Another stab at ring ..

by ~ December 2nd, 2007. Filed under: General poker strategy, Goals and plans, Philosophy and approach, Poker aggression, Weaknesses.

* Modified March 11th, 2009 *

I’ve been inspired to start playing ring games again by a few videos I’ve watched of players who ordinarily play higher levels multitabling micro tables. By comparison to how I’ve been playing, they’re much tighter UTG and maybe UTG +1, but very loose/aggressive right from early mid positions. Most of the time I call the plays before they make them, meaning I know the proper play most of the time. But those are some differences; folding AJ UTG at full tables, but raising 44 from early mid position?

But it’s inspiring. 3 betting light in position for isolation against loose players, this guy’s stats are very similar to my stats from the Bet/raise/fold experiment, although this is at 9 max ring so my VP$IP and call rates from the SnGs would both be comparatively higher than his because of the ITM and short table play. In other words, if I used the bet/raise/fold approach in 9 max, both the VP$IP and call percentages would be lower than his since there are no short tables/high blinds.

What I find at the moment trying to take this play to the cash tables is I’m once again afraid to raise/reraise, to maintain that aggression that I thought I was comfortable with. So, I’ve gone back to playing some play money SnGs to get comfortable raising again. Now, however, my objective is slightly different in that I’m trying to get comfortable raising again, so I’m looking for opportunities to make myself raise.

Funny thing is, now I’m losing at these things. My play money bankroll has dropped from 800,000 to 550,000. I’m not aware that I’m playing much different so it might just be variance, but on the other hand my play probably always has slight differences over time. Then again, there’s things like just now, 2 limpers ahead, I assume no one has a hand so I raise KT, K high flop, player 2 bets, I push, both players call. Player 1 limped QQ and called the shove, player 2 limped AK. Wow. Apparently those hands are worth calling someone else’s raises, but not worth taking the initiative themselves???

That’s play money play, but that’s also the difficulty of playing micro stakes too. You can’t always assume reasonable play, but you hope that the bad calldowns by the bad players outweigh the bad preflop plays, the ones where you assume these players didn’t limp/call your preflop raise with garbage or something totally unexpected, and then hit the flop in a way that you don’t expect.

Sigh. It’s tough. Some of this aggression might have been the “protect my hands” theory that I used to apply, and I lost it/re-interpreted it over time. I also got frustrated at my new site after running into suckouts when I got my money in ahead, or raised/bet good hands, only to be beaten by someone limp/calling with crap that hits. Right now I’m aware of a heightened lack of detachment that’s making me nervous/feeling exposed when I raise/get involved in big pots. I think that used to help keep me out of losing control of my aggression, and maybe it’s helping me again, but I need to find a better solution.

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