Ready To Go Live

Russ IRuss I Red Chipper Posts: 67 ✭✭
Welp, I've been studying and grinding out some micro-stakes online to put my newfound knowledge to use. I think I'm a lot better at hand reading thanks to a lot of study in that area. I've fine tuned my aggression, going from super nit to, hopefully, a more modern game that will pressure my opponents. I've worn out my eyes watching and reading applicable videos and articles and books from Doug Hull and Splitsuit. I've tried to put a few of their lessons into practice, then add a few more, etc.

Wednesday I'm heading to Vegas for 10 days and will play $1-$2 cash. Anyone want to give me a few things to think about in the transition from $0.10 online to $2 cash?

Here are my main areas of concentration:
1. Keep track of the pot size every hand (and find bet sizing exploits in my opponents) - Poker Plays You Can Use, mission 3
2. Classify Players, mission 5
3. Actively put my opponents on a range...and hopefully exploit those ranges

I think these three areas have been weaknesses in my past games, and obviously the first two have been taken care of for me by my HUD and the online environment, so I expect those two areas to take a lot of my concentration.

Aside from the above, I'm fully expecting to be playing against more A-suited hands than in the online environment, and in general, a lot wider range. I expect that to see a lot more calling down marginal hands from tourists that did not come to LV to fold. I'm also going to expect larger opening bet sizes live in LV than online. Last I was there, the opening bet was about 6x.

Anyone else want to chime in on one or two things to keep in mind?

Russ1409
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Comments

  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 4,375 ✭✭✭✭
    Study multiway pots
    Give fish credit for small bets
    Don't bluff those who don't fold
    Make big river bets with the nuts, which looks like you ate polarized even though its just 100% value. They will think your bluffing cause your betting big.
  • Wiki_LeaksWiki_Leaks Red Chipper Posts: 524 ✭✭✭
    Sounds like you have been studying and building your strategy so stick to that. GL.
  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 778 ✭✭✭
    I think your probably biting off a bit too much for you first time playing live. I went from 100nl to 1-2 live, and found it took some time to follow the action, get a feel for pot sizes, deal with the odd bet sizes and ridiculous subjective logic.

    Even counting pots take some time to get used to and a lot of mental energy at the beginning. Its also very easy to fall into the trap of folding for a couple of hours and seeing players limping in with crap and getting payed off. All of a sudden that Q9s in mid seat looks like you might just be able to limp it type thing. I got lucky and got punished early for doing these things.

    Stick to your opening ranges, sure eventually against some players you can widen, but to start, stick to them. Make sure you keep coming in for raises, even though your missing, or 5 players have limped and T7s looks like a cheap limp on the co.

    Give yourself a chance to get used to the pacing...and the multiple pots.

    Don't worry too much about preflop ranges, they will be very erratic, but post flop play will be very straight forward for the most part. And don't get annoyed when they show up with something so stupid...

    And honestly live poker is so much more fun, have fun. Don't get frustrated if its hard to keep track of pots, or remember who raised, and what the exact action was when a hand goes to showdown or whatever. There are tons of distraction in casinos, and concentrating at the table takes practice. Practice counting pots for 20 minutes. Then spend 20 minutes putting players on hands. Then maybe don't wory if you miss the action for 15 minutes while you talk to guy next to you. Don't worry too much about preflop ranges, they will be very erratic, but post flop play will be very straight forward for the most part. It helps to take brakes.

    Good luck.
  • MidnightFoxMidnightFox Red Chipper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    If you play with passive Nitty regulars (and in Vegas you will), learn to 1-barrel A-high and K-high flops and 2-barrel flop and turn for most other flops(bet smallish on flop to get calls then blow them out on the turn).
    Do this when you have overcards or a gutshot or any pair or better; if they call your turn barrel, they have a strong hand, and you need to hit one of your outs to win; you’ll need 2-pair+ to win on the river.
    They are limping in with junk, calling your preflop raise, checking to you, calling once with something weak, then folding on the turn. They slowplay their strong hands and fold everything else to a big turn barrel, so let the turn barrel be your filter to sift their hands and make easy profit. Watch Ed Miller’s The Course video on board types.
    :Jd :Tc
  • Russ IRuss I Red Chipper Posts: 67 ✭✭
    I've probably misled a few people with my title. I've played live poker, and regularly at the $1-$2 games in Vegas, and in other poker rooms in the west. I've just played poorly....in 10 years of record keeping I'm a break even live player.

    Great advice, guys, thanks.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,091 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Russ I wrote: »
    2. Classify Players, mission 5
    3. Actively put my opponents on a range...and hopefully exploit those ranges

    If you're successful at #2, then you'll come across some weak players. You might want to check out "Unfolding Poker" by @SplitSuit - the chapter regarding range advantage. "The concept of range advantage is not as important against weaker players. Since they are not thinking about your range, they do not care what you represent. [Bluffing] against them just because your range should be ahead... will not work."

    It's great to stay a level above your opponents - just don't try to play 3 levels above weak players.

  • Jónas SJónas S Red Chipper Posts: 202 ✭✭✭
    Austin wrote: »
    Give fish credit for small bets

    Really? In my experience the fish are simply deciding how much they have to pay for their draws.
  • MidnightFoxMidnightFox Red Chipper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Jónas S wrote: »
    Really? In my experience the fish are simply deciding how much they have to pay for their draws.

    “Fish” is usually used to describe someone who calls with everything unless they have a monster. Players who donk out in small pots and fold to raises are usually known as “weak-tights” or “weak regs”. Weak regs are almost the only thing I play against.
    :Jd :Tc
  • Russ IRuss I Red Chipper Posts: 67 ✭✭
    Indeed, I have read "Unfolding Poker" and will take note of not playing multiple levels above my opponent. I started playing too many levels over the opponent in my online practice, and it cost me money for awhile.

    Thanks @jeffnc
    jeffnc wrote: »
    Russ I wrote: »
    2. Classify Players, mission 5
    3. Actively put my opponents on a range...and hopefully exploit those ranges

    If you're successful at #2, then you'll come across some weak players. You might want to check out "Unfolding Poker" by @SplitSuit - the chapter regarding range advantage. "The concept of range advantage is not as important against weaker players. Since they are not thinking about your range, they do not care what you represent. [Bluffing] against them just because your range should be ahead... will not work."

    It's great to stay a level above your opponents - just don't try to play 3 levels above weak players.

  • Russ IRuss I Red Chipper Posts: 67 ✭✭
    I'm going to have some trouble with this I think. When I see a small bet, what I see is "Opponent doesn't want my stack. He's weak." I guess this is a bet sizing problem amongst weak players, who will be my main opponents at $1-$2?
    Austin wrote: »
    Give fish credit for small bets

  • MidnightFoxMidnightFox Red Chipper Posts: 321 ✭✭✭
    You just need to figure out who is who when you sit down. If there is a fish, a weak-tight, and a maniac, sitting at the table, you better not mix them up.
    This is more important than tracking the size of the pot(visual game) or counting combos; player identification, and broad counter-strategy is most important. Don’t get lost in the weeds, for what is actually going on.
    Don’t worry about individual results of hands; work to perceive their broad intention, as to how they think they are going to win the chips. Then work to thwart that intention.
    :Jd :Tc
  • Russ IRuss I Red Chipper Posts: 67 ✭✭
    This is gonna be long.....you've been warned :-)

    So.....while spending 11 days in Vegas during the rodeo, I managed to get in about 50 hours of table time at 1/2 or 1/3 games. Average length of the session was 6 hours, which is a lot longer than I used to play. I walked away slightly up, at just over 3BB/hour. Obviously a small sample size, but this is ever so slightly better than my lifetime average of more-or-less being a break even player.

    As I said in my original post, I had three initial goals.
    1. Keep track of the pot in every hand.

    Quite frankly, this was easy almost immediately. It was simply a matter of paying attention, and proved to me that in the past I was NOT paying attention enough. I also found that if my attention strayed for a bit and I lost track, I could get a good estimate just at a glance of the pot. Also, early on, just looking at the chips set aside for the rake helped too. Did it help my play? Well.......more on that below.

    2. Classify players (faster than before).

    This was somewhat a success, I think, although I probably wasn't as successful as many people, as I was probably too general. I was able to identify the NITs and the super LAGs after just a couple of orbits. Some in the middle I never really felt comfortable because I saw very few of their showdowns, and I only had an estimate of VPIP to go on (which, typically, was very high). I tried to get them on some ranges based on their VPIP, and I think I was mostly successful. I basically ended up with three classifications: NIT, Bad LAG, and somewhere in the middle. I need to improve this.

    It did save me money once. I folded my set of kings on the flop, because I just KNEW my super-NIT opponent had a set of aces. He showed the set when I folded. Short of sucking out a king, I would have gotten stacked on prior trips. It also tilted the player on my right, who was a local reg jerk. That was almost worth it alone. It earned me a NIT image which I tried to exploit, but only with marginal success.

    3. Actively put my opponents on a range...and hopefully exploit those ranges.

    Well...I would say I had mixed results here. I was initially very unsuccessful at it, and it was because I was using opening ranges for my opponents that I had studied, rather than watching and adjusting to their play. I can't tell you the number of times that I saw J2s, T3s, Q5o, K2o, and the like open raise, call open raises, and even call 3-bets. I basically learned quickly that a 3-bet of 3-4x the open raise meant nothing to these players. Once they put money in the pot, they were going to see the flop. The result of this was I made money with my premium hands, but it made me slide back into my old Super-NIT ways, which I hated.

    I lost any number of hands where I had an overpair to the board and the opponent showed up with 2P or some like combination with what I would consider an absolute ridiculous starting hand, like T3s. Removing hands from these opponents' ranges was next to impossible.

    What else. Big bets with the nuts. Yep, it worked. It's where I made my money.

    Respect small bets from opponents? No. I realized that most opponents at the 1/2 aren't keeping track of the pot size. In fact, most of the time the bet size shrunk as the cards came out in a pretty predictable fashion. So many times I saw $10 bet into $40 pot, or a $60 into $250. The size of the bet was what the opponents looked at, not the % of the pot.

    I tried no bluffs unless I held the ace and a three flush draw hit the board. I had opponents lay down hands to my perceived flush. Other than that, I assumed my opponents weren't thinking enough to bluff them.

    I adhered to Ed Miller's rule that a big bet on the turn or river is a fold for me. Once again, the bet sizing of my opponents was terrible (see above) and I didn't often see a "large" bet on the river. I was more likely to see the same sized bet whether the opponent had the nuts, 2nd pair, 3rd pair, 4th pair, whatever. I tried to pay attention to see if I was being exploited here and I don't think I was.

    I sat in a couple sessions where there were some players that were obviously better than the rest of the table. I elected not to change tables, but rather I tried to sit and watch them play. It seemed like they were always super aggressive, but when they had to show their hands they always had it. I wish I had taken notes on these hands and found a way to keep track of how many times they actually showed up with the best hand over my notion that they "always" had it. Obviously they didn't. I would so like to play this style of poker, but I'm not there yet.

    I played in a bunch of rooms. Caesar's was fun, if you found the right table. Played twice at the Bellagio and hated it, the players were rude, the dealers were surly and disinterested....I don't know why they get so many games going. Aria was fun and good game selection, neat to see a few high profile pros walk through. Mandalay Bay was awful when I was there, full of NIT regs who were only there to pass blinds back and forth and wait on the jackpot draws. The TI and PH were fun, but not a lot of games going. I played mostly at the Mirage, because that's where the best rodeo after party was. It was therefore full of tourists whom I targeted while staying away from the regs that were also preying on them. Since I didn't wear my cowboy hat, I wasn't usually one of the prey, I don't think. This is also where the nicest regs could be found, they treated everyone with respect and had a good time. The dealers were fun too. Only downside was there was usually only one 1/2 game going after about 1am.

    Overall, I had a great time and the poker was fun, which is the main thing since I'm a rec player. I'm NOT happy about my win rate. I wanted more return on my investment. Looking at it purely from a $ perspective, I haven't gained much going from break-even to winning $6.50/hour....but it's only a tiny, tiny sample size.

    Back to online until January, when I'll be playing at Harrah's New Orleans, and then in March, when it's back to Vegas for March Madness.

    I'll post some hands in separate threads shortly.

    Russ
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,091 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Russ I wrote: »
    I folded my set of kings on the flop, because I just KNEW my super-NIT opponent had a set of aces.

    Makes you wonder how the two hands even got to the flop with enough money to keep playing poker, but I guess that's for another day :)

  • Russ IRuss I Red Chipper Posts: 67 ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Makes you wonder how the two hands even got to the flop with enough money to keep playing poker, but I guess that's for another day :)

    He raised, I 3B, and he just called. I saw very few 4B when I was there, and when I did it was aces.
  • Russ IRuss I Red Chipper Posts: 67 ✭✭


    LOL. That must have been you sitting next to me that day. Wish you would have introduced yourself, that would have explained a lot.

    I watched him play for almost 4 hours. He played exactly two hands, and it was aces. He was sitting with his buddy, they were drinking for "free," waiting on the jackpots. He wasn't playing poker, he was playing aces.

    @Russ I
    Folding a flopped Set in a raised pot? ..., Aaaarghh!

    You fold today it just happen to be a good one by sheer luck or fear and you are happy and proud. I can see that. You saved couple dollars and be able to afford a shrimp cocktail at Golden Gate on Fremont St, downtown LV, and maybe even treat a friend.

    [/quote]

  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 662 ✭✭
    What about 3bets? I would imagine that 3betting is super low at a $1/2 live table. Maybe 3% tops?
  • Joseph FJoseph F Red Chipper Posts: 662 ✭✭
    edited December 2017
    Octavian I wrote: »
    Joseph F wrote: »
    What about 3bets? I would imagine that 3betting is super low at a $1/2 live table. Maybe 3% tops?

    The 3betting is so low that I honestly believe a strategy build on 3bettting and value betting alone can make you a winning player if you've been a moderate losing one. If you want to improve a little more, you never limp as the 1st one in the pot and very rarely call a raise coming from your right if your hand can't compete with the upper part of a playable range. What I mean is this: Look at a playable normal range chart and compare your hand location in relationship to the upper half of that imaginary range. If your hand is in the belly of that section you can call or even 3bet, else FOLD.

    Yeah, see - Online I have games where guys are 3betting virtually 0% of the time (/shrug) and then games where the 3b avg is around 25%. One extreme to the other. In the games where 3betting is viewed as illegal or something, I'm playing the way you detail above and indeed, it's worked a charm. Multiple times we've found a fish on our right who simply doesn't know what to do when 3b but fold. Then we got into the whole golden goose theory but ultimately, this was the only value to get from him. He was scared money. Eventually, this type of villain just leaves the table.

    I'm not far away from being able to take a 5BI (or more) shot at the casino. So, as stated previously, I'm trying to study live poker on here as much as possible alongside my play/study online. I'm more concerned about keeping track of the action right now as I've never played live, than I am of the competition at the tables. With $1/2 blinds and stacks as deep as they get there, I think I'm ready to take my AA getting cracked by 44 pre for $200. It's all relative.

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