JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.

Home \ Community \ Blogs \







Something Xflixx said recently has really impacted my game for the better - it's a simple enough little parable - so much so that I feel it's almost totally transformed my game. I'm paraphrasing, but it was something along the lines of :

"If you can't have position, take the initiative. When you won't take the initiative, have position
and where possible, have both."


I have had decent confidence in my ability to play cash games for a while now, despite having technically been a losing player over around 9k hands at 2/5nl (though most of these hands were played before I ever really understood what I was doing at all). After solid results recently at the lower limits, and being properly rolled for it thanks to coming 3rd in a big field, small buy in tourney (Hot 0.55 - 3rd for 430USD) I decided to take a crack at 10NL and I must say, for now, I feel right at home.

The mantra I acknowledged is definitely one to live by so far, especially when approaching hands with a plan. So often in the past I had been flatting hands like AJs AQ 10-10 and a myriad of other holdings from OOP (to a single open, not a 3b) and I feel that the profitability of doing so is negligible at best. It's absurd (well actually it's logical, but allow me some creative license! :p) how often you're not going to make a pair with your big ace/paint, or how regularly you'll be faced by a board full of overcards with your 10s and Jacks, facing a CBet OOP, with little room for maneuvre. I'm not saying I've gone mad, and started 3 betting all these hands "as standard" from OOP but in so many cases (dependant on any number of factors, obviously i'm not 3 betting the biggest nit at the tables UTG open with my a10s etc) erring on the side of passiveness (in my opinion) is a mistake.

So I've played a few sessions so far @ 10 NL, the longest of which was this evening for around 500 hands, bringing my total up to around 1300 so far (I only play 4 tables at present and find concentrating on long sessions a struggle - but I'm aiming to massively increase the volume as I get more familiar with multitabling cash). Obviously, this is a small sample size but I am confident in my play thus far. Despite having made a paltry $7, the results don't tell the whole story. When looking at my EV graph I am actually running a whopping $35 below EV due to taking a plethora (again with the artistic license! :p) of bad beats, some small, some not so small. In a strange way though I'm even more pleased with myself due to the nature of how I took them. 

After a fairly quiet  first couple of sessions ending with me up around 1.5 buyins and making some silly errors - but learning along the way - I settled in for some hands this evening. Within the first 20 or so hands I had dropped 2 buy ins in pretty ugly fashion. After 5 bet jamming my AhKh in a button/blind battle against an opponent who had been openeing pretty loose, what by all accounts should have been a chop turned into a dropped buy in when his AsKs flopped the nuts. Moments later my KK was cracked by 77 and frankly, I felt like quitting for the evening, but I didn't. For once I calmly gathered myself and realised that I should be happy and that 4 times out of 5, I'd be up a buy in and hungry for more poker.

A little later in the session after winning a slew of small/medium pots - confidence restored - this hand cropped up : The villain (who seemed to be a reg) and I had a very aggressive dynamic, he'd been 3 betting my buttons relentlessly and I'd already 4 bet him light (clicked it back) in a pot where we chopped on an A255K board (both showing ace rag)

I decided to click it back again for several reasons;  to emulate my earlier weak 4 bet, to give him a chance to spazz out and ship on me or to come along with any of his much worse hands. The flop came relatively dry and i instantly fired out my standard C bet, a little faster than usual hoping to convey an impression of weakness. He called pretty quickly  and on the turn I decide I don't want to waste any more time - confident in my read that he'll stack off very lightly - I tank for a pretty long time and eventually ship it on the turn for a pot sized bet, figuring that I would be 100% betting this turn anyway and never folding to his shove, plus I want to convey as bluffy a line as possible. Ultimately I'm very happy with how I played the hand even though it was an unorthodox line. The result? MEH.

Even after this - yet another pretty ugly beat, though far from the worst you'll have seen - I was able to maintain a lucid mindset, make (mostly :p) solid decisions and finish the session just one buy in down. Regardless of the result I feel like this was my best session so far and on a day where I didn't run like diahrrea, it would have been pretty darn profitable too!
I'm not getting ahead of myself and I still have tons to learn (and lots of hands to play) before I can genuinely say I'm a winning player, but I feel like (thanks in no small part to PSO and all of the trainers therein) I'm on the right track.









In order to comment, you must login or register.
Take Quiz
New here? Take our Poker Assessment to start your education.
already a member? sign in here
JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.
Learn From basics to advanced strategy
Practice Improve your skills with our trainers
Win! Establish yourself as a winning player
/Featured Promotions/
Progressive Jackpot Progressive Jackpot Playing our new 'Scratch & Match' game is free and very easy. If you match 3 symbols you win a prize!!!! View details
Earn 10 Tournament Tickets Today! Earn 10 Tournament Tickets Today! Invite your friends to join Poker School and you could earn up to 10 tournament tickets as a reward! View details

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on