Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Good players play tight but appear loose"

I've heard this a few times before. But before, it was a fleeting concept for me. In other words, I wasn't truly "getting it." I, in the past, have interpreted this to be maybe uber-aggressive in marginal situations or take down pots with an unexpected hand like a gap connector or something. But I think this concept is starting to come around for me. I clearly, as of now, still fall more towards a tight player than a LAG. And when I tried to incorporate "loose play" or my meager understanding of it, the results weren't so great. When I catch cards, I noticed I was winning monster pots. But when I'm not, I was bleeding money. But because of the potential of the monster pots, I knew that there were places where looser play needs to be part of my arsenal.

As I studied some of the other players at my table that I consider to be players who do fairly well, I noticed a few things that contributed to the phrase "good players play tight but appear loose." I noticed that in the earlier positions, these players are uber tight. I mean very very tight. But from later positions, they seem looser. Probably more along the lines of what a normal loose player would be except they only do that in later positions. So last night, I didn't get to play as much (played only about an hour online) but I kinda took that to the extreme, just to try out my "new strategy."

It was actually quite interesting. The results were nothing worth noting. +$60 combined in two tables of 2-4NL is really nothing... Having said that, controlling what types of hands to play from what position helps on the later streets. I folded AJ from mid position when there was an early position raiser from a fairly tight player but would raise with the same hand when it came to me with no raises and if I'm in relatively late position. I would stay out of hands like J-10 from out of position but if I had position (the button), I'd call with suited connectors and one gappers. I didn't really hit any of it but I know that unless someone was really paying attention to what I was doing, I looked like I was in almost every other flop. And yet, I was in position for most of them and if I weren't, I generally had a top 5% starting hand. I don't think I can totally keep this up but I think this is a good base to build upon. Varying plays is also important so I obviously can't stick to this or eventually, someone will figure it out.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm starting to hate hands like AJ, KQ, AQ... Actually, I think those are the only ones I hate cuz they are pseudo good starting hands. AT, KJ, KT are pretty much worthless to me... QJ, I kinda like but only because that's more like a connector to me. Hitting one of the cards as a pair doesn't really excite me... AJ, KQ, AQ are definitely raisable hands... but I think I need to be very careful when I call a raise with these type hands. I don't think I'll get to the point where this would be an auto-fold... that's too tight for me. But I also have to recognize the situation where if I am facing multiple bets when I hit one of my cards, I really need to reassess the situation to see if someone is making a play at me or if my hand is no good. And this is when having position helps. I can't wait till this weekend when I'll have some time to actually play poker for several hours and see if a) I can stick to this discipline and b) it brings positive or negative results.

1 comment:

tyke said...

He probably had you on 7,8 or Q, K for the straight....