re: Poker & goodbye bodog
After posting the above post, I went to Bodog and found just such a table. Playing .10/.25 NL, I sat down with the max $25 at a 9-person table.
There were 4 or 5 limpers almost every hand. A couple people were consistently doing small raises to 85 cents for some reason, and this just barely cut down on the callers.
Nobody was pushing very hard, and when they did - it usually meant they had something.
A classic loose-passive table.
Now common philosophy is to play opposite the table. So at a loose table, play tight. Caro says something different: at a loose table, play even looser.
The idea is that if you can see a lot of cheap flops and connect on some, the loose players will pay you off.
I used PokerTracker for awhile and tried to my VIP down in the 20s. But that's not always a good thing to do. At a table like this, I want to see more flops.
What I did was to fold pure trash but to limp or min-raise with hands with potential. Sometimes I'd make bigger bets in position or to protect big pairs. I know - people are going to say play all your hands the same in order to avoid detection. But people at this table aren't going to notice anyway. And whereas I might throw in a couple bucks on a pair of kings, I'm not going to do that on suited gappers.
Some of the play astonished me. I had AJ in the cutoff and raised it to $1.25. The button called and there were two other limpers. The flop came Jack-high rags. Checked to me and I bet about half the pot with my TPTK. Button called, others folded. Rags on turn. Check. Rag on river. Take another little stab and called by button - who had pocket Kings! I lost about five bucks on this hand, which is OK. But what astounded me was that the guy with pocket Kings on the button did nothing but call the whole way, including calling pre-flop and allowing three others to see the flop. He did nothing to protect his hand, thin the field or build the pot. Didn't even re-raise on the river. A classic passive donk. And you don't want him at your table???????
Later, I had KK in late position. Somebody in early raised it to $1 and there were two other callers. So there were already three people in the pot with people yet to act behind me. In a normal situation, I might bet $3 or $4, hoping to thin the field but keep somebody in. But at this table, I knew if I did that I'd have at least three people drawing against me. So, I bet $10. Everybody folded, and I won a few bucks. Heck, this might even have been one of those rare instances where a crazy pre-flop all-in move would have been warranted. But I was happy with the result. I'd rather take this pot down pre-flop for a few bucks than face a bunch of callers who might draw out. These guys are passive, but they're not totally stupid, so $10 was enough to accomplish my goal.
You don't like playing in a fishtank. People draw out and you and your big pairs go down. Well - do you allow it? What would you have done in above situation? If you're letting fish limp in for cheap - then of course you're going to lose more often than you'd like.
The biggest money in a fishy situation, however, is when you connect with a speculative hand post-flop. These opponents aren't really thinking about what you might have hit. They just know they have a pair, dammit, and they're sticking with it. Of you can make bigger bets with your made set and get people calling on longshot draws because it excites them. That's why I like to see more flops at a fishy table. It just amazed me how passive people were when I was throwing out substantial bets. And nobody pressures back, so I can draw to my heart's content. And if somebody does come back at me - it's almost always because they hit a hand. So easy fold.
It also didn't hurt that I built my stack so had the big-stack image thing going on. Bottom-line, I connected on a few things and it took me about a half hour to run my $25 to $100. It doesn't happen all the time, but it's much more likely to happen at a fishy Bodog table than on a nitty rocky FullTilt table where the players re wary and hard to separate from their chips.
Now tell me again why you don't like playing in a fishbowl?
Gary the Worden