My Thoughts on 5/6 Short
I think I have mentioned my strategy tips for the 5/10-6 MAX tables. I am sure they go against common sense and probably suck but they have worked for me so far. Here is a recap of how I play these tables.
1. Choose the right table
The one thing I have trouble handling is outright aggression for aggressions sake. I am not talking about throwing out a bet because an Ace is out there, or steeling blinds. It’s the guys that 3-bet anything. That never slow down no matter what their hand is. The ones who use aggression as a weapon and your only choice is to try and guess when they are lying.
So the first step in my nightly 5/10 journey is to find tables with small pots. I know. I know. This is against common wisdom. I mean more money on the table means a better table, right? Well not for how I like to play. I like tables that let me limp with pretty good hands. If every round is raised pre-flop then you start having to decide if that J-10 s000ted is good enough, or if you should play your A3 s00ted because you have not seen a hand in a while. It is just a recipe for disaster for me. So I find the weak tables and exploit them.
2. Play Tight
I know people say you need to loosen way up on these tables. I have seen players here that pre-flop raise any Kx, Ax, Qx hand and bet/raise to the river if they hit. I hate hands with bad kickers. You just never know. I know you can get beaten with a good kicker but somehow I guess it feels better the sneer at your opponent’s choice instead of your own. I play pretty tight for a 5/10 table. No high card bad kicker crap. I have no problem folding hands. Now you have to modify the starting hands for the table. You only have six spots so early-middle-late position kind of gets blurred. So as a compromise I will pretty much play anything you would play in normal-tight middle position for a single bet. I end up seeing the flop with a lot of A3 s000ted, which I get away from if I miss the flop. I play a lot of pocket pairs. S000ted connectors down to 9-10. All the premium cards of course. I play smaller connectors in the blinds and things like Q-10, etc..
3. Know your Enemy
This is important. At any given table your going to have different types of players. The guy who plays his K3o like it is AKo on a K-x-x flop. These are the guys you are looking for. Just make sure you have a decent kicker and let him pay you all the way to the river. Be careful of the same move against better players. There are very good players mining these tables too and they are smart enough to not play crap. Get a feel for your opponents and try and extract as much money from the idiots as you can before they run out.
4. Know how to Fold
I try not to chase too much on these tables. If my A-10 or AK misses the flop I am willing to wait for another shot. If I am HU it is not really worth it for me to chase too many hands down. I might be playing too weak here and should do some chasing, but normally it seems to cost me more than I gain.
5. Know when to Leave
Sometimes you will get a good table where nobody pays attention and they just keep paying you off over and over and over. Other times they will catch on and fold anytime you bet unless they have monsters. Sometimes it is profitable to stay at these tables. You can open your hand selection up and bluff when you only have a moderately good hand. Steal some blinds. Get a few pots. However normally when they are on to you it is good to leave. Take your winnings and go. It is more likely you will end up giving back if you stay too long.
So those are my basic guidelines. So far they seem to have worked well. I have a moderate BB/100 playing this way. I am profitable so far. I hope this continues. I have been splitting my game out a little more lately though. Not just playing the 5/10 short games. I have been playing a lot more SNGs, O8, and MTTs. Somewhat because I am playing the tables with a smallish bankroll. I hope to grow my bankroll to the appropriate amounts soon and play these juicy little tables a lot more. I will say it is nice to beat the 5/10 level with some consistency. I really lost a lot of confidence when I took my first shot at it. I think I am recovering now and hope to be more steeled against variance this time around. Only time will tell.