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Old 02-24-2012, 10:06 AM   #126
alew22
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

This style of play may net you 10bb's/hr, but the variance will be so bad that a lot of players will have an extremely difficult time sustaining a proper bankroll over an extended period of time. While a much more TAG/valuebet type of game may only net you 7 or 8bb's/hr, the variance is reduced dramatically. Theres more "potential" to play as said style in the OP, but how many of you will actually last that long?

Ive played lag....ive seen the swings. I wasnt the best lag player ever, but the variance is just disgusting. You have larger wins, but also more losses.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:09 AM   #127
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

Hi river: great post.

One issue i have struggled with is that the variance seems to increase considerably when you play more aggresively. Could you comment on what you feel is an ppropriate Bank roll for a 1/2 game with max buyin of $300?, also lets say you drop to 50% of your bankroll, would ypu continue to buy in for the max or start with say $250 or $200 until the variance goes your way?
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:34 AM   #128
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Honestly if you are doing it right it's not going to result in insane variance. You are playing more pots but it's not like stacks are going in that often. You will win a bunch of small pots, and lose a decent amount of them as well, but those are really just setting you up to have a huge edge when you do play a big pot.
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Old 02-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #129
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

Grunching:

This is a great OP, I'd like to see more like it. Have been thinking of writing one myself; however, first time I sat down to write it I realized it would take four pages. OP did a great job pointing out one very effective way to crush these stakes in only a few paragraphs. Not surprisingly, the details are left out about how to hand read the various types of fish, how to avoid out-leveling yourself when a nit finally plays back at you, etc. Much work could be done, and perhaps this topic could be split into a multi month COTM.

I'd like to add, one important thing I'll regularly do when applying this strat is first off identifying which players at the table are at least partially aware of what I'm doing. Often, there are none, but it's common to have another decent player or two at the table. I won't try to overcompensate for their presence, but I also won't assume they are tilted as much by my crazy play. If they enter a pot after I've raised or reraised, I'll pay special attention to their position - since I know they aren't looking at me as an easy target, usually it's a big hand. OTOH, they could be taking advantage of my LAGyness, and if so, I'll want to punish them for this as soon as possible.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:17 PM   #130
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by twofingerted View Post
Does anyone agree you don't really have to open your range much except in BTN and CO? No one seems to notice that i'm only wild in posistion and not everywhere else.
This. I don't really think you're a LAG if you're just playing tons of hands IP.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:26 PM   #131
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

I've said this before but nobody ever commented on it, so I'll say it again.

If a player has truly excelled at the basic fundamentals of poker, he (or she) should not have to ever be told to just "play LAG." It should simply be another weapon in the arsenal, no different than c-betting a dry flop or 3betting a bunch of limpers with AK from the BTN.

In this sense, the wisdom of OP is lost. The players who can correctly apply this concept don't need to read the OP in the first place, whereas less experienced players will be prone to misapplying the OP and spewing their bankroll all over the table.

LAG is not some magic, pre-conceived plan of attack that you sit down at a table with. Ideally, it is a natural reaction to the dynamics of the table that a skilled player should be able to identify and utilize.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:28 PM   #132
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by TAOxEaglex View Post
...spewing their bankroll all over the table.

That's hot.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:39 PM   #133
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by TAOxEaglex View Post
If a player has truly excelled at the basic fundamentals of poker, he (or she) should not have to ever be told to just "play LAG." It should simply be another weapon in the arsenal, no different than c-betting a dry flop or 3betting a bunch of limpers with AK from the BTN.
Fair enough, and I couldn't agree with this statement more.
Quote:
In this sense, the wisdom of OP is lost. The players who can correctly apply this concept don't need to read the OP in the first place, whereas less experienced players will be prone to misapplying the OP and spewing their bankroll all over the table.

LAG is not some magic, pre-conceived plan of attack that you sit down at a table with. Ideally, it is a natural reaction to the dynamics of the table that a skilled player should be able to identify and utilize.
Again a true statement, but OP's point is still a good one. Most low-stakes games are full of pretty bad passive players who play even worse when taken out of their comfort zone, and applying pressure with a large range of hands in position is one of the best ways to accomplish this. This is true of a large majority of SSLNL games across the board, and many people ITF are only playing TAG. OP's point is to truly crush these games look for opportunities to do this, and you won't have to wait long.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:43 PM   #134
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by TAOxEaglex View Post
I've said this before but nobody ever commented on it, so I'll say it again.

If a player has truly excelled at the basic fundamentals of poker, he (or she) should not have to ever be told to just "play LAG." It should simply be another weapon in the arsenal, no different than c-betting a dry flop or 3betting a bunch of limpers with AK from the BTN.

In this sense, the wisdom of OP is lost. The players who can correctly apply this concept don't need to read the OP in the first place, whereas less experienced players will be prone to misapplying the OP and spewing their bankroll all over the table.

LAG is not some magic, pre-conceived plan of attack that you sit down at a table with. Ideally, it is a natural reaction to the dynamics of the table that a skilled player should be able to identify and utilize.
+1000

I see lots of younger guys try to be all durrr at my tables and the sad fact is that they are incapable of doing it
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:43 PM   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowInq View Post
This. I don't really think you're a LAG if you're just playing tons of hands IP.
Good thing the point isn't to play LAG but to crush the game

I think the mystique of playing LAG can derail posts like OP.

To me, what he's saying isn't rocket science. I developed essentially the same style on my own. I remember years ago taking a few months and single tabling 50NL online. It's funny to think what a chore that felt like then vs only playing live now, but in context of my play, it was a pretty dramatic undertaking (before that I 4 tabled, after I ended up 18 tabling).

Anyway, I made it a goal to start playing more and bigger pots in position, so I started loosening up my calling range and raising a lot wider. I single tabled so i could really focus on the change in play and see the difference while also improving my hand reading. I found that I stopped worrying about being dominated because playing in position gave me a much bigger advantage, and the few times I got out kicked I was able to play pots in such a way as to minimize the damage. I honestly think people make way too big a deal out of being dominated when choosing starting hands, especially in position.

At any rate, the live tables don't play the same so I've had to adjust (and I had to adjust as I moved up to 200NL and 400NL online back in the day), but the principal of 'play bigger in position' still rules with me.

My strategy ends up as:
In EP, look for reasons not to play hands.
In MP, play based on raw card strength.
In LP, look for reasons to play hands and raise if possible.

Of course, table dynamics affects these decisions, which is why I 'look for reasons'.
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #136
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by Grunch View Post
You are overall advocating a loose-passive strategy. Limp everything you can, hit something big, then bet a lot. This strategy will probably be +EV at these games, I don't challenge that.

.
I would combine this with Monkeymaps recipe of just playing lag in position. Against players whose aggression is out of control, playing loose-passive is probably the most effective strategy - check call down with any decent piece of the flop. If you have a monster, make a bet or c/r on the river.

At many 1/2 tables, there are several players who are bad and aggressive enough to be played like this. This can be especially powerful when combined with late position aggression, as they are not realizing you are playing differently based on your position and both the aggressive and passive players at the table will go crazy trying to figure out what your strategy is. Just don't ever expose your hands unless you have to.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:02 PM   #137
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by Phulhouze View Post
I would combine this with Monkeymaps recipe of just playing lag in position.
Playing in position, playing with non-dominated hands, and playing against looser villain ranges are all inherent components of playing LAG. If you aren't already doing all of these things, you aren't correctly playing LAG.



Courtesy of Splitsuit

This chart is a very useful visual aid when learning to correctly apply LAG ideas into your gameplay.
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:15 PM   #138
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

One of the first post I read on 2+2 is the one you quoted.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:41 PM   #139
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by SeaUlater View Post
From reading your well, I get the feeling that you're not excluded from above list.
the double negative has got me so confused.
so confused, in fact, that if i tried to interpret what youre saying, i would prolly make a mistake.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:58 PM   #140
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by TAOxEaglex View Post
Playing in position, playing with non-dominated hands, and playing against looser villain ranges are all inherent components of playing LAG. If you aren't already doing all of these things, you aren't correctly playing LAG.



Courtesy of Splitsuit

This chart is a very useful visual aid when learning to correctly apply LAG ideas into your gameplay.
I think that is a little off and a good LAG is merging their range in EP and opening up with some % of lower pp's, SC's, suited broadway cards, and other crap (I throw in axs some % of the time).

Obviously this is not something you do 100% of the time you get JTs UTG (especially dependent is table dynamics) but it allows for a level of trickery that is kind of the point of this "he can have anything" discussion. This allows you to be very difficult to play on low boards like 874 where people can't just "hurr durr he never has a straight here".

Also the SB/BB is completely wrong imo
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:02 PM   #141
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

The whole point of the heat map is ranges from each position. Your analysis of merged ep range is correct. But the ep range is still way tighter then the button, co and hj.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #142
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

It has to be a pretty soft game for me to defend SB and BB as much as that map is suggesting, but then again in such game, I am playing as many hands as humanly possible.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:20 PM   #143
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

I'm pretty much grunching here too since I only read the first two pages. As stampler said, even action dan, a player we all know or think is extremely tight, promotes these very same views, in deep stack poker. I know this is a difficult concept for ip players to wrap their heads around but live is much different. It's also a difficult style to master and ofc it relies on very good post flop skills.

Remember the theme of the OP, it's how to crush these limits not how to play safe and eek out modest wins.
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:23 PM   #144
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

Does the heatmap assume that the hand is folded around to us, or would you still be raising a wide range when there are several limpers in front? I'm still trying to wrap my head around which hands

(a) should be opened if it folds around to us, but mucked if there are already a bunch of limpers b/c we're too likely to be dominated by a typical limp/call range

(b) should be overlimped if there are a bunch of limpers in front of us and

(C) should be raised, even against a bunch of limpers
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:44 PM   #145
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

Yeah I have tons of experience playing tons and tons of live poker against all the different kinds of bad players.

When I'm in a hand I know my opponents' stack sizes, tendencies, etc. without really thinking about it. Like there is a difference between the nit who sits there for an hour and all of a sudden puts a bunch of money in and some guy who is a recreational player who has been trying to play well (tight) who you can just kind of tell is saying '**** it' because he's bored or it's time for dinner or his wife is yelling at him or whatever.

There are hundreds of these little things that you just learn from playing tons and tons of poker. It's honestly kind of freaky.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:28 PM   #146
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
My fellow mod, mpethybridge, once shared an analysis publicly of a well known micro on-line player to the forum with the that person's approval. He showed how this player was just crushing 50nl, doing virtually everything right as well as anybody playing the micros. The player had only one leak: he was playing too low.

The OP of this thread reminds me of that. Regulars will know that I preach the trinity of poker: cards, position and skill. If you have position and skill, the cards aren't necessary to win. If you have a significant post flop skill advantage over the competitors at your current level, it is time to move up, not try to hone it to squeeze a few extra BB at 1/2 or 2/5.
This was my thought about this as well. If you have the post flop play skills to make this work, you don't belong at 2/5.

Of course your bankroll management skills might be awful.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:31 PM   #147
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

I'm a boring dude with a boring-ass life and a family. My life is such that losing more than a couple thousand dollars on any of my tri-annual trips to Vegas would be mildly problematic for my financial situation. Plus I like to do donk stuff like get drunk, play pai gow, etc. I have no desire to play higher. Probably not that uncommon these days.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:39 PM   #148
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

Fwiw, as an actual tag (not a mildly aggro nit), I love having lags at my table, even good ones. I'm strong enough and aware enough that their tricks aren't working on me and it puts the rest of the table on tilt.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:43 PM   #149
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

Eh, good LAGs give everyone trouble. Though at 2-5 and below they'll probably just avoid a good TAG unless they have pride problems.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:37 AM   #150
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Re: How To Crush Small-Stakes Live NL

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Eh, good LAGs give everyone trouble. Though at 2-5 and below they'll probably just avoid a good TAG unless they have pride problems.
Certainly any good player is going to be tough, but at equal skill tag will win out, but I don't want to play with the lag to beat him so much as it is about the lag making the regulars and nits play much worse than usual. Of course, the 2/5 games I play also have 600 max buy in and half the table buys in for 200-300, which is a world of difference from your games.

Two big traps that either play style has encountering the other though.

Tags, don't assume the lag is a maniac, especially when he's up against YOU. A decent lag is going to know that you're aware of him and adjust when playing you.

Lags, know the difference between a good tag and the kind of player you're running over with things like this OP. It might be fun to call a bad tightish player's raise with Q8s because you can outplay them post flop, but doing this against a tag is just spewing. This is the single biggest leak I see in wannabe lags, and it can be big enough to completely destroy your profitability. It's easy for the lag to see themselves outplaying people so much that they fall into the ego trap of trying to do it too much and to the wrong people. Being a lag is about crushing the BAD players with post flop play. This is basic good player avoidance, but it applies even more to lags.
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