Is battling regs better for improvement than seeking out fish?

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braun_kan

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I am a new player learning the game and so far I have been studying and grinding 2NL on ACR. The tables are pretty tough for me. There are tons of regulars; Many of them are TAGs and LAGs that I tilt against more than I exploit. Will I improve quicker by playing against these types of players rather than spending time table selecting for fish or playing on softer sites?

Also does anyone else here grind ACR 2NL? I'd love to talk about strategy, population reads, and reads on specific regs at this site/limit.
 
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fundiver199

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If you have noticed, that the games tend to be tough and reg infested, it makes a lot of sense to begin implementing table and seat selection in your strategy. The problem is, that if you play in (relatively) tough games, it can be difficult to beat the rake. And if you are not winning even at 2NL, it will most likely hurt your motivation.

Also playing against bad players is not as easy and trivial, as it sounds. So its something, which need to be practiced as well as playing against better players. Maybe start by getting a tracker, if you have not already, and then only play on tables, where you have position on a 40%+ VPIP player AKA "fish".

Finding and pounding on the fish is really, what cash games are about. This can actually get somewhat tiring, especially if the tables tend to break down, when the fish leaves. For me this is one of the reasons, why I enjoy tournaments more. You buy into a tournament and then you play it against, whoever is at your table, and there is no nonsense with jumping around to find good games :)
 
CKALLDAY

CKALLDAY

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I agree that game and table selection should be your priority given then description of your situation. If you’re tilting, take a break or find a new table. It takes time to learn how to properly exploit fish as well, so forget about trying to fight against solid players. Most people would suggest against this strategy.
 
GreenDaddy1

GreenDaddy1

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Learn how to navigate the regs certainly, but focus on the fish largely. Rake will just kill you playing against players of a similar skill level to yourself.

Exploiting both fish and regs to the fullest extent requires using a HUD and studying the game (studying the RIGHT material, so ignore most stuff that is not going to teach you about micro/low stakes cash games). You'll find more edges that way.

If you're finding fish and doing well at exploiting them you can obviously be much tighter against the tags, lags and nits, rather than battle them in close spots. There is no reason to tilt against the better players at all, when you have stats on them most are playing very face up most of the time down at the lower limits. You CAN exploit the regs too though, you just have to know the right spots. This is where a HUD really helps. Knowing how they behave when it comes to folds and c bet on all streets, and how often they go to showdown (and win it), and their aggression on particular streets, or knowing if they are only rarely defending their blinds, can all really help you find good spots to bluff and good spots to just lay down.

You dont need to get out of line at all, but when you see someone you have 350 hands on is a 22/17/2 who folds only 30% vs a flop C Bet but goes on to fold 72% of the time on the turn... it should be pretty obvious that you can profitably exploit them on the turn by bluffing a lot and just giving up if they fight back. The same logic can be applied to many spots against them.

Do shop around when it comes to sites. Some are fishier than others. Do look for the softest site. Do look for the fish and try to play more pots against them, isolate to get others out of the way where it makes sense. Don't feel like you need to battle the regs at every chance and fight for every pot with them, but do learn the easy spots to exploit them as it can a bit to your win rate.
 
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fundiver199

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Learn how to navigate the regs certainly, but focus on the fish largely. Rake will just kill you playing against players of a similar skill level to yourself.

Exploiting both fish and regs to the fullest extent requires using a HUD and studying the game (studying the RIGHT material, so ignore most stuff that is not going to teach you about micro/low stakes cash games). You'll find more edges that way.

If you're finding fish and doing well at exploiting them you can obviously be much tighter against the tags, lags and nits, rather than battle them in close spots. There is no reason to tilt against the better players at all, when you have stats on them most are playing very face up most of the time down at the lower limits. You CAN exploit the regs too though, you just have to know the right spots. This is where a HUD really helps. Knowing how they behave when it comes to folds and c bet on all streets, and how often they go to showdown (and win it), and their aggression on particular streets, or knowing if they are only rarely defending their blinds, can all really help you find good spots to bluff and good spots to just lay down.

You dont need to get out of line at all, but when you see someone you have 350 hands on is a 22/17/2 who folds only 30% vs a flop C Bet but goes on to fold 72% of the time on the turn... it should be pretty obvious that you can profitably exploit them on the turn by bluffing a lot and just giving up if they fight back. The same logic can be applied to many spots against them.

Do shop around when it comes to sites. Some are fishier than others. Do look for the softest site. Do look for the fish and try to play more pots against them, isolate to get others out of the way where it makes sense. Don't feel like you need to battle the regs at every chance and fight for every pot with them, but do learn the easy spots to exploit them as it can a bit to your win rate.

Lots of golden advice here. As for the best source on 2-5NL cash game strategy in my opinion its still Nathan Villiams AKA "Blackrain79". He have played way more hands at these limits than probably anyone else in the world. And even though it was a while ago, beginners are still beginners and make the same sort of mistakes, they always have. So check out his Youtube channel, which has a ton of hand histories from 2NL and 5NL send in by his audience.

And as Greendaddy say a HUD is a really usefull tool in these games, because many of the regs are super unbalanced. Against a good reg you dont actually get much information from a HUD, other than the fact, this is someone, you probably want to avoid a little bit. But "bad regs" show up with stats like a 2% 3-bet after 3.000 hands, and this is like one of the easiest things in the world to exploit by simply folding and not paying them off, when they ALWAYS have aces or kings or something like that. This also help lower variance and, as Greendaddy say, avoid tilt :)
 
Evan Jarvis

Evan Jarvis

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I am a new player learning the game and so far I have been studying and grinding 2NL on ACR. The tables are pretty tough for me. There are tons of regulars; Many of them are TAGs and LAGs that I tilt against more than I exploit. Will I improve quicker by playing against these types of players rather than spending time table selecting for fish or playing on softer sites?

Also does anyone else here grind ACR 2NL? I'd love to talk about strategy, population reads, and reads on specific regs at this site/limit.


Some really nice posts in this thread, you seem to have found the right place Braun!

Indeed you will get better playing against the regs, but as it's been stated here that will also be fairly expensive with the cost of the rake and you basically 'trading variance' with the other players.

Also, from the perspective of your confidence and building it up it's important to sit in some games where you feel like you are one of, if not, the best players on the table. It will put you in a state of mind that gives you more trust in your reads, your decisions, and will ultimately help you sharpen your intuition.

If you're looking for some extra theory that covers this and more check out this playlist http://gripsed.com/win

The regs will always be there to battle, my policy when putting in lots of volume was always to get on the best games I could, and to only go out there and battle the other regs if there was nothing else available.

Hope that helps & Props to everyone for posting such great replies in this thread!
 
Vegas77

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My focus is on winning tournaments. When I was able to win a freeroll, I moved up to higher level tournaments and continued studying the game and implementing winning strategies. Fish win too, so just know when to holdem and to foldem.
 
Poker Orifice

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My focus is on winning tournaments. When I was able to win a freeroll, I moved up to higher level tournaments and continued studying the game and implementing winning strategies. Fish win too, so just know when to holdem and to foldem.


I think this original poster's thread has been posted in the 'Cash Games' section. Your post would be more suited to a thread in "Learning Poker" or 'Tournament Play'
 
YuriDitz

YuriDitz

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I play NL2 too, play with regs and with fish. I like to combine it, because you need to play with all types of opponents to be a really good poker player.
 
samircyber9

samircyber9

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I agree that game and table selection should be your priority given then description of your situation. If you’re tilting, take a break or find a new table. It takes time to learn how to properly exploit fish as well, so forget about trying to fight against solid players. Most people would suggest against this strategy.
 
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