Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

Assumptions That Go Out of the Window at the Micros - LOL Donkaments

By Matthew "Yorkshire Pudding" Pitt

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres once said: “You should never assume. You know what happens when you assume. You make an ass out of you and me because that’s how it’s spelled.” DeGeneres must have been a micro-stakes poker player to come out with that piece of gold.

As a micro-stakes player, you should assume nothing. Actually, that’s a small lie because you should actually assume that something weird, wonderful and downright ridiculous is going to happen at one of your tables before you finish your session. That’s the beauty of the micros! They are unpredictable, frighteningly frustrating but oh so profitable.

Making assumptions about your fellow micro-stakes players is a risky business indeed. Here are a few assumptions that you can toss out of the window and completely forget about when you sit down at a typical micro-stakes table.

That your opponents know about the Gap Concept

You know the one; you need a stronger hand to call a raise with than you do to make a raise with. It’s part of the basics of poker. It’s not part of the poker vocabulary of your typical micro-stakes dweller.

You raise with Ad-Ks, they look down at 9h-7h and go, “Ooooh! Pretty hearts. Ooooh. My the Titanic film was released in ’97. I call.” God bless them.

That your opponents will make plays based on pot odds

Against a solid, thinking player you can assume that if you make a bet that offers them lower pot odds – and implied pot odds – than the odds of making their hand, they will fold. Again, it is basic poker. Not to the majority of our micro-stakes lovers. At least half of these people think pot odds are what happens when you don’t by plates and other china pieces in pairs or in funny shapes.

That your opponents can fold 2nd, 3rd or 4th pair

Take it from me, a payoff wizard, that if our fellow micro-donks have ANY piece of the board they are calling you. If they hold 8s-3c and you have bet the flop, turn and river of the As-Td-9d-3h-7c board, they will call you with their lowly trey with a pathetic kicker. Make sure you have better than king-high in this spot!

That your opponents actually understand what you are trying to do

Try not to run any elaborate and intricate bluffs – in fact don’t make any bluffs – because the majority of players are more interested in what to make the kids for lunch, what accessories they need to buy for their cat or how pretty two hole cards with diamonds are to care about your min-check raise on the turn of a draw heavy board represents. Simple lines for simple minds!

That the statistics you have on a player are set in stone

I often use a Heads-Up Display (HUD) when I am playing online poker and I have lost count the number of times the statistics on my HUD tell me someone is playing a nitty 10/10/2 style of play only for them to have some sort of blow up that results in them getting their chips into the middle of a five-bet pot with nine-high.

Poker is a game played with incomplete information and it is up to you to discover new information. By making assumptions, you are putting yourself in danger of having inaccurate information, which is worse than having no info at all.


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