July 16, 2011
I win more when I play TAG 20/15/5 than I do when I play LAGGY 27/23/8 this is at small stakes 100nl. Ive never played higher than 200nl, [for a big sample 25k+] and its buggin' me. I just need to TAG it up more. Sometimes I get brain flatulence and think playing TAG is being a NIT, its not! Playing TAG is playing TAG, Tight and AGgressive! Playing LAG for me lends to lots of spew, its that simple. I get into too many turn and river spots with marginal hands and am too tempted to run a crazy play to steal the pot.
In my best month in poker, I won 40 buyin playing just over 65 hours of poker. 6 tabling but always leaving bad games and hunting the lobby for the good ones with bad players.
I was playing solid TAG poker, and thats all I needed to play in order to win at a very nice clip. Then, I thought, ok got the 'basics' down, lets open my game up. That is when the variance monster came out from under the bed. I started listening to players who were playing 5/10+ about opening up my 3betting range, playing more hands and barrelling 3 street, basically things which while nice to learn but which are simply not as effective in the small stakes 100nl games I was playing. They work at 400+ with thinking players who can fold hands that know they should be facing strong ranges when in different spots, the game just was not the same after I opened up. Or maybe, and when looking at it honestly - I am just not good enough to play this loose and still win.
My plan is to TAG it up for the next couple of months and stop with the SPEW pre and postflop. My 3bet has creeped up to 8% and my VPIP and PFR has gone up to about 27/23. I know I should not be aiming just for stats, but I am playing worse when I am playing loose and have to admit that I dont have the skill level or emotional control to reign in the aggression postflop yet. At least with Tag style I can be aggressive/spewy and still have a tight (strong) range!
I know the point isnt to aim for stats overall, however my results recently have been like this:
I can see no harm in just playin a TAG style once again and trying to reign in the spew factor preflop before it can start postflop! stats in garf looks abit mental but some was 3handed about 2k hands so its a bit skewed
I am frustrated with my mediocre progress in poker especially because the players who I know have moved up to 5/10 while I am still playing 100nl. It is frustrating to me and I have to change something. I think this means just going back to good solid poker. I have ordered a couple of poker books and plan on reading them. I'm going to take a break for a few days and come back to poker. I love this game but its frustrating at the moment so I am going to TAG it up.
Goals for the next 6 months:
- Play Tight and Aggressive Poker
- No more spew
- Post 1 hand every day I play
- Respond in 2 hand threads every day
- HEM a reg a week
If anyone follows my blog you will probably have picked up that I often write those long strategy posts as a reminder to keep my game simple, to cut the spew, almost immediately after ive had a bad day with big swings. The think I realise now is that I just need to cut out the crap preflop.
Of course I could just learn to be more patient and try to reign in the spewy tendencies I have on turn and river, but I think for now I should just go back to basics.
To completely butcher a cliché -' Sometimes in order to go two steps forward you have to take a step back.