Friday, October 28, 2005

My Focus: NL Cash Games

(This is excerpted from a post I made on the forums. It gives my current motivation for playing NL Cash games and some observations.)

Lately my specialty has been short-handed NL cash games (typically $25 buy-in although I'm in the middle of moving up to $50 games). I've played Stars, Party, Eurobet (used to be Party, now its a bunch of bonus whores), PokerRoom, and UltimateBet (not yet, but I just got my account).
Currently this is my main bankroll building activity (along with bonus whoring) and I'm working hard on my NL game in the mean time.

I generally six-max NL because:

  1. Less time -- with small children it is difficult to find chunks of times for SnGs let alone multis
  2. Less variance (at the stakes I play at at least)
  3. Suits my natural playing style (weak-tight... Confused )
  4. 6-max vs full table because I find it more interesting (less nut-peddling)
I think most of the money made at this level is when the lead changes (essentially, someone hits a draw -- usually a hidden one). IMO you can't make too much from stealing PF (people are a bit loose) or big bluffs (people can't get away from hands). Stealing post flop can be pretty effective with semibluffs though, but it only gets you small pots.

I've been especially working on playing to get those lead changes and loosening up my preflop standards a bit. For instance, I would much rather call a raise pre-flop with a unsuited connector (or even something like 74o) than see a flop with a bunch of limpers and a weak ace (like A6o).

Oh, BTW, these are my feelings on the $25 games at each site ranks from easiest to hardest:
  • PokerStars: Generally loose passive but they'll call you down with top pair. Easy to make money with very little risk (they don't bet enough). Can often get them to call an all-in with a 100 BB stack when they only have top pair, top kicker.
  • PartyPoker: Lots of money to be made, but LOTS of variance. Not only will they call you down w/ top pair, they'll re-raise you with bottom pair. Difficult to read the players.
  • Eurobet: Since the split w/ party there are a lot more bonus whores on there. Players are generally tighter, but it is easier to bluff them, especially when the flop comes out.
  • PokerRoom: Been a while since I played there, but similar to Eurobet. The only site I've lost money on (the bonus made up for it though).
I just got the full $200 bonus at Ultimatebet and I'm thinking of two-tabling some limit tables there. My limit game is ok, but I usually stay away from it because I don't have a good setup for multi-tabling. With mini-view I think I could practically play two or three limit tables.

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