Raise/bet or fold exercise
For the last couple of weeks I've been playing play money SnGs using dj's suggestion of Isabelle Mercier's idea; only betting/raising or folding. I allow myself to check, and to call only shoves or when I get heads up, since I need the heads up practice.
It's an interesting exercise. I was already comfortable making raises and c-bets, so I didn't expect to gain much there. But still, I've learned:
1) additional patience in the early stages waiting for hands,
2) to lay down when I get repopped when I'm not prepared to shove since I can't call and hate to minraise,
3) to fold more marginal hands; if it's not good enough to raise, it's not good enough to play,
4) to stay out of trouble in the SB (although I know there are a lot of situations where the pot odds
are crying out for a call)
This only works at fairly high levels of buyins because at the low levels they don't even acknowledge raises. I'm mostly at the 25,000 and 50,000 buyins at Stars.
It's kind of fun to be able to look at my stats and see 9/9/3 when the blinds hit 100, or 16/16/3 when we're past the bubble. The exercise doesn't help me with reads as I don't even really pay attention until the we're down to 4 or 5, or I'm short stacked early, which rarely happens because of the level of competition plus I'm playing so few hands. Tonight I didn't even notice when the 3rd person went out until I realized I was heads up and outchipped 12,000 - 2,000 (which I still won).
Anyway, I throw this out there because it's been useful for me and maybe it'll be useful for someone else as well.