Improving 3bet Play and Late Stage MTT Strategies
Learning how to win at bar poker takes knowledge and practice.
However, there is no book or even definitive guide out there that offers tips on pub poker strategy.
Trust me, I looked.
This is really a travesty since I have played in hundreds of these games and honestly find them to be the most fun form of poker.
Every night around the world, thousands of people descend on local taverns, pubs, and bars to do more than just eat or drink.
Why Play Poker at Go here Local Pub or Tavern?
What they are missing is that there is more to playing poker than just exchanging money back and forth.
Sure, the game does revolve around the attempt to win chips and beat your opponents but there is so much more to it than that.
At the heart of poker is the comradery, excitement, and a shared enjoyment of a mysterious game that no one will ever completely figure out.
While everyone plays poker for different reasons, the ultimate incentive is purely for fun.
This is what pub poker players understand better than their real money counterparts.
With that being said, it is a lot more fun to win rather than the alternative.
To that end, I am going to impart upon you all of the essential information you need to excel in tavern or pub poker games.
This information has been gained through the experience of playing hundreds of these games, quietly maintaining a reasonably high level of success.
I lost track of my wins long ago, but it is likely less than 100 but more than 75.
Along with my perspective of having played millions of online real money hands, I offer insights gained from over 10 years of struggling to understand poker a bit better.
About This Guide This article will be divided into three parts.
My objective for this guide is not to teach you how to play poker but rather how to adapt to the dynamic nature of pub poker tournaments.
If you are a novice, I recommend my to get you up to speed on the basics and jargon needed to become a winner.
I also wrote an article on the that you may want to check out.
General Tips for Bar Poker Success 1.
Be Friendly Many pub poker players are there for fun and will even play you softer if they like you.
If you get a reputation of being a jerk, expect everyone to play their A game against you.
The last thing you want to do is ruin the friendly loose-passive atmosphere that is prevalent in these games.
My advice is to try to fly under the radar and maintain a cordial image with as many people as possible.
Read Poker Tournament Formula Okay, so I said there is no definitive guide to pub poker.
Even so, was written for low buy-in poker tournaments, common in most casinos.
While the book is not specifically written for free poker, it is tailored toward games with very fast structures.
This is perfect for pub poker games that typically last just a couple of hours or so.
I highly recommend reading it to help you get the right mindset for these fast events where you either prosper or perish.
Generally, if you have second pair or better it is a good idea to try to extract a bit extra, especially on the flop and turn.
I continue to be amazed at the type of crap that will call flops and turns in pub poker games.
Calls with complete airballs are more common than you would think in free games.
Just avoid running bluffs on Ace high boards, it is rare for anyone to lay down top pair in pub poker, and it is a common strategy for people to get involved before the flop with any Ace.
My favorite hands to barrel off with include the part of my range that has potential to improve.
Bottom pair, backdoor flush draws, gutshot straight draws, and overcards work really well.
Trust me on this one, some of the more successful pub poker players are rocks.
The reason is that they get paid off on the few hands that they play.
Take full advantage of this by playing or overplaying strong hands and draws to the max.
I have built up some giant stacks this way.
Practice Pulling the Trigger If you have aspirations to eventually play for real money, either live or online, this is the time to experiment.
Pub poker games are your chance to play that style of poker you have always dreamed of playing but never had the guts to do so.
Build good aggressive habits while the price is nil or you will regret it later.
For example, if you think a three-barrel bluff is profitable in a particular spot, go for it.
Even if you get called on the river and lose, at least you gain some valuable information and learn something in the process.
My advice is to be that super aggressive S.
Forget about results and just go with your gut instinct on this matter.
Once you do this for awhile and the wins start piling up, you will never go back to being the meek tight player ever again.
Even so, if you can just adapt to the three most common general player types, you will go a long way toward achieving better success.
They are loose-passives, overly tight players, and loose aggros.
How to Beat Loose Passives Pub poker games are chock full of loose passive players who almost never raise and constantly limp marginal hands before the flop while taking sub-par hands deep into later streets.
How to Spot Loose Passive Players If you see advanced live tournament poker strategy player limp more than a few hands and then show up with really weak hands after showing almost no aggression, you are dealing with a loose-passive player.
They come in varying extremes.
Some play only half their hands, some seemingly play 100% of hands.
The more they play, the better it is for us.
Adjusting to Loose Passives These types of players tend to be really optimistic on the flop and turn.
When one or more of them are involved in a pot, I take the direct approach and go for three streets of value.
Heads up or even three-way, I will often take the same line with any hand that has any chance of improving.
Since their range is often really marginal, the river bet will work with a profitable frequency.
Besides lots of value bets, the biggest key to beating these players is to bet-fold your medium strength hands, like top pair and overpairs.
We call them loose-passive for a reason.
How to Beat Rocks Rocks are really selective in the hands they play.
They tend to play a very narrow range and take a straightforward approach both pre-flop and post-flop.
How to Spot Rocks This is probably the easiest player to pick out in the room.
All kidding aside, these will often be the older players in the room who understand that waiting on good starting hands is generally going to have them going fairly deep in the tournament.
Once the average stack gets to about 10-15 big blinds, expect to see a ton of these players start busting out as they go into desperation mode and finally loosen up.
Expect to hear a lot of complaining at this point when their big advanced live tournament poker strategy gets busted out as two or three players call the all-in and then check it down.
Adjusting to Rocks I go out of my way to get involved pre-flop against really tight players.
Since they play a narrow range, they are very easy to play against post-flop.
Basically, just https://bannerven.com/poker/betonline-poker-review-22.html ball them into oblivion.
Either they win a tiny pot against you, or they get it in really bad versus your disguised two-pair or whatever.
What I am talking about is borderline maniac players who are constantly stabbing, raising, betting, with a variety of holdings just for the sake of aggression.
They are also exceptionally frustrating to play against since they make it very difficult to realize equity and often put you in tough spots with your mid-strength hands.
How to Spot Loose Aggros These players almost never limp in early position and instead will raise really often from all positions.
You will see an occasional 3-bet from them and they will sometimes make big isolation raises in position behind single or multiple limpers.
Expect the relentless aggression to continue after the flop in varying degrees from player to player.
In fact, Arnold Snyder talks about these guys in his book.
While they are much fewer in number in bar poker games, they do still come around.
Most of the time they are not as skilled as they like to think they are, although they do tend to make the most final tables of any other player type.
Adjusting to Loose Aggros Generally, I take a counter-punching passive-aggressive style against these players.
I seldom 3-bet these guys as they make too many post-flop mistakes for me to waste a strong holding against them.
After the flop, try to play two street poker.
Check back flops if heads up and let them bluff turns and rivers.
Call down with any piece of the board, do small raises with weak draws overcards and better and then follow through on the river no matter what.
Play your strong hands exactly the same way for balance.
What If I Have No Reads?
In my estimation, 50% of a pub poker field will fit that profile on any given day.
Overall, adjusting to opponents is the key to crushing any poker game, especially in free poker which has such a huge disparity of player types and personalities.
Learn and it will become like taking candy from a baby.
Expect people to start calling you the luckiest player around, since you always seem to be on the final table.
Playing The Various Tournament Stages The main difference between cash games and tournaments is that the blinds go up at set intervals.
This means that the average stack in the room gets progressively shorter and shorter as time goes on.
Therefore, learning to play all different stack sizes is of utmost importance in mastering these events.
On top of that, you also have to adjust how you play each stage of the tournament based on how fast the next blind level will come.
Slow events, those with blind levels over 30-40 minutes must be approached differently than fast events which have 10-20 minute blind levels.
Keep in mind that your mileage may vary based on your local games and you may want to tweak your frequencies accordingly.
The Early Stages First off, you may need to forget everything you think you already know about the beginning stages of a tournament.
Patience and playing overly tight is a terrible idea in any tournament, especially fast ones like advanced live tournament poker strategy poker events.
The most successful players out there do not just sit around and let the chips come to them.
Instead, they play like the world is about to end and they are on a mission to build their stack.
The key here is to pick your spots and splash around in a controlled manner.
In my opinion, the best way to play the early stages is to focus on exploiting your particular table and try to play as many pots as possible with the worst players while they are still around.
No matter what the current table dynamic, you should https://bannerven.com/poker/redkings-poker-support.html playing small ball and investing small portions of your stack advanced live tournament poker strategy try to build it up.
Play numerous small pots and use your superior post-flop ability to squeeze profit from the table.
Since you will have initiative and often position, this is an awesome and cheap way to build a stack in these events.
Once the flop comes down, I like to c-bet a glasgow tuesday poker range.
In other words, I bet strong and weak hands and check my marginal made hands and draws.
This way I realize equity and set up some interesting bluffing opportunities based on scare card runouts, etc.
I am talking about hands that have good flop potential but will be well disguised should they connect.
Something like 53s, A2s, 74s are great hands to open raise.
The beautiful thing is that you can play two ranges at once.
You source also avoid doing any of that light 3-bet business, except in particular dynamics that are too rare to discuss here.
I know, I know.
This flies in the face of everything you were likely taught up until now.
So why pump up the pot for someone else to win?
Half the table will typically see the flop anyway.
Therefore, I like to invest near the minimum when raising before the flop.
The only time I vary in my 2.
In this case, I often will make it something like 6-8 times the big blind to isolate him.
source is a rare occurrence but I thought it was worth mentioning.
The Middle Stages In this web page experience, the difference between the early stages and middle stages are like night and day in pub poker tournaments.
This is when a lot of the super unskilled players have go here out and the overall playstyle of the remaining players shifts.
Most everyone starts looking for a good place article source double up and, as a result, tighten up.
Hopefully, you are one of the bigger stacks on the table at this point so that you can absorb losing one or two races.
The goal is to have the most chips at your table by the time you get to the bubble.
This stage goes really fast so the bubble is just a few minutes.
I have often built up massive stacks at this stage just by stealing and c-betting.
To me, the perfect middle stage involves building up a big stack without having to be all-in once!
This allows the big blind to still fold while keeping the pot small enough to make your c-bet sizings manageable.
Bloating the pot with marginal hands is definitely a mistake at this stage.
A 2,000 open raise is a pretty sizable bet at any stage of the tournament as often this is the starting stack size.
A ton of people will have around 8k-10k chips at this time and be conserving them for a double up.
Steal steal steal, within reason.
This is when the final bubble effectively begins.
It really all depends on what the average stack is in the room as to when it actually starts.
Almost all of the play now shifts to pre-flop and everyone is jockeying around for their final table position.
If you are the biggest stack at the table, congratulations.
If you are a small to mid-stack, you have some work to do.
A lot of players will make a huge mistake at this point and think they have to bust out all of the short stacks.
The fact is, you already have a good enough stack to be a significant factor on the final table so this is the time you should be the most patient.
I find that the best bubble strategy almost exactly mirrors your middle stage strategy.
You want to continue with the initiative and look to pressure the small and medium stacks with a continued active stealing strategy.
Look to target the other players who seem to be playing a similar style as you.
If you see someone stealing just about every time it folds to them and you have 15 or more big blinds than them, go ahead and overbet shove over their raise with a fairly wide range.
Suited Ax hands and small pairs are great in this spot.
You will have a reasonable amount of equity against their calling range if you happen to get looked up.
If they have the same stack size as you or bigger, instead look to flat some of their steals and force them to play post-flop.
Your goal should be to take over the table and force everyone else to tighten up and only pick up strong hands.
If you can do this, you are well on your way to winning.
There are a handful of guys that I play with in pub poker who basically stay out of my way and me out of theirs until the final table.
The next blind level will land you squarely in shortstackdom and that is the last place you want to be going into the final table.
Your goal as a mid stack should be to get above 40 or 50 big blinds as quickly as possible.
Your level of aggression should be commensurate with the shortness of your stack.
If you are around 35 to 40 big blinds, you can just go for a few well-timed steals or resteals to bolster your stack.
The good news is that there should be 1-3 really short stacks on your table who will be in desperation mode.
Since their range will advanced live tournament poker strategy wide for shoving all-in, you can also be super wide in how wide you call it off.
You should not be laying down anything reasonable to a short stack at this stage.
A range of any pair, any broadway, and any Ace should happily roll the dice against anyone with less than 10-15 big blinds.
Worse case scenario, you become short-stacked and still have a chance to get back into it.
The likelihood of getting called is so great in free poker, that you just want to go ahead and pile the chips in and hope someone has A5 or KJ they can call with.
The only time I may vary this strategy is when there are one or more hyper-aggressive short or mid stacked players behind me.
In that case, I will sometimes go for a limp with strong hands.
This is set up for 10 big blinds so, optimally, you want to tighten up a pip on the 15 bb side and loosen up on the 5bb side.
You will also want to tighten up versus tight players and loosen up versus loose players.
Online, most people are multi-tabling and seldom have time to get bored, and, since the final table brings a pay jump they typically relax and loosen up once they get there.
Live, this is not typically the case since people have spent 2+ hours 1 tabling to finally get to the final table.
The last thing they want to happen is to bust out in the first few hands.
Besides, they know they can probably just fold their way to 5th or 6th place.
Therefore, your strategy should be exactly the opposite of what everyone else is doing.
While patience is the key in the first few final table hands online, in pub poker you want to come out swinging and start fighting for pots immediately.
Your philosophy now, more than ever, should be to go big or go home.
The pedal should be to the metal more often than not.
Heads up strategy Great!
Everything went well and you got lucky a couple of times on the way to the final two.
As with every other stage of a tournament, targeted aggression is the key to success.
How you play exactly will be dependant on your stack size along with the type of opponent you are facing.
By this point, both players will almost always be short stacked so most of the play should be occurring pre-flop.
There is room hours poker woodbine never any room for fancy post-flop maneuvering in pub poker, so it all comes down to who plays the most aggressive mathematically sound game and then gets luckiest in the all-ins.
Basically, what you are trying to do https://bannerven.com/poker/kings-charity-poker-room.html think about the long-term and increase your chances of coming out on top more often than your opponents.
Short-term luck will rule the day in this individual heads up, but skill will decide who gets the most victories over the long term.
Being good at heads up relies on sound math and good timing.
The former I can help you with, the latter you will have to develop through experience.
If somehow you are deeper than that a rare occurrence in pub pokerthen just play normal poker.
Going into the details of intricacies of heads-up play is beyond the scope of this article.
Below is my recommend default ranges based on 25 big blinds or smaller effective stack.
In general, if your opponent is looser than average you tighten up.
Conversely, if your opponent is tighter than average, you loosen up.
Your opponent open shoves and you look down at A5s.
He has shoved 4 times in a row when on the button and you know him to have a reputation for being loose and aggressive.
Therefore, even though A5s falls outside of your default range, you can loosen up a bit and make this call.
Otherwise, you risk getting run over by him.
You look down at KQs and he shoves all-in on you.
This can actually be a fold sometimes since you are basically playing the big blind for free due to him frequently relinquishing his small blind to you.
Therefore, you are under no pressure to make a call versus his shove except with a parx poker room tournament schedule strong range.
In fact, there are players out there that I would only be calling 55+ and AJ+.
Always remember to play the player and master the correct frequencies versus particular ranges.
If you want to get better at these adjustments, I recommend that you.
It just so happens that I specialize in cash games playing a 30-40 big blind stack, so feel free to browse my website to learn more.
I also wrote a on the subject.
Call them plays, moves, or whatever.
Some of them are fun to do, some are just really useful at the right time.
If you see this happening and have one of the big stacks at the table, wait until you are check this out late position or the blinds and simply min-raise over their limps when it gets to you.
Worst case scenario, you milk the mid and short stacks a bit and make them even that much more desperate.
Best case scenario, you create chaos that often leads to getting to the final table right now.
Quite frequently, everyone will call and then 2 or more players will connect with the flop in some way.
Bedlam ensues since the pot is so big, and boom.
Simply bet 10% of the effective stack on the flop, followed by 25% of the flop stack size on the turn, and then shove the river.
All you do is wait until you are in position versus them and then raise their flop lead.
If they call and you have a piece of the board, just check back the turn after they check and then play the river.
If you have any piece of the board and they lead the river, just call.
However, if you have air or a really strong hand and they lead, reraise them.
No matter what happens, they will likely back off and find a softer target to pick on.
However, in these games, I find that people almost never bet and then fold to a re-raise.
So how do we maximize this spot?
We check and then hope someone bets.
When they do, we re-raise a massive amount.
If someone bets 5 big blinds into a 10 big blind pot, raise to 50 big blinds.
Or, raise enough to just leave your opponent 10 big blinds or so.
He may be enticed to make the call since he will figure he still has enough chips to mount a comeback should he call and lose.
When you are in early position and pick up QQ+ or AK, just limp.
If someone raises, just shove all-in when the action comes back to you.
After all, it is free poker right?
Worst case scenario, you have a well-disguised strong hand that dominates the ranges that are seeing the flop.
The range you want to use for this is any hand that flops really well like any broadway.
Sometimes everyone folds pre-flop, sometimes people call and fold the flop, sometimes you get owned and are knocked out.
Summary This guide has been an absolute joy for me to write.
I truly love pub poker and think it represents all of the best aspects of the game in the purest sense.
This is my gift to all of the people who grind the free poker scene night after night and play only for the love of the game.
Good luck at the tables, and if you see me at your local game be sure to say hi.
Jim is the author of the best-selling book called Automatic Poker.
He has been playing professionally for over 10 years and has helped countless people become winning poker players.
Using a no-nonsense mathematical and logical approach to beating the games, Jim has helped demystify what it takes to win money in No-Limit Hold'em.
Thank you for the tips about playing aggressively and fighting for pots when playing poker.
My brother loves playing poker, but has been bedridden as of late.
I wonder if he could find an outlet where he can still play poker, maybe online.
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5 BIG Mistakes of Small Stakes Tournament Poker Players
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