Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Early Game

I see these mistakes so often while reviewing hand histories. It’s very simple things, like missing a setmining opportunity in level 1 or 2 that many players are overlooking. I suppose they figure that they have too many tables to pay attention to a game at 15/30, or that they won’t expect to make that many chips by making a certain play.

As games are getting tougher and regs are making more plays for pots and not letting themselves get run over, it becomes more important to be playing pots, especially early on with marginal players or fish. Often when you try to setmine, you lose 1bb, or maybe 3bb and it’s an extremely easy hand to play. The upside is stacking a fish, being double stacked and getting to make even more chips off of crappy players. Even slightly more speculative hands like calling JTs on the btn (or SB/BB) vs 2 random players for a small raise (especially in a 3 rebuy) is going to be great. Often us sng mtt players probably think that flat calling/being passive in pots is losing play, but playing good multiway hands in position vs players who will make a lot of mistakes is going to be a good play all the time.

A few problems result when you play so nitty (and miss easy calls early on). You don’t improve your postflop skills and you autopilot a lot more decisions, not really thinking about how you can improve your game or improve your hand reading. You probably play too quickly and your game stays very stagnant. You might say playing 20 tables is better than playing every early game pot well, but as we have seen the games get tougher and evolve, I think that a very good argument can be made for cutting tables and getting better and playing postflop/hand reading and pots early on.

It’s always surprising when I see players just folding in the sb with like KTo or A5o when it’s folded to us. Or when an active player in the SB opens and we fold a hand that can definitely be ahead, play ok postflop and we have position.

I guess the main point here is to stop autopiloting, be less scared to play postflop, try to play more pots vs marginal players and see your hand reading and overall postflop skills improve. Being on tons of other tables or not being “arsed” to play a certain hand is a pretty bad excuse for sloppy play.


3 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Early Game

  1. Enjoyed this post, too. I agree that the early game offers many great spots, and it’s one of few areas left of the game to take full advantage of the marginal players.

  2. I just feel like you cannot say you’re able to autopilot, if you miss those spots, so you shouldn’t be playing 20 tables at all. As said in the blog the early game spots are usually very easy to read and not too hard to play. So to sum it up, they are cheap, they are easy and they can earn you lots of chips.

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