THURSDAY, MARCH 30, 2006
Here is a discussion from Two Plus Two that I entered recently. Perhaps it will hold you over until I can type up a real post.
I’m going to say something that a lot of 2+2er’s would disagree with, and I, myself, would disagree with this strategy pre-2004. I’m not saying that this is a viable long-term strategy, or that it will work in every game, every limit, online or live, etc.
I have found over the past two years that the limit O8 games online (and live, to a certain extent), have gotten softer and softer. The percentage of players seeing the flop is up considerably. I have no problem these days finding a game with 60% or more seeing every flop. I don’t have a problem finding pot sizes that are above 10 big bets every hand, and sometimes a lot more.
So more and more often, I have found myself doing something that lowers my variance considerably, yet also lowers my win amount.
I don’t usually stay long at a table online. I tend to hit-n-run a lot more than I ever did. Usually games that are so juicy that the percentage seeing the flop is above 60% and the pot size is 10-25 big bets doesn’t stay good for very long. I try to take advantage of it while it’s hot. I keep the lobby in the corner of my monitor so that I can watch it all the time.
In addition to hit and runs, here is another adjustment to my play which might be more controversial to many 2+2er’s.
If the game is super passive, and I can limp into many pots, I will. But post-flop, I tend to play much, much tighter than anyone else. I will check-call the stone cold nuts if I feel I am getting chopped up. Sometimes I am quartered (or worse, ugh), sometimes I get half, other times I am lucky and get 3/4th or scoop, but with those nutty, loose games, I just never know, so I go into passive check-call mode, hoping for many overcalls so that I come out ahead.
I also rarely bet draws, unless they are monsters. I rarely raise pre-flop either. It has to be a huge hand, and in LP to build a pot or to buy the button.
Now, this is the main reason I play this way. I CAN. That is it, no magic secret. I can play this way, cut my variance to practically nil, and yet take a profit every day. Sure, I don’t maximize my winning sessions. I know that. I’m not cashing out 100 big bets every day after one session of 1000 hands. My wins are small, I don’t play that much, I wait for good games rather than jumping into a so-so game. I miss bets here and there when I should have played more aggressively.
But the thing is, the games are SO good. They are just so juicy that I don’t have to maximize every, single hand I’m in by pumping the pot constantly. By betting and raising and re-raising. I just don’t have to. I don’t have to push small edges. And this is because the games are so good. Sure, I know that I could have made one more big bet here, one more raise with a vulnerable nut hand, one less fold with a shaky non-nut hand that could go nut. I’m not stupid, I know that I’m playing very tight/passive.
If the games were tough, I would push these small edges. I would ride the variance wave. But I don’t have to. I can sit and play a no-variance game and make a small profit. I can do this for just one reason: there will be another big, juicy, awesome pot for me right around the next bend. I don’t have to win THIS pot, because in the next ten minutes, I will win a bigger one, a better one, with a huge nut-nut hand.
I don’t need to take chances, with todays crazy games. I can just sit back in the weeds, slowly taking in my smaller wins.
When games get tougher, obviously I’ll adjust. In pot-limit, I can’t play this way. In a live (time) game, I can’t play this way. But these online limit games? Yeah, I’ll take smaller profit with no-variance every day.