Are live players really that soft?

DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
edited October 3 in New To Poker Questions
Hi Everyone,

I had my first live experience this past weekend, and I wanted to confirm some things I witnessed. Since the summer, I have been online grinding (51-52 hours a week) with a full time job yadda yadda. Aside from that, a good 4-5 hours mon-fri since I work a desk job with 2 monitors and really only need 1, so I spend my time reading other people's questions on here, reading comments, articles the whole 9. Even studying through the CORE program and other multiple websites etc. With every literal moment that I don't spend in the gym, or at work/sleeping; I'm either researching or playing is really what it boils down to.

Through this period, I've also come to learn a lot about what people on this forum and others alike; feel towards live players in general...live player's tendencies, behaviors, strategies etc.

So fast forward to this past weekend, it's not that I was in awe regarding what I saw, but more that I wanted to make sure I wasn't witnessing some sort of anomaly by any stretch. First, I noticed that live players tend to play their hole cards far more than they should (in my rookie opinion that is), they didn't seem to worry about the other opponent's ranges, who was left to act, they seemed to be only in tuned to how their hands connected with the board. Furthermore, (and this goes for both cash and MTTs that I saw), they certainly weren't paying attention to their bet-sizings, and had some wonky frequencies overall.

For example, I noticed one player that always bet the exact same amount on the turn that he did on the flop when he had air, and would raise the turn when he had something strong. So in turn, whenever I was in a hand against him and he would bet the same amount on the turn, I would re-raise and he would fold; got visibly upset with me but this only happened twice. I didn't see people care about the SPR factor at all when they were 3betting/4betting with SCs while shortstacked in MP....basically almost nothing was being done live that I spent all this time researching. It's almost as everyone was playing their cards face up and the most they knew about this game was to make sure you have a good hand in EP..that's about it.

Obviously that makes me think I might have an edge here, but again I'm looking to see if this truly is still normal. Also obviously, not all live players are like this..but it did seem to be a very popular pattern. So what do you all think, is this abnormal, or not?

Comments

  • eugeniusjreugeniusjr Red Chipper Posts: 401 ✭✭✭
    Congratulations on all your hard work.
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
    @eugeniusjr

    Thank you, just trying to make sure that every decision I make in poker, and every thought I develop is in the right direction
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭
    Totally normal for low stakes (1/2$) live players
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
    Red wrote: »
    Totally normal for low stakes (1/2$) live players

    Sounds about right lol, I mean from what I've gathered, I sort of had a good idea of what I was walking into; just wanted a double confirmation here. Ended up placing 3rd in an MTT (probably could have gone for 2nd if not 1st if I wasn't tired and fading). During the breaks I would watch my buddy play at the cash tables, and just was floored hahah by what I was seeing
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,268 -
    It varies with location, but that all sounds about right.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
    @moishetreats

    Unfortunately, I too made the exact same error when I started out earlier at 1/2. I ran it up very healthily to the point where my arrogance absolutely clouded my judgement; slowly decimated my initial BR that I set for poker. So now, I view it as "Ok, these players might be super LAGs, splashy postflop etc. but that doesn't mean they don't have anything" So now, as a counter-adjustment I focus more on their bet-sizing to determine if they are bluffing. I hope that's a step in the right direction when changing my mindset. How did you change your mindset once you lost to arrogance?
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    Deadlifts wrote: »
    @moishetreats

    Unfortunately, I too made the exact same error when I started out earlier at 1/2. I ran it up very healthily to the point where my arrogance absolutely clouded my judgement; slowly decimated my initial BR that I set for poker. So now, I view it as "Ok, these players might be super LAGs, splashy postflop etc. but that doesn't mean they don't have anything" So now, as a counter-adjustment I focus more on their bet-sizing to determine if they are bluffing. I hope that's a step in the right direction when changing my mindset. How did you change your mindset once you lost to arrogance?

    First, I second your re-frame about how you view other players.

    Then, I credited them (or, more accurately, SOME of them) with actually being good players -- and trying to observe their play and learn from them. After all, it's probably not entirely due to randomness that some players consistently have big stacks and cash out huge (even though I had glibly considered them soft after my first impression...).

    Finally, I began to talk to, ask questions of, and learn from poker players who were legitimately good -- and faaaaar better than I. This forum was (and is) one such place; a couple of semi-professional poker-playing friends was/is another; books were/are a third; and coaching was/is a fourth. It didn't take long for arrogance to dissipate fully! :)


    A quick example. A few months ago, I was targeting a brash loud-mouth player who lives to be center of attention. I started 3betting him lighter, noting that he would call with big fan-fare ("I can't be pushed around!!"). Obviously, he couldn't withstand much pressure on most boards. On the defining flop after one such 3bet (with suited connectors) and a call, I bricked -- nothing but a gut-shot straight draw and back-door flush draw. Still, it was a good board for cbetting given the flop and given how often V had been folding.

    I turned a pair that also gave me a double-gutter. With the additional equity, I double-barreled. V tanked for about 5 seconds and then brashly called. It was clear that he had nothing more than top pair or an overpair.

    The river gave me two pair, I shoved, V called. He slammed his hand (an overpair) face-up and gave an ESPN-worthy tirade to the table about how crappy a player I was, how he always gets sucked out on, etc. Obviously, he was entirely inattentive to pot sizing, bet sizing, how to counter my pre-flop 3betting, etc.

    Why do I share this? No, not out of arrogance or boasting. Rather, because for a looooong time, I was like this V (without the public tirade, just the internal one) in terms of mindset and arrogance. Had V (or had I, the first few years) really looked internally at his play and externally at my play, that would have been far more productive than his display of arrogance and entitlement.

    Then again, this V was there for the showmanship...
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You can speak of tendencies, but at the end of the day it's about individuals.

    The main reason IMO why there is a tendency for non-pro live players to play looser and gambly is that the game is very slow, and can be very boring for them if they don't play more hands and get involved. Online probably goes twice as fast, and if you play 4 tables you're getting in 8 times more hands than in a live game. There are also more distractions in a live game, and these are not necessarily unwelcome distractions either. Drinking, watching the ball game, chatting are all part of the evening out for most players.
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
    @moishetreats

    I could not agree more, I too have spent the last 5 months or so, reading on this forum and 2+2; regarding different scenarios other players have found themselves in, and what others have had to say about it etc. Or hand analyses that commonly pop up. I am very in favor of learning from those who are better than I; even if I have to sit to the right of someone who is superior in skill lol.

    I will also add how your example was perfectly analogous to you expounding on what it means to be arrogant and how it can be costly via a real-lie example
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
    @jeffnc

    I would imagine the more distractions there are, the more we increase our edge. Good points
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, and the trick is to pretend that you're having a good time and talking about the game and being one of the guys, but at the same time paying close attention to everything. Kind of how a blackjack player would disguise his advantage play.
  • NYCRyNYCRy Red Chipper Posts: 318 ✭✭✭
    The real question though is what is your 1RM Deadlift?!
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
    NYCRy wrote: »
    The real question though is what is your 1RM Deadlift?!

    Hahah love it man! 425 conventional, 168lb body weight--don't really gym like I used to anymore (been a gymrat for 19 years), but still love it
  • Albert AAlbert A Red Chipper Posts: 79 ✭✭
    I agree with everything on this thread but as a live cash game player I'm a little sensitive/defensive to some of the tone. I am strictly a recreational (15-20 hrs/month) live $1/$2 NLHE player, somewhat studied but not driven. I do not play online so if some of my presumptions of online play are wrong, I apologize in advance.
    While I know that online play is MUCH tougher than live play, might some of the softness of live play come from the fact that any info gained/retained has to come from you? YOU have to keep track of the pot size, YOU have to memorize player frequencies/tendencies, YOU have to remember what the villian did pre flop 3 hands ago, YOU have to have some idea of their VPIP and PFR. The pot size isn't written on the felt, you can't end a session and print out the hand histories to study, and you don't have a ready made player profile at your fingertips.
    The low limit live games are littered with unstudied people playing "bingo/jackpot" poker hoping to hit a flop. They play fit or fold. Very soft.
    That said, there are a lot of sharp live players out there playing aggressive exploitative poker. So be aware. They're easy to identify too. Their bets are bigger, they attack limpers, C-bet, and barrel with a +EV.
    On a funny note. I was playing with a guy that I'm somewhat familiar with and I consider him a good player. Anyway, every so often he would chime in with some terminology that only studied players would know (not arrogantly). Then he said something about SPR and I finally had enough. I said, "Did you just say SPR?" and he just grinned. The rest of the table was like, what's SPR, so we explained a little but the rest of them had a "who cares about that" smirk. For the rest of the night they were asking, "What's the SPR? What's the SPR?" Wise guys!
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Albert A wrote: »
    While I know that online play is MUCH tougher than live play, might some of the softness of live play come from the fact that any info gained/retained has to come from you? ...every so often he would chime in with some terminology that only studied players would know (not arrogantly).

    Yes, both of those things contribute. Not only is it harder to keep track of information in your head than it is with a HUD/database, but a lot of live players don't want to even if they could. Talking about percentages and lingo is extremely discouraged at a couple games I play in. I know one game in particular where if I had a discussion about my equity after a hand was over, and did that more than once, I probably wouldn't be invited back.

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,618 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you're shocked that entry level play is played at an entry level, not much to be said.

    Imagine if online sites made you begin your poker career at NL200.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,268 -
    persuadeo wrote: »
    If you're shocked that entry level play is played at an entry level, not much to be said.

    Imagine if online sites made you begin your poker career at NL200.

    Yes, this.

    Plus it hasn't always been this way. When online was getting going the Bellagio $8/16 LHE was way tougher than $25/50 online, although "tougher" is a bit misleading here as neither were actually hard to beat. One of the problems with online is that the huge number of hands you can play makes it much harder for the truly inept to tell themselves they're simply running bad.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,343 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 6
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    One of the problems with online is that the huge number of hands you can play makes it much harder for the truly inept to tell themselves they're simply running bad.

    That's why they know it's rigged.

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,268 -
    jeffnc wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    One of the problems with online is that the huge number of hands you can play makes it much harder for the truly inept to tell themselves they're simply running bad.

    That's why they know it's rigged.

    Ha!
    Moderation In Moderation
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
    @persuadeo

    I get what you're saying; except that when you're beginning like myself; your first live experience definitely will result in questions regarding said experience like I have here. Yes entry level play being..entry level isn't all that surprising; I simply wanted to confirm that it wasn't any type of abnormal and or anomaly type experience. Very interesting point regarding starting online at 200NL.

    @Albert A

    Meant no offense here my man, I can also agree with your post!

    @TheGameKat

    Interesting point about sort of the evolutionary perspective, makes sense that through time the game has changed to say the least
  • Albert AAlbert A Red Chipper Posts: 79 ✭✭
    No offense taken:) I agree with your post. I was just saying that retaining any info must be done in our own head when playing live. Of course we don't do nearly a good enough job of it:)
  • DeadliftsDeadlifts Red Chipper Posts: 80 ✭✭
    @Albert A

    Totally agree, personally my one and only live experience, I kept it light-hearted at the table, talked it up made friends..but kept all my knowledge to myself. To your point about the popular "We don't need to know that stuff" view, I didn't see it to be conducive to start throwing around senseless terms in that type of environment. Just chatted it up and kept to my strategy!

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