Previously I wrote about open-stealing from the cut-off and button in Full Tilt Rush Poker
, as well as light 4-betting in the blinds against habitual stealers.
In February I discussed some Rush Poker tips combining the CR, or Cardrunners, offense. These tips included light 4-betting, taking proper notes and reacting to the game by being in position
I'll continue with random thoughts associated with an extremely lucrative game, at least at the NL$.50/1 level that I'm playing. Since I started playing this game last month, about 5-6 weeks, I'm up about 20 buy-ins.
My basic strategy is a regular, careful tight-aggressive game with loose-aggressive elements. At these stakes there are many, many mistakes by players to exploit. When you're whizzing around at 250 hands per hour, these mistakes will multiply.
1). Being focused. The first tip begins with you. You have to make sure, more so than when you're normally playing online, that you don't have other distractions -- the game goes too fast. I'll play 3 tables at a time -- any more than that and my game starts to suffer.
2). Take frequent breaks -- The first instance that you realize that you're tired, you should stop the faucet of hands and do something else. You can come back and play -- I'll usually take the cue to go for a run
or will play a video game -- but you have to be pretty focused to take advantage of other players' mistakes. Especially if you lose a hand and start to get sloppy -- your game can go south in a hurry.
3). Leak check. If you're struggling in this format, you're probably also struggling with certain parts of your game in regular forms of poker. Playing tight is fine but you can't just wait for good starting hands in either form of poker. You have to get involved with the table, know who is respectable and who is not. Why are you getting crushed when you're smooth calling ace-rag preflop? They say all of your bad habits are exposed with time, so what happens when that time is quickened exponentially? You have to review your play a little bit more.
Basic strategy -- offense
1). I'll usually open raise, even under the gun, with a large range of hands, running the gamut from small pocket pairs to suited connectors. It'll give you a feel of the table -- are people routinely 3-betting in late? My experience is that the NL$.50/1 tables on Rush Poker are pretty nitty -- you'll find a lot of folds.
2). In the cases where there aren't folds, you can determine if you want to continuation bet the flop or not. I'll usually do this if it's heads-up. Obviously just like in regular forms of poker you don't want to be bluffing in front of lots of people in the pot. You have to put yourself in the mindset of callers, many of whom are trying to set mine or just see a flop. Playing lots of hands will give you a decent feel for things.
3). At this level, aggression towards you is usually thinly veiled. Most often people will play their hands face up, raising you with the nuts or check-raising you after you bet. Recently I've been wondering whether it's worth it to defend meager holdings against what likely is the nuts. But so far, 20 buy-ins tells me that I'm probably missing a little bit of value by not making mistakes of going with hands when I'm beat.
Basic strategy -- defense
1). Because you are seeing hundreds more hands than you would normally you have to prepare yourself for a decent amount of cooler hands. Like having KK all-in preflop against aces, having a set on the flop destroyed by an overset on the turn. You have to make sure that you are mentally ready for this kind of thing. With more hands there is the potential for swings. So watch out!
2). Just as much as you want to make sure you extract the most value from your premium hands, you have to watch out for instances that you're beat, just like in the regular form of poker. Being adequately rolled will help you avoid playing scared.
3). You want to make sure you're not falling into their hands by making their mistakes. The fundamentals apply. You often don't want to be the first person calling a raise. You want to make sure that if you have a good hand out of position preflop that you're 3-betting it. The original raiser's reaction to your 3-bet will help you define your range of hands for the flop.
Playing LAGgy isn't just about being LAGgy all the time. You want to appear aggressive so they can't automatically let your raises go when you have premium hands. As Amarillo Slim once said, "Guessers are losers." You want to keep them guessing and not be the loser.