Biggest Day Ever

Friday was my biggest one-day win, ever – I’m still stoked about it! :-)

In ~1,500 hands I won a little bit over $8,500 – not bad for about four hours work!

Most of this was at 5/10NL, with a little bit of 3/6 and a quick shot at 10/20 thrown in.

While I won a couple pots with “tricky” plays like floats(calling without a hand to represent one, usually in position) or “squeeze” re-raises, the majority of the winnings were accomplished with solid fundamentals:

  • Planning the pot-size
  • Extracting value
  • Inducing bluffs / pot control
  • Tilt avoidance

Plan the Pot from the Beginning

5/10 NL, $1000 effective stacks.

I am dealt AsKc in the cut-off, the UTG player folds and the HJ, an average player, limps.

The standard play is to raise 4-5x the BB. However, I’ve kept my eye on the table and the BB is a complete maniac:

  • He will raise around 30-40% of his hands from any position if there is no raise
  • If there is a raise, he will usually just call.
  • If he gets reraised, he will almost always see a flop.

He’s the “easy money” at the table, so I target him first.I decide to take a chance and hope he has a hand to raise, so I overlimp behind the HJ. The button folds, the SB completes, and to my delight the BB raises to $50.

The first limper folds, and I reraise to $150. It is folded back to the BB who pauses and calls.

At this point my planning has started to take shape – I’ve got a good enough chunk of my stack in preflop that if I hit a pair I can happily get the rest in, since the pot will be ~$320 and we will have $850 remaining.

It may get a bit dicey if I do not hit top pair, but I have position and my opponent is generally entering the pot with a significantly weaker hand, so I’m willing to take that chance.

The flop is the beautiful: Ah Tc 2d (Pot: $320)

I bet $225, and villain thinks for a moment, then check-raises all-in for $625 more. I call quickly – villain has QhTd and my hand holds up.

Careful attention to my opponents, a little planning, and that pretty Ace allowed me to double up here.

Had I just raised pre-flop like normal the BB would have called, and I might have won a small- to medium-sized pot, since I would be forced to play for pot control with such a small portion of my stack invested preflop.

Extracting Value

Extracting value goes hand-in-hand with planning the pot. Here’s an example from 5/10 NL:

Hero(100bb) raises AdKd to $35 UTG, and gets 3 callers – a shortstack(30bb) in the HJ, a fishy player on the button(100bb), and a TAG in the SB(125bb).

Flop: Ac 2c 2d (Pot: $150)

At this point, I notice a few things before acting:

  1. The short-stack is irrelevant as I’m happy getting 30bb in w/ TPTK on this board
  2. The TAG never has a 2 unless he has specifically 22 or A2s
  3. The fishy button may hold a 2, but he will likely pay off 3 streets of betting with just an A

As a result, these factors along with the pot size ($150 with $965 left to bet) let me bet my TPTK aggressively because there are so few hands that beat me.

This results in a rare situation where I can commit my stack with top-pair in a multi-way raised pot.

So, I come out and bet $130 into $150. The shortstack folds, the fishy button calls, and the tag folds. This is my ideal scenario, heads-up with the deep fish.

Turn: 4s; (pot: $410)

I bet $305, button calls.

River: 8s (pot: $1020)

I go all-in for my remaining $530, and villain calls with AJ.

AK was good to me on Friday :-)

Solid Play Pays Off

Many players get caught up in the idea of “outplaying” their opponents. When it comes down to it, a solid, tight strategy and attention to your opponent’s habits are the most important factors – play well for long enough, and it will pay off!


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