In the weeks before my annual $1500 event, I decided to play a few $10-$15 MTTs online. I did NOT focus on all the intricate rules and hand reading and instead concentrated on what *I* do well. Knowing when to play a big pot. That is really what I focused on as my mantra and let the other stuff take a back seat. I cashed 5/5 with 2 final tables. Gez. Ok, perhaps the poker gods are trying to send me a message. "The cards are not what they seem."
There is quiet power in going against the grain. Everyone is now playing small ball, careful hand reading, GTO aspiration poker. And the messages are, dont play big pots when you dont know where you are at, call alot more than you think you should because... math, and play against your opponents theoretical range while narrowing it down each street. and I played that way for quite some time... struggling to learn things that others can do so much better. The exercise was worthwhile as I see thinks I might not have seen otherwise. But there still is the philosophy that says, maximize what you are good at and chuck the rest. There are even extreme examples like Tim Ferriss who suggests finding the most lucrative shortcuts in life and exploit them for all their worth. And now its time for my take on all that jazz.
"I like big pots and I can not lie..."
Now I am taking a different angle until the end game. I am going to inflate pots when I think I am ahead. I am going to check-raise my stack and dare villains to call. and I am going to polarize my range to make villains either have to guess or find a better spot.
Here is what I will focus on...
Maximize the RIO on hands where you are likely ahead. Use stack size, position and action to help determine ranges pre-flop. Narrow down post flop ESPECIALLY on FLOP.
Think about your backdoors, position, stack size and your BLOCKERS (and player type).
Make a shit-ton of value bets. Big ones. Big value bets. Forget slow-playing or trying to get to showdown. polarize your range.
Sounds like suicide, right? But in my recent observations, this maximizes your chance to go deep. and when you flame out, you flame out hard. but better to burn out, then fade away (cue guitar)...
More seriously and analytically, it seems like there are a ton of cases where getting the fold has value vs. maximizing value vs a range. Yet I also know that isnt true. It SEEMS that way, but it isnt. But it is about accumulating chips. and that is where this becomes a dance instead of a math exercise.