10 rules that may help
1) Know your table. Profile and test the water while the blinds are low and stacks deep. Watch everything. Who is tight, who is a calling station, what types of hands are they playing? Who plays position and c-bets? Who is over aggressive and who over commits? Who can I understand and who will leave me in the dark.
2) Know DK's P.S.I. Position, Stack and Image. Yours and theirs. Have I been playing over aggresivelly or tight? Am I playing opposite the table? What about my opponent? Can their stack support my aggresion? Can mine or will I commit myself? Can I trap them into being pot commited? What is my "M"?
3) Know your M. Your stack diveded by the big blind + the small blind and add the ante x the number of players at the table. So if the blinds are 500/1000 with a 100 ante and 10 players it will cost me 2500 per orbit. 20,000 chips dont last long with an M of 8! How many big blinds is decieving. I dont use the exact harrington model but follow some basic rules. My range and aggresion have to work with my M.
4) Consider the chips in play and average stack. Know how many players are in the field and starting stack. I like to stay on pace or obviously better. Sometimes things go well and I can sit back more. But countinually reavalute average stack and M so you dont wait too long. And steal in the sweet spots while there are chips to spare! Sometimes everybodies M's are low so having an idea of what percentage of the chips in play you have and comparing it to spots paid is imortant.
5) Don't auto bet or auto c-bet. Especially out of position or against lags. It sucks to be wasting chips with nothing against a player that I should know has more info than me or is a calling station. Reserve position or c-bets for tight players or Later in the game when chips are more conserved and at tables with tight image established. Learn to love the checkraise or float the flop to wait for for a cooler on the turn against players who auto bet.
6) Dont over commit. Get to accept that a good draw with great odds
, pot or implied are worth chasing and 1 pair wont hold up. Exploit players that do. Betting 17 BB wont change a lags mind. Only call with odds and a stack to support putting them in the middle. Save as many as you can for raising in situations where you are in the drivers seat.
7) Maximize monsters and minimize losses. Take it slow. Give rope but dont hang yourself. Control the pot. Look to get opponents carefully commited with big hands but also be ready to take the backdoor out.
8) Play the bubble but accept you will often be the bubble doing it. I have read that cashing 1 in 4 games and winning one of every 4 of those is outstanding. You will lose far more touneys than you will win. But the math will work out in your favour if you play to win. Don't be a nit and blind out. The only sure thing about cards and you never know which 2 will come and when.
9) Play to win and be profitable. AFTER the bubble, sometimes your best move is to try to advance a couple more money jumps or take a chop. Evaluate each game individually. Did you play for a small profit to help your bankroll? Is it a sat or cash session? Are you looking to make enough for a bigger buyin or is the top 3 spots the only thing worth fighting for? Are you trying to advance on a leaderboard or points race? Which is most important right now?
10) Ask yourself a couple of things in every tricky spot and especially on the river....Can I only get called by a better hand here? Can my opponent read the info presented? If he or she can and isn't backing down why? If they can't and you have it great. If you don't, don't do it.
They don't know what they don't know. But if you do be content with your decisions. If you wanted the call and lost, know than in losing you gained by making a long term profitable play. Don't get mad at the puppet when you are pulling the strings. Make bets you want called or admit to yourself that you took the gamble in and it wasnt the right type of player, situation or look for where your story didnt add up. Don't blame the cards, they only know how to be random and inconsistent.
Learn from every hand and every player you play it against!