Stop feeding the fish

December 25, 2007

This is not a prepared entry. Actually, they never are, but often I have some thoughts before I start typing. In this case I don’t really but I want to start to gather some thoughts about how to play when you are certain the table in general is not very good, and perhaps some examples of when you know someone specifically is not good.

I want to stop feeding them. I’m not staying disciplined, and often forgetting or not stopping to consider who I’m up against. Or, I get frustrated/impatient and think that they can’t keep lucking out when I play properly against them.

The weak players:

  • Limp/callers who call down with bottom/mid pair
  • Limp/callers who call down with gutshots/Ace high
    • Showdown percentages of > 30% is the main indicator of these calling stations. Also characterized by low post flop aggression, high VP$IP with a high call raise %.
    • The style of these players mean there is little or no fold equity, so if I raise/bet into them, I have to have something. TP might be enough. C-betting doesn’t alway work as some will call a totally missed flop, and they’re definitely calling if they catch bottom pair.
  • Limp/call big pockets
    • These players usually have low post flop aggression so when they play back, even minraises, it means they have something. They are weak preflop, and may be fairly tight as well as they are afraid to make a statement preflop.
    • They are weaker postflop, so they may fold to c-bets if they miss the flop. Fold if they show aggression.

The improperly aggressive players:

  • Raise preflop too much, often minraises or may be shoves from short stacks
  • Raise weak hands, often no regard for position, often minraises
    • These people think they are playing properly, and will c-bet as well. Some won’t will fold to aggression though, so it’s only worthwhile to play back if you have at least TP or a good draw. Play to hit big hands; if they minraise they they will still give you odds to play small pairs/suited connectors.
    • Watch out for short stacks playing this way though as they may not give you implied odds and you may have to call their flop shove even if you have nothing.
  • Bet out at too many flops, may minbet or overbet
    • Can CR/raise, but best if I have at least TP/strong draw. Can use rope-a-dope strategy, as long as they aren’t giving themselves odds to keep drawing. These players will see a lot of flops and hope to take more of their share by leading at flops. They also might keep leading in a similar manner whether or not they have something, or min bet when they don’t have something but reasonable bet if they do.

Essentially, I’ve worked myself down to the point of my tight-passive strategy.

  • Value bet all these players with strong hands or draws
  • Be patient waiting for hands it they are not folding to aggression.
  • Limping medium and small pocket pairs or connectors or even any suited Ace can pay off.

The alternative is to put more pressure on; raise preflop bigger, make bigger bets and maybe some of these players will fold.

Or, play looser preflop, then value bet any hand with at least top pair and make them pay to call down their overcards/middle pair/bottom pair/gut shot draws. This may be why my BB/SB stats tend to be positive; I get in hands against these players, throw away most hands but manage to out play the limpers with the rest of the hands after the flop.


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