Wednesday, March 21, 2012

ZOOM Poker

Pokerstars has finally introduced ZOOM poker (aka Rush poker at FT). Zoom is still in beta. They started with the micro stakes ring games and keep rolling out new buyin levels and formats. I've only played the full ring NLHE.

If you are not familiar with Zoom/Rush format, here is the concept. You are not seated at one particular table like a normal cash game. Rather you are put in a player pool with a maximum of 2000 other players. Every time you fold, you automatically, and instantly, get seated at a new table with two new cards and 8 other random players from the pool. You can quickfold out of turn which means no waiting what so ever. You can also play up to four tables within each Zoom game.

  • More hands per hour. A normal "Fast" full ring game plays 80-100 hands per hour. Zoom is averaging 300 hands per hour. Playing 3 times as many hands per hour means 3 times as many fpps.
  • Your style is less exploitable. Since you keep changing tables, no one will know if you are super tight or an agro maniac. Note that both HEM and PT are updating their tracking software. In a few weeks our HUDs will be functional for Zoom.
  • No waiting. This is a pure clickfest! It is great for those times when you don't have enough time for a tourney. 


  • You don't have any reads on the other players either.

Strategy: "Small losses, but Big wins"
I've played about 5K hands of .02/.05NL this week. I've won a ton of big pots, but I also lost several HUGE pots too. All of my losses were situations where I overplayed AA or KK post flop! Remember: "It is just a pair." Well, I made some adjustments to my game. Here is how I've been playing the past few days. It has been consistently profitable.

Preflop (set mining)

  • Unopened pot any position: I raise 2.5x with any pocket pair. I raise 3x from any position with QQ, KK, AA. You win quite a few of these due to the quickfold in Zoom. Furthermore, you build the pot for the times when you flop your set. In other words, I've learned from all the AA, KK stacks I've lost post flop and am trying to to the same to other people now.
  • Facing a raise any position: I call a 3x raise or less with any pocket pair. I reraise 3x the original raise size with QQ, KK, AA and AK. If i get 4-bet, I move all in with KK and AA, but may fold or call with QQ and AK depending on the situation. I don't risk a big stack by going all in preflop with QQ and AK. I can also call a raise in a multiway pot if I have Axs type hands. However, I am folding AQo every time in this spot.
  • Facing limpers: I limp from any position with non-premium pocket pairs. Limp from late postion with Axs and suited connectors IF at least two limpers are already in the pot.
  • Unopened pot from btn: Raising 2.5x with standard steal range.
  • Unopened from sb: raising 2.5x any above average hand (Q7o+)

Vs one opponent: I c-bet 100% of the time if I raised preflop. My standard c-bet is 75% of the pot. If they play back, then I only continue if I have pot odds. If I have an overpair I slow down considerably after my c-bet.

My golden rule is just like early stages of sngs: Post flop I will NEVER get all in with "just a pair"! This has meant folding AA already. I try to keep the pot small post flop so that I can go to the showdown with an overpair, but I won't call off my stack to a river shove.

If I flop a set or heavy draw hand, I make a pot sized raise. NEVER SLOWPLAY! Note: sometimes you flop a set on a drawing board. If the straight or flush gets filled and they make a big river bet, I fold. I've made enough hero calls the last few days to see that that they usually have the better hand.

If my hand misses the flop, I just fold.

This approach seems looser than my normal game. I play more hands than normal, regardless of postion in hopes of flopping a set. This means I lose a lot of small pots, but I win a stack when I go to the river. However, I'm still only seeing about 10% of the flops. I am winning quite a few steals preflop too.

I'm having fun with Zoom right now. I hate the name, but I love the game! The turbo MTTs are all about preflop shoving/folding ranges. Zoom is all about post flop play with deep stacks.


Roland GTX


  1. Excellent post Roland! Rush poker at Full Tilt was a major factor there and one of the aspects I was missing. Looking forward to when Stars get the Zoom tourneys running. Multi-entry Rush tournies at FT was where I made big cashes. Anyway, your strategy seems very good, I have not had a good start at Zoom (hate the name as well :-)). My problem is as you discuss, the bet-sizing + overplaying big pp's.

  2. I'll be playing Zoom for the a Team Challenge at PSO next week.

    We are pitting one team of full ring players vs another team of 6 max players. Everyone must play a minimum of 2000 hands and send in their hh. In addition we have to follow strict bankroll guidelines. Everyone starts at.01/.02 and cannot move up to the next buyin level until they have made a set amount of money.

    The team with the most total profit wins LOL!

    They will be doing two Live Training sessions based on the HHs we send in as well.

    It should be fun! However, my main reason for doing it is to work on my post flop game.

    Roland GTX