10NL Strategy post + My Thoughts on 25NL So Far
I posted this in my blog but thought I would make it available on CC because I know there are alot of micro grinders on here. Peel I think recommended for it to be on here so hope you enjoy....
This post is going to be about some of my 10NL strategy and is my first bit of strategy I have ever written, I know Icemonkey9 and both ChuckTs have written articles about this but I thought there is no harm in writing another version. Also I have just moved up from 10NL so the information is pretty up to date and I hope fellow micro stakes players find it useful.
I will firstly tell you about how I played 10NL and strategy involved and then how I am finding 25NL so far and changes I have made in my game. I am very surprised with what 25NL has thrown at me so far as its the opposite to what I expected and also to what people have told me it would be like.
The first major points which I learnt at 10NL and used effectively in order to make up alot of money were stealing and continuation betting. These two elements were a vital part of my game when it came to 10NL and I have won alot of money from using them. At 10NL I would advise players to have a very wide range of stealing hands from the button to the hijack and to take notice of the blinds fold to steal stats and their fold to Cbet stats.
Raising 4xBB when an unopened pot from the CO with A9 (a standard stealing hand) and getting a call from the BB was a common feature of my play. Then if villian checks to you put an aggressive Cbet of 65-75% of the pot on the flop when missing the board . I usually found this sort of play would take me a pot down, I know its only around 8BBs but these add up very quickly and I found myself making around a buy in per 1,000 hands just from these types of plays.
Another point which ties in with these plays is aggression, I dont mean shoving with ATC but you need to be very aggressive when you have a big hand or you think you have the best hand. You need to be betting every street when you have a monster and never slowplay at these limits because villians will chase flush/straight draws all the way down. You need to make them pay for this and slowplaying is just giving them free cards. Obviously this is all situational but as a general guide be aggressive when you have a big hand and never slowplay unless you are VERY good at it.
Hand ranges and position are also another key aspect of 10NL for me. You need to start having a rough idea of what ranges you are playing from each position and whether you are raising or calling with these hands. Also post flop need to be thinking what sort of hand ranges your villians are calling your raises with and trying to put them within a range of hans.
I would never open limp a pot except from UTG/UTG+1 with low pocket pairs from 22-77 (alot of people disagree with this but its been so profitable for me at 10NL), I dont see it as a profitable play to raise these from early because if we get 3bet then we are out of position and may not have the odds
to set mine. We dont want to be set mining out of position anyway. So construct a plan of what ranges you are calling and raising pre flop and stick to it, I will post my ranges if requested. Also at 10NL you need to start to develop positional awareness and playing pots in position, its vital at 10NL and more so higher up the limits. Some hands you want to be playing in position but not out of position for example im raising AJ from middle when unopened but im folding it from UTG/UTG+1 this is the sort of hand where we dont know if our single Ace will be good enough and dont want to be getting involved in 3bet pots with it out of position.
Finally a point for 10NL players is to keep it SIMPLE! You dont need to be playing fancy plays like double/triple barrelling streets. Its just spewy at this level as villians will call you down with 2nd pair top kicker and hands like that just play solid TAG poker. Also you need to be patient and dont get tilted just think of long term results if you get sucked out on.
To finish off abit about the regs at 10NL, I have over 45k hands at 10NL now and started to pick up over 500 hands on a fair few players. I found there are mainly 2 types of players other than the fish. Firstly is the weak tights and there are so many of them its unbelievable these are classic players where our steal/cbet strategy takes the pot down, but if they are re raising get out of the pot because odds on are they have more than TPTK as they very rarely are raising unless they have a big hand. The second are the Nits and these are normally the heavy multi table regs they play no hands and if they do play them very hard, if you are in a pot with these you best have the nuts because they only play AQ+. These guys are free money if on your left as you can steal from them all day. Forgot to say about table selection because im not sure if you guys are table selecting or just sitting at tables but you dont want short stacks of 20BBs on your left, you cant steal from them really as they will just shove over you giving you no odds to call and only play strong hands also. Also you dont want a total of more than 3 shortstackers on your table.
Sorry for the long 10NL post but I think I covered most things, any more information you need let me know on CC.
I have very limited experience at 25NL so far so just going to give a brief outline of what I have found so far. The first difference is pretty standard and expected this is that play is alot tighter pre flop which I expected. A massive learning point for me so far is position and how important it is. Position is so key now you need to play most pots in position and I hate playing them out of position now because you simply cant make any plays unless you hit the flop hard. In position you can play aggressively and take down alot of pots.
I have ran in to alot of people slowplaying and set mining mainly when they hit their sets. They flat the flop bet and raise the turn which is a called a beluga and time to re evaluate your hand if you have a pair or over pair as villians will generally have a better hand. So many people did this to me when I had first moved up which was annoying but I have adapted to it now and am aware of this.
The TPTK type hands now are also rarely good at showdown in pots bigger than say $6 because people play alot of suited connectors and set mining that they generally are hitting atm. Although I have found a nice way of getting paid off consistantly on the river, thin value betting is working a treat with big hands from two pairs/straights and flushes. Putting in half pot size bets or just under are getting called alot which is awesome. This also works nicely at 10NL because the fish love to call their second pair just to see if they are good enough and they may try to shove bluff which is good if you have a strong hand.
Now for the kind of weird/controversial/unexpected stuff I have come across so far. I feel that the bad play at 25NL is in fact worse than the 10NL play. Yes I am not shitting you I have seen some horrible stuff from short stacks shoving with A4, A7, 810 off suit and even 210s. The shortstacks are horrible so far which is really weird. Another stack type which I have come across is like the 60BB stacks, the $15/16 stacks who are just bad I think. I have won a few big pots with them and caught them trying to bluff, im not sure if they are under rolled people who dont want to buy in for 100BBs or just bad im not sure.
Finally the regs I have come across so far are mostly LAGs and Nits. Also some fish, before at 10NL I never found a fish who I had over like 300 hands on but I have a few already which is weird but good. 25NL is a very small sample but its different to 10NL in that you have to play tighter and think about more decsions but on the other hand its alot fishier and looser than 10NL. Not sure if it will stay this way but definately not what I expected.
Thanks for reading and get in touch if you need anymore info like stats/graphs etc
I have played alot more 25NL since I made this post so some stuff has changed and I can update if necessary