April 30, 2011
Here's an interesting thread where I discuss raising 100% of buttons in HU TD (I'm Stryd0r.)Â Gist is I don't think it's profitable at all.Â As well as being generally wrong though, it is simply tough to play. It has the problem of creating millions of spots where you have a tough decision, or you have unhappy decisions, because your hands are really weak and middle-heavy; you will often be the one with a marginal hand that is almost a bluffcatcher, and your decisions will often be between call and fold where you will rarely get the chance to value bet/raise yourself, simply because you don't make that many 8s or better, and as a result you will rarely be able to bluff, which makes it pretty easy for your opponent to play because he will just thin vbet you all day long without getting much pressure.Â
Giving your opponent the momentum in a HU match like this and making it really comfortable for him most of the time is going to make it even worse for you. It's going to make it hard for him to tilt and make bad decisions, while you will be constantly making them. That time I lost ~$9k at 20/40 HU was mostly because I was raising too many buttons and thinking it was profitable, and just getting gradually crushed by someone who was solid aggressive 3-betting me/barrelling me to death with a strong merged range.
A lot of the times someone who opens every button becomes easy to play against, though there are still some who are tougher than others. It requires being able to make razor thin calls as well as hero folds based on very perceptive reads on opponent tendencies, ability to follow game-flow, and general understanding of the game. Those who are poor post-draw get absolutely destroyed playing this strategy in my experience, but those who are decent post-draw won't get destroyed but I still think it's a losing strategy vs anyone good. I've played both types and it certainly makes an interesting match because of the amount of big pots there are. It's possible that opening 100% of buttons vs certain bad players is profitable though, but they have to be really weak both pre and post, giving you a lot free cards when they are ahead and generally not putting you in tough spots. I don't know what Tapirboy plays but I imagine if a low stakes game broke down from 6-max to HU the players will be soÂ inexperienced and passive that you will show a decent profit by opening every button. These types don't really exist higher up though.
However, the assertion that you can do this and a good player can't counter you without turning it into a levelling war by snowing/resnowing is ultimately wrong. When I first started playing HU I thought the game was about a ton of snowing but it's not. It's hard to snow that much when someone can just call down getting good odds and they'll be massively profiting given how many value hands you actually have. The game I found out is much more about thin vbetting and very precise range manipulation i.e which cards to keep and when, which 2cds and 1cds to play and how, how we choose our ranges to maximise value, showdown equity and fold equity. When someone chooses to play 100 VPIP it massively strengthens the value and equity of a lot of marginal hands and the simple counter is to adjust all your ranges/drawing decisions and you really end up running over someone playing such weak ranges.