June 14, 2008
Filed Under (Poker) by crumble on 14-06-2008

While I’ve been waiting for my confidence to re-appear to resume my cash game mission, I’ve been playing some 2c-4c and 5c-10c 6-max. True micro-limit: the lowest games spread on the B2B network.

These tables don’t follow normal poker rules.

All styles of play are there, all combinations of passive and aggressive pre- and post-flop play, but the two things that nearly all tables have in common are that nearly all the players play too many hands and take many of them all the way to the river.

Standard stuff like stealing and continuation bets just don’t work very well. Bluffing is rarely effective.

It took me a while to work it out, but the answer is obvious:

  • Make sure that you start with better hands on average than the other guys. That is, tighten up; only play the good stuff. The best starting hands on average end up as the best hands.
  • Make sure that the pots you win are at least as big as the pots you lose. So get the value bets in; even if for some reason the pot is small pre-flop make sure the later bets are big enough to make up for it.

This is why a really tight aggressive style can work: enough people will pay you off to make up for all those lost blinds.

It’s also why a slightly less tight passive/aggressive style can work: you aren’t scaring off many people pre-flop but can still make money down the streets.

I kind of knew this already from an EatMyStack challenge last year, but I had forgotten how to do it. I remembered halfway through a session on Saturday and suddenly everything started to work. The session graph immediately started to recover:


Did I mention these games are pretty swingy?

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