Why do I love football so much? Because I am constantly amazed at the Xs and Os of it. The coaches and their game plans and the scheming are riveting to me.
I approach poker tournaments like an NFL coach. I have a game plan based on the structure and then call plays based on the situation. This is probably why I am a tournament player vs. a cash player. I put the situations first and try "reads" on a player second. (I do the reverse if playing cash).
So, I was sort of bemused last night when a comment was made about my play style. We have 12 players, so it becomes an extended SnG. Short-handed, then full table, then returning to short handed. I for one love short-handed play in this situation. But apparently someone had been stat-hunting and made a comment that I am not aggro enough to be good short-handed. I found that intriguing. (I still think being aggressive at 6-max is over-rated.)
In a 6-max tournament, you really have to open up your starting hands and fight a bit harder for pots. But I am not a believer that you simple change out your game-plan styles for 6-max. That's debatable I know. But in a 12 person home-game, there is no comparison to a full field 6-max tournament.
My game plan for this more SnG situation is simple. (Nods to Jen Harman here). No Limit is a game of trapping. With big stacks and big fields, you are trapping post-flop. In a smaller field with smaller stacks, I am more likely to utilize the Phil Hellmuth method of trapping. Pre-flop raises, laydowns to re-raises, until you cultivate situation where you think you have gotten an edge pre-flop.
Sure, at one point with 5 or 6 left (this hand will be OMM e107) I had to lay down what turned out to be the best hand (although I still outlasted that player to get to the chop at the end). But more often, I was trying to play big pots with my big hands pre-flop.
To me, in a big field AK is a drawing hand. In a shorter stack or smaller field short-handed, AK is a TRAPPING hand (and sometimes AQ for that matter).
Sure, even in 6-max I treat UTG as UTG (nods to Lee Childs), but usually I am playing hands I might discard at a full table (AJ, the Cosenza, etc.). And I will "float" more, but I am still not going to be stupid and bluff off large amounts of chips under the guise of aggression.