The Lunch Hour Spin-up

The Lunch Hour Spin-up

Saturday, 1 November 2014

What wins more ABC or LAG?

Resident bluffers Dan Gallagher and Tom Victor are always arguing about how much better Dan is at poker; so much so that in order to get them to concentrate on writing about people who can actually win at poker, the big boss -Bluff Daddy himself has thrown them each €50 on Unibet to try and have a spin up during their lunch break. Armed with a 4 pack of beer and stipulations that one most play solid and the other loose; let's see who's style prevails.

Tom - the ABC approach

The first thing that stands out to me when going to register is the wide array of avatars. You can choose from mad scientists, rock stars, and more nationalities than you knew existed. I'd recommend going for the Brazilian football fan, complete with painted face, largely so I can justify disturbing my colleagues by shouting 'Vaaamoooo' at the top of my voice whenever I win a pot.

One of the things I love about Unibet's software is that it lets you choose between multiple identities, so if the tight-aggressive South American style doesn't suit you then you can don a Norwegian or Swedish flag and switch gears.

Unibet 5

We know people say no one pays attention to visual giveaways, but it certainly seemed like opponents were betting into me less when I went with the screen name 'BluffCatcher' - maybe there is something in that after all.

The sample size might not be huge, but we hope this gets us some way towards knowing what works better on a site known for its recreational player pool.

I'll be the first to admit this was a case of going against the grain for me - there were many occasions where I had to force myself not to chuck in that third straight 3-bet, and I even considered investing in something that would give me an electric shock whenever that thought crossed my mind. But I'm an adult, and eventually I learned to use my restraint.

If you only bet when you have it, things are much easier to keep track of. And as for readjusting when your opponents wise up to your style - you'd be surprised at how infrequently that happens. When you're playing online poker in a fun and recreational environment, even when you lose. the most important thing is the experience. And to be fair, I had a lot of fun dodging real work so I could nit it up.

Unibet 2

It can work to your benefit too - with no HUDs to worry about, you know that everyone should be playing close attention from the get-go, which in turn increases your own awareness of your surroundings. A sharp poker mind, or in my case even a relatively blunt one, can pick up on tendencies quickly enough and use that to their advantage.

One thing which helps keep things moving is the running targets, which you can click to expand on screen. These tell you how far away you are from the next upcoming milestone, be it unlocking bonuses or earning a free spin on a slot machine that's handing out prizes related to the Unibet Open. When you can earn these just by playing your normal game, seeing flops and winning hands, it brings a double-sweat into play.

As for the play itself, my straightforward style seemed to pay dividends. I got the best of my opponents in No Limit Hold'em and Pot Limit Omaha cash games, and built up a decent bankroll for when I want to move up in stakes. And you learn things pretty quickly too - it became evident right away that the second nuts in PLO often isn't as great as it sounds!

Dan – Hashtag LAG

Ok, so I'm the kid you hate at the table. Hoodie: Check, Earphones: Check, Sunglasses: Well, no I'm not that bad but you should still hate me anyway. So usually, when I play on Unibet, it's the avatar of the kid with the hoodie; so the people know I'm running the streets here. A lot of people will advise you should go with the old granny avatar or use an alias like “Lucy's dad”. Not me, choose one of the cool avatars and every day choose a new gangster name like “3BETURFACE”.

Unibet 3

It's close to All Hallow's Eve here at Castle Bluff, so I've gone with the evil jester avatar and the weird kind of massage parlour-cum-Tim Burton-esque poker lair. Scanning through the table lobbies, it's hard to pick my favourite background, but it has one for every occasion.

I've been given the happy task of trying out a loose style. Unibet doesn't have a HUD; which today kinda sucks because I love seeing my VPIP at 100. Luckily, due to the lack of HUD stats, those playing against me seem not to have noticed I haven't found the fold button yet.

The problem I'm immediately facing is that I'm trying to play aggressive, but nobody wants to play with me. The guy on my right at my 25nl table has just opened pre and then check folded on a 9-K-9 flop. This is probably Tom's idea of a perfect life, but even as I scoop the pot with 8 high; I feel a tinge of annoyance.

It's clear, I need to get over myself straight away. Within one orbit, I have a decent idea of what everyone on my four tables is up to. Apart from on my PLO table, where even I'm not sure what's going on.

And then I lose it; I've sat here for what seems like an eternity (well, it's been 11 minutes and despite being a buy-in up already, by just chipping up steadily, I need action). It's time to go for the light squeeze. Five cards later and a buy-in shorter, we're back where we started.

Unibet 4

People here are obviously having a good time, and I play for over an hour whilst enjoying that the boss has let us have a beer at lunch and play poker. In the 4 tables I've been playing, only two people have left. I've made €45 and can't wait to finish work so I can take the time to play some of the MTT's.

The play at €50nl and below is really straight forward. You're not going to be be put in too many marginal spots and your focus should really be about chipping up and getting thin value. Ultimately the software is awesome and you can play around with the themes to suit your mood. Unibet still has a growing player pool, so be sure to mix up your screenname and avatar to avoid detection.

Tags: Unibet, strategy, Tom Victor, Dan Gallagher