Ask the pros – cashing in and middling pairs
gaztheyorkie wants to know how a pro approaches a new cash table, and whether he should be playing middling pairs so aggressively
Sofia 'welllbet' Lovgren
on Thursday 12 Aug 2010 13:00
Is gaztheyorkie playing a canny cash game? Team PKR Pro Sofia ‘welllbet’ Lovgren has the answers…
Question from gaztheyorkie
I normally play $0.50/$1 short-handed (six-max) cash games, and before I sit down I find it important to monitor the table for around 30 minutes. Then, when I have a feel for the table I will sit, and when I play the first five to ten hands I try to establish an image that will help me during the game. This is normally loose-aggressive, when in actual fact I play a very TAG style, which helps get me paid. Am I playing correctly and how would you approach a new table when you sit down? I also ensure that I sit down with the maximum buy-in where possible to ensure I get full value, and play middle pocket pairs extremely aggressively to push hands like A-K, A-Q, A-J and A-T out. Should I be letting those hands in?
Answered by Sofia ‘welllbet’ Lovgren
There are some key rules to follow when entering new cash game tables online. From reading your question it seems to me that you are doing all the right things, so let’s summarise what’s important in four points.
1. Table selection
You should always sit down on a table where you believe you have an edge against most of the players. Don’t stay around to play against better players just to prove a point. You are playing to make money and you will make more money against weak players. As a TAG player you should look for a loose-passive table where several players are prepared to call a bet with relatively weak hands. This means you will get paid off when you have a strong hand. To select the right tables just look at the table statistics in the lobby of the online poker room. If there’s a table that looks good but is full, don’t make the mistake of choosing a much worse table. It’s much smarter to join the waiting list and use the time to study the players.
2. Seat selection
Study the players and see how they play. Then choose the seat where you have position on the best players, especially if they are loose. A common mistake is to take a seat just because you find one on a juicy table. It will reduce your win-rate to play out of position against the best players.
3. Maximum buy-in
Always sit down with the maximum buy-in to get maximum value for your big hands. As long as you have an edge on the other players, buying in for the max will give you better profit in the long run. You will also get more respect if you have a bigger stack. The fact is that one of the easiest ways to locate a fish is that he is buying in with scared money.
4. Table image
When you sit down at a table the first few hands you play will set your table image. If you are tight it could well be a good idea to play loose and also show some bluffs in the beginning. When you revert to playing TAG you will then hopefully get paid off.
Playing middle pocket pairs
The key with medium pocket pairs is position. In late position you can control the pot and float or bet if the other players have shown weakness. How aggressively you should play your medium pocket pairs depends on your opponents’ playing styles. Preflop against tight players you can reraise with your mid pair and take it down there many times, or just call and bet after the flop. Against loose players you can call and take advantage of your position. Let your opponent bluff on the flop and float to get paid. Of course if you play against very loose players you should vary your play and occasionally strike back with your mid pairs preflop.
Join the game now!
Download the world's most advanced poker room. Read more »