The micro-stakes should be the easiest games to beat, but a lot of players actually struggle to show a profit at the lowest stakes online.
While it’s important to learn poker theory and work vigilantly on your game to compete at the higher levels, it’s paramount to understand and adjust to the playing style of your opponents.
And as far as your opponents go, the micro-stakes are a totally different world.
Yes, Players Are Getting Better. But …
Yes, players are getting better over the last few years. But at the micro-stakes there are still thousands and thousands (and thousands) of beginners that are almost oblivious to good poker strategy.
The irony of course is that you apply a lot of poker theory or second- or third-level poker thinking to the games at this level, chances are good you won’t actually win at the micro-stakes.
Take, for example, the famous “open-ended straight draw.” At the higher limits this can be a nice hand to semi-bluff with.
But if you’re playing an opponent who can’t fold, say, middle pair with a weak kicker, you might want to reconsider building a pot when you’re actually an underdog with no fold equity.
Advanced poker tactics like semi-bluffing are indispensable but they’re only useful against opponents who can actually fold.
“Fish” are Still the Foundation of a Healthy Poker Bankroll
If you’ve read a round a bit on the poker forums or played at all online you’ve surely heard people say/type, “I can’t play against fish” or “I need to play where they respect my raises.”
And sure, it can be frustrating when a fish calls your 4-bet bluff and wins with a hand he should theoretically never have called with.
But the reality is you want this to be the case. Fish are ALWAYS the most profitable players you can play against. These players are the foundation of a healthy poker ecosystem.
If you can’t play against these type of players, it might be time to look in the mirror and ask yourself whether these so-called fish are the problem or if you’re actually forgetting the single most important thing in poker: anticipating the play of your opponents.
If you’re still in the “I can’t play against fish” phase, this is the moment you can change your attitude and, with our help, learn to crush the micro-stakes.
Meet Mr. Micro-Stakes: Nathan “BlackRain79” Williams
So, does an effective “super system” to beat the micro-stakes in poker already exist?
More or less, yes. Nathan Williams — aka BlackRain79 — has played millions of hands at the micro-stakes and beat the games at the highest win-rate in the history of online poker.
In 2012 his game-changing ebook Crushing the Microstakes came out and helped a ton of players climb through the micro-stakes much faster.
Not only that, he also helped players think about their micro-stakes game in an entirely new way.
Our Basic Guide to Beating the Micro-Stakes
Since BlackRain79 has already written the comprehensive 253-page micro-stakes “bible” it wouldn’t be much added value to just re-hash all of his strategies here.
Especially since his ebook, which you can buy here, only costs $19.95.
Buying it is a no-brainer if your goal is to beat the micro-stakes. You are guaranteed to earn that money back and plenty more if you apply the stuff from his e-book.
To complement his great book – and preview some of the new strategies you’ll find in Williams’ upcoming sequel,Crushing the Micro-Stakes 2 – in the coming weeks we’re going to publish a basic framework for pre-flop and post-flop strategy in the micro-stakes based on the ebook from BlackRain79.
We’re also going to provide some added value in an ongoing Q&A and hand analysis series with BlackRain 79 himself.
Ask BlackRain79: Send in Your Questions and Hands!
Every month BlackRain79 will answer questions and analyze a few hands submitted by PokerListings readers.
If you have doubts about certain hands you’ve played or how to maximize your profit in the micro-stakes, this is your chance to ask the micro-stakes master himself.
Theory is one thing, but putting that theory into practice is another thing altogether!
Keep an eye on our news section for more info on how to submit your questions.
Before we start with our series we’ve also posted an interview with BlackRain79 so you’ll have a better picture of the person behind the name, his achievements, and what you can expect in Crushing the Microstakes 2.