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6-max Aggression, Cold Calling and Bankroll Challenges | Q&A | Podcast #100


Sky Matsuhashi

on October 14, 2016

I answer 3 listener Q’s about 6-max aggression in cash games, cold calling with AQ+ and JJ as well as tackling bankroll challenges.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


Question #1 from Javier: 6-max Aggression (2:05)

By the way, a random question, what do you recommend for mastering 6-max cash games?

Understanding your 6-max opponents is key.  Don't fight fire with fire and try to out-aggress your opponents.

A lot of them over-use aggression.  When most of your opp's are going one way, you've got to go the other way to exploit and profit from their mistaken frequencies.

Your opponents tend to get overly aggressive pre-flop, so they get to the flop in bloated pots with weaker ranges. You need to be a little less aggressive, play against them IP and do more calling.

If you get three bet you can call more often with a wider range because they're 3betting with weaker ranges. Because they're so aggressive, you'll need to do more calling post-flop as well and don't let them blow you off of pots when you have showdown value.

Question #2 from Kedaran: Cold Calling (3:45)

Hi Sky,
About AKo, AQ and JJ; is it ok to cold call if someone has already called the initial raiser before me and go to the flop multi way?
I'm still on podcast #35 for now but catching up as I'm working on my game concurrently.
Regards, Kedaren

Absolutely it's okay to over-call with JJ and AQ+.  But, that’s not to say it's the optimal play.

When you're facing a raise and a call, you need to consider the opponents you'll be up against, your position and the cards you're dealt.  Remember also that you've got three choices when facing a raise: fold, call or reraise.  You want to choose the play that's most +EV.

Some spots to overcall

  • When the original raiser or the 1st caller is on a super tight range because of their stats or player type and you know you’re AQ+ and JJ aren’t ahead right now. Don’t bloat the pot with a worse hand.
  • If your opponents are likely to call your 3bet to see the flop, then you may want keep the pot small and just call. This could be good when you’re playing OOP in the blinds for example.
  • When your AK or AQ is suited, or when implied odds are big enough to go set mining with the JJ.

Some spots to 3bet squeeze

  • If your 3bet will get them to lay down most hands and win you the 7.5 bb pot, then it's a better choice than calling.
  • If your 3bet will get one to fold and one to call, that's a good idea as well so you see the flop HU.
  • You also want to think about how your opp's approach post-flop play. If they're fit or fold or honest on one street, then you might be able to take advantage of that, so building the pot could be good b/c it's more chips for you to take away from them.

Spots to just fold

  • Probably when you know your hand is a dog and you’re facing a very strong range, and stacks are too short to set mine.
  • A lot of players yet to act after you could be cause for concern.  If some of them are super aggressive and can 3bet squeeze you out of the pot, that might be a reason to fold (or you can 3bet to take their aggressive play away from them).  Sure, they can still 4bet, but most players make light 3bets and not so light 4bets.

Question #3 from Arthur: Bankroll Challenges (10:15)

How about strategy for bankroll challenges?
Thanks, Arthur

  1. Figure out your goal.  Let’s say your roll is at $1,000 and you want to double that to $2,000.  Great!  You want to earn $1,000.
  2. Figure out your time frame.  You think you could do this within a month.  That's doable: 1 month to earn $1,000.
  3. Figure out your current win rate.  How much money do you currently make per hand or per hour or per tournament?  This is your win rate (or ROI – return on investment).  Divide your goal by your win rate, and that will tell you how many hands or hours or tournaments you need to play to hit your goal.

Bankroll Example: MTT player

Your win rate or ROI this year is an average of  $1.50 for each MTT played.  So, to make $1,000 you can expect to have to play $1,000/$1.50 = 667 MTT's.  To do this in one month you'll have to play about 20 MTT's per day, with no day off.

Let’s say that currently you average only 8 MTT’s per day in a month.  Trying to go from 8 to 20 MTT's per day sounds improbably.  Sure you could do it, but what's going to have to change to allow that?  You'll be better served by extending your challenge by a month.  So, give yourself 2 months or 60 days to play 667 MTT’s.  That’s a much more realistic 11 MTT’s per day.

This is a good and challenging goal.  You’ve been playing 8 MTT’s per day, so you’ll push yourself to play 11 per day for 2 months to hit your $1K goal.

Lastly, to help you hit your goal, you need to find ways to make more money from your time on the felt.  If you can increase your ROI from $1.50 to $1.75 per game, then by playing 667 MTT’s, you’ll earn $1,167 instead of $1K, or you’ll hit your $1K goal in 52 days instead of 60.

How can we earn more?

  • Strive to play your A-game every session and to not skip any days (or else you'll have to play more to make up for skipped days).
  • Work on finding profitable tables, tourneys, sites, cardrooms, hours of the day to play.
  • Stay sane by taking breaks when necessary while pushing yourself to play a lot of poker. Your mental game needs to be in check.
  • Study more to improve areas of your game and fix your leaks
  • Analyze your regular opponents so you either lose less to them or start earning more from them.

Up Next…

In podcast 101, I'll be interviewing Brad Wilson of and the EYE Think Tank.  In episode 102, I'll conclude MED #2: Blind Stealing with some important blind defending considerations.

Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.


Sky Matsuhashi

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