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 AK 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: A T 2 (Pot: $320)
I bet $225, and villain thinks for a moment, then check-raises all-in for $625 more. I call quickly – villain has QT 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 goes hand-in-hand with planning the pot. Here’s an example from 5/10 NL:
Hero(100bb) raises AK 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: A 2 2 (Pot: $150)
At this point, I notice a few things before acting:
- The short-stack is irrelevant as I’m happy getting 30bb in w/ TPTK on this board
- The TAG never has a 2 unless he has specifically 22 or A2s
- 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: 4; (pot: $410)
I bet $305, button calls.
River: 8 (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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