Friday, November 21, 2008

Two Winning Micro Table Poker Strategies

Well I had a first last night while playing at the Party Poker $10 NLHE cash game tables. I was dealt pocket AA in 3 consecutive hands. I was astounded when I caught the hand for a second time, so you can imagine my disbelief when they came up for the third time. Each time I played them for a raise, although nothing too aggressive but the 2nd and 3rd times, the table folded to my raise which was a bit of a bummer.

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I have been neglecting this blog somewhat, but have continued on grinding away at the micro stakes tables with just as much enthusiasm as always. I have developed a couple of new strategies lately that I have found have accelerated my profits. I thought I’d talk about them here.

Small Stakes Poker Strategy – Starting Short Stacked

Many will strongly disagree with this tactic on numerous levels, but when dealing with the psychological profile of many micro stakes poker players it works very well. As a matter of fact, I would suggest that this sort of strategy will only work at the online micro-stakes poker tables.

I am presently playing on the $10 NLHE cash ring tables, which as the name suggests, allows you to start with a maximum stake of $10. There is also a minimum stake at these tables of $2 and this is what I sit down with, deliberately short stacking myself. To some players at the table this seems to send an automatic message of weakness, to others when involved in a hand, their confidence to call and bet seems to grow disproportionately to their hands.

To elaborate on this thought, what I’ve noticed is that there is more of a tendency for people to call a 3 x BB raise with a marginal hand if they see that they’ve got the original raiser well and truly covered. If I have only $1.70 left and bet 0.30, a player with the full $10 stack is invariably going to call me with a hand that they probably shouldn’t be playing. After all, if I push, the most they can lose (heads up) is a further $1.40. It seems to be a common weakness among a greater majority of small-stakes players and I’ve been exploiting it time and again over the last month. By the way, I have a tendency to only play premium hands and play them pretty aggressively. While they’re kicking the short stack, they usually have to kick him with a strong starting hand.

Multi-Tabling To Ensure Patience

When I play single table poker I find that the pace is slow enough to make me impatient while I’m waiting for a strong starting hand. My tendency is to loosen up way too much and I start playing hands that I should be folding. By multi-tabling a second table, I have found that it keeps me adequately occupied and I have no trouble overcoming the temptation to call what I should fold.

It has been all about discipline and understanding the nature of my opponents but in the past month I have taken my bankroll well over the $300 mark. I feel as though I am on track to move up to the next micro-stakes level sometime in the second quarter of next year.