Many times I've heard from many different sources about The Plan.

The Plan is not some top secret plot on a global scale for world domination. No, it's much simpler. The Plan is simply: what will you do if your opponent reacts to your action?

Having a good plan means having to make less difficult decisions. Less difficult decisions result in less mistakes, and less mistakes as we all know results in less money lost, and thus a higher profit. So The Plan is important. And despite the fact that I know this, despite the fact that everytime I hear someone talking about The Plan I make the click, despite all that I still forget about it every now and then. Today, I was lucky. Then again, today I also learned.

There's a new guy at my 6-max 4NL table who sat down 3 hands ago with only a 25BB stack. I'm suspicious. It usually indicates a weak player, especially at the microstakes, but I haven't seen him act yet. Then I get AJ suited on the Button. He's second to act, and makes a minraise. The Hijack folds and I raise to 3.x. As the Small Blind folds and the Big Blind thinks, my mind goes astray.

Uhm.... why did I just do that? Sure, a suited ace is nice, but it's a J. If he shoves he's bound to have a better Ace or a good sized pair. I might even have just the one overcard. I forgot about his stacksize. If he has a normal stack, and he wants to raise me, he'll make it 20-30 cents or so. I can peel one off in position against that. If this guy wants to raise me, he might shove. Am I willing to play for a whole dollar with just the AJ suited? Maybe I should have flatted. No wait, flatting is very passive, and invites both blinds in as well. I may stand a chance against the one guy, not against 4. Darn.

Fortunately for me, I don't have to make a decision here for 1 dollar - he folds. It kind of confirmed my initial thoughts. A weak player. Open-folding from Early Position against a Button raise, the small buyin, it all makes sense. Still, I know I screwed up. I hadn't considered The Plan.

The very next hand, I have A7 off and again this player opens for a minraise. This time he's first to act. I decide to test my theory. It's folded around again, and I make the same raise to 3.x. This time, I have considered The Plan. Where AJ suited might have been good enough to call a shove from him, A7 off definitely is not going to be enough. So if he doesn't fold, I'll forfeit the pot. Unless he wants to check it down or I hit better than top pair. At this time, my raise is pretty much a steal with the intent to gather some information I can use in the future. It's folded around, and he mucks. Lesson learned, fish identified, target acquired. Sometimes this game is too easy.