Heads-Up Adjustments

Heads-Up Adjustments


You’ve made it past the first Hurdle, whether it was via winning an exciting hand of PowerUp and coming in with a 2X (or 1.5X or 3X) stack – or whether it was through the lower variance route of sitting and staring at your monitor for 6 minutes while your two opponents blasted their way across multiple streets of PowerUp fun and left you twiddling your thumbs. . .


What’s the best way forward now? Usually you’ll be in one of 3 options:


Rich in mana and PowerUp cards, but at a chip disadvantage:


It’s hard to overcome a smaller chip stack, but luckily your opponent is more than likely to pressure you right out of the gates. Wait for a big open and either burn through some PowerUps before moving all in to maximize chances of that game changing double 3-bet with abandon hoping to induce folds.


You shouldn’t be looking to fold any 3-bet to an over shove. In that case – PowerUp as much as you can and go with it. The only really bad option in this situation is to take 3-betting lines while burning powerups (because you can save them for more equitable spots) or 3-bet → fold lines, because your chips are too valuable to dust off once heads up since you can always artificially improve your holdings, while your opponent is limited.


Low in mana and PowerUp cards, but at a chip advantage:


Keep the above situation in mind and narrow your normal HU NLHE opening range to hands that can call an over-shove. There’s no reason to semi-bluff open in this game when your opponent has little reason to not go with nearly any 2 cards after PoweringUp.


Choose chands that play well against Upgraded and Reloaded hands (high suited connectors, broadway cards etc.) and run with it. Letting your opponent chip up without exhausting their PowerUps is a mistake. Traction runs 2-fold in PowerUp, remember that.


Rich in mana, PowerUps and with the chip lead:


You may want to just fire in, and you should. Just remember to size your bets to induce all ins, and to 3-bet instead of shoving over opens. The over-shove is ok in normal NL but in PowerUp, especially when you have PowerUps to burn and chips to spare its the worst option.


Open and 3-bet to keep your PowerUp plays open, and ensure that your opponent is the one making mistakes. Remember that if you’re facing an all in, you’ve been able to see what PowerUps (if any) your opponent has triggered – this gives you a better read on what range you’ll need to beat, and also gives you the chance to burn your own PowerUps to beat it before calling. Size to induce, PowerUp and hope it holds.


(Honorable mention) – poor in mana, PowerUps and in chips:


Find a high card and go with it until you are in either one of the above 3 scenarios – or you’ve lost. GL buddy. Tough life.

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