Thanks for the detailed response. What I've been finding is:
- because I play so few hands, when I do choose to make a move, everyone usually folds to me,
so I get the blinds, but don't earn enough chips to make up for the lost blinds in other orbits. So it's
hard to be more aggressive with my good hands, when everyone folds.
- to combat this, I try to steal a few more blinds along the way, but it seems whenever I try this, other players
read me and reraise me so I fold, losing chips as a result:
So, we have now educated a tight player to play in the correct way and he's turned into a winning player.
Now it's simply a case of learning some of the finer points to improve the winning percentage.
Firstly, being disappointed because everybody folds to you when you do make a raise is not the correct mindset. Having everybody fold to you is exactly what you want in the later stages, however you have probably tightened up your game too much too compensate for playing too loose in your early poker career and now you need to loosen up a little bit
If you do play too few hands then you are right, most players will recognise this and not give you any action. This means that in the middle stage when you need to gain some chips you do need action to come to you.
So now that you know how to win you need to start disguising the fact that you are a rock player by playing a few more hands here and there.
Winning consistently is all about finding the right balance of play. Each individual game is different and you will have to adjust your game to compensate. This is where an experienced player begins to crush the game because they recognise the different opportunities that present themselves whereas a beginner just plays the cards they are dealt and tries bluffing in all the wrong spots.
So what can we do to present ourselves as something we are not?
All of the beginners instruction I give on this site is designed to completely eliminate all of the bad habits a typical poker player has learnt. So no limping, no calling raises, no bluffing etc, all of these rules are designed to turn a losing player into a winning player.
By following these rules they will become a tight agressive player which is one of the most rewarding styles of play.
The problem is that, as you have found, tight agressive players are easy to spot and stay clear of and it is always disappointing when you fail to get paid off with your monster hands.
One way that you can hide your style of play is to play several pots in the early stages when you stand to lose very few chips. I like to raise with suited connectors under the gun like 5,6 hearts or small pairs like 44.
In the main guide I advocate folding all of these hands in the early stages but once you understand how tight play can work for you, you are ready to start mixing up your play.
The key to this is that the regular loose player will raise with 44 anyway early on but typically they will continue to bet at the flop when it's obvious they are beat. The tight player however can easily check and discard these hands once they miss the flop and wait for their next hand to play.
If you hit the flop big style then you are probably going to double up. If you miss then you've lost a small amount of chips and gone some way to disguising the type of player you are.
Raising under the gun is always a good play early on. No one is expecting you to hold a low pocket pair or using a drawing hand to try and hit the flop at this stage.
These hands are much better to play than crap like K9 or Q 10 which are the typical loose players hands to play. Playing these latter hands means you are more likely to be dominated than playing 6,7 suited.
So that's one way of mixing it up.
Your goal is to get to bubble play with about 2,000 chips which it sounds like you are achieving.
You now need to start stepping up your raises at the bubble. At this point a raise is probably about 600 chips with blinds at 100/200. Getting the balance right here is crucial and takes a lot of practice. Keep raising the big blind from the small blind and eventually he will "spite" you with an all in move. Learn to start open raising with 8,9 suited as this is a very powerful move on the bubble.
If you get reraised or someone moves all in this is not a case of you being "read". This is simply someone having a great hand that they are prepared to stick it all in with. This happens and I don't believe you are being "read". You are just running into better hands.
Become a believer. Drop down several levels in your play so that you can reach the bubble easily and when you get reraised all in holding A 10 on a steal be prepared to have the worst hand going to the flop.
Sure, there are players who will pull a "move" here, but they are very very few and far between. It's simply not profitable for them to do this and 9.5 times out of ten they will hold the goods.
Folding here but being prepared to raise again with suited connectors to steal the blinds is what will make you a great SNG player. The fact is that three handed there are simply not going to be that many huge hands for you to run into.
It's frustrating when you run into a reraise on the bubble but this is simply someone having a better hand. If you don't believe them - CALL. And get bubbled out.