Queen10off's Blog 6: Small Bits of Information in NL Cash

By: queen10off
Published: Jul 5th, 2012
I have just finished relocating to the Bay Area, and was playing my first cash game session here the other day, when I came across a small hand that gave me the idea for this blog: Small Bits of Information in NL Cash.

3/5 Must Move Game - Max Buy in is $500, and I'm sitting with starting stacks very early on in the session. Game plays pretty small, and felt like a decent number of regulars. EP limps, MP is a girl early 20's who seemed like a reg (headphones, knew everyone, good with chips, etc) limps, I raise to 25 on the button with 55. As I raise MP gets called for the main game, and starts racking up her chips. EP folds, and MP calls and we see a flop head's up. The flop is J 10 3 with 2 spades. She checks, I bet 35 she calls immediately. She clearly has a piece. Turn is the 8 of spades. She checks, and I decide to slow down and check back. The river is a complete blank, and she bets out 30 into a pot of 125. Not only is this a small bet, but it reeks of a 1 pair value bet. I raise to 150 she immediately folds.

The key to this hand, and why it is relevant is the extra small bit of information we have. We think she is regular, probably small stakes grinder. Here, the extra bit of information is that she is moving into the main game immediately, and has started/finished racking up her chips. To a grinder that is competent, when facing this river raise, there are tons of better spots in the future especially since she can't know whether or not I actually hit the flush (I was a relatively new player). Instead of paying off, which she probably would do if she was staying in my game, she folds because she can pick a better spot for that 120 dollars in her new seat. While a lot of super aggressive online players would make this raise in this spot every time, I probably would not. I think a reg is more than likely to call another 100 and something dollars with any strong 1 pair or 2 pair, just because if I had a flush I'd likely bet the turn. I've also seen a lot of live regs underbetting the pot to try to induce bluff raises just like these from young players with hoodies to go for more value. I had actually given up, and only made this play this once because of the extra small bit of information I picked up.

Would this play have worked against an amateur competent or not? Probably not. A key factor in the decision to make this play is that I perceive this girl to be a live reg, someone likely concerned with picking good spots and finding value. An amateur - just looking for a good old game of cards is way way more likely to just pay off in this spot - even if he was similarly immediately moving into the main game. This is a great example of exploiting a good competent player, and understanding a mindset. If she had waited until the end of the hand to rack up her chips, I probably would have given that underbet respect and not gotten involved. These "small bits of information" can be anything really, any small live reads, that when combined with your overall read and view of the situation enables you to make a more optimal decision, or do something you might not normally have done.

Here are some examples of some other live reads that I would put into this "small bits of information" category. They are both hypotheticals, but if you've played live you'll see this sort of thing pretty often...

- A weak player has a stack of $460 dollars in a 1/2 200NL game. He has the 400 to one side, and the stack of 60 to the other. He proudly says, "I got my money back, plus a little extra (indicating the $60 as the little extra, 2 buy ins of $200)." This might be someone to bluff for some amount bigger than $60, since he might be just a tiny bit more reluctant to call.

- A player that is visibly losing and having a tough day at the tables - good or bad player honestly. After you've seen him lose a couple buy ins, and he's grumbling about his luck - how all the draws get there blah blah blah. Next time you're in a hand with him, and the draw hits, make a big obvious raise play as if you actually hit the draw. He has been running so bad that this play will have more credence in his mind, and he is likely to believe it. Maybe make a comment to show that you have it, you feel for his hard luck, and that he can save some money now. It is probable he will psyche himself into really believing you and folding. Note: this will obviously not work on those types of players that when losing loosen up and call everything. Pick your players and your spots!


    1. Nice blog and insight!
    2. I think you got lucky with the young lady being a reg. Glad it worked for you this time. It won't always work that way for you.

      Keep writing. Your insight is very good and I enjoy reading your blog.
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