Alec Torelli: How to Play Deep Stack Poker

3 years ago
How to Play Deep Stack Poker
09 Feb


Alec Torelli, poker player, vlogger and early riser, has taken to YouTube to help you out with the trials and tribulations of deep stack cash game poker. In his new ‘Ask Alec’ segment the pro, whose tournament lifetime winnings are around the $1.5 million mark as at the time of writing, addresses the question raised by ‘his boy Quincey’ who thought:

"It would be great if you could make a video about how to play one hundred and fifty big blinds or more."


With just ten minutes to do his explaining, and not wanting to give away all his secrets at once, he mainly addresses how to adjust to the problem of stacking off light when the stacks are so deep. This can be tough when transitioning from tournament poker, or from live cash games where people often buy in for the minimum and some tables cap the buy-ins at 100 bb. Since he feels his ‘bread and butter is online deepstack cash games’ Alec is probably worth listening to.

The key adjustment in his view is to take account of the fact that, ‘people are looking to bust hands that people would normally stack off with’ i.e. people are playing draws and sets, hoping to felt anyone foolish enough to overplay their TPTK hands.

Because the game has more decisions to make further past the flop the deeper the effective stack, the result is that you should be getting in there with hands that play well right through to the river. He points out the way in which the implied odds of stacking someone grow to eclipse the direct pot odds in a lot of spots where the nut and / or nut draws are in play. The knowledge of whether you have those draws and who else at the table does if you don’t, goes up in value the deeper the effective stacks.

His second point is that position also increases in importance, because tough spots are going to be so much bigger in value, having position can make or break you for hundreds of big blinds instead of ten. Being in position allows your opponent to put you to a tough decision with more information than you even more so when the stacks are high than in other forms of poker.

Which leads nicely into his third point about protecting your range. Where shortstacks make it difficult for an opponent to exploit a narrow range, in deep stack poker that information is deadlier as there are more kinds of move left to your opponent.

As far as he is concerned, deep stack cash is practically a whole different game, for the full details see the video.

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Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more


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