Friday, January 02, 2004

I've been asking Fuzz to write another post about beating the 50.1 games. Please dig into the archives if you missed his first one. For the record, Fuzz has ran $50 into $1000 on Party Poker, almost exclusively on the 50.1 tables.

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of management. :)


I will try to sum up my whole post in one sentence, if you do not have the time, or inclination, to read my entire post.

If you are going to win at low limit poker, you must learn how not to lose.

Notice, I did not say anything about maximizing bets, or even about winning pots. If you know when to fold, everything will fall into place over time. You WILL win pots, you will take players money that are worst than you. But, if you take every loss personally and say "I can't believe he played that" then you will lose.

Another very important point, one that I know Iggy has mentioned, table selection is one of the most important aspects of LL poker. If I sit down and I see a check-raise or the flop or turn, I leave the table. If I see someone check the flop around and he had hit the nuts on the flop, I leave. If I don't see at least 4-5 players seeing every flop, raised or not, I leave. There are 100 full $.5/$1 tables on Party every single night. I don't need to sit with sneaky players. There are too many other tables for me to sit at anything less than an ideal table. Every now and then I hit the jackpot with 2 or 3 players that burn through all $25 in 2 orbits.

What follows are a few scenarios that seem to popup quite a bit, interspersed with my random thoughts on how you can win at low limit poker.

UTG bets out. I have AA. Ends up getting capped preflop. Long story short, I couldn't lay 'em down I lose to 62c when the turn gave him the flush. Shit like that happens several times a night. What pissed me off was not the fact that my AA lost to 62, but that I couldn't lay it down. I knew I was beat, but I kept rationalizing why I should stay in the hand. I lost $2 on that hand. Now to those big boys out there, that isn't shit, but in the $.5/$1 that is the difference between a winning player and a losing player.

I lost for close to a year before I finally started winning. In thinking back, I can't say why I lost. I had a solid foundation. I knew correct starting hand requirements and the importance of position. But I still lost hundreds of dollars playing little 'ol $.5/$1. I am only now starting to realize I was never that bad of a player, but I just couldn't let go of hands. Here is how my thought process has changed: AA in the hole, it gets capped preflop. Flop comes 722, UTG bets out. Before: "It was capped preflop and he is UTG, there is no way he has a 7 or a 2." Now: "Of course he has a 7 or 2, or even better 72." Now, to be fair, I will normally call this bet on the flop, hoping for an A on the turn. If no A on turn, I let it go when it gets expensive.

Another scenario: KK, 4 people see the flop. Flop comes K93, all hearts. If you think you have the best hand, you might for the moment, but the second that 4th flush card comes out and suddenly someone in front of you bets out, you have to really think. This is where pot odds come into play. Is it worth the call knowing he has the flush for the chance you will hit your boat on the river? That will only come with time and experience.

If you ever find yourself calling river bets for the sole purpose of "I've got to see if he has it." You WILL lose money. This is not high limits poker. This is not the WSOP. LOW LIMIT PLAYERS DO NOT BLUFF!!!! If you take one thing away from this post, it should be that. LL players might as well play with their cards up. It would really make no difference. They are telling you what they have, especially in limit. NL might be a little different, but not really.

My closing thoughts:
If you do not have a hand that can beat whatever 4 card straight/flush or paired board that is out there, then you MUST fold. If you can not lay down AA when the board shows 789T2 and the only guy sticking with you bets out, then you will lose money. If the board makes their hand, they will scream it out loud. If you choose to ignore their screams, you will lose money. It goes back to my previous point, ll players don't bluff. The players you are playing with might be bad, but they are not stupid. Remember, its only a game, have fun and make money!

Thanks Fuzz!

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