - Wednesday, May 11, 23:54:12 CEST 2011
Table Jackpot #2357561 (No DP) (Real Money)
Seat 2 is the button
Total number of players : 6/6
Seat 6: SLiivikFan ( $801.53 USD )
Seat 3: Tw1nace ( $423.49 USD )
Seat 5: poker9876 ( $1,090.25 USD )
Seat 4: prbswx ( $632.25 USD )
Seat 1: rukavitsyn ( $600 USD )
Seat 2: xAndorx_ ( $681 USD )
Tw1nace posts small blind [$3 USD].
prbswx posts big blind [$6 USD].
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to poker9876 [ 9d 9h ]
poker9876 raises [$24 USD]
SLiivikFan folds
rukavitsyn folds
xAndorx_ folds
Tw1nace calls [$21 USD]
prbswx folds
** Dealing Flop ** [ Ah, As, 3h ]
Tw1nace bets [$30 USD]
poker9876 calls [$30 USD]
** Dealing Turn ** [ Jh ]
Tw1nace bets [$54 USD]
poker9876 calls [$54 USD]
** Dealing River ** [ 9s ]
Tw1nace checks
poker9876 bets [$193 USD]
Tw1nace is disconnected. We will wait for Tw1nace to reconnect for a maximum of 39 seconds.
Tw1nace calls [$193 USD]
poker9876 shows [ 9d, 9h ]a full house, Nines full of Aces.
Tw1nace doesn't show [ 7s, 6d ]a pair of Aces.
The time at which hand ended:May 11 2011 23:56 CEST
poker9876 wins $604.50 USD from the main pot with a full house, Nines full of Aces.

Send in your interesting poker hands to the email below and I will feature the best one in the next column.

Follow Steven Holloway on twitter.

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