Play the Rush

We don’t often see this concept talked about much, but we find it is a good tool to have in the arsenal…

To play a rush sometimes you just need to keep playing hands.  Obviously it is impossible to tell when a ‘rush’ is coming, but if you’ve ever gambled at anything else besides poker, you’ll know that sometimes you just get a ‘feeling.’  Now, this can sound a bit silly, not as clever as the technical tools we all have learned (i.e. position strength, reraising light, short stack play, etc), but it certainly can be a part of the game.  So, get in there when you start feeling good.  Play 6 hands in a row, see what happens.  You might just chip up.  You will also change your image, the table will feel you are playing recklessly.  You can and should ‘revert’ to whatever style you were playing prior to the rush, or whatever is appropriate for that table, after a reasonable amount of time as the rush has surely subsided.

If you are willing to play the rush, you are willing to gamble.  You certainly need to have gamble in you to win MTT’s.  Perhaps you don’t need as much gamble to win at full ring games, where you can often play quite nitty and come out on top.  Six-handed and Heads Up games certainly require ‘gamble’.  Six-max games can really be profitable playing the rush, as you appear to be a maniac.  Heads Up matches are a whole different animal, where it is less about the rush, and more about out playing your opponent.

Also related to this concept is ‘bunching’ – this is what we call winning or going deep in a bunch of tournaments in a row.  Many pros got there start by building a bankroll in this very manner – in other words – they went on a sick heater.  When you are ‘running good’ chances are a few things are working in your favor:  1. A positive attitude – this can help more than you think, when you ‘know’ you are going to lose those flips you’ll start avoiding them, or second guessing yourself as you don’t want to lose again.  2.  Luck – when it rains it pours.  ’nuff said.  3.  Bankroll – when you are on a heater and your bankroll is on a big uptick, well you can afford to play in bigger buyins, play more events, even dabble in higher stakes cash games if you are so inclined.  This is also known as pressing your bet, but another good way (assuming you are on that rush) to build a bigger bankroll faster.

Of course, there is some downside to this madness.  Sometimes you’ll take your shot at the higher level (s), or playing more hands in your tourney and it wont work out.  No fear, just don’t go on monkey tilt and blow through the rest of your cash.  Move down in limits to whatever is appropriate for your roll. 

Finally, the worst thing you can do, is apply any of these concepts when you are ‘running bad’.  If you have lost 5 cash game sessions in a row, don’t go up to the 10/20nl with the rest of your cash and blow it…you aren’t in a good frame of mind.  Take a break, chill, go do something else, until your psychobabble settles down.  You may win your lost money back this one time, but it is certainly a terrible habit and a sure fire way to go broke.


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