I just got back from the Horseshoe. I played a little $1/$2 and had a paltry $23 loss. While I was playing like a complete nit, I had time to reflect on what the problems were with my 6-max game. The main things that I could focus on were that I were getting little to no action with pocket aces and constantly losing full buy-ins in with pocket kings and queens. A cursory glance at this so-called problem would reveal that I am simply overplaying my aces before the flop and my kings and queens as well! I think that I also believe that it is in my overall best interests to cold call re-raises with my aces, kings, and queens and thereby increase my post flop expectation. After all, few players at the stakes, where I reside are willing to put in that fourth bet (or call it) with anything less than pocket queens. The result? My fourth bets are generally acting like a filter that actually creates negative expectation on my most profitable hands.
Furthermore, while it is easy for most players to escape their middle pairs pre-flop, if they flop an over pair a typical player will often have a difficult time getting away from his hand, particularly because I failed to put in that last bet, now making it appear more like a bluff. After all, the players that tend to give me the most difficulty and annoy me the most are the ones who fail to tip off their big pocket pairs before the flop!
I feel that generally the correct play is highly dependent on stack sizes. If a player happened to start the hand with 60% or less of a full buy in now you can push with those good hands pre-flop if they are the ones who re-raise you.
Lastly, once again, I find myself getting stuck in the mindset of always having to bet two thirds of the pot. This is truly ironic, because the biggest strength of my game is playing to different stack sizes and finding ways to manipulate them into getting pot stuck. This effective bet sizing is precisely the reason why I have been so successful at tournaments lately. And since your typical player will probably fail to realize that the reason I am making the size bets that I am is due to all of the stack sizes involved, my selection of these bet sizes will probably take on a randomized appearance automatically.
Just for once I have to remember not to forget these things!