I have been playing mostly in the Rio in their $5/$10 game, which has no cap. This means that you can buyin for any amount you want. This has its pluses and minuses but overall, leads to a few very, very, profitable situations over the course of a trip. These situations occur because most opponents aren’t used to have so much money in front of them, and the basic strategy varies a lot based on how many big blinds you have.
This makes paying attention to every hand extremely critical. You never know when something you see will allow you to win a big pot because you can now act on the information you have discovered. What this means is that every action a player takes has to be analyzed. Did he bet, call or raise? Did he show a hand down on the river? Did he call or bet? These are just a few of the many questions that need to be asked and answered about every hand played, categorized and then analyzed for use in future hands. It may seem like tedious work, but I look at each unique situation as a problem to solve and it’s a game to see if I can get it right. It’s really fun to be right, and the bonus is that you win money when you are!
Here is a hand where the above came into play:
Someone limps, I limp behind with AQo and the cutoff raises to $40m, which he had been doing frequently and with a lot of hands, the button calls, the BB calls, the other limper calls, and I call. So it’s 5 way to the flop for $40. Earlier in the session the big blind turned trips and checked it from out of position on the turn hoping that someone would bet so that he could checkraise. I had seen him do this and filed it away for later.
The flop comes KhKc4d and everyone checks the flop.
The turn is the 7s and the BB now leads $60. Using the information that I had gleaned earlier, I thought that he was likely to check trip kings on the turn. Plus his bet looked like he was trying to win the pot cheaply with a weak hand. So I raised to $180 and he folded. Note that it cost me $180 to win $260 so it doesn’t have to work all that often to be correct. He sighed and showed me 8h8c and folded saying “looks like you have a king.” I didn’t reply, but filed away “makes weak bet with weak hand in multiway pots on paired boards, and will fold to a raise” to his folder in my head for later use.