Tuesday, June 19, 2007

NL Holdem Cash Game Strategy - Table Selection Revisted.

Played a few cash games over at Titan yesterday and was doing my usual table selection routine when the following thoughts happened...

Usually - along with many people who spend time actively choosing their tables my process goes something like this (I play the 8-max tables but works for any number). First find those tables with big pot sizes and large (pref 40%+) average player to flop ratio. Next make sure that the stack sizes are ok (no more than 2 players with <20 BB), then make sure that any available seats are in a good position relative to the loosest / most aggressive players (for example I do not like having someone raising too many pots to my left...).

This routine takes just 10 minutes for a few tables and has served me well... but I got thinking some more about my style and the ideal opponents for this. My cash game strategy with the lowest (50NL) that I play is to see flops cheaply... especially somewhere like Titan where the advantage of just a little post flop skill is basically where the profit comes from! I tend to be slightly passive without hand and aggressive with one pre flop and then really go to work on pot building if I hit - or fold cheaply if I miss and have no draws... npo point bluffing too much, you'll be called! This works at Titan because so many players will pay off their stack with top pair - at sites where the competition is a little tougher it pays to be more selective pre flop and more aggressive when you do enter a pot - horses for courses etc

Anyway, at Titan my ideal table may not be the one with the largest average pot at all... so I looked at the tables with large players to flop percentage and small average pot size! Bingo! (or rather poker!). At least 2 of the 3 I selected on this basis were full of loose / passive players who would not only enter a lot of pots with weak holdings but would do 2 other things...

1) Get scared when the big bets come out and either fold or go into calling mode with those top pair or less hands.
2) Tell you quickly with a check-raise or all-in when they had a monster...

Wow - ideal opponents for me... how about your ideal tables???

GL at the tables, Mark

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