I was talking with a friend yesterday – one that doesn’t play poker – and I found myself having to defend my losing some 50 tournaments since my last big win. I had to explain my 156% ROI, and lecture on how the long term is what’s important. You see – I won $25,000 playing online poker last year, by playing mostly $10-$30 sit and go tournaments, constantly pushing my “bankroll” up against the blinds, while slowly building it up over time.
It’s a bit of a Who’s Who in poker these days, aren’t you?
At the time, I was beating the poor players, going into the small stakes tournaments with $50 in the beginning, and $1500 in the middle, and $3500 at the bubble with most of the hands. After 4 hours, I was down about $1400, and I was desperate. So, I started playing Sit and Go Tournaments, with the same result – I lost about $900.
I then decided, if only for the sake of comparison, that I would log on and play in the $2,500 Potripper SnG that night. Here is what happened next:
I finished the tournament with $950 in chips – I played patiently, made some big bluffs, andguaranteed myself a payout. This nearly made me throw away all my poker chips in excitement.
This is what happened next :
I was sitting on the cutoff to get faces cards when I received A-Q. I had a chip lead for about 2/3 of the game, and was only at $150 in chips when the action got around to me. This is what happened next:
A player raised under the gun for half the pot. I made a call, while the raiser continued to bet the rest of the way. It wasn’t long and I had a medium pocket pair, surrounded on all sides by high cards. I had 2 middle pair on the flop, no clue what to do from the flop…and there was a raise. I realized that I was beat, and lost a decent chunk of chips en route to becoming one of the chip leaders.
This is what happened next :
I found myself wishing that I would’ve taken some time to analyze the situation more, before it was too late. As it was, I had about 15 big blinds and the blinds were getting up there. I was in a raise/re-raise mindset, and lost a ton of chips to what turned out to be an All-in situation. I wish I could’ve been more aggressive with a hand like this.
Learn to Adjust Your Poker Game
Approach the game with a mindset that suits you best. You are going to play tight and aggressive poker – that’s just a starting point. Don’t let other players push you around (just take them on at your speed – in position – where you won’t be any behind) – and don’t be discouraged by a couple of bad hands.
Your main goal is to only play good hands. Play draws. Bet aggressively. Sometimes you will take a step back and let other players get a read on you. Don’t be afraid to call here – a decent board could really hurt your hand, and your AQ is still beating Aces.
Other guidelines :
- If you have a weak hand, fold pre-flop.
- If you have a medium hand, raise the flop if no one has entered the pot yet.
- Play medium hands from the blinds if no one has entered the pot pre-flop
- Play strong hands from the blinds, if no one else has raised.
- Play strong hands pre-flop or on the flop against tight players.
- Play weak hands pre-flop, as there is always a chance that another player could have a better hand.
- Low Pairs
- Begins playing only quality hands from the blinds.
- Beginners should call from the blinds or suited cards, and possibly also limp in low pairs.
- From the blinds, play strong hands like AK, AQ, KK, and a variety of other good hands.
- From the small blind, play hands like these: QQ, JJ, AT, and AQ.
- From the big blind, play hands like these: 88, 77, 66, 55, donkey (with AA and KK exceptions), AQ, KQ, KJ.
- From the octagon (leading) and non- button (agging) blinds, play AQ, AQ, KK, and QQ.
- From the cutoff ( Merchandize) and big blind, play these hands: 99, 88, 77, 66, 55, 74, 53, 92.