The rules of PowerUp create some weird situations for sure. Here we are going to zero in on the almost counter-intuitive effects the inclusion of these extra cards – and their use restrictions – have on 3-betting versus all-in ranges in 10-20 big blind stacks in these SNGs.
First of all – disclaimer: this is a simplified explanation for 3-betting and all-in strategy in PowerUp. Exceptions exist.
In normal short handed NL 3-betting is used mostly to create assumed ranges, represent legitimately strong hands or to help realize equity from middling to strong hands from opens which we perceive as too wide. Though the results may be the same, 3-betting in PowerUp has other significant factors attached to it:
- 3-betting to add value to the pot while keeping PowerUp Cards “alive”. Since PowerUp has the rule that once players are both all in no PowerUp cards are able to be used – jamming over the top of an open with big suited connectors or even 2 broadway cards doesn’t make sense, even if you are relatively short stacked. Why shut down all your options to artificially improve board connection with a hand that is vulnerable per-flop? In normal NL an all-in in these spots is a decent way to deny an opponent’s equity, but here you’re actually somewhat denying your own equity by limiting your PowerUp options to nil while your opponent still gets to make full use of their arsenal before deciding to call or fold.
- 3-betting to induce PowerUp burns. This is exactly what it sounds like. You have a hand with some potential but you don’t want to commit with it. Throw in a naked 3-bet against an open without using any PowerUp cards of your own. It looks inherently strong and it enables you to make your next decision perfectly nearly all the time. Your opponent flats without using any of their powerups.
Great – off to the flop. Your opponent burns PowerUps then flats. Great – off to the flop and they’ve thrown out some of their edge away later in the game. Your opponent burns PowerUps then shoves. Good – you can fold and either way your opponent has given up their PowerUps. You’ve paid to put them at a disadvantage in later hands.
A bit more straightforward:
- Going all-in to shut down your opponents ability to tamper with the board. Going down this same counter intuitive road – nutted pre-flop hands like high pocket pairs are theoretically usually a bit more profitable to 3-bet with versus go all in with in short handed NL as you’re able to create higher EV for yourself doing so (its close, and situational, but bear with the logic here). This is where things take a turn in PowerUp. Here these hands are ALWAYS better to shove with versus 3-betting.
Shoving lets you conserve your own PowerUp cards while denying your opponent the possibility of catching up on the board via their own PowerUp cards. They’re forced into a position where they have to burn through PowerUps to creating a call-worthy hand preflop, fold, or best of all – burn through PowerUps, fail to significantly improve and still fold. Don’t let villains take a flop and assess their options in PowerUp. Its not a good look to bow out in 3rd.