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Strategy for a loose, very loose game and wild game?

TakeTheOverTakeTheOver Posts: 21Subscriber
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
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.

Comments

  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,086Subscriber
    Take

    Sounds like these game can be very profitable but also are higher variance.. When I was reading this it reminded me alot of the games I used to play online. There I would play uber uber tight and very aggressive..

    You will have to play tight and since the cap is low in the beginning you might not have implied odds to call with pocket pairs and suited connectors..

    I would actually buy in short. say $500 max and basically be willing to jam with say tp if I had AK or overpairs..

    You can also experiment on preflop bet sizing. If a $65 bet doesnt limit the preflop players then try $75 and if that doesnt work then try $95.. You will get to inflection point where only one or two players call.. Then again be prepared to get it in with overpairs and top pair type hands..

    NOTE: This style of play would allow you to generally get it in all the time with the best hand but it is a higher variance style.. No hand reading, no real post flop outplaying.. Just going with basic preflop range matchups and pushing..

    Then when you get a much bigger stack you can decide to play more normal ..

    I personally dont find these types of games very interesting. I prefer games where finesse is involved and I have to make multiple better decisions then my opponents.. Just playing to make money is not enough for me and your game would just bore me to death. yell

    ww
  • PhulHouze Posts: 200Member
    A lot of the 1/2 and 2/5 games at the casino I play in are like this. To me this seems normal, though I get the sense by reading comments from other players on here that in different parts of the country games tend to be much tighter. I agree with the Hammah that the games are profitable but higher variance.

    I also like to play games that are more interesting, but unfortunately, when players are this loose, it devolves into straight up gambling. All you can do is make sure your preflop range is ahead of your opponents' ranges, try to get as much of your stack as possible in preflop, and then just go with it. When pots become huge preflop, it becomes pretty much impossible to hand read opponents that push draws and overvalue their medium strength made hands. This is one reason I make use of the limp/reraise play. I try to sit to the right of the wildest player at the table, limp big hands, let him raise, get 6-8 callers, then I can shove to either take down a sizable preflop pot or else get it in with one or two other players who's ranges are way behind mine.

    In these games I avoid suited connectors and ace-rag suited except OTB and maybe CO. Range is pretty much pocket pairs, AK-KQ. Boring as shit, but you can take down $50-$100/hr at 2-5 like this.
  • SatanLovesPoker Posts: 168Member
    Yeah, your range needs to be ahead of theirs, and pretty much just play with no fear, and have the bankroll to
    requirements to back it up. You can't think of it as a 2/5 game if it is playing like a 5/10.

    Secondly, not sure what these people do that is illegal, but watch your back leaving if you have a winning night,
    if they do one thing illegal,I wouldnt put robbing someone after a poker game out of their illegal activities....
  • NicholasK Posts: 237Member
    SatanLovesPoker said

    Yeah, your range needs to be ahead of theirs, and pretty much just play with no fear, and have the bankroll to
    requirements to back it up. You can't think of it as a 2/5 game if it is playing like a 5/10.

    Secondly, not sure what these people do that is illegal, but watch your back leaving if you have a winning night,
    if they do one thing illegal,I wouldnt put robbing someone after a poker game out of their illegal activities....
    plus1
  • TakeTheOverTakeTheOver Posts: 21Subscriber
    Thank you for the feedback all. I will take the tight advice and see where that leads me. I actually like these wild games better than the tight games because when you make or have a hand, you get paid. True the variance is greater as mentioned but nothing worse than playing a nit game and flopping the world and not getting paid.

    The Moose hires off duty police officers with one on the floor and one in the parking lot at all times. Never felt unsafe playing there although I put everything in my trunk before going in. The occumpation of these folks can be described as Amatuer Pharmacists.
  • NicholasK Posts: 237Member
    TakeTheOver said
    The Moose hires off duty police officers with one on the floor and one in the parking lot at all times. Never felt unsafe playing there although I put everything in my trunk before going in. The occumpation of these folks can be described as Amatuer Pharmacists.
    plus1 for playing Amateur Pharmacists...there's so much easy money there.
  • PhulHouze Posts: 200Member
    I don't think people who get their money from illegal means are the ones you need to worry about robbing you. They are playing with small money compared to what they pull down. I used to play at a KoC game that had a lot of guys who seemed connected, if you know what I mean. They just threw money around like it was nothing. Never thought they'd rob me. The bigger concern is pissing them off by making a stupid comment - never criticize this type of player's play.

    When playing underground games, I'm much more worried about the guys who don't have sources of income and who seem like they're sweating the money on the table. The ones who are using the drugs, rather than the ones selling the drugs.
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