From the weekend, took 4th out of 37 people on Friday night, placed 9th in the opening game of the 5-game WSOP qualifier, and then busted out early in the Moose Lodge game yesterday. Overall, broke even for the weekend. Made enough Friday to cover my loss on Sunday. Now, on to the show...
Discussion today is on a couple of ideas out there on how to play the game a little differently than perhaps you are currently playing. The two theories are connected, so it should be easy to add them both to your game.
First, lets discuss the small/big theory. Basically, playing small hands for small pots vs big hands for big pots. I've seen this a lot on Poker After Dark and High Stakes Poker. The theory is kind of simple. When you have a pair, even a pair of aces, it is kind of wise to keep the pot low until you are sure you are ahead. Some of the best minds in poker say it this way: You're either going to win a little or lose a lot with A-A. So by keeping the pot small to start out, you have time to figure out where you actually stand in the hand.
Now, lets say you flop a boat against a loose player. Well then the opposite is true. Bet it to win a lot of chips. Most people I know will check this hand, to see if the other guy will bet out. I don't think this is correct. If he checks, you miss an opportunity to add chips to the pot. And if you then bet on the turn, he folds. The opportunity for the call was on the flop. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people check it down to the river hoping to induce a bet from the other guy, only to get nothing in return.
Another theory, along the same line, was put out by the great Daniel Negraneau. He wrote about the Small Ball Theory in his third book. In a nutshell, he believes you'll make far more profit playing a lot of little pots with speculative hands than you will waiting for monster hands to hit. Now, don't think this means limping with 2-7 and hoping for the surprise 2-2-7 flop. That's not the point. The point is to see cheap flops with J-9 suited, or Q-10...or even 5-6 suited. Don't raise with them, because raises induce reraises. Instead, try to see the flop for the low low blind price, and THEN decide if you want to proceed further.
Notice in both theories, you see the flop cheap. And that's the entire point.
The old saying goes: Hold Em tournaments are preflop games, while cash games are post flop games. The two theories above say that BOTH are post flop games.
Try mixing a little low pot views into your next tournament and tell me how it works for you.