My investor has kindly agreed to stake me from another run of 20x 25c, 45-Man Sit & Go's and I will post the results and summary here each day.

 

 

 

 

I just wanted to bring up a factor involved when you play tight.

For new players learning to use the TAG style, no matter if you are using a traditional "top-hands" strategy or staying tight for your own range of hands, the idea remains the same that you really are only getting involved in hands that you can dominate with or hold good value when you get into the flop.

 

When playing like this I do 2 things...

1 : Appreciate your folds

2 : Celebrate your lay-downs

 

Too often new players will have trouble getting into the TAG style because the hands they liked playing before (KQo, 55s) are hands they could well be folding now. It is compounded when you fold that pair of 55s and another 5 comes up on a board surrounded by paint where you might easily have seen some action and a payoff.

You shouldn't focus on this, instead focus on what you are doing well.

 

Notice when you fold, as your strategy says you should and the board comes up with nothing to help you, or worse still you hit something like middle pair but top pair or an overpair ended up taking the pot at showdown. Just appreciate here exactly how many chips you saved by staying tight in this spot.

 

Next is the laydown.. you didn't fold and you are in the hand, possibly with a good dominating hand like KK but the board comes with 2 spades, middle straight cards and an Ace. You could be beat right here with Ace rag, someone could have flopped the straight or there are 2 more cards to come that can either fill up the flush or fill a straight draw.

You are in position and your opponent bets into you strong, not a C-Bet by any means and he has 20% of his stack in the pot for the bet. He is telling you he has you beat and unless you have him covered, a laydown here is the smart play.

Regardless of if you get to see what cards he played (ie someone else in the hand shows down with him) or not, in a spot where you could be knocked out of the event or crippled in chips, KK isnt worth anything.

Remember, KK is just a pair.. its a strong pair but thats all it is. If you went into a hand with 99s and a T showed up on the flop, you would be worried someone could have you beat so why is this different? KK is the 2nd best hand pre-flop in Holdem but its not bulletproof and any Ace rag has you beat sadly.

 

Now, I am not saying celebrate on the table... that would be silly, just do it in your head and know that although you might end up laying down good hands to bluffs sometimes, often if you have good discipline in these spots and know that you aren't dominating the hand, a laydown will save you chips and quite often keep you in an event longer than risking it for spots like that, so celebrate to yourself that you did the right thing because chances are, in a spot like that... you were beat.

 

I had this discussion with a friend and he played very loose. He thought that the only way to win was to bully tight players chips away and chip up, losing some along the way but overally dominating with sheer brute force and not tactics.

He often played 60% of hands minimum and in early stages was quite the chip leader... he found that unless he dialed it down later on as the blinds increased and his opponents stacks were much stronger, he would get crushed quite easily.

 

I told him my appreciate/celebrate idea and he scoffed, to which I asked him as a loose player to play tightly  for a few games and when presented with a hand, write down how many hands he would get involved with as well as note if he would have won the hand or not.

I don't remember the exact numbers sadly but he noticed that in hands he would usually get involved with (KQ, JTs, Ax, low suited connectors) the flop would come without help and he would have lost.

It wasn't an exact science since his absense in the hand could have adjusted the flow and hands that got involved with him out of it might have folded to his aggression early on. Overall he did feel that the hands he saw at showdown that won were often dominating right from Pre-Flop through to the river and getting the player off those hands with a bluff or semi-bluff would have been difficult if not impossible to do.

Overall he agreed with me that more often than not, when you laydown or fold a hand you are doing so because you either have no chance to get the best of it (and thus get trapped betting a middle pair or top pair to an overpair) or end up getting sucked out because you are inviting too many people into the hand with your loose play.

 

In summary I would say that being tight isn't weakness if played right. You are waiting for a strong hand not because you are scared other hands you limp in with could get bullied out or won't hit but because you want to dominate the hand. You want to know that if you are in there and hit something strong, chances are you are ahead rather than if you play loose and you are hoping to be ahead.

Its so much easier to decide to stay in a hand and get value from it when you are dominating it. When you come in with AK and the board comes A X X, you are ahead here and will get action from any Ace rag and perhaps even get a showdown with AJ or AQ... if however you came into the same hand with A4, you have to make a judgement call to know if you are ahead and most of the time you won't be so that A4 should have been thrown away before you even got into it.

 

So next time you are at the tables and think about playing that low pair where the cost to get into the hand is too much, lay it down and when the board comes with things that don't help, be glad you saved money.