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How to master the small tables

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How to master the small tables - Mon Feb 28, 2011, 07:35 AM
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mrathlete_5's Avatar
Since: Jan 2011
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I play on the micro tables usually 1 and 2 cent blinds and 2 and 4 cent blinds. What starting hands should I not be playing at these tables in any position? Some hands are obvious not to play but should I be playing K3 K6, Q4, Q7 suited, or and Ace and an off suited low card, should I play these cards? It is always tempting when you have played 100 hands and haven't had any luck, I keep telling myself patients patients and more patients. Thnaks for the feedback!
 
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Mon Feb 28, 2011, 12:44 PM
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TheLangolier's Avatar
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Hi mra,

Don't let a string of poor starting hands cause you to lose patience and start playing any old trash hand. There will be specific circumstances where you play a hand like K6s, but they should be the exception, not the norm, and if you don't yet know what situations are profitable to attack with a speculative holding, you probably shouldn't be trying to do so at this point, just throw those away. Likewise with A-rag, usually better to just discard it at this stage, as it's a difficult hand to play profitably post flop whether or not you hit your ace.

Dave
 
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Mon Feb 28, 2011, 12:46 PM
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TheLangolier's Avatar
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BTW, the 3 general rules for beating microstakes nlhe:

1) Don't bluff
2) Don't pay off
3) Value bet, value bet, value bet

These are actually the golden rules for beating loose-passive players (of which there tends to be a fair amount in the player pool at 2nl).

Dave
 
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Mon Feb 28, 2011, 03:20 PM
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I'm currently 6-tabling the six-max $2NL cash tables. I have found that big river bluffs are just about the worst thing you can do. People are generally very passive and will usually fold their junk like bottom pair on the flop, but at random might decide to call you all the way to showdown. People often make terrible river calls, which if your bluffing could actually be costly for you. The occasional C-bet on the flop can be ok, but it is a tricky thing to do. You have to consider what outs you have, your position post flop, and if you think the flop hit anyone's range.

Don't ever play any of those hands you gave as examples, unless your in the BB and you can check for a free flop. Even then, if you hit one pair on the flop be very, very cautious.

Wish Dave posted his 3 golden rules for loose-passive players yesterday I may have saved myself an entire buy-in by not making big river bluffs against bad players making bad calls.
 
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Mon Feb 28, 2011, 05:44 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys and I have been bluffing a fare share at these tables and it has cost me more than it has helped me. I am about to go play now and take you guys advice and see how it goes. Thanks alot!
 
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Starting hands and positioning - Mon Feb 28, 2011, 11:24 PM
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I got some info offline about starting hands to play only in the early positions
AA KK QQ JJ TT 99 88 77 AKs AK AQs AQ AJs AJ ATs A9s A8s A7s KQs KJs QJs, is this correct? Are there other hands I could get by with playing? I also have starting hands on the middle position, late and both the blinds.
 
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Tue Mar 01, 2011, 01:37 AM
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TheLangolier's Avatar
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That's about 9.5% of starting hands, sounds fine for full ring. Once you get more knowledge and experience under your belt you'll modify your starting hand selection, but initially using a chart for guidance is fine. When in doubt, tighten up a bit in EP and loosen up a bit in LP.

Dave
 
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Fri Mar 04, 2011, 09:40 AM
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mrathlete_5's Avatar
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Thanks Dave, yeah the starting hands I mentioned is the guide i use when I am at a tabel of 9 or 10 people. I really don't like the tables with 6 people at it, seems to me more people win with crap hands because I have seen at those tables you can play like A 4 suited for example in any position and win. Thanks again
 
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Fri Mar 04, 2011, 02:45 PM
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PanickyPoker's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
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Pokerstove has this nice little function where, when you're inserting a range of hands for a player, you can give a percentage of starting hands instead of the specific hands, and Stove will give you a range based on that number.

The interesting thing is that 9.5% of hands show up as a different range on Stove. When I plug in 9.5%, we get:

88+ ATs+ AJo+ KTs+ KQo+ QTs+

athlete's range for the same percentage of hands is:

77+ A7s+ AJo+ KJs+ QJs

According to Stove, you wouldn't be playing A7s until you are playing 14% of hands. I'd kinda like to know whether or not sticking to Stove's 9.5% range would be a better idea than athlete's 9.5% range. I guess I'm just wondering if that would help athlete's game at all, or if it's really inconsequential.
 
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Fri Mar 04, 2011, 03:26 PM
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TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,512
(Head Trainer)
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanickyPoker View Post
According to Stove, you wouldn't be playing A7s until you are playing 14% of hands. I'd kinda like to know whether or not sticking to Stove's 9.5% range would be a better idea than athlete's 9.5% range. I guess I'm just wondering if that would help athlete's game at all, or if it's really inconsequential.
This is a great question Panicky, and brings up a good point. Pokerstove's range for a % is an estimation only. It's a good one, but it's approximate, and sometime adjustments are warranted. For example, 2 players may both be open raising 12%, but they might actually have very different ranges. Putting 12% into stove it approximates that as: 77+,A9s+,KTs+,QTs+,JTs,ATo+,KJo+ (12.4% actually) Another player might open any pocket pair, but not KJo or JTs or QTs, etc, but overvalue any ace and open a lot more suited aces. 12.5%: 22+,A5s+,KQs,ATo+. And yet another still may open a more polarized range, consisting of the biggest of the hands from the above ranges, plus some lower suited connectors and such... their 12% range will look far different still.

As far as the small difference between his chart and pokerstove, it's pretty inconsequential. But it's important to keep in mind when ranging opponents that one player's 8% 3b may look very different from another player's 8% 3b, etc.

Dave
 
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Fri Mar 04, 2011, 04:11 PM
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PanickyPoker's Avatar
Since: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,168
I will keep that in mind. Adds even more complexity to the game, but definitely useful.

It is interesting when I think about my own range, though. When I'm playing at my tightest in a micro MTT, I open only about 9% of hands, but that's because I'm opening 22+ and AK from any position, and only loosening up much at all from the hijack. When I see other people playing tight, I generally assume that their range is similar to mine, but I guess that's nowhere near necessarily true.
 
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Thu Mar 17, 2011, 05:48 PM
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Eternitys's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrathlete_5 View Post
I got some info offline about starting hands to play only in the early positions
AA KK QQ JJ TT 99 88 77 AKs AK AQs AQ AJs AJ ATs A9s A8s A7s KQs KJs QJs, is this correct? Are there other hands I could get by with playing? I also have starting hands on the middle position, late and both the blinds.
Some of the hands listed in this shouldn't be played in early position. However that also depends on the reads you have for your table as well. If the table is very tight then the above opening range would be fine. The 'small broadways' and the like only look good but perform far better then the premium hands which you're likely to go up against. The biggest problem with early position is not knowing what everyone else behind you will do. AJo, QJs, A8s+, KJs, ATs and the like are more like middle position, and to a greater extent later position, openings than early position openers.

I've been going up against alot of nits lately though.
 

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