December 29, 2009

A guide to beating Micro and small stakes? Maybe.....

Looking back over the past year, here are a few things I have learned about micro cash games. Don’t apply this to your average donkament poker unless you play really deep (and why play them anyway?) as much is different in that type of poker, having been through the sitngo and MTT route myself prior to cash.

1. Don’t play cash under-rolled.
It will tilt you when you lose. Your life will become fucked up.

2. Don’t tilt
This I can’t help you with, and I have realised it’s the most important thing, after bankroll management. Many otherwise good players simply cannot deal with running into bad variance, and end up losing far more than they need to. If your all time graph, over at least 100k hands is not smoothish, but instead very jaggedy and up and down, then I suspect you have this problem. Deal with it. Don’t watch videos by Jared, don’t read books, they can’t ultimately help you. Only you yourself can. So no advice. It would be wasted.

3. Don’t be a scaredy cat.
If you’re not prepared to put your stack on the line sometimes, play darts or snooker instead. You’re pissing it away. Its No-Limit for Christ sakes, which is positively made for bluffing, and where the boring maths geeks and nits play second fiddle to the real players, those who are prepared to gamble based on look and feel of boards and histories. But most importantly, stop always checking the river without the nuts. Learn to value bet.

4. Don’t be obsessed with winning.
Unfortunately most ignore or are simply unable to comprehend this very fundamental advice, which is very specific to poker.

5. Learn to hate your opponents without being in the slightest bit emotional.
And NEVER be emotional when a player who annoys you proceeds to bust you. Learn how to deal with this. But respect players while hating them, and switch off the hating after playing.

6. Don’t be a lazy student of the game.
Everyone watches training vids, reads books and the WSOP on the telly. That’s the easy part. The hard part is the analysis. I started to post examples on this blog, but that just scratches the surface. Its subjective and complicated, but you will learn. Work hard, or stop moaning when you lose.

7. Don’t cry about coolers and bad luck
Aside from the fact it’s boring, it fucks you up and tilts you.

8. Don’t be scared of making mistakes. Experiment. Think of it as an investment rather than a cost.

9. Don’t let yourself be run over
Although all good players 3bet, many play terribly post flop in these inflated pots. If you follow this blog you may know that much of my bankroll has been provided by the aggrodonks and the spewtards. They infest the low limits.. Although each has subtle differences, both will bully the hell out of you if you let them. And many do. Sometimes you just have to make a stand.

Here a 22/16/11%3bet aggrodonk bets my button steal for the 3rd time in around 5 attempts by me. I want to let him know he cant get away with that. So I call with a trash K4o with the aim of either taking it away from him on the turn, or losing my stack to him but letting him know that I will be calling him from now on every time, as he sees the trash I floated with.

$0.50/$1 No Limit Hold'em Cash Game, 5 Players
Poker Tools by Stoxpoker - Hand Details

BB: $213.55 (213.6 bb)
MP: $59.05 (59.1 bb)
CO: $157.90 (157.9 bb)
Hero (BTN): $111.55 (111.6 bb)
SB: $165.10 (165.1 bb)

Pre-Flop: Hero is BTN with K of clubs 4 of hearts
MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $3, SB folds, BB raises to $9, Hero calls $6

: ($18.50) 9 of clubs 7 of hearts 2 of hearts (2 players)
BB bets $12, Hero calls $12

Turn: ($42.50) 2 of clubs (2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $28, BB folds

Results: $42.50 pot ($2.10 rake)
Final Board: 9 of clubs 7 of hearts 2 of hearts 2 of clubs
Hero mucked K of clubs 4 of hearts (a pair of Twos) and won $40.40 ($19.40 net)

Needless to say he never 3bet me again for that session.

Hope that is of interest. Thanks for reading.


  1. Learn to value bet - how very true - so much money lost by not betting the river

  2. Good stuff! Even if you already know something, it never hurts to hear it again...