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Help playing in wild games

StreetFighterStreetFighter Posts: 177Subscriber
edited April 2016 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
I feel like I have time traveled back in time! I have recently been playing in a new 1,2 (5 kill) home game that plays loose, wild, and deep...there is no cap on the buy in. I know, it sounds like a dream! But it's actually been my nightmare. My back round is online 6max and downright nitty live 2/5 games. Mostly being 2-4 handed to a flop, not 3-7. I have been a winning player for years, but have been a slight loser the past few months in a game, that on paper, should be my most profitable.

Here are some trends.

Most of the action is preflop and on the flop given how bloated the pots are.
Very little 3betting preflop.
Raises on the flop aren't very common, mostly flush draws or tptk+
Players run dumb bluffs based on feelings.
Top pair no kicker gets bet folded a lot.

I have made adjustments to my ranges in certain preflop spots, but would really welcome any ideas of how to adjust pre and post.

Any links to podcasts I may have missed in my search on the topic would also be very helpful.

Thanks!

I just remembered that Harrington on Hold em Cash Games felt like it was written for this kind of game. I'll brush up on that for starters.
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Comments

  • stayinschool Posts: 2,969Subscriber
    Start by playing merged pre flop. You should probably be doing a lot more 3 betting for value than you are used to. Say a bad player opens in MP and you have ATs OTB. I'm sure you just flat there but I think 3 betting for value is by far better. You will end up playing less 5 way pots where you are not sure what to do. I also don't really see much of a need to do much 3 bet bluffing using a polarized range, which is probably what you are more used to.

    Say this is somewhat like your current BTN 3 bet ranges vs a MP open from a bad/sticky player: JJ+, AQs+, A5s-A4s, Q9s, J9s, T8s, 97s, 86s, 76s, 65s, AQo+

    I would recommend something like this: 99+, A9s+, KJs+, AJo+, KQo

    Also generally going to be bluffing less. People just don't fold too much in a game like this so bluff less. The other side of that is obviously value bet more.

    Call more in spots where someones line doesn't make much sense etc.

    Figuring out how people play is the hard part. Once you do that it shouldn't be too hard to make your adjustments.
  • StarwarsJediMasterStarwarsJediMaster Posts: 741Subscriber
    Pay attention to stack sizes and don't isolate short stacks without with wide ranges keep it to value only since you cant really bluff post flop. Play tight pre and go for value post seems like a real easy game.
  • StreetFighterStreetFighter Posts: 177Subscriber
    edited April 2016
    stayinschool said:
    Start by playing merged pre flop. You should probably be doing a lot more 3 betting for value than you are used to. Say a bad player opens in MP and you have ATs OTB. I'm sure you just flat there but I think 3 betting for value is by far better. You will end up playing less 5 way pots where you are not sure what to do. I also don't really see much of a need to do much 3 bet bluffing using a polarized range, which is probably what you are more used to.

    Say this is somewhat like your current BTN 3 bet ranges vs a MP open from a bad/sticky player: JJ+, AQs+, A5s-A4s, Q9s, J9s, T8s, 97s, 86s, 76s, 65s, AQo+

    I would recommend something like this: 99+, A9s+, KJs+, AJo+, KQo

    Also generally going to be bluffing less. People just don't fold too much in a game like this so bluff less. The other side of that is obviously value bet more.

    Call more in spots where someones line doesn't make much sense etc.

    Figuring out how people play is the hard part. Once you do that it shouldn't be too hard to make your adjustments.
    Thank you for the reply. I understand balanced and polarized 3betting strategy, or at least I think I do, and have been focused on attacking weak preflop opens with a polarized range. I will try to find more spots to 3b in position with a wider value range as you suggest, especially if I can squeeze or there are already a few limpers. If MP is the first in, I would probably flat some bigger hands that play well if the blinds come along. I.e I flat KJs where the a lot of the players will play J8o+ Jxs+ from the blind.

    I try to keep 100-200bb stacks playing as deep as possible with Axs and good SCs as I will be on the good side of coolers more often and live rec player bet sizing can be lol.
    StarwarsJediMaster said:
    Pay attention to stack sizes and don't isolate short stacks without with wide ranges keep it to value only since you cant really bluff post flop. Play tight pre and go for value post seems like a real easy game.
    When I miss stack sizes it definitely clues me in that it's time to take a 10 minute break. And yes, sometimes it is that easy as bet bet bet.

    I'm playing tonight and will comeback with some notable hands for review.

  • StreetFighterStreetFighter Posts: 177Subscriber
    edited April 2016
    Last night went well and true to form, the game was rockin and rollin. Just the way the night ran, but I ended up playing super nitty.

    Here's a hand that I watched that happened early on.

    Blinds are 1/2. 4 limps ( MP1,MP2, CO, BTN), SB completes, BB Checks

    Flop 4 5 8 $12

    Checks to CO who bets 45!. BTN goes all in for 255, SB and BB fold MP1 goes all in for 330, MP2 goes all in and cover. CO folds!

    Board goes brick brick. BTN has bottom set. MP1 A 3 MP2 has 6 7 for the win.




    Here's one that I would like some feedback on. Sizing. Whether to bet the flop or not.

    Limps to SB who makes in 10 to go. SB plays a lot of hands and raises suited connectors and 33 etc here. They can't find a fold on the river very oftn. I make it 35 with KQo in the BB We go HU to the flop

    Flop is Q T T $70

    SB Checks. I bet 45. They call.
    I don't think that they have much here.

    Turn is a 4 $160
    SB checks. I check back

    River 9

    Spoiler:
    SB thinks for a second and checks. I bet $75 and they begrudgingly call and muck.






    Other than opening KK and cbetting flop $50 shoving turn $210 effective Q 5 4 3 and getting call by 66. This was the only other big pot i played.


    I limp/reraised AQo UTG to 40 when a straightforward player made it 7. Their normal raise size is 20 with good hands. 3 callers

    Flop was A A 4 $120

    I bet 60. Original opener makes in 135. I call

    Turn is a 7. I check. they move all in for 160 and I call. They table J9o



  • dontfeedthenits Posts: 396Subscriber
    StreetFighter said:
    Last night went well and true to form, the game was rockin and rollin. Just the way the night ran, but I ended up playing super nitty.

    Here's a hand that I watched that happened early on.

    Blinds are 1/2. 4 limps ( MP1,MP2, CO, BTN), SB completes, BB Checks

    Flop 4 5 8 $12

    Checks to CO who bets 45!. BTN goes all in for 255, SB and BB fold MP1 goes all in for 330, MP2 goes all in and cover. CO folds!

    Board goes brick brick. BTN has bottom set. MP1 A 3 MP2 has 6 7 for the win.




    Here's one that I would like some feedback on. Sizing. Whether to bet the flop or not.

    Limps to SB who makes in 10 to go. SB plays a lot of hands and raises suited connectors and 33 etc here. They can't find a fold on the river very oftn. I make it 35 with KQo in the BB We go HU to the flop

    Flop is Q T T $70

    SB Checks. I bet 45. They call.
    I don't think that they have much here.

    Turn is a 4 $160
    SB checks. I check back

    River 9

    Spoiler:
    SB thinks for a second and checks. I bet $75 and they begrudgingly call and muck.






    Other than opening KK and cbetting flop $50 shoving turn $210 effective Q 5 4 3 and getting call by 66. This was the only other big pot i played.


    I limp/reraised AQo UTG to 40 when a straightforward player made it 7. Their normal raise size is 20 with good hands. 3 callers

    Flop was A A 4 $120

    I bet 60. Original opener makes in 135. I call

    Turn is a 7. I check. they move all in for 160 and I call. They table J9o



    The reason people like these games is you can be a winner using only correct preflop play. If they're playing too many hands preflop they are creating an insurmountable disadvantage that can't be recovered from (unless you make an equally big screw up).

    Tighten up pre. Make sure your range is just stronger than theirs...

    If they refuse to acknowledge their weaker range post and just fire away, you just call them down almost regardless of the run out, you will profit. If they acknowledge their inferior range and slow down, you hammer them with aggression. There's no counter exploit for them (other than fixing their preflop leak).

    Whatever you do don't start playing a super wide range of hands pre. This prevents you from exploiting biggest mistake in their game (playing wild post if done decently well isn't as bad as it seems, which is how some LAGs survive).

    Focus on winning the war preflop, and then focus on being a fun guy so they keep inviting you back. :)
  • dontfeedthenits Posts: 396Subscriber
    edited April 2016
    ,
  • chefwookiee Posts: 5Subscriber
    edited April 2016
    I've just started playing in a similar game in a small casino in Mexico. Exactly like you said, like a time warp to 2005!

    Waaaaaaaay to many hands being opened preflop, no attention paid to stack size, no consideration to opponents' ranges, relative hand strength, board texture, table image etc. Stickier than crazy glue post flop - calling 3 streets with tp0k, even 2nd pair because "I thought you might've been bluffing". Opening raise sizes are open-book readable as relative to hand strength and almost everyone is a tellbox of the highest order. Even so, nobody pays attention and most flops are 4+way, Ive even seen 15x raises being called in 3 and 4 spots!

    I was frustrated at the nonsense play for the first session i played there before just accepting that i need to play duck's-ass tight, bet for value, fit or fold poker, play for stacks and NOT BLUFF! Since they're so bad, you'll probably be stacking people much more often than in a normal game, so only playing 5-10% of hands will still turn a healthy profit!

    To break up the monotony of folding 90% of hands I just entertain myself by trying to spot the tendencies of my opponents and try to put them on hands, basically sit back and enjoy the comedy of it all and compliment as many bad plays as i can without sounding sarcastic!

    And like dontfeedthenits says, keep jovial and make sure you get invited back!
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,450Subscriber
    Keep in mind in a very call happy game all your money comes from value and not bluffing. You make more but the swings are more. It can be very frustrating to fold for 2 hours and not be able to play a hand or bluff with a hand.

    The more you have bluff power the less value you can get. When such an equilibrium occurs I believe it optimally allows you play more hands in late position, lower your variance, and have a slope increase in steady winnings if the table isn't aggressive and leans more on passive calling and folding.

    I have a love/hate relations with games I can't bluff where plays have the electric buzzer of spazziness on their seat. Their logic makes no sense and you can only play for value.
  • StreetFighterStreetFighter Posts: 177Subscriber
    That advice on keeping a good attitude is rock solid and some that has inspired me to reread Tommy Angelo's book again. He has a lot of solid insight into the game's live intangibles and just how to be a professional human.
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