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Edit:

With moderator's comment in mind, I'd like to rephrase the question.

What would be some of the basic strategy adjustments and exploitable quirks you would focus on when playing ZOOM?

Original:

(my apologies to all US players)

A few days ago they've introduced a new game mode where you play against a cloud of players. I don't want to mess up the description, but basically if you are dealt 72o you can do a quick fold, and you'll be immediately transferred to another table - meaning more hands played per hour etc. Blinds still seem to be applied very evenly i.e. you will not be randomly seated as a BB five tables in a row, but there are still adjustments to be made. My speculation so far:

  • you play against a mass of opponents (430 at a single stakes level at the time of me writing this) and, being randomly moved, you don't get the ups and downs of sitting before an intimidating stack/super-aggressive opponent/novice player etc.
  • same goes for keeping track of opponent behaviour. If an opponent chooses to insta-fold (which, clearly, does not get announced until the hand is over), he does not see your play.

Interesting point - I was curious to test a theory so I'd shove with pocket aces whenever an opportunity presented itself (100BB+ stacks). I got called way too often which is just swell - I'm writing this off as something that would happen while the game mode is still a novelty, but I wonder how many other exploitable quirks would present themselves.

I'd be keen to hear your thoughts on the mode and adjustments to the "normal" cash game strategy and personal experiences if any.

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Is there a way to make this question less of a discussion and perhaps more strategy based regarding "Zoom" pokers unique set-up? In it's current form it's a bit too open-ended and vague. FAQ –  Toby Booth Mar 21 '12 at 16:56
    
@TobyBooth: done. I'll have too keep reminding myself of this however - I find it hard keeping the Q&A form unless it's a specific hand analysis, and even than aqdvocates of different theories could get into a lengthy debate –  o.v. Mar 21 '12 at 21:37
    
Thanks for editing :). It's an interesting question that i'm looking into myself. –  Toby Booth Mar 21 '12 at 21:50
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I would like to talk more about the adjustment I made when playing Rush poker(fulltilt)/ Zoom (poker stars).

  1. I stopped protect my blinds - found it unprofitable.
  2. Automatic fold with bad hands.
  3. Bluff more often in middle positions, But never with bad hands.
  4. KEEP WRITING NOTES ON PLAYERS - this might seems odd, but because of the enormous number of hands, you meet the same players pretty much.
  5. along with point 4 - I use a very short way to write my remarks, for example:
    a) f - fold. f2 - two folds. etc....
    b) reX, rmX, rlX - raise early/middle/late position where X means number of times.
    c) rrX - re-raise. X again is the number of times.
    d) pb - protect blinds.
    and some more....

I am still learning the game and try all kind of staff.

Good luck all,

amigal

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From an anonymous user who attempted to edit the post: I want to add one more thing to your post amigal : Folding over pairs (especially AA,KK) when did not hits the board and opp. moves all-in on the flop , even if the flop in like 2 , 3 , 7 rainbow . These solutions really work . Nima . (nima_m666@yahoo.com) Good Luck everyone . –  Chris Marasti-Georg Apr 26 '12 at 12:41
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At cheaper tables (micro and low), one interesting strategy is to try to steal the antes from middle to late position much more often than at a regular table. A lot of players might already have folded their hands behind you and the SB and BB are often more afraid to defend than in a normal cash game (see for example answer from amigal).

Often it makes sense to raise the minimum as many players in Zoom seem to fold to any bet size. Of course, if you are reraised with a poor hand you should fold - some losses to this is inevitable.

You can raise the minimum even with a strong hand as this often induces a reraise, but since most players at lower levels probably don't take notes you can vary your bet size on how strong your hands are.

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(this is definitely too long for a comment)

same goes for keeping track of opponent behaviour. If an opponent chooses to insta-fold (which, clearly, does not get announced until the hand is over), he does not see your play.

It depends what you mean by "he does not see your play". When you fold you are taken to another table, but the previous hand, once over, is still saved to the hard disk!

It was the case for Rush poker on Full Tilt and as far as I can tell I can import PokerStars Zoom hands just fine in my tracker.

So it's true that your opponent "does not see your play" just as a multi-tabling opponent does not "see your play". Multi-tabling opponent playing with their windows either stacks or cascaded do not see your move and even if they multi-table in tiled mode they often don't pay that much attention: they've got other tables to focus on.

However... Your opponent may still be tracking your play in his tracker. One could even say that basically one of the very reason trackers do exist is precisely so that you can see all your opponents' tendencies without needing to constantly monitor them all.

So when you say that an opponent folding "does not see your play", it's not entirely true. There were definitely Rush poker regulars on Full Tilt and even though the stats do not converge as fast as in typical games, you still get to accumulate deals about your opponents in Rush (Full Tilt Poker) / Zoom (PokerStars).

As far as I remember there was at least one tracker (not mine) showing the HUD for Rush at Full Tilt. For what it's worth "my" tracker (I mean "my" literally, it's the tracker I wrote) has an "Active players" tab which shows stats about players who were active during the last 'x' minutes (with 'x' being configurable). It's not as convenient as a HUD, but at least it allows to quickly lookup the stats of a Rush / Zoom opponent by looking up its name in the active players list.

All this to say: it's not because you cannot track "visually" your opponent's style after you folded that your opponent cannot track you using a tracker.

Once again: the stats takes longer to convert but some people put in gigantic volumes and do use a tracker and they end up "seeing how opponents play".

You can bet that there shall soon be HUDs working for Zoom on PokerStars and that there are regulars who are going to use them: so you have to keep in mind that some players shall adjust to your style of play, not just to the fact that it's Zoom poker...

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Thanks for pointing this out. I mistakenly assumed that hand history would not be saved unless you sit through to the end of the hand (ctrl+click fold) - clearly that is not the case. –  o.v. Mar 22 '12 at 4:24
    
@o.v.: it was clearly not the case on Rush / Full Tilt Poker and I take it it's also not the case on Zoom / PokerStars but I can't 100% guarantee it. As far as I can tell hands are saved, no matter what : ) –  TacticalCoder Mar 22 '12 at 12:25
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It's not a new idea, FullTilt had it too for a long time and I know I played on it quite intensively. It was called Rush Poker Mode if I remember correctly.

The upside is, like you noticed, the very high number of hands per hour. Numbers like 300 hands / hour are not uncommon.

The downside however is that you go against a massive field (1000 players probably), so your chances of meeting again with the same player(s) later on are quite small. When it does happen, you will probably not remember him. So you won't remember how he plays. What do you do when he raises ? What do you do when he re-raises ?

Bottom line: playing in this Zoom mode is very fun and extremely fast. But it takes away some of poker fundamental components (get to know your opponent and make decisions according to that information).

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+1. I think I've read somewhere that FullTilt's patent on the game mode recently expired so other sites like PKR (meh) are introducing this too (more hands per hour = more rake :). I reckon it would be a close to perfect to pick up the game math without focusing on opponent behaviour patterns - but it could easily get costly for a novice player. –  o.v. Mar 21 '12 at 21:40
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