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Low Limit Profitability: My persona a search for self at the poker table

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Well it has been a few since I posted any of my blabbering opinions of the hated world of low limit (limit) live poker and the fact that I believe I can make a profit over the long run.

I have been playing on a very regular schedule and I have not made any real profit or loss overall in the last several hundred hours playing 4/8 limit holdem. I am currently down 160 BBs, HOWEVER....I am not able to blame the game in its' entirety. I have had several hours of play that I admit I played very poorly. I had a major session that I posted as full blown tilt on my part. I am adding to this the fact that I have been experimenting with different playing styles and techniques.

Really, I have been working on what poker player I want to be, how do I want to be perceived by people I play with on a regular and daily basis. What persona fits me best and most comfortably as a player? Then I can adapt to individual game conditions and make more clear decisions.

I had to sit back and think to myself.."SELF" I said I need to find a stable medium that is both profitable and comfortable to me.

I tried to be super flamboyant and talk it up and gamble it up, calling for cards and saying things during the hand like "BINGO THAT'S ME", or "WHAT YOU DOUBTED I WOULD GET THERE" stuff like that. This is not me it did not feel natural and I was not good at it for any length of time. I do not mind attention, but I do not want the direct spotlight on me.

I tried to sit silent and wear my headphones and only communicate my actions when it was my turn almost be invisible. This was not bad and it did allow me to concentrate on the game and taking good players notes in my head and stuff. NO I DO NOT WEAR SUNGLASSES AT A 4/8 game. But I still felt that I was missing something and it was kind of boring.

I played super rock tight: Playing only on the thin top half of the deck AA-99 and AKs-JTs AK-JT and the like.That did not work I actually blinded out in a limit game I sat for 7 hours and played like 4 hands and finally was down to 20 dollars from a 140.00 buy in and I left...The "GOOD CARDS" do not come around consistently enough and when they do sometimes they do not hit or do not hold up in traffic. You kind of end up spinning your wheels unless the deck runs you over every day.

I played super aggressive: Raising preflop with any hand I opened action with and three betting any hand I would call a raise with raising on the C/O with any two cards higher than 9. That did not work so well for a couple of reasons I think. One reason is a single raise is not that intimidating to the fish that want to play dam it. Also it can entice looser action at this level because all of the sudden "OH OH BIG POT BREWING I MIGHT GET LUCKY". Finally I have watched and after a while of trying to push you actually alienate yourself from the table and a kind of mob mentality takes over and you can actually hear people commenting that they are calling to "JUST BEAT YOU". You frustrate and irritate people to play even looser because they want to beat you out of a big pot or get even with you on some level. Now let me state that I made money with this style but it was very streaky and I lost money fast also. I think one of the other important things for playing long term is that I actually made people irritated and that is not a good business strategy. They are at the 4/8 game to "PLAY" and when you are too aggressive or a bully you are hurting their "PLAY TIME" and they want you to go away. Remember I said TOO aggressive NOT, NOT AGGRESSIVE

I played Super Loose Passive: I called any suited connector from any position. I called any two cards ten or higher from any position. I called any one gap suited down to 57s (not much lower than that) I limped and called single raises across the board never taking control or trying to take control of the hand or the game. I check called the flop on almost any draw not betting even good double draws. This was just flat a waste of time and chips. I tried being one of them and calling to make sure and not wanting to get over involved until I thought i had the nuts. I did not bother anybody and did not draw much attention to myself and in the end I did not accomplish anything. I lost a little and broke even a little. Overall this is a looser as I miss value, pay off too weak, and do not protect hands enough.

I think I have made some good changes and am closer to figuring this part out. I am a semi talkative person, I have a fair personality, and a good sense of humor in my own opinion. I am naturally a semi conservative person with good math and probability skills. I am very competitive, and I am also my own hardest critic.

I am completely comfortable with the fact that on all hands I am gambling. I am not trying to actually (beat) my opponents any longer. I am trying to gamble smarter than them, and I am trying to gamble in the most profitable situations possible. They (My Opponents) provide and pay for these situations is all.

So, how do I incorporate this into my overall game plan and business model? Why is it even important to worry about a poker personality?

Good questions, and ones that I will go into in depth on my next blabbering of opinionated spew.

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Hi MoneeDude,


I spent a few years of my University career grinding $4/$8 limit - so I really know what you're going through right now. I was able to average ~$40 / session. The $4/$8 in Calgary (Canada) plays very loose with pots regularly being built to $100 - $200 and even as big as $400 on kill pots. (A "KILL" is when one player has won two pots in a row, the "KILL" goes on for one hand and all the betting doubles. In this hand, the player who has the "KILL" must post a live blind ($8 now) in whatever position he/she is in).


I won't bore you with a novel here but i would like to share some of the most meaningful lessons I've learned in beating this game.


Save yourself river / Turn bets with flopped top pair when overcards that were likely to hit your opponent come on the turn or river. If you want to be a profitable low limit player, you have to be able to save yourself $8 here and $8 there. Don't get stuck to your hand on the flop.


Play all of your big draws aggressively! Raise and reraise nut flush draws, straigh flush draws etc. You will rarely get paid four bets / street once you've made your hand, so you have to be able to inflate the pot when you're holding 4 to a flush with two overcards. Notice: inflate the pot with NUT DRAWS only. Many low limit players will happily three bet you with a K or Q high flush, dummy straight etc. Avoid the tough decisions by only drawing to the nuts.


Lastly: Take advantage of all promotions. Does your casino have a bad beat jackpot? high hand promotion? Players reward cards? Educate yourself on all the promotions and use them to your advantage. (I was able to build enough rewards points for a $500 cash bonus during my 16 months of grinding $4/$8.


Don't tilt. The variance is massive in this game - understand that and do your best to put yourself in +EV situations.


Note: AKo is not worth raising preflop. Either you inflate a big pot and play to the river with 1 pair, or you inflate the pot to the point where the odds dictate you need to call turn/river bets to spike an overcard. I found that AKo is a trap hand. if you limp and flop money (2 pair or better) nobody will put you on AK and will pay your bets all the way.


Good luck!

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