Non mathy, table dynamics question

whycandiwhycandi Red Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
Last night, I played $1/2 live at a full ten-handed table in New England. I'd been at the table for four hours and spun a $200 buy-in into a $1,000 stack though bluff c-betting, taking down a few monster pots, and not paying off the nits.

Late in the session, the table filled up with four older regs, four nits, and one of the reg's girlfriend. The girlfriend never bet, only posted blinds, and played games on her iPad. With few exceptions, every pot was a limped pot. I didn't limp, but raised when I had cards, and folded when I didn't. When I raised, the limpers came along. When I c-bet, most of the callers would fold on the flop and almost certainly fold to another barrel on the turn. The regs figured they could smash the flop with low cards and I'd pay them off. That was a mistake. Over the course of the night, I steadily increased my open raises from $12 to $15. It was profitable, boring, and tiring.

Typically, Friday nights bring a lot of fish to that card room. I guess the regs saw me as their fish. After a four hour session, I left the card room earlier than expected because being the sole aggressor was exhausting.

My questions:
1/ If no one else is raising, how long do you stay at the table?

2/ At what point do you say something about the woman who is taking up space?

3/ What's the etiquette for requesting a table change from the floor?

4/ Was I an idiot for leaving the table?

5/ More generally, when do you decide to call it a night? I usually leave when I hit my loss limit or when I feel that I am not being appropriately aggressive.

Comments

  • CubanBCubanB Red Chipper Posts: 104 ✭✭
    1. If everyone at your table is passive, that's a pretty good situation and certainly not something that would cause me to want to quit the game. A passive game is easier to beat than one filled with competent aggressive players, which we all aim to be.

    2. You don't, particularly since she sounds like the only nit at your table. You'll encounter them in all cardrooms at all stakes, so you might as well figure out how to play against them.

    3. I honestly don't know as I don't table change. I'd imagine it's as straight forward as requesting a change from someone in charge.

    4. I don't know - how were you playing when you decided to leave? You say you were bored and tired when you quit, so if that boredom and fatigue was causing you to make worse decisions than you would have when fresh and engaged, it was probably a good time to stop. How you are playing is probably the most important driver for determining when to quit.

    5. This is different for everyone. Some players set stoplosses of like 2 buy-ins, others will leave after they've made 3 buy-ins; someone may leave after taking a bad beat because they're tilting; or maybe they set a specific length for a session - I, for example, don't like to play more than 5 hours because I begin to lose focus at that point.

    As long as you are playing good poker, it doesn't really matter when you quit because your poker career is one life-long session. When your play starts to suffer for whatever reason - fatigue, boredom, tilt, uncertainty about how to play with deep stacks, or whatever - that's when we should consider packing it up for the night.
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    Um, this sounds like my favorite game, the limper come along but play fit or fold on the flop game. I love these games. V's play so straight forward it is auto printing. Is it filled with huge action? No. But, you consistently rake 1-2 $20-35 pots every orbit. This is how you can build a $200 profit rather easily in 2-3 hours. I'll take $60-$80 an hour at $1/2 $1/3 any day of the week. If the GF is taking a spot by limp folding, that's like someone just giving me $2 for free every time. IDGAF. These are dream tables man. Are they as fun as huge action or tough tables where even if you aren't involved in the hand you get to see good fun action poker? Na. So figure out why you wanna play the game, and find a table that fits those needs. If your an action junkie, sit down at PLO and prepare to blow some cash for some thrills.
  • whycandiwhycandi Red Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
    @jfarrow13 Thanks for the feedback. It should have been my favorite game. I'm an idiot. Sorry. I was just surprised that it was that easy, straightforward, and transparent. I should have hung on longer.

    I play to make money. I've just never been at a table when it's been that easy, and it was weirdly boring. Next time, I'll put the headphones on, listen to some tunes for excitement, and fill up a few racks.

    Again, thanks for your help.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    whycandi wrote: »
    My questions:
    1/ If no one else is raising, how long do you stay at the table?

    I wouldn't consider how much other people are raising when deciding how long to stay.
    whycandi wrote: »
    2/ At what point do you say something about the woman who is taking up space?

    Assuming you're playing in a casino, why on earth would it ever be your place to say anything about another customer who is not breaking any casino rules?
    whycandi wrote: »
    3/ What's the etiquette for requesting a table change from the floor?

    Ask away.
    whycandi wrote: »
    4/ Was I an idiot for leaving the table?

    I'm not going to judge. Sounds like you were bored and not enjoying yourself. If you were "working", some days at work are more interesting than others, but if you have a job where you can leave any time you want and you don't need the money, then do whatever you want.
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    @whycandi I play to make money too, but it's not my primary form of income is what I mean, so I'm a rec player. I don't think anyone sit's down saying "alright I'm here to lose a few hundo", but they could be long time losing players. I'd also advise against the headphone's, because that used to be me. I was "I'm gonna put on some tunes and run this stack up! Ultra focus!"

    I think this is bad for the table. Your just a detached robot. Unless the entire table is full of that, I don't look at my phone, I watch the table, and talk to the other players. I joke, laugh, comment about the game and try to have a good time with the other players. I've noticed it 1. Creates a better, looser gambling environment. 2. Even if they lose, they go home feeling like they had a good time, or if I win it doesn't create a feeling of animosity at the table, making them more likely to re-buy and 3. It's 100% more enjoyable for me. I'm a jovial outgoing person in general. It's fun, and you get to talk to people, meet some characters, hear some stories. It's a richer experience! In addition, I'm big on live reads, and getting people talking is part of that. In fact, I've actually gotten somebody at the table to literally tell me "Just fold man. I've made enough money today and you seem like a good guy. I got it" When I flopped TPTK vs his set. If your a headphone wearing, robot, I don't think people do that for you, as they perceive you at "Look at this asshole. He's some kind of internet pro kid. Screw this guy."

    A lot of pro's have come to this conclusion. These bad player's aren't your "fish" to be abused, looked down on, and dis-guarded or disrespected. No sir, these are your valued customers, and they are paying for a good time! If you ran a business, you wouldn't say "lol thanks idiot", or not smile at a customer every time they purchased your product. I'm not saying your rude, I'm just saying leave the headphones off, talk with people, create a enjoyable relaxing atmosphere. People are more likely to spend money when they are relaxed and having a good time, maybe even make incorrect plays, "gamble it up". Help to facilitate this environment. I remember watching a live stream where Ryan Fee said he like harasses headphone wearing players at his tables with like chippy little comments until they take them out.
  • whycandiwhycandi Red Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
    @jfarrow13 I agree with everything you said. I, too, am a rec player and joke around as much as possible. People are happier giving money to people who make them happy. And, life is too short to be miserable. That being said, I've worked hard to be a better poker and I'd like to leave up a few dollars on the night, which is why the night in question was weird and hard. I made money but it wasn't fun. That's a lot like my day job.

    Finally, I gave you the short version of the girlfriend problem. At one point in the night, she left the table for more than an hour. Just before the floor was about to pull her chips, the boyfriend texted her to come back to the table. She sat for two hands, then promptly disappeared for another 20 minutes and got indignant when someone, not me, called her out on it. Her disappearing act and no fun table got to me. Lesson learned it won't happen again. Thanks for the tough love.
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    Na, I agree with you. That's really obnoxious, someone leaving for like 45 minutes at a time come back, play 1 orbit, 45 minutes gone. Like, just pick up your chips the wait list ain't that long.
  • Greg_VailGreg_Vail RCP Coach Posts: 53 ✭✭
    whycandi wrote: »
    Last night, I played $1/2 live at a full ten-handed table in New England. I'd been at the table for four hours and spun a $200 buy-in into a $1,000 stack though bluff c-betting, taking down a few monster pots, and not paying off the nits.

    Late in the session, the table filled up with four older regs, four nits, and one of the reg's girlfriend. The girlfriend never bet, only posted blinds, and played games on her iPad. With few exceptions, every pot was a limped pot. I didn't limp, but raised when I had cards, and folded when I didn't. When I raised, the limpers came along. When I c-bet, most of the callers would fold on the flop and almost certainly fold to another barrel on the turn. The regs figured they could smash the flop with low cards and I'd pay them off. That was a mistake. Over the course of the night, I steadily increased my open raises from $12 to $15. It was profitable, boring, and tiring.

    Typically, Friday nights bring a lot of fish to that card room. I guess the regs saw me as their fish. After a four hour session, I left the card room earlier than expected because being the sole aggressor was exhausting.

    My questions:
    1/ If no one else is raising, how long do you stay at the table?

    2/ At what point do you say something about the woman who is taking up space?

    3/ What's the etiquette for requesting a table change from the floor?

    4/ Was I an idiot for leaving the table?

    5/ More generally, when do you decide to call it a night? I usually leave when I hit my loss limit or when I feel that I am not being appropriately aggressive.

    1. I hate this situation, but it can be profitable if these people are calling raises and then check folding the flop. In which case, you should consider opening up your raising range and C-betting much more. It then turns into a small ball game. Typically, a Friday night is not the night that you want to take this strategy to work. There are plenty of other good games. Do not waste a second in a game that you do not think is good. There are plenty of other games to change too.

    2. Never. Use it to your advantage and never give her a dollar of action when she pokes her head up to play a hand. Go into total lockdown on this person. I do not give action to those who don't give it themselves.

    3. No etiquette required. Just go ask for a table change from (insert your table #) to any table. No reason necessary.

    4. Idiot? No of course not. Poker is a business. You are making a business decision. No justification required. There are always better games on a Friday night.

    5. I only leave a game for two reasons. I become incapable of playing my A game through fatigue or some other factor. Or if the game becomes a non-profitable situation in regards to my time. Granted, I play Big O and PLO8 for a living and this rarely happens. Most of the time, I start the games and I am the last person to leave unless I am about to pass out or start making mistakes that I normally don't. Holdem is different and I fully understand that some players play with limits on both sides of their game. If you play with loss or win limits, then you need to stick with them. Generally speaking, I advise my students to do away with the win limits. If they are playing their A game and in a good situation, I try to urge my students to stay as long as those two factors are present.

    Hope this helps! Sounds like you're thinking about the right things and have a high potential for learning
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,713 ✭✭✭✭✭
    whycandi wrote: »
    Finally, I gave you the short version of the girlfriend problem. At one point in the night, she left the table for more than an hour. Just before the floor was about to pull her chips, the boyfriend texted her to come back to the table. She sat for two hands, then promptly disappeared for another 20 minutes

    This is pretty uncool, and probably different casinos would handle it differently. Some floors might stick to the letter of the law and let her play, but some might take care of the situation somehow, because it's bad for the other customers and bad for their bottom line. I would basically call that "shooting an angle" in terms of keeping your seat.....

  • whycandiwhycandi Red Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
    [quote="Greg_Vail;c-67097"

    5. I only leave a game for two reasons. I become incapable of playing my A game through fatigue or some other factor. Or if the game becomes a non-profitable situation in regards to my time. Granted, I play Big O and PLO8 for a living and this rarely happens. Most of the time, I start the games and I am the last person to leave unless I am about to pass out or start making mistakes that I normally don't. Holdem is different and I fully understand that some players play with limits on both sides of their game. If you play with loss or win limits, then you need to stick with them. Generally speaking, I advise my students to do away with the win limits. If they are playing their A game and in a good situation, I try to urge my students to stay as long as those two factors are present.

    Hope this helps! Sounds like you're thinking about the right things and have a high potential for learning[/quote]

    Thanks for the feedback. Much food for thought.

    I have a day job, so I can't play all night. I tend to leave the table because:
    • I need to get up in the morning.
    • I've hit my loss limit. I have one because I worry about tilt. I've seen people completely lose their minds after coughing up a few buy-ins. I don't want to be that guy. Having a loss limit keeps me in line.
    • I've lost my aggressive edge. Say I've got AKo UTG with a few solid regs behind me, if it crosses my mind for a second that I might want to play the hand passively, I instantly rack up my chips and leave the table.
    • Late in the night, the table dynamics shift quickly because new players sit down. Sometimes I don't want to adjust to the new dynamic or learn how to exploit the new players.
    If any of these things happen, then I know it's time to go.
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Red Chipper Posts: 52 ✭✭
    My motive is to make money at a table. So as long as I am not tired I stay. If the table sucks I leave. Best tables are passive, predictable, only raise with the nuts, and can fold. You get the best of both worlds. As for the girl? She doesn't matter. If I have a 9 handed table and 3 people are looking at phones and barely playing I'm fine with it. I just pretend they folded. The game is technically shorter without the blinds eating you up. They fold fast because they play tight and usually they signal they are folding.

    So I wouldn't bitch. And let's say 3 people are off the table. Ok now you have a short handed situation which you totally can take advantage of. Players aren't comfortable playing short.

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