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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:33pm   #1
Notjitsu
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Default More Micro NL Thoughts

I've been thinking more about micro NL, and the assertion that standard ABC TAG is the way to go. And here's just something to think about.

You are sitting at your 10 NL table. And in a shocking move, the greatest No Limit player in the world sits down. This guy knows everything their is to possibly know about NL poker, and he's looking to play the best that he possibly can at this table. (which is basically the best possible way to play).

Do you think he plays ABC Tag? Do you think the guy who knows everything there is, and how to play as profitably as possible against any opposition is going to choose a style that basically anyone who's read a beginner's poker book is familiar with?

I would wager the answer is no. Why? Because the perfect game would push all the edges to the limit, and ABC Tag is basically being content with the easy obvious edges that are handed to you on a platter. And ignores the less obvious edges you are given, and doesn't even try for edges that you have to create/work for.

And this is what makes me cringe a little whenever I hear the phrase "Grind it out" in regards to a NL game.

If you are "grinding it out" playing ABC Tag at Micro NL, you might as well just quit now. I predict a boring, unfulfiling, and marginally successful poker career at best (mostly depending on how ABC Tag your ABC Tag actually is).

Why say that? Because if you accept that the greatest poker player in the world would bring a lot more than the most rudimentary generic game to the table, then playing ABC Tag is basically accepting that you could be a hell of a lot better but instead of striving to find those extra edges, you'd rather play a style of poker that you have now labeled "Boring" and "Non-optimal".

The moral of this story being that you can kill two birds with one stone. Optimizing your play leads to playing more hands and playing them in a more exciting manner, and is more profitable. More money...more fun.

And whatever you do, don't settle for the game you have. If the best players in the world are constantly adding and subtracting things from their game, I think its safe to say us small time no limit players probably could do with a little change in our own.
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:48pm   #2
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If you are "grinding it out" playing ABC Tag at Micro NL, you might as well just quit now.
But I've made $400 doing that since March. You can play TAG in micro limits and win, as long as you're patient. People pay off hands all the time.

And if we're talking about micro-limit stud, anything BUT TAG is a losing strategy. Every single hand goes to showdown.
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 7:56pm   #3
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it's been said that you can only play as well as the people you play against. for example, if you categorize poker players by their skill level in a 1-10 rating, a level 5 can only play against a level 4 and be profitable. reasoning behind this is, and i'll use your best poker player in the world example, your average player isn't going to be aware of the more complex styles of play he brings to the table. if you can't make people fold their marginal hands against your monsters, how do you hope to increase your win rate? i might play marginal hands against people who know how to play, but if donk A is going to call you all in with A/rag vs your pair, you better learn to play better cards than him. hope that made sense
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 8:51pm   #4
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it's been said that you can only play as well as the people you play against. for example, if you categorize poker players by their skill level in a 1-10 rating, a level 5 can only play against a level 4 and be profitable. reasoning behind this is, and i'll use your best poker player in the world example, your average player isn't going to be aware of the more complex styles of play he brings to the table. if you can't make people fold their marginal hands against your monsters, how do you hope to increase your win rate? i might play marginal hands against people who know how to play, but if donk A is going to call you all in with A/rag vs your pair, you better learn to play better cards than him. hope that made sense
This all very very wrong for many many reasons. Believing this to be true is going to stunt your poker growth in a serious way. Getting people to fold is only one way to win money, and I'd say its by far the least profitable of them all.

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Old Oct 31, 2006, 8:59pm   #5
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See what I mean by "vague and ambiguous"?

Edit - way to edit your post as I write this one.
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 9:05pm   #6
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I don't find him vague and amibigious at all. On the contrary, I embrace a style that's unlike ABC TAG.

A growing trend here seems to be the opposite strategy would be LAG, and the common misconception is of how LAG is played, and I think that issue should be adressed more than whether ABC TAG or LAG shows more value in micros.

Edit - I know there's a post regarding tournament LAG, but the issue we're adressing here is cash game LAG which is nearly completely different.

Edit2 - By the way, heading into a micro game thinking that you're going to play TAG is utterly ridiculous
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 9:14pm   #7
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My 'quit' remark was based on the following.

If you are playing micro NL in a way you find boring, and you refer to it as grinding...and you aren't making enough money to be noteworthy, and you aren't trying to push your game...why are you playing?

I think sklansky was the guy who talked about the perfect game of poker. If you knew what your opponent had, and how they would react...you should want to make the play that is the most profitable and if you do, that is perfect poker.

If you knew what your opponent had, and how to they would react, you would be able to play more hands profitably. What you learn as you get better is how to better put people on a range of hands, and how to better control them in regards to putting their money in the pot. And what amounts you want to be putting in to make it profitable. Whether it be getting them to put more in, or less, or even getting them to fold. And the more control you have over these things, the more hands you can play.

The big thing with many micro limit players is that they are devestatingly predictable. So managing the pot size, and putting them on a hand is a lot easier, therefore more hands can be played profitably. No trickeries necessary.
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Old Oct 31, 2006, 9:20pm   #8
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Okay that makes sense. From now on, whenever I get involved in a hand, I'll try to put my opponent on something, and act accordingly. This should be a fun experiment.

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By the way, heading into a micro game thinking that you're going to play TAG is utterly ridiculous
Back your statement up with some reason, please. This is unhelpful to me.
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Old Nov 01, 2006, 1:06am   #9
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Originally Posted by Notjitsu View Post
This all very very wrong for many many reasons. Believing this to be true is going to stunt your poker growth in a serious way. Getting people to fold is only one way to win money, and I'd say its by far the least profitable of them all.
i know, the idea is flawed, but i'm having a hard time playing anything but the obvious cards at the micros and having anything to show for it. This thread is a bit confusing though. In most other threads, posters advocate ABC TAG poker, while in this thread, they say otherwise. I'm trying to grow as a player and want to be able to seriously beat these games before i even consider moving up.

what is it exactly that defines a player as loose? playing any two cards? or playing any cards that will win? sometimes it hard to tell.

any suggestions on my post that you think might help? i guess i have a fear to overcome, but as they say, scared money don't make money.
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Old Nov 01, 2006, 1:43am   #10
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This reminds me of a friend of mine, and the way he plays micros (he's ussually playing higher, but he goes all the way down to 1c/2c at times to have fun or blow off steam). He manages to win a lot with a very hectic game. Lets see if i got it right :
He raises every hand preflop. It's only a few blinds, but he does it with every hand within reason. He can fold to a raise, and he wont raise 100% of the time (he tends to just limp with utter trash, like 82o, but he will raise an 85). He ussually cbets and gets the pot on the flop.
This tends to make the whole table go after him, basically trying to take his whole stack (since they think he is a maniac). This is great for him, because these players will not belive him when he has a good hand (his 82 will hit 2 pair at times, or he could have a good hand to begin with) and will generally go all in with top pair (or even overcards ) ). This in turn makes every hand playable, since he does have implied odds. People this low will start slowplaying top pair, so he will be drawing to inside straights or backdoor flushes with the right odds.
If you think about it, he's actually using his advantages to the max : aggresion, play after the flop, putting people on hands, odds and implied odds, disregard for money (he stars by loosing a stack or two, but finishes up 7 stacks or more within 1 hour), emotional control (he gets the table on tilt with his play and a jovial chat abbundant attitude).

All in all, you will win the most money if you use every possible edge you have over your opponents (or the most profitable set of edges). So, if you're a great flop player then you should loosen up. If you're at a table with maniacs you should be more passive.

You should experiment, and start moving away from the things you read in books, and think for yourself. I think that the key to beying a great poker player is creativity (creating your unique game).

Im not exactly sure what abc tag really means, but i want to say that im trying to vary my play based on the table im at, and the people im involved in a hand with. I'll raise more on a tight player, and i will make plays versus tight people. I will call a maniac with marginal holdings, since he will give his whole stack away if i hit. But im still a noob and i'll sometimes play lag in the start of the evening since i played lag at lunch, although the tables have changed (daytime players are generally tighter, while night-time players tend to call down anything).
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