Book Review: The Perfect Range Author: Tyler Nals Genre: Poker Rate 0-5: 4 Date Read: July 2018 Series: No Other Books to consider: Poker Notes & Poker Blog Protagonist: Tyler Nals
A good look at Grinding it out in Low Stakes NO LIMIT Texas Holdem – Cash Games. He has an interesting and useful poker playing system. I use it to some extent.
Tyler Nals is a real grinder, almost, with his own strategy or system. Plays on average 8 to 12 hours per session in live Brick & Morter poker rooms/casinos with little profit, but usually a profit.
A Real grinder plays 8 to 12 hours a day at least weekly or on weekends trying to move up in stakes.
Kind of has some hookey stories and player characters, but every poker game has them and makes a generally boring game more exciting.
His poker playing strategy or system is worth using to keep you from getting crazy stupid during the game.
He doesn’t advocate be-buying (reloading) if you bust out. I’m the opposit. I usually do better after I’ve reloaded and using something similar to his playing stragegy.
I usually play 4 to 6 hours in cash games. If I want to play longer, I go for a profitable tournament.
Compared to? Every Hand Played by Gus Hanson, I like Gus Hanson’s book better, but it’s about playing in a tournament, not cash games.
ALL POKER IS LIKE WAR
You need to be prepared, but remember that also like war, no plan survives the first shot or engagement.
1. Bring an ACE, preferably with 2 Royalty cards like a King, Queen or Jack. Bring members of the same family (suits). Better yet, get his brother to help.
2. Anything worth betting on is worth a raise. Aggression is cheap. Passiveness is expensive.
3. Only hits count. There are 2 kinds of hands in poker, made hands like a pair or better and drawing hands – that missed. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
4. Image. If your image is predictable, you are probably not raising enough.
5. Distance. Move away from your attacker, unless you have the advantage, and then draw him in for the kill.
6. Weapons – Bigger is better. Like Lions and Tigers and Bears.
7. Everyone has a weakness, find it and exploit it. Never Bluff.
8. Be Aware. If you are not betting, you’re observing or checking stack sizes and labeling opponents.
9. Aggression is relative. The aggression factor will be more dependent on the “pucker” factor than the inherent validity of the hand.
10. Use a Position Tactic that works every time. (All skill is lost if the big stack thinks you are weak)
11. Confidence. If you are unsure, fold. Timidity is dangerous.
12. Always Lie. Conceal your intentions and cultivate an air of unpredictability.
13. Plans. Always have a backup plan because the first one usually fails.
14. Do not give comfort or information to the enemy. The target should be in front of you. Don’t show your hand.
15. Don’t drop your guard. Always challenge to create fear.
16. Who won? That’s the only thing anyone will remember.
17. Given the opportunity to eliminate your opponent, DO IT. It’s the rule of war.
18. If you are not having fun, QUIT.
Hats off to Matt Savage and the Commerce Casino. The “Social Experiment” Poker Tournament was a great success. The good part was management surpassed their guarantee, by of over 50%. Not sure if it was just because this was a novelty, as far as play structures go. It will be interesting if they will keep it in some of the other big seasonal tournaments going forward.
Game structure is one thing and this type of deep stacked game is generally the only structure I’d play anymore, if it was a one time re-entry instead of unlimited.
This Play structure is appeared quite refreshing though. No cell phones!Fantastic! One of my pet peeves is people talking on the phone while playing or checking Social Media. No hoodies!Another great idea. It’s actually a good intimidation tool, although it’s more like Phil Laak trying to hide his facial tells. It’s reminds me more of when I see activist demonstrations where there are people hiding behind their masks and hoodies and I know they are the instigators of the turmoil just looking to incite a riot and hiding their faces because they don’t want their relatives to see them. I actually have a couple of hoodies that I intended to wear at some games, but haven’t, being an old fart, though it could get some to look at me a little more differently and tweak my table image? No Sunglasses! Well, I wear them all the time now, because they are prescription. I’ve worn the mirrored aviators in the past, which I’ve used more as a table image tool, but have kind of gotten away from them in poker games. Just wear the prescription ones, lightly tinted though. No Headphones! Headphones and ear buds don’t faze me too much. I sometimes wear them when I’m listening to music. I actually like it when someone who has them on suddenly rips them off and starts ranting on some donkey play by another player. I have been known to have them in my ears, but turned off, so people will think I’m actually listening to something besides the plays being made at the table. No Food or eating at the table! That wasn’t really part of it, but it’s another one of my pet peeves, players who play and eat at the table. Drinking, though is something I would not cut out. I want more drunks at the table, just not the belligerent ones.
OK, this has happened to me, probably you too. “While the other players at the table played cautiously against one another, they were relentlessly and collectively aggressive against me. Check-raising me, trapping me, slow-playing me with big pairs, going over the top of my feeble raises and bluffing me right into the ATM machine.”
It’s obvious, most of the players knew one another and I was regarded as the “New Fish” in their pond.
Low-stakes cash games, like those at many of the card rooms around Los Angeles and Las Vegas, are home to the “regulars” of the area. They are there almost every night, they know how they play and they don’t play against each other. They are here to work, and it’s not just those “retired” old folks that frequent the tables. The lost boys and girls that had to come out of their “on-line” sanctuary when “Black Friday” came, are trolling the tables too. It’s a like a game of cut throat pool, when a new player enters the game, only at a poker table with 3 times as many sharks. If the new player isn’t in the hand, they limp and check to the river, if it ever goes that far.
Before you enter a cash game, look around the room at several of the tables, if there are more than one. You will certainly find one or two tables where there is some banter among the players, like a good home game, with the usual ego trip by one obnoxious Loose Aggressive player. Avoid that table, it won’t be fun, unless you’re a player who craves action. In that case, I’d rather you came to my table.
Look for a game where people are actually having fun, and you might stand a chance. Find a poker room where there’s a lot of young people drinking a lot and making a lot of noise and having fun. There are many of them in Vegas and on certain weekends in other card rooms around Los Angeles. Look for the action places in Vegas, like conventions, holiday weekends, spring break and during their big special tournaments. You may find a few pros there, but mostly fun-loving gamblers like the ones at the craps and roulette tables.
In most other card rooms, like those in Los Angeles or northern California, it’s better to only buy into a newly started game, where everyone starts with the same stack size. It’s easy to check the board and see how long the waiting list is. If the list is long, there may be a new table opening up. You’ll still find the old players that buy in for the minimum and the loose players that buy in for the maximum, but you can choose where you want to start with your chips. I prefer games where I can buy-in for around 100 Big Blinds.
Be aware though, all the money isn’t on the table.
Many poker rooms won’t let you buy in for more than 50 big blinds in low limit poker games and most of the players have set an amount they will gamble, so they will reload when their stack gets low. Loose players and gamblers will often reload several times. You should be prepared to reload, at least once, if you want to be profitable in the long run. If you are winning and you decide to pack it up, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before you are allowed to buy in at another new table at the same limit range, check with the floor man.
You know your head isn’t in the game, when you think of reasons to abandon the table when you keep losing to marginal hands. The hands are not coming your way and you can’t justify playing the marginal hands most loose, as well as loose aggressive, players play just to get lucky on the flop. It’s probably best to get up and walk around for a couple of orbits to clear the fog in your brain, or just leave.
Loose tables with loose aggressive players are very profitable, if you keep your head in the game. The low level games are usually loose and often loose aggressive. Loose aggressive tables are where you want to play.
It’s easy to lose focus when you aren’t playing well or the hands aren’t coming your way. I see a lot of players that change seats or even tables when the cards turn cold. I don’t subscribe to the notion that if I change my seat, it will change my luck. You make your own luck, which is what those loose aggressive players are trying to do anyway by playing 80% of the hands and raising 50% or more with them, regardless of position. Some of them often use the straddle to build the pot. It’s an action players move. I love those players, when my head is in the game.
Keep your head in the game and raise the action players with your favorable position and range of hands and you have to know their range of hands.
What do Action Players play?
Loose Aggressive Tables average 4+ players willing to see the flop if the bets are less than 3x BB
LA players tend to bet 2x/3x BB w/Ax, Kx, Broadway connectors, IN or OUT of position.
They are not that concerned about the pot size, as most will raise to build the pot and eliminate tight players. These action players are looking to get lucky and the only way to minimize their prospecting for luck is to attack them, especially those straddle players.
What do Tight Players play?
TA players will raise more often than Tight Passive players. Both have a similar range of hands, but neither one is an action player. The tight player is more likely to fold when the LA players raise the bet above their threshold of betting less than premium hands.
INposition the TA players tend to call their bottom range and raise with their top range of hands.
OUT of position the TA players tend to call or raise with their top range of hands and are more dangerous than the action players which will release their hand after the flop, if they haven’t hit something and/or don’t have a good drawing possibility. Tight Passive and Tight Aggressive players are more likely to hold on when they hit the flop and Tight Aggressive players are more likely to raise when they hit top pair or make a set or better.