Top 15 tips on how to beat micro-limits (part2)
7. Bluff 3-bet more often preflop to exploit and reduce rake
Another way to collect more dead money against weak micro-stakes regs is to 3-bet them more often. And first of all, you need to 3-bet against late positions (BU-CO) and against SB, where players have the widest ranges.
To find players who fold to 3-bet preflop, use the HUD. Look for opponents who fold to 3-bet in the region of 65%+. These guys are easy sources of money.
An additional benefit of 3-betting and generally playing aggressively preflop is that you will pay less in rake if the hand ends preflop.
Many of you know that the rake at the micros is simply extortionate (in relative terms), which is why it will eat up the lion's share of your winrate.
8. Set mine against fish more often
Extracting maximum value from sets is also one of the key points of playing at low limits.
A set is a very hidden and powerful hand that should bring you tons of value at the micros. And the reason is still the same: most micro-stakes players don't know how to fold their single-pair hands.
This is why you should try to get into pots with small pocket pairs more often, especially when there is a fish in the pot or there is a chance to lure one.
Never underestimate the terrible play of fish, so try to get into the pots as often as possible, especially when you have a small pocket on your hands.
9. Don't slowplay!
And this point overlaps very strongly with point #2. You can't slowplay at the micro-stakes!
It doesn't matter that your favorite poker pros, like Daniel Negreanu or Phil Ivey, constantly slowplay in various high-stakes shows on TV. They do this because it works well for their strategy and against their opponents. But this will not work for you at the micro-stakes.
Again, most micro limiters are ‘calling station’ players who like to call and who also like to play too passively. This means that often no one will build you a big bank except yourself. And it will be catastrophic if you, with a strong hand, miss even one street of value against your opponent's hands with which he would pay.
With strong hands, you should try to play quickly while your opponent is willing to pay and before the board goes bad and kills the action or you!
10. Use value overbet on river action cards
It is this technique that will allow you to have the best win rates at these limits for years.
Overbetting on action river cards works best against fish.
You can overbet or push if an action card opened on the river and it not only closed the flush, but also closed the straight.
As you know, fish (and others) with nominally strong hands, such as set+, are often unable to fold to any bet size.
With this technique you can collect fat value from the fish. By betting like most people do, you're leaving tons of money on the table. Don't repeat these mistakes. Always be on the lookout for action cards that nominally boost your opponent's range.
11. Finally understand the critical importance of position
One of the main mistakes new players make is not understanding the importance of position.
Position in poker is everything. And there is evidence of this. You can check for yourself in your database that your main winnings will come precisely in the late positions: BU, CO and then on the decline. And the reason is that you will always have to act first postflop
The player in position gains the advantage of being able to be the first to see what his opponent has done, thereby being able to read his hand better.
In position, a player will be able to control the size of the pot better, value bet better, realize equity better, and bluff more effectively.
12. Practice away from the gaming tables and hire a coach
Many people just sit and play poker, hoping that they are about to start winning. And this is normal practice for amateur players for whom poker is not the main source of income. However, professional players must understand that in order not to be left behind in the industry, they should always stay after the end of the gaming session and review the largest and most interesting hands, and analyze them using auxiliary poker software.
In addition, it is also important to study the play of the top regulars at your limits to understand what they do that you don’t do!
Even though you are playing against some of the worst players in the world at the micro stakes, you still have to study and learn advanced strategies if you want to move forward and improve.
Considering the enormous pace of development of poker strategy and strengthening of the field, it is very important to constantly learn so as not to be left behind. And it’s not always possible to do this alone. The best way to learn anything is to ask someone who has already achieved it and has the knowledge you need. In short, hire a coach.
Yes, this may seem like an expensive pleasure, but in fact, as practice shows, it will save you a lot of time and money and will pay for itself very quickly.
13. Don’t create difficult situations for yourself
Another useful tip that is very important for overcoming micro-limits is the ability to keep yourself out of complex situations.
And by complex situations we mean the bloated pots where you have a marginal hand like a middle pair and you have no idea where you are at.
And these spots usually occur when you play too many hands from early positions, such as KJ, QJ, AT. And if you follow tip #11 and tighten up your ranges from early positions—when you're most likely to play OOP—you'll find yourself in tough spots less often.
In addition, the rake at micro-limits is the highest, and this will be another motivator to “cut” the lower limits of your ranges.
14. Use proper bankroll management
One of the biggest reasons why some people do not beat micro stakes poker games is because they fail to use proper bankroll management.
Your bankroll is the entire amount of funds that you have available to play poker.
Personally, we believe that in modern aggressive games you need to have at least 50 BI in your bankroll for cash games and 100 BI for MTT tournaments.
This is the bare minimum, more is always better. And the main reason why you need to have such a large margin is variance, which can actually be much larger than you think.
Variance in poker is the technical term that we use for the routine ups and downs.
It is not uncommon to lose in cash games for weeks on end and to lose for months on end in tournaments. And we are talking about for good players here!
15. Strengthen your discipline
We've saved the key advice for success in poker, especially at the micro-stakes, for last. In poker, it is very important to train your mental toughness and discipline.
Quote from our friend coach:
I have coached over 100 students at the micro stakes in the past and so I have gotten to see first hand what holds people back the most from winning.
And in the vast majority of cases it was tilt. And I say with full confidence that it is the ability to cope with emotions and adversity in poker that distinguishes micro-limit players from mid- and high-limit players.
And by "adversity" I am referring to bad beats, coolers or suckouts, whatever you want to call them.
Poker is a game with a massive amount of short term luck involved and most people honestly, just aren't able to handle it.
This is why I highly recommend strengthening your mental toughness and discipline. And I always recommend starting with the introduction of so-called “stop losses”
A stop loss is a predetermined number of buy-ins that you can afford to lose in one gaming session. When your stop loss is reached, you close the tables and don't play again that day. I usually recommend setting a stop loss at -3 BI.
Many players often have particularly negative emotions after losing 3 big bets, which prevent them from showing their A-game.
And vice versa, if you were lucky at the beginning of the session and won 5 BI in 20 minutes, you do not need to close the tables in order to supposedly “protect the win,” as many do. When you are dealt a card, you should strive to play as long sessions as possible, because in this state with positive emotions you can make the best decisions and show your best game.
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