Ive played millions of hands at 6-max and am in a great spot to point out some common mistakes or leaks that many cash players tend to make. Below is a list of common mistakes that you might not be aware of:
Iíve seen alot of players open way too many hands from the cuttoff and small blind, both situations play similar because you have one person who will always have position on you. A common mistake is opening up hands like ace rag or a medium ace, like ace 6 offsuit from the cuttoff, or the small blind vs the big blind. People always talk about how hands like that are too strong to fold, IE an Ace seems strong with only one person in position infront of you, however the fact remains that offsuit medium aces play awful against your opponents calling range.
I would much prefer to have a hand like 79 suited than ace 7 offsuit. The reason for this is because the hand has alot more semi bluff equity where you can flop or turn a number of draws you can play aggressively. Another benefit is you donít have reverse implied odds, rarely when you make a pair of 9's or 7's with 79 is your hand going to be dominated by another 7 or 9. However, your opponent will be playing all of the better aces, so when you flop an ace with ace 7, you will never be sure of where your at in the pot when you flop an ace, especially when your out of position to your opponent postflop.
Too many people think that just because you have position you can call 3-bets with a wide range. This is not true, you need to call with hands that do well against there 3-bet range. Common hands people are tempted to call with in position are hands like, 78s, 89s, tjs, jqs, even hands like KQo are often a fold. Again, everything depends, against people who 3-bet alot you should be widening your range, against nits you should be calling there 3-bets in position very infrequently.
Its almost standard for alot of people to make preflop calls in position with hands like suited connectors and medium broadway hands, JQ JK KQ AJ AT etc can be calls some of the time against the most aggressively players, however against alot of opponents I can almost guarantee you that your calling with a too wide range. I try to think about poker being a game about minimizing mistakes, if I can make a small preflop mistake by folding a hand that might be a slight +EV call if I play perfectly, I will fold these medium strength hands to avoid putting myself in difficult postflop situations.
When you get to NL600+ and your playing against alot of very good winning players, its safe to assume that nearly all of the regs are on more or less the same level and know the same things, IE they know:
When you know your opponent thinks like you, it all comes down to levelling and looking for ways to exploit your opponents ranges for imbalances. However, at nl100-nl400 you will encounter a huge selection of regs that vary from being damn right awesome to mediocre at best. When your playing these limits its crucial to assume that not everyone thinks like you.
I have had regs make mind shattering calldowns that make me say, “Wow, how can he do that”, or making bluffs and getting called and going “”Wow, how can he not see my range is super strong in this spot” and these are in-fact my own mistakes. Even though in say a spot, where my range is super duper strong and his call is -EV against my whole range (including my bluff hands) I’m still making a mistake by assuming he knows this, you see, its not all about being perfectly balanced in these spots. If a reg will call with top pair always in a spot where I will always have a set, its my mistake if I try to balance my range by adding bluffs under the pretense that “No way can he call here, my range is so strong!”, thats my fault if I bluff, I should only valuebet in that spot.
You can also flip things around, so for example, in some spots that look really strong and are getting a ton of folds when I play my strong hands that way, you can start to integrate bluffs into spots where your getting a ton of folds, then play your strong hands in a totally different way to get paid off. I guess it all really comes down to knowing your opponent and whether he will perceive your bet as strength or weakness, that is the skill, once you can figure that out you can manipulate them whatever way you want for maximum profits.
Just a few things to think about!