I had retired somewhat from my local poker scene and have jumped back in. My city is a couple hours from a legal casino but there are some Moose Lodges offering charity cash games. The max rake is up to $5.00/hand, dealers are provided, and 1-3 and 2-5 NL are offered.
One Location will have 5 to 8 tables each night two nights per week. The 2-5 game is the best game. The max buy-in is $500 or 75% of the big stack. The room is well run and operated in a professional manner.
I have broke even the last 4 weeks and it is a shame. The games have dynamics and action unlike I have ever seen. The pool of players ranges between different ethicities and has 6 to 8 lady regs. Many business owners along with blue collar types but there are about 10-12 regs with allegedly illegal sources of income. THe 2-5 game plays much bigger with opening raises of $35 or so and straddles exist on most hands for $10-25. Last night late in the evening there was easily $10-12,000 on the table.
Last night the blinds were never chopped and unless there are some all-in pre-flop hands(usually race situations), most hands are 4 to 5-way to see a flop. For example, I had QQ utg+2 with a $10 button straddle. Two players complete straddle before me and I raise to $65. Two players in the field cold call and the 3 straddlers call. 5-way to see the flop and Hero has $900 behind, what the hell do you do here no matter what the flop? This is typical action.
The illegal income players are terrible and dust off $1k-$2k on average each night. One guy dusted off $4k 3 weeks ago.
Sorry if this is long and too much info but I am struggling to come up with a winning preflop strategy. It is easy to fall into the limping trap with the thought of "They are all calling anyways with their crap so why bloat the pot" or "these guys play so bad I want to see a miracle flop to stack them".
Post flop is tough as well. With a bloated pot, players jam their draws and top pair hands putting your stack at risk with every hand.
Anyone have any advice or strategy for beating these games? I have tried playing tight and loose without any clearcut feedback determining the right play.