The Heart of it All (Extraction)

Now that I have gone over the preflop and postflop strategies in depth I can finally discuss my favorite topic which is something I call “extraction.”

Extraction, which refers to getting the absolute maximum value out of your good to great hands, is the heart of winning huge at the micros.

In fact, largely as a joke I had toyed with the idea of naming this book “Flop a Set: Hit the Pot Button.”

Because that is my secret. Seriously, that’s it.

If I could pick one thing that I believe is the biggest reason why I consistently maintain much higher winrates at these limits than others, it is this.

I never (and I really mean never) win a small pot with my big hands (sets and big overpairs especially). It is true that sometimes I lose a massive pot but this doesn’t come close to making up for all the times that I win a massive one. I get the maximum. And that is a huge part of my success.

There is no slowplay in my game (unless I have quads or better). Fastplay is the new slowplay as far as I am concerned. One of the biggest losing mentalities that I think people need to get over is this idea that they need to keep them in the pot or that they don’t want to scare them off.

This is the best reply that I can give to this: I have won nearly 30k at these limits $2, $5 and $10 at a time. I didn’t do it by slowplaying and hoping they bet. I did it by ruthlessly shoving my two pair or better hands down their throat! I bet pot, sometimes even double pot, or I just go all in.

And they call. That’s it.

You absolutely have to lose the idea that bad players need to be cajoled or massaged into coming along for the ride. Stop trying to think on level 10 when they are at level 1! Bad players like to call. Period.

They will find any reason to call. And if you have been winning some pots recently at the table they might make a stand with ace high for their stack. Seriously, they will.

Give them a chance to do that.

Don’t let them check their ace high behind 3 times. Yes they are going to fold every once in awhile when they have nothing. So what! You weren’t going to get anything out of them anyways. That’s just how this game works. You generally need people to have something in order to win a big pot.

I just can’t stress how important shedding yourself of this passive mentality is at the micros. It is by far the biggest problem that I see with players at these limits. When you make a big hand against a bad player (heck, against anyone at the micros), become a maniac. Go nuts. Count your money later. Thank me later.

Let’s go through a few examples of this with different hand strengths.

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