A look at combatting ordinary regs by Carl “The Dean” Sampson

These days you cannot sit down on any no limit ring game online for decent stakes without encountering several regulars. Now there are regulars and there are regulars so to speak. If a regular at your level is playing for rakeback and sign up bonuses and rewards and playing very tightly with low VPIP then although this isn’t a player that will make big errors, they are still a source of profit. I find these days that players tend to get too greedy and play too many tables rather than improving their game.

A couple of years ago I went through a period where I tried to play too many tables ultimately trying to do the exact same thing that I now look to combat. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that playing say sixteen tables is not profitable……it certainly is if you are good enough and play low enough. However my game stagnated and I felt that I needed to go back to the drawing board and also play fewer tables. I feel that when you play a very low level of VPIP then you miss many profitable opportunities.

If you can make more money per hour simply by playing more tables and you could handle the increased volume then you would be a fool not to play that way. However it is when your earn rate goes backwards by playing too many tables that you maybe need to look at how you are playing. I think it is very instructive to see how a normal run of the mill “rakeback reg” operates. When you do that then it becomes a very educational exercise because it helps you to build an average profile of your opponent.

When these players raise in full ring for example from early position then their range is exceptionally narrow. So you can avoid these marginal spots and even though you have a positional advantage it is still highly marginal given the tight range that your opponent has. With more big pairs as part of their range then your opponent will be able to barrel more often which will reduce the effectiveness of your arsenal of plays and floating is one such example. So if you want to multi-table yourself then it could quite simply be a default play to not call raises against regs in full ring when they raise from early position.

Quite clearly a reg will try to utilise position more than most players and so will expand their ranges more and look to capitalise on a positional advantage. This is when floating is more effective because you are doing so against a much wider range. So calling raises and flop c-bets is more profitable. If your opponents are playing on eight tables then the chances are that they will be reticent to become involved in marginal spots when their VPIP is so low and their hand is so weak.

Hand reading becomes more difficult in these situations and it takes a really strong regular to push through this stage of their development. The majority of regs simply look to profit from indiscipline and weak play from fish and rakeback/reward points etc. However many regs are certainly exploitable and just because a player is active on eight tables doesn’t mean that they offer no value. The bottom line is though that you will need to learn how

to combat conventional regs because these will present such a large percentage of your opponents. If ten regs are active and each reg plays eight tables then this represents a total of eighty available seats on the cash games of a certain site or network and so finding ways to beat them is an important part of your strategy.

Carl Sampson is a professional poker player who plays online at www.888poker.com

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