Brian Veit's tips for playing at the micros that we translated the other day were not to everyone's liking.
Therefore, today we turn to the real experts – the regulars of the reddit poker section.
Why are most players unable to beat $1/$2 live? – this question was asked by the user VeryFocusedLife. “They work on the game, analyze their hands, and then come to the casino and put it to use. Although, in order to consistently win at these limits, discipline and strong ABC poker are enough. Perhaps many are influenced by popular streams. We regularly see videos of high rollers playing millions with trash hands. It is clear that on $1/$2 with such a game you will quickly become bankrupt.
If you really work on the game, managed to play a decent number of sessions, but continue to play in the red, most likely it's a matter of psychology. You probably lack a critical attitude toward yourself. Forget about the theory, focus on the psychological aspects and bankroll management.
For example, if you lose two buy-ins, leave immediately. You don’t have to sit down to win back “at least half”. Yes, you drove 45 minutes to the casino, lost two buy-ins in 20 minutes and you have to spend another 45 minutes on the way back. It seems like a complete waste of time. You will have to make an effort on yourself, but this will allow you to reach a new level!
“I've played 350 hours of $1/$3 since the beginning of the year and don't remember a single 4-bet with anything other than or . At the same time, solver experts appear on each topic on the forum, who advise playing a 5-bet push with A5s “for balance”. The author is absolutely right, the tips of high rollers do not make any sense in live micro stakes, and even online they are unlikely to be useful. Villains simply never 4-bet bluffs often enough to justify 5-betting with dominant hands.
Everything is easy at the micros. Never bluff someone who doesn't fold. If you see a raise from OMC, immediately give up. Sit quietly and wait for the fish. (Ed. – OMC or Old Man Coffee, the term on reddit for tight grandpas, with an incredibly narrow range preflop).
– I disagree with the author. Losing players very rarely work on the game. The 2005 hand between Ivey and Dwan, which they watched on youtube before the session, does not count. I don't know of any examples at all of a person actually taking the time to work off the table and still not being able to beat 1/2. It just doesn't happen that way.
– I would also be very surprised if it turns out that a random player with $1/$2 has spent more than one hour on theory in his entire life. Naturally, some do, but they are easy to recognize. In my experience, more than half of the players at these stakes come just to gamble and have fun.
– Half of the people can't beat $1/$2 because they just can't, they have a lot of holes in their strategy, but they don't want to do anything about it. The next 40% don't beat the game because their win rate is eaten up by the rake. The remaining 10% are profitable because they don't try to catch bluffs and move higher at the first opportunity, where their raises will be respected.
– No need to go anywhere after losing two buy-ins. The main thing is to keep showing your A-game, that really takes effort. And there is no special valor in going home. Although this is clearly better than losing the stack on tilt.
– I started winning immediately, as soon as I learned to fold more often. For the past few years, I have been considered one of the best $1/$2 regs at the local casino. Although I'm still not sure that I'll ever win back everything that I lost for 15 years before.
– Yes, folding is one of the most underrated skills at the micros. Even regs bluff much less often than they think. Let me tell you about my recent memorable fold. I set up a straddle with and called a $30 3-bet from a very strong reg. Flop we checked. Turn , I check-call $50. On the blank river he bet $100, I folded and showed my cards. Everyone at the table widened their eyes, they began to laugh at me until he opened his .
In live poker, you sometimes just realize that you are beat. The ability to trust your gut is also an important part of the live game. What helped me the most was patience. You can sit for hours without a card and throw everything away. Sooner or later, some drunken idiot will give you a stack when, it would seem, to come out of nowhere.
– Micro-stakes fish never bluff multiple streets. A check-check-bet line on the river usually indicates weakness, unless the board has gotten really bad. Similarly, with bet-check-check – they stop bluffing at the slightest hint of resistance. Live, almost no one knows the correct sizing, so don't be afraid to pick up more chips for value betting. Bluffing, on the contrary, is better with small bets.
At the micro stakes, it's usually so deep that you'll rarely have a chance to 4-bet without getting all-in. By the way, this option is MUCH more profitable than calling all-in.
Another way to print money is to learn how to quickly distinguish regs from amateurs who came to have fun.
– Do not confuse standard losses and situations when fish start giving away chips. There is no point in leaving after losing a couple of stacks. Buy more and keep playing, the main thing is to make the right decisions. But if after the first bad beat you start to waste chips, try to bluff everyone, or call huge bets on the river with weak cards, this is already a serious problem.
Forget about optimal strategy, for $1/$2 players, the GTO is a sports car.
– The secret is in the adjustments. If the game is too tight, play a little more active. If there are only maniacs at the table, play calmly. Don't try to outplay the maniacs, but outsmarting the nits is also a mistake. The ability to feel the mood of the table is the key to success at the NL micros.
– I can’t count how many times I have witnessed a situation where a person who poured over the theory and even beat some limits online, then could not do anything in a drunken game with friends, where everyone barely knows the rules. They just don't know how to change lanes and don't know when to switch gears. Many players have learned how to play in a given situation but don't understand why it's the right thing to do. Therefore, they do not feel the situation properly, and their strategy fails.
“I have a friend who goes into mega tilt whenever he loses a couple of big pots. He would have saved a lot of money if he had followed the author's advice and walked out after losing two buy-ins. I agree with those who say that it is much more important to learn how to play well, even when it does not go your way. But for players who, even in a normal state, cannot beat the micro-limits, this clearly does not apply. They have no discipline at all, so it will be much more useful for them to strictly follow such a rule, even if it seems stupid to the regs.
First, ask yourself, what do you want? Have fun or win money? Winning at these limits is not a problem at all. But some people just don't need it. It is much more fun to blast away and go into all the pots.
– 90% of the profit in poker goes to 5-10% of the best players. Therefore, anyone who dreams of becoming a professional should soberly assess their prospects. You will definitely not succeed if you do not work hard.
– Some people watch enough streams, get overloaded with solvers, and consider themselves high rollers. Although they themselves do not even have an idea what Sklansky dollars are.
– For most players, the most +EV solution would be to quit poker altogether and look for more productive activities. But people often fool themselves...
– It seems to me that only in poker there is such a clearly condescending attitude of plus players to minus ones. Many regulars have forgotten that poker is a social game, and the ability to communicate at the table is its most important part. I've been playing games for years, but it never ceases to amaze me how many nerds there are in poker who look down on anyone who is considered a little weaker. Maybe you should think less about the failures of others and more about yourself and your shitty character?
– The main problem of micro-limits in rake. I live in California, in my $1/$2 casino most of the pots are $10-20, and the casino takes $7-10, which is about 50%. No strategy will beat this. Real robbery.