Micro Limit Preflop Strategy

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Recently there's been discussion about effectively playing the NL$100 game. Anyone who remotely comes close to understanding Hold'em knows full well that there's no one cookie cutter strategy to playing hold'em. In fact, there's not any one "correct" method to play or playing style that applies "all of the time." Hold'em is situational. To approach hands or games with a mindset of "I'm a tight aggressive player and I'm going to run over this table no matter what" will get you stacked by someone who understands the game.

Poker is a game of mistakes. Whoever wins this battle of mistakes wins the game. I do not mean this in the sense that if you make ten mistakes in a session and I make five, I win, because that may not be the case. In order for me to win, I have to be willing to make mistakes while the pots are small, and cause you to make mistakes when the pot is big. I do this, I win...

When selecting a table, at the micro limits, I try to find the softest table possible. What I mean by softest is that I am wanting to find a table that doesn't raise preflop too often, but has a lot of players entering the pot voluntarily. Why do I want this? For starters, I want to be the strongest person at the table, but I do not wish for them to know that. Additionally, I enjoy exploiting the "mistake" of players calling or limping too often.

Now, I could theoretically put in a steal raise when there's too many limpers, and from time to time I do... But typically, I like to also limp, when the pot is small. So, quite often, I go into a hand wrong preflop... Remember, the name of the game is make mistakes in small pots, exploit other's mistakes in big pots. Players who tend to limp often at this level tend to play poorly after the flop.

Once the flop occurs, I decide if I wish to play for a small pot or build it into a large pot. I make this decision based on what I have, and what I have my opposition on, relative to the board.

For the reasons stated above, I am wanting to see a lot of flops cheaply. I'm equally likely to be limping with 7-6 suited as I am 10-10 under the gun. But, only at soft tables as described above. I understand that my money comes from exploiting mistakes post-flop, and that's typically what I plan to do.I've done quite well at it, for that matter.

Unfortunately, I'm not always able to find that table that is soft from top to bottom. There's always going to be someone coming in there who thinks they're a pro raising away... raise raise raise raise raise... Because they believe that to not raise is not manly. When these players get on the table, I tend to adjust to them, because after all, I adapt to my opposition, choosing the correct tools to get the job done. I don't play 7-6s utg because that hand doesn't like the preflop raise.

I do, however, weakly slip into the pot with monsters or monster busters when this aggressive player is still left to act and raise behind me. When he does raise in behind me, my decision is to either reraise and take position away, or to fold... It should be noted, I usually either mow these players down or they get all flustered saying crazy stuff like "hmmm, 9-9 right? I guess my eights are no good here." This is nothing more than the overly aggressive player trying to save face. His ego gets insulted when he's challenged from a substantial over the top raise. He knows that usually when he calls, he's behind. He in turn becomes the weak player, generally speaking.

Now keep in mind here, I play against overly aggressive players one way, and passive players another way... How do you catigorize me? That is the question, now isn't it...?

More on this later, as this is a topic that I'm surely not done with.


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