Saturday, May 19, 2007

Isolation

There's a short thread on rgp about a hand where the hero made a flop re-raise in an attempt to "isolate a short stack".

Most of the discussion in the thread is pretty much on target about mistakes he made in the hand, I just want to talk about the idea of isolation and when it makes sense to try to isolate a player.

Isolation is a concept that's highly overrated.

The idea used to be bandied about a lot in the context of limit games, where the general thinking was that it was smart to 3-bet a weak raiser to isolate them in later betting rounds so that you could "out-play" them with impunity.

The typical Las Vegas game of the time was much like the game in AC that was protrayed in The Rounders. One or two seats with a rotation of tourists with the rest of the table made up of a bunch of pros who knew each other and tended to prefer a low risk approach of staying away from each other. You could count on them to "respect" your 3-bet

During that time the worst poker games in the world where those Las Vegas games. Yes, isolation worked, but only becuase the games where so damn tight that blind stealing was the norm and multi-way pots seldom developed.

Things changed.

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