Live NLHE low stakes tournament help please
I want to thank you all in advance for reading this thread and posting helpful information. I need some help with low stakes NLHE tournaments at my local casino. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I have been playing for 15 years (local games, house games, casino, ect.) and study the game quite extensively. I would say I am a pretty decent player. Recently, I began to start playing a $70 NLHE tournament at my local casino, twice a week. My backer suggested I play in these, given the large number of entrants and relatively good size payouts. I have been very unsuccessful and I need help with strategy against calling stations, fish, and those who are just there to lite their money on fire. These people call any amount pre-flop without any regard to position, opponents image, their own cards, etc.
In this tourny starting stacks are 7,000, blinds start at 25/50 with 20 minute levels. This is somewhat deep compared to other tournaments I have played. When a player in any position makes a raise of 8xBB pre, it is standard that 3-4 players call behind. After a ridiculous amount of post flop, calling (with no pot odds
) there is finally a showdown with 93o v. K6o. This makes it extremely difficult for me to play. I am a solid player, play position and make sound decisions. I refuse to call off my chips pre with hands like A2 and 74o. If I play my good hands (suited connectors, pairs, big Ax's), it doesn't matter because opponents call with any two cards. I can't bluff because most are calling stations, and you obviously can't wait for AA, AK, KK then push, blind away my chip stack. I understand that it can be beneficial to have a table full of fish and the consensus (various poker forum
) strategy seems to be to play solid, play your big hands aggressively and let your opponents make mistakes. However, this is very difficult, as these players play any two cards regardless.
So my questions are:
A. Do I need to open up and play somewhat "junk" hands, calling a huge pre-flop open, and play like these fish?
B. Is calling pre, instead of raising, with big hands, and hope to hit a flop where you can slow play and stack them, a good strategy? The principle of raising pre with big hands is out of the question - these players call any amount with any two cards regardless. You can raise to build the pot but if you don't hit, one of the other 4 players most likely did and you lose more of your stack.
C. At these stakes, obviously there will be a lot of variation in skill levels. I expect bad play but it seems like the only way I can beat them is to get lucky. Does this tournament seem like it is a lot more "bingo" (luck) than actual poker?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. P.S. I do understand the general strategy that is commonly advised for playing against fish. However, this strategy does not work. Thanks ALL!