calling stations

    • anblick
      anblick
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.07.2009 Posts: 9
      Does playing against calling stations make me dumber? I've recently moved from Stars 0.02/0.04 to FT 0.05/0.10 thanks to the Pokerstrategy starting capital and the lure of Take 2. On stars I was doing respectably, I've managed to grind $2 up to $30 over around 5k hands, and in the process refined my post-flop play enough to exploit certain situations with a bluff, or by controlling the pot size. But on FT I'm barely above break-even after maybe 40 hours 2/3 tabling.

      Reading the Bronze chart & articles has definitely been helpful, with the most noticeable impact coming from being more aggressive pre-flop -- the combination of initiative and isolation is proving mostly pretty powerful.

      But isolation works against me too: at least half the time I'm isolating against a calling station. These are players I never see raise and only once in a blue moon do they fold. Their apparent lack of range makes it impossible to know if I'm ahead, or if that 2 on the turn gave them a monster and the chance to profitably .. call down.

      It's putting me on total tilt to have the same player in two almost consecutive hands outkick me with junk, and improve to two pair (including top pair flopped) on the river and simply call after my fairly obvious line of attack.

      I know my play can improve, but I'm getting the sense that opponents like these are just making me stupider and throwing random noise in my graph. Clearly techniques that improve results against standard microfish aren't compatible with playing someone who can't find the raise button. And given the dearth of FL games on FT, I can't even practice table selection to avoid them.

      What do I do? I have all these players marked green in my notes and whenever they join a table I'm on I just sigh and hope I'm close to clearing my daily points quota so I can leave the table and do something good for my brain like watch TV. Has anyone had any luck exploiting micro FL at FTP? At the moment I'm hoping I can keep my sanity another 8 days to unlock the full Take 2 bonus and then move to SnGs, where I tend to have more fun and the donkeys tend to bust out before I have to face them. But if there's a winning line against stations, I would really like to know about it.
  • 8 replies
    • One12ver
      One12ver
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.05.2008 Posts: 249
      Keep betting at them but with good hands. Don´t play the check or call game with them because then you are playing their game and thats what the hope for, an easy cheap way to the showdown. They will catch and suckout I know, just keep playin quality hands aggresively and make them pay when you do catch a great hand.
      Playing solid poker will always win against them in the long run.
    • Berkstajger
      Berkstajger
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.03.2009 Posts: 878
      Bet made hands and check with draws.
    • Dawnfall26
      Dawnfall26
      Black
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116
      Hi!

      From your post above I assume you only played around 10k hands and probably hit a downswing. That is completely normal and good thing is that on microstakes it goes away pretty quickly if you play o.k.
      About calling stations... keep playing against them, they are the most revarding oponents. When you bet you are always a favourite against them and when they raise you can easily fold or reraise if you have a monster. Almost never play calldown against such oponents. Making thin valeubets and bet/fold lines becomes much more important.

      Be happy as long as you play with them. Higher in limits you go, such players start to dissapear and belive me you will miss them:)
    • anblick
      anblick
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.07.2009 Posts: 9
      Thanks for the replies. I guess the main message I take away is: keep it simple, play for equity. Probably the main reason I've been getting frustrated is that I've learned to try fancy plays, with some short-term success, but of course that isn't sustainable against random fish. So it's back to the articles and filling my brain with more math and less taking hands personally.

      Also, for all the times they river me I need to look at my HH and count how many times that didn't happen and they gave me a much bigger pot than I deserved. That should keep the tilt at bay and make me happier to stay at the table with them and make sure my stack's always big enough to make them pay off. I had a short period on Stars where I was stacking people regularly (yes, FL! Somehow that made it even more rewarding ..), and I'm sure it was exactly this kind of player who never knew how to let go of a weak hand.
    • anblick
      anblick
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.07.2009 Posts: 9
      I suppose it's also worth noting that I play SH. The switch has been (I think) quite profitable and educational, as post-flop situations are more exploitable and it's much easier to profile opponents. Do you think it would be a good idea to switch to FR for a while to ensure I tighten up properly? On FT that would give me significantly more tables to choose from, which might also be helpful. The risk is, of course, that I get bored .. but that's what concentrating on solid ABC play and equity calculations should be good for!
    • lozz08
      lozz08
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.06.2009 Posts: 106
      I play on FT, and I too switched to SH. At these lower limits, I think SH is way more profitable, because you are getting more hands in with bad players. At least its been way more profitable for me.
    • anblick
      anblick
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.07.2009 Posts: 9
      That pretty much confirms what I've thought so far. Also less opponents by the river == less suckouts from terrible hands. I guess if there are this many calling stations at SH, the proportion at FR will be similar, leaving 3 or more opponents that could be improved by the river card. I would probably find it even more frustrating.

      The discordian phrase is relevant here: Nil illegitimi carborundum. Hmm, grinding .. I think that belongs in my sig!
    • Dawnfall26
      Dawnfall26
      Black
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116
      Hi!

      I think that on super micro limits it is better to play FR. You can play tighter so that increases % of won showdowns and tables are still very loose+ because you play tighter you will avoid a lot of tough spots which are very frequent in SH.