It being his birthday, I’m going to give my buddy Chris Hannigan an unusual present. I’m going to freely admit now that in the past, when I said, "You can’t make money at $3/$6 limit poker", I was full of crap. Chris always disagreed with me.
I dropped down to the $3/$6 tables the other night when I couldn’t get a seat at the $6/$12 tables and ran into a hot deck of cards that I knew how to play well. I really have, for years, said that $3/$6 couldn’t beat the rake, but that’s really code for "it’s hard for good hands to live until the river". Which is entirely true. You may have a set on the flop, but someone with a gutshot straight draw will call you all the way down with their four outs.
So I made a lot of money that session, but I have no illusions that betting a made hand hard to the river with two, three, or four callers is mentally healthy. Lots of hands will get cracked over time, I just happened to get lucky that night. What I really appreciated was that the mistakes at that level stand out so well, that I really enjoyed cataloging them and was able to keep multiple player profiles in my head.
(As an aside, I think I saw someone take chips off the table again, but I didn’t catch him in the act, so I kept my mouth shut)
Some of the mistakes I saw at this level included:
- Drawing without sufficient pot odds
- Playing a made hand without being able to read the board and realize there are lots of other better potential made hands out there
- Never releasing big pairs
- Not seeing three cards of the same suit on the board (flush) and betting anyway
- Not taking into account another player’s tightness/looseness
I have to say, it’s much more enjoyable studying my opponents when I’m winning money than when I’m losing it. And yet after about 3 hours I found myself getting tired and playing my cards mechanically, so I left.
I think I’ll stay down here a while.