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Old 02-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #1
Sparkygreen
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Is TAG the right style for table?

I recently started playing at a house game that gets pretty good action. 1/2NL with a bunch a super aggressive people. I never see a flop for less than 3x BB and usually 4-5 people are seeing every flop. I have always played TAG and never really chased too much unless I was chasing a nut draw. I have been holding my own for the most part but seem to get pushed out of too many pots on huge bluffs and/or C bets of a ridiculous amount. Is the right play here being patient and waiting for a big one (which I get 2-3 night) or starting to expand my range more pre flop? These guys have such wide ranges it’s hard to put any of them on hands so I basically play my cards and get the most out of a pot when I have a strong hand. Bluffing never seems to phase them either, heads up I bluffed and the guy called with bottom pair, weaker kicker. Is this a table I should be playing at or I am wasting time with these guys?
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:29 AM   #2
noshots00
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Can you give us an example of how you got pushed out of a pot?
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:45 AM   #3
Garick
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Sounds like a gold mine, though the swings will be big. You're going to have to do some calling with bluff catchers, which is tough to get used to and you'll be wrong about when they are bluffing sometimes, but it should be profitable overall.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:48 AM   #4
luz4ggro
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Don't be offended, but I guess that you still need more experience playing poker. We've all passed through this. Recommend you to read articles of advanced strategy. As what I'm reading right now, you are a TAG weak player (that can be easily pushed out of pots) so LAG's will eat you alive when you play. Try reading a more agressive approach to hold em and your results will get much better. Sitting and waiting for the nuts is never the right play unless you are playing in a table full of sick gamblers
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:17 PM   #5
twitcherroo
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Sparky - the word ‘chase’ for me is an indicator word that you’re maybe not thinking about the game at the level you’re capable of. Makes me think you’re playing fit or fold and no more. Think about ranges and most importantly equity. Here’s an example from several weeks ago.

H has AKs on the button, heads up against player. $450 in pot, $450 effective behind. Flop is 234r, I have no back door flush draw. V shoves in front of me. I range him on JJ+, AK, weighted toward mostly JJ or QQ. First off, is this a call? Second off, and I chasing? I am calling because it’s +EV against the range i’ve Assigned V. Second, +EV moves, floats, IO spots, don’t think of it as chasing, which in my mind equates to merely straight up gambling. Think of each actio. And plan for the hand and possibly session as a decision point. Make good decisions. Don’t worry about the results.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:17 PM   #6
QuadJ
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkygreen View Post
I never see a flop for less than 3x BB and usually 4-5 people are seeing every flop.
3BB isn't particularly big open. Having no limped pots is unusual but not particularly so and that part is easy to adjust to. Don't open limp at all, either raise or fold. Don't limp behind other limpers unless you have a hand that can stand up to a single raise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkygreen View Post
Is the right play here being patient and waiting for a big one (which I get 2-3 night) or starting to expand my range more pre flop?
What sort of stack sizes are typical? For the most part opening up a little in LP is probably a good idea but how much is very dependent on how deep you are. If the table is very aggressive preflop and stacks are short it might even be better to tighten up and look for hands you can shove preflop or on flop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkygreen View Post
Is this a table I should be playing at or I am wasting time with these guys?
It can take a while to adjust and you will have big swings but these games are usually highly profitable.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:17 PM   #7
Sparkygreen
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Thanks for the responses. I agree, I am not used to playing on an “advanced” level. Can you guys recommend any good reads on advanced strategy for me??
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:21 PM   #8
Sparkygreen
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Max buyin is $250. Within 2 hours there is about $2500 on the table. The big stacks just keep raising once they get chips behind them. Usually I only raise or fold, my range is pretty tight in terms of calling raises, especially out of position, but I really feel like I’m laying down the best hand sometimes, but calling a $40 raise with A9s or KQo is not something I am use to doing.
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:29 PM   #9
aftrglw
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

TAG, LAG, loose passive, maniac... they're not so much styles to adopt for a table as short hands for describing player tendencies. As luz and twitch pointed out, the way your question is framed suggests that you're not really thinking about the game in an intelligent way. NLHE's metagame has developed a lot in the past 5-10 years, and you probably should study more before going back into a game like the one you described.

Exploitative poker is about looking for mistakes that your opponents make that you can exploit profitably. If an opponent calls too widely, you'll bet more for value against them. If they bluff too often, you'll have to call them down lighter in spots that you wouldn't against other players, and you'll likely adjust your line on certain board textures and in response to scare cards to give them those opportunities. Against LAGs and TAGs, your optimal play will be more nuanced... looking for opportunities to profitably 3b, considering equities and ranges, etc. It sounds like there's a lot of money to be made in your game, but it may take you awhile to take advantage of it.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:15 AM   #10
XtraScratch8
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Until you feel more comfortable playing with 200+ bigs against these players you could try the following...
1. Read up on short stacking strategies, get your shove ranges down (cash game short stacking, not tourney shove ranges obviously).
2. Pay attention to who the really loose openers are, the ones raising 5-6x with hands like K-Jo from EP. Punish their opens when you can, especially when there’s dead money called after them.
3. Bring 3-5 buyins of $200 or so. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake or two, and don’t be afraid of bad runouts. Play hyper aggressive when you’re pretty certain you’re ahead on all streets.
4. Get better at feeling comfortable playing with $400-600+ the times that you do inevitably double up once or twice. The math changes a lot as you likely know. Tightening up again when you get 200+ bigs is probably best for awhile until you get comfortable, but don’t turn into a super nit.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:17 AM   #11
XtraScratch8
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

You could even make it 4 or 5 buy ins at $150.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:53 AM   #12
hitchens97
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkygreen View Post
Thanks for the responses. I agree, I am not used to playing on an “advanced” level. Can you guys recommend any good reads on advanced strategy for me??
I've been reading a lot of stuff by Ed Miller recently, and I think it's pretty solid and seems to be helping me.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:16 AM   #13
XtraScratch8
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

I had one other thought that should be helpful.
Watch the two players you consider to be the top players/most difficult to play against.
Pay close attention to what hands they get to showdown with, what lines they took during these hands, what position they played these hands from, who against, etc.
Get a grasp on what makes them tough to play against and don’t be afraid to rip a few pages out of their playing style book. It will probably take you some practice to get comfortable incorporating some of their aggressive plays, but learn why they are correct and results/comfort will come over time.
You can develop your own style while still ripping off a few tactics from the best players.
Last piece of advice, play in position as often as possible. You are likely getting run over OOP rather than IP more often.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:08 AM   #14
MikeStarr
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkygreen View Post
Max buyin is $250. Within 2 hours there is about $2500 on the table. The big stacks just keep raising once they get chips behind them. Usually I only raise or fold, my range is pretty tight in terms of calling raises, especially out of position, but I really feel like I’m laying down the best hand sometimes, but calling a $40 raise with A9s or KQo is not something I am use to doing.
That's a good thing. You'll get killed doing that.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:10 AM   #15
MikeStarr
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadJ View Post
3BB isn't particularly big open. Having no limped pots is unusual but not particularly so and that part is easy to adjust to. Don't open limp at all, either raise or fold. Don't limp behind other limpers unless you have a hand that can stand up to a single raise.

What sort of stack sizes are typical? For the most part opening up a little in LP is probably a good idea but how much is very dependent on how deep you are. If the table is very aggressive preflop and stacks are short it might even be better to tighten up and look for hands you can shove preflop or on flop.

It can take a while to adjust and you will have big swings but these games are usually highly profitable.
Open limping is fine as long as its with a hand that you can call a raise with, multiway, which it seems like all of the pots in this game are.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:08 AM   #16
UmphLove
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

I play in these loose games just like you described. Play tight and play premium hands (1010-JJ- and up and AK) very fast. You will more than likely get action. People don't pay attention to whether you've been playing tight or not. Don't force the action and feel like you need to play a ton of hands just because others are.

Another big thing is to pay attention to the types of hands you're playing. You want to make big pairs heads up and value bet to death. Multiway, you need to see flops with hands that make strong draws and sets. Pocket pairs go up heavily in value. When you flop a set 3 ways, the money will go in with people drawing dead and to flush draws. Just get your money in good with a set and pray you win the $800 pot... You need a bankroll for these games.

Another big aspect of this game is stack to pot ratios. I see this all the time. People calling $20 raises preflop with only $80 behind just to fold the flop. My advice in these games is to play tight and most of your profit will really only come from 3-4 big hands in the night even in an 5 hour session. GL and crush it....
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:15 AM   #17
UmphLove
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkygreen View Post
Thanks for the responses. I agree, I am not used to playing on an “advanced” level. Can you guys recommend any good reads on advanced strategy for me??
Your best bet is to post hands here that confuse you in your session and get feedback from others. Talk to others about the way you played hands and get perspective. Other thing is to always know clearly whether you are value betting or bluffing. Normally if you are unsure, a check is the better play. A tight tag style will have you printing in this game if you only put money into the pot with good equity or strong made hands. Don't worry about bluffing or balance or how others perceive you.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:18 PM   #18
BDHarrison
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

LAGs make the mistake of betting too often, so you want to play more passively against them and turn value hands into bluff-catchers. You don't want to be value betting too many good but not great hands because they will recognize that you usually have a hand and put you in a lot of difficult positions when you have a one-pair hand. You want to avoid having an obvious one-pair hand when deep-stacked against smart LAGs, especially OOP. A more skilled player might be able to get in there and gamble with them, but I think you are not yet at the level where light 3betting and other advanced moves should be in your arsenal. That's not a huge flaw; accepting your limitations and playing within yourself is how some players have better results than more skilled players who have ego problems.

However, you can't play too tight or else you might not get invited back to what seems like a juicy game. I would probably play mostly tight/nitty and pick one or two spots per night to make moves with marginal hands.

It also might be right to almost never bluff in this game until you feel more comfortable. Or at least not until players make noticeable adjustments when they are in a pot with you.
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:26 PM   #19
Sparkygreen
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

Any good links or posts on some advanced techniques I could read. One of my big questions is how much I should expand my range when I’m LP or BTN. I play almost any PP in position but have not been playing too many SC and 1 gappers. Should I be valuing position more so than my actual hand??
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:52 PM   #20
XtraScratch8
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Re: Is TAG the right style for table?

It really depends on the price you’re offered.
Position is massive though. Even more when you’re betting with reasonable equity AND position. You become difficult to range by playing this way in LP. That’s most of my game honestly. When you learn to attack weakness on top of this, LP becomes everything. You’re consistently setting the price.
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