Long gone are the days where you could fire up a few tables of micro stakes cash games and routinely expect to dominate all of your opponents.
The wealth of information out there about how to play better poker has increased the skill levels of players at all levels, including at the lowest stakes. But that’s not to say you can’t still win big at the lower end of the buy-in spectrum — you just have to learn how to dominate micro stakes poker.
How to Dominate Micro Stakes Poker: Table and Seat Selection
The saying goes that there is no point in being the sixth best poker player in the world if you are only going to sit at the same table as the top five players. While there are merits to playing against opponents better skilled than you, for the most part you want to play against opponents who are weaker.
Weaker players make more mistakes, and you benefit from these mistakes, even if it doesn’t seem so immediately. Look for players playing 40% or more of their hands and do everything you can to sit to their left, because doing so makes it much easier to relieve them of their stack. This may mean moving seats and tables several times during a session, but at least this is easy to do online and it will help increase your win rate.
How to Dominate Micro Stakes Poker: Play Fewer Tables
There are poker players out there who would advocate playing more than a dozen tables simultaneously and try to grind through the micro stakes with pure volume. This may work for some, but if you adopt a quality over quantity approach to the micro stakes then you will stand a better chance of dominating.
Also, by concentrating on your play and that of your opponents, you will find you can exploit any weakness they have in their game better, not to mention you will be improving your skills, even if you are not playing as many hands of poker.
How to Dominate Micro Stakes Poker: Follow Solid Bankroll Management
By following a solid bankroll management system, you stand a better chance of learning how to dominate micro stakes poker. When playing cash games, you should always be looking to commit your chips in situations where you have a positive expectation.
For example, if you were 100% sure that you were a 55% favorite in an all-in hand and your opponent was willing to move all in each time this happened, you would be crazy not to keep accepting such an offer. However, you would need a sizeable bankroll to take advantage of this stupendous offer because you could possibly lose quite a few hands at first, even if in the long run you would make a lot of money.
Micro stakes can be frustrating because players are often play weird and wonderful hands which then go on to hit unlikely straights or two-pair type hands. Having a decent bankroll behind you helps to weather the storm long enough to make them pay for their poor starting hand selections.
How to Dominate Micro Stakes Poker: Manage Your Tilt
Notice how the advice is to “manage your tilt” and not “stop tilting,” because even the best poker players go on tilt occasionally. The key is to recognize when you are about to tilt and have the inner strength and self-control to stop playing as soon as you see yourself slipping into the murky depths of Tilt Town.
Several hours’ worth of hard grinding can be undone in a few minutes of being on tilt, so it is important that you keep it under control. Following bankroll management can help, as can eliminating irrational thoughts from your mind such as poker being “rigged” or a site rewarding bad players every time they face you.
Dominating micro stakes games is still within your reach today, it just takes more study and discipline to do so than was the case in the past.