Long time no post.
Took last week off from blogging while I enjoyed life. Went to WS game 1 in fenway, watched the rest of the series, went to a couple of parties, had a friend over 1 night, and life was good.
On the baseball front I’ve been throwing a couple of times. Haven’t been in a couple of days though, and I was especially lazy today. Time to get back to the grind tomorrow.
On the poker front I had a horrible run of 8k hands, followed by some solid grinding and running better over the next 5k. My month has been pretty much a roller coaster, but I’m going to finish well in the black.
I’ve also been playing a lot more NL cash the last couple of days. I watched several of the cardrunners videos by some of the more respected pros on the sight, and have been trying to apply their very LAGGY play at the 1/2NL tables on FTP. Frankly I’ve found the games to be extremely easy playing this style. I’m playing about 32/25 preflop and really focusing on paying attention to the action at the table and my understanding the impact that my table image is having on my opponents.
The effectiveness of this style I believe is in large part due to the shift in the paradigm of online 6max NLHE cash games. As players have gained more experience and knowledge of the game, it has become common knowledge (even among poor and weak players) that tight play is correct. What this means is that the current online cash game fish is not necessarily the loose passive calling station (although those still exist) but many are weak tight TAGs and semi-loose weak players. These players will consistently put money in the pot both pre and post flop and then fold despite the fact that understanding hand ranges they must know that you often have little to no hand.
Thus to be successful at these limits I have begun playing very loose, and VERY aggressive. I consistently raise loose limpers and over-limpers, and try to re-squeeze TAGs whenever possible. This strategy works simply because NLHE cash with 100bb stacks is little more than a glorified game of chicken. Basically this breaks down strategically so that I can consistently 3-bet (re-raise preflop) TAGs, and they realize that they have no good options to combat that. If they re-raise they are committing to play for stacks. If they call they are playing a big pot OOP against a player with a wide range and a lot of possible plays. If they fold then once again they have give up on a pot where they likely had good enough equity to call. There are two ways to counter this, and both still make it relatively easy for me to play. If they start 4-betting me preflop (re-re-raising preflop) then I can scale back my aggression, wait for a hand, and bust their whole stack. If they continue to fold I’m just going to keep running over the table until they fight back, and then I’ll just release my non super-strong hands.
I know this is somewhat simplified, but to a large extent that is it. I’m finding the games to be extremely soft and profitable. Frankly compared to the 10/20 limit games I’m used to grinding it is a joke. If I continue to have success while playing NL and can work my way up to playing 3/6 I may spend significantly more time playing NL.
Here are a couple of hands that went down today to reinforce my points:
In this hand the LAGTAG player on the button is iso-raising the loose limper with a fairly wide range. The player in the SB is cold calling with a very wide range, but has consistently avoided getting his small stack in preflop. I have been 3-betting the LAGTAG quite a bit, but we’ve both played back at each other, and he’s shown my re-raises a lot of respect. I figure I have a good hand against the SBs range, I can get the limper and button to fold, and if the SB wants to play for his stack then so be it. As expected they all folded, and I picked up the dead money.
Full Tilt Poker $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em - 5 players
Hand Converter Tool from www.DeucesCracked.com
Preflop: Hero is BB with Tc, As
UTG folds, CO calls $2, Button raises to $9, SB calls $8, Hero raises to $48, CO folds, Button folds, SB folds.
Final Pot: $29.00
So not too long after I pick up KK, and the LAGTAG player raises again from MP. Now if I was playing TAG at this table when I re-raise preflop I am probably not going to get a lot of action. But the fact that I have 3-bet him preflop quite a few times, I expect that he’ll play back with quite a few hands if I re-raise. So when I re-raise I was not surprised when he re-popped me, and I thought for just a few seconds before shoving in. Obviously his call is horrible, but with the aggression he has seen from me, and the number of times I have run him over, I guess he decided he needed to take a stand at some point. This was exactly the result I was looking for. Ship it.
Full Tilt Poker $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players
Hand Converter Tool from www.DeucesCracked.com
Preflop: Hero is Button with Kd, Ks
UTG folds, MP raises to $7, Hero raises to $25, SB folds, BB folds, MP raises to $78, Hero raises to $240.20 (all in), MP calls $138.35 (all in).
Final Pot: $435.70
CO doesn't show.
Hero shows Kd, Ks ().
MP shows Kh, Qh ().
Outcome: ($435.70 Rake)