Tuesday, March 01, 2005

PL vs NL

Iggy et al have a new guide up for Poker Tracker, appropriately called Poker Tracker Guide.

I'm really happy about this. Not really because I am going to read it, because I (like many others) have spent hours and hours pouring over the data in PT and don't feel like I need a guide to tell me how to use it. I don't find PT difficult at all to use, but I can understand how it could be confusing to someone who isn't involved in statistical analysis at all.

What I am happy about is when people ask me for help with PT, and A LOT of people ask me for help with PT, I can refer them there. Everybody wins.


I'm still getting a lot of email about the 27.5% Rake Rebate and PSOs Frequent Flopper program. If you email me I will reply eventually. I want to thank everyone that signed up at PSO and used me as a referral. I can still be reached at dugglebogey@casinomail.com, but I just opened up a gmail account at dugglebogey@gmail.com and I am considering moving everything over to that address.


I am glad to see that SirF has finally realized that there is money to be made by specializing in NL at Party Poker. I don't think I am even a profitable player at lower limits on Party. I played limit exclusively at Pacific and Absolute at low limits and hauled in the money. But I can't seem to catch the chasers at Party Poker. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe there's just too many of them and I can't make the adjustment. Or there's a couple of sharks mixed in with the fish and I can't identify them. I've done well at higher limits, but I am not in bankroll shape to take the swings at those games right now. Withdrawing more than $2500 late last year really took away that option for me.

I make my money now at Party by finding loose idiots and taking their money. I guess they are a lot easier to find in NL and PL games. And they are easier to catch in PL than they are in NL.

The reason I play PL is because PL helps to contain the action pre-flop and the first post-flop bet. Once you have identified your loose maniac, all you have to do is lay in wait to catch him. They are easy to spot. They raise pre-flop more than half the time. They raise the max with any two suited cards. They bet the pot when they catch ANY part of the flop, or they think that nobody else will call. They tend to have huge stacks, but the money moves to and from them on every hand. You don't need a monster to catch these guys, you just need a decent hand. You can never beat them with Ace high, but top pair is usually good, two pair is the nuts.

So you only play big cards against them and hope to catch. In NL this is impossible, because you will call off your whole stack just trying to hit a flop. You need big pairs to call in NL, and they won't call you if you fold 40 straight hands and then raise your Aces. They're not THAT dumb. Well, some are, but not all of them.

In PL they can only bet the pot pre flop, which is usually less than $2 or $3 in $25PL. If you have any kind of position and you have a big pair or just big cards you can usually raise him and all the callers $12 or $13. All the limpers will fold, and you will be heads up with this moron, because he ALWAYS calls. Then all you have to do is avoid the flush that this moron was hoping for with his deuce-five of hearts. Yes he catches it, or two pair, or the miracle straight more than he should, but you are just a re-buy away from getting your money back.

No Limit Poker is all about aggression. Most of these morons think that they can out-aggression everyone in the pot. The worst part about this scheme is it works about 85% of the time. I live on the 15% side of the fence.

Yesterday I won ONE pot in 40 hands at PokerNow, and still made money. Because I folded about 30 hands, limped and folded with 5 more, folded 4 more after the flop, and won $32 on the other.

In Pot Limit you can make their over aggressiveness work against them. The worst thing about Pot Limit is when you make the nuts and nobody bets, you can only bet $3-4 on the river. But all you have to do is show a TINY bit of weakness and your maniac buddy will bet the pot, allowing you to go all-in (or nearly) over the top.

The only drawback to this technique is that everyone at the table is usually after the same maniac, and sometimes they will bust him before you've had your shot. But more often they will just be feeding him. They will call him down with very weak hands, trying to catch him bluffing. He's not really a "bluffer" per se. He will not go crazy with nothing after the flop unless you check to the river.

There's also a lot of trash talk going on at the table. So it can be entertaining at the same time. I try to keep it to a minimum by saying "Stop tapping the glass," but the idiots that keep losing big stacks to the maniac inevitably respond with "STFU. You can't tell me what to do." It's really just one sentence removed from "You're not my REAL mom."

Go on Party, find the PL tables with the HIGHEST average hands, and you will usually find one person that is driving the average so high. Then take a big chunk from his stack while building your rake rebate higher and higher. You'd be amazed how fast you accrue frequent flopper points when the pot gets raked the max nearly every hand, and all you've done is fold, fold, fold. That's a side benefit to playing PL over NL. Since the pre-flop raises are controlled, a lot more hands are called pre-flop, so there's a lot more rake rebate to be had.

I love my rake rebate, and I love my Pot Limit Hold Em games at Party Poker.

1 comment:

Shelly said...

Good read - thanks for the insight into PL. I've never quite thought of it like that, and it sounds right up my alley. I'll have to try it. Thanks!