Sunday, July 4, 2010

welcome to the nitfest

As I think I mentioned before, I moved down in stakes last month as a personal challenge. In the interest of increasing my volume, I am playing 10NL full ring Rush Poker almost exclusively. Results are pretty good to this point - about 3.6 BB/100. I would like this number to be higher, but I can live with it for now.

I think that one of the unintended side effects to Rush poker is that it's teaching people fundamental no limit holdem at a much faster rate. The tables seem super nitty - it is not uncommon to see 3 or 4 players with stats like 9/9 or 11/10, but with a 50-70% attempt to steal. It appears to be profitable to do nothing except play premium hands and open every hand on your button (or, at lease, people think this is profitable).

To counter the nitty overall play at these tables, I am incorporating the following adjustments to my own play.

1) 3 betting light from the blinds. If I see someone with 50+ attempt to steal, and he tries to steal on me, then I three bet any two cards. Extremely profitable - like .33 BB/hand profitable.

2) Opening up blind steals to the cutoff (and sometimes hijack). If my stats tell me that the people to my left are likely to fold (like the nits I described above), then I will open raise pretty wide from the cutoff and hijack positions. This is also very profitable - .48 BB/hand.

3). Reducing raise size from the button. I have reduced my steal size from the button to 2.5 big blinds. This has 2 different effects, both of which are helping my win rate.

a) keeps the pot small with my weak stealing range - when people come in with stronger cards, I lose less.

b) the smaller raise seems to induce more calls from the blinds, but the players at this low level are mostly playing fit or fold poker postflop, meaning that a cbet usually wins the pot. When players call my 2.5x raise and then fold, I am winning more than 1.5 blinds (as I would in a straight steal), I am instead winning 4 BB. Sample sizes are VERY low here, but the results are promising - I am averaging a win rate over 2 BB/hand when open raising to 2.5 BB instead of 3. Any play you find that nets you over 2 BB/hand on average is like printing money. Needless to say, I am going to keep this up.

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