Monday, October 30, 2006

6 Max NL

It's interesting to sit back and see how I go through stages in my poker playing and my game of choice. Back in April/May when I was on a hot streak, I played a lot of SNGs and 6 max NL at the Europeans sites. From July - September, I mostly played Full Table NL (9 or 10 players). I am now back to playing exclusively the 6 max NL tables.

I've learned a lot from watching the cardrunners videos. The pros there seem to only play 6 max, so that is what I have been concentrating on. One of the main things that I have really improved upon from cardrunners is my aggressiveness. My stats for the couple weeks are around 26% VP$IP (voluntarily Put Money In the Pot) and 18% PreFlop Raise %. I very rarely will open limp. If my cards are good enough to limp in with, and it hasn't been raised yet, I will raise it up. And I have been re-raising people pre-flop a lot more. When you do that, most people will assume you have a huge hand like Kings or Aces. I know that if I get played back at, they will most definitely have a really good hand too, and it makes it easier to fold.

Since I am raising 18% of my hands, that means I am pretty much raising all of my pocket pairs (Though I will just call with the low-mid pocket pairs if someone bets before me). I have read many posts and article about extracting as much money as you can when you flop a set. Getting someone's full stack in an unraised pot is pretty difficult. I read a great post by fruitypro over at the cardrunners forums:


"I recommend raising preflop with pocket pairs almost every time. This has so many advantages - you start building a pot, it's easier to get a player to stack off with top pair in a raised pot, you can often win without hitting by continuation betting, you can win the pot preflop, and also you often get to see 5 cards (especially in position) which gives you more chance to spike a set and win a big pot.

The only time I'd not raise preflop is if I had 22-77 in the blinds in a limped pot, where I'd just complete/check.

I also like 3-betting with pocket pairs (even small ones) against a guy who has raised in position. This has significant mathematical advantages (I've put some examples on my latest blog post), and also calling a position raise with a pocket pair probably wont get you paid off even if you hit because he is raising light to start with.

Finally, I'd almost always play sets fast. I very rarely slow play, because not only can it compromise your own hand, further cards could also scare your opponent. Furthermore, if your opponent has a pair or a draw, he's not folding so why not value bet your good hand?

PS: Another reason why you should always raise pocket pairs is this - imagine you are an aggressive player, who always raises except you limp small pairs. When you are playing against the same guys on a daily basis (which you'll start to do from 200NL onwards), they will soon notice this and if you limp or limp/call a raise and then start betting out, they will know you have a set, and fold their good hand often themselves. So raising also adds deception to your hand, making it much harder for your opponents to put you on something."


FruityPro also has a blog out there. I highly recommend reading what he has to say. There are some really good strategy articles there. Go check it out


I had a fairly good weekend on the poker tables. I really enjoyed the crazy play at a Prima poker room, so I signed up at another Prima site with Rakeback. I am now playing at Ace Flush Poker, which I signed up through bonuswhores and get 50% rakeback! I won just over $300 on Friday night in about a half an hour. I came upon a 100NL table where the average pot was $102!! There were some crazy donktastic play going on, and I had to join in on the fun. There was a guy there that would go all-in with any pair. So if you hit Top pair, you would take his stack. It was fun! I also generated $70 in rake this weekend, so add $35 to my profit!

I also joined at another Tribeca site called Bowmans Poker. The bonus there is based off of contributed rake, but with me playing only 6 max NL now, I should be able to clear this one pretty fast. And the play at Tribeca is always donktastic.



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