January 14, 2009

Variance and Microstakes

This is a bit of a run on from my previous post, but reads fine on its own.

I want to see flops.

I don’t want to build big pots unless I am 70-80% sure I have the best hand, or a monster draw, or I am reasonably certain my opponents are weak. (monster draw being something like straight flush draw with the top end, or at least nut flush with overs and a pair). I generally like juicy little pots to roll around in. I guess I like the “smallballer”.

I generally 8 table 50nl full ring, and, as is typical, I watched 5 different instances in today’s session of deep stack guys 4 betting with QQ in one case, and JJ in the other 3. In 2 cases they were up against AK and the other 2 were AA (JJ v AA donk sucked out naturally).

JJ they 3bet and they have just been 4 bet. And still they shove. Just go back to sitngos. You only get called by a better hand. I think they know this but still they do it. Variance they say. Or Cold deck. Bollocks.

Me? I want to see flops.

Ahhhh the AK. I have a love/hate relationship with AK. It’s a tournament hand. I never like it much in full ring. As such, it’s the one hand I really mix up my play with. I limp with it, I standard raise, I call a raise, hell I even 3bet it sometimes. But going for a coin flip for your full stack is not something I am ever going to do unless I have a rock solid read. Against a small stacker I will 4 bet him all in, if he hasn’t already, but otherwise, when the dreaded shove 4bet comes, I dump and lick my wounds.

Because I want to see flops.

I read plenty of microstakes posters bragging about the CRAI, the 4bet and how aggressive they are. They say if you can’t take the variance, you’re scared money. I say bollocks. At full ring, I reckon at very best, it’s a break even play in the long run. At very best.

And as I said before, break even play is just dumb at microstakes, when there are so many better spots for you to shove. I am getting a high ptbb/100 at 50nl just from my smallball. Sure I fold when I am pretty sure I have the best of it against a fish sometimes as he presses the pot bet button on the turn. BUT I DON’T CARE.

So I want to see flops, and then, if I play it right…..the beautiful turn.

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