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It is what it is…confessions from a Live semi pro

    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      I have decided to start a blog with the clear purpose of keeping myself motivated and also to educate the reader. I plan to update it once a week or so.
      About me:

      My name is Stephanus Petrus Markus Vorster or “fanie” to my friends. I am 42 yrs old and I am married with 2 children, Tyrone (7) and Meghan (5). I live in Johannesburg South Africa.

      I am a retired nerd but only after obtaining a Bcom(Law), LLB, LLM. I obtained my Masters cum laude and in fact ended top of my class. In 1994 I was admitted, and have been practicing, as an Advocate (a lawyer specializing in litigation).

      How I came to Poker:

      I came from Chess. In 2004 I was invited to play the Gauteng East close Chess tournament. I finished join champion. The following year I was asked to coach one of the Gauteng East junior teams for the South African junior championships. During the championships I was introduced to holdem with all the coaches playing almost more holdem then chess.

      In January 2005 I opened my first online accounts and started playing. I made my first deposit of R500 which I dutifully lost. About two weeks later I made another deposit of R500. I promised myself that, should I lose that money I would stop playing holdem. Since then I have never ever had to take money out of my own pocket to play. Every deposit I have ever made since was made from one poker skin to another and then only for purpose of some bonus.

      In February 2005 I started playing “international” (meaning non South African) sites. I started the way one should and build a bankroll from free rolls. I opened a neteller account and I have been moving my “international” roll through neteller ever since.

      How and why I became a “semi – pro”:

      In September 2006 a Casino about 10 Km from my home started with the first live games in Johannesburg. (Well in South Africa AFAIK) This is when my “hobby” started becoming a bit more. I started playing about 30-40 hours a week over an above my real job and my online game.

      About the middle of 2007 it became apparent that Tyrone, then about 3yrs, had “special needs”. We were told that he had to do therapy. It immediately became apparent that the cost implications for this therapy would be severe to the extent that the monthly cost exceeded our medical allowance for the year. To my shock I also discovered that neither my wife nor I would be able to deduct this expense for tax purposes.

      I then decided that if neither the medical aid nor the tax man wanted to assist us in paying for his treatment that I would earn the money by way of poker because then they will not get the benefit of deducting anything from this income.

      So I became a “semi-pro”.

      Since then all Tyrone’s medication, treatment and therapy has been paid from my poker income. I have also been paying our annual holiday from my poker income.

      Where and what do I play:

      Online I like to play the lowest limits. I have been known to put a decent amount of volume at 50NL$ and have taken real stabs at 100NL$ on the softer tables but I have no problem putting in some volume below 10NL$. (On the South African sites I play 400NL – 1000NL). The point is that I can try and learn and reinforce ideas on tables which most represents live games. {There is little to no use to a live player to study the subtle difference or benefits of passive and active blind defence to a steal raise} I like to take a simple but complete system and grind it until it becomes second nature to me. I have done this with most of the systems here on Pokerstrategy.

      Live I mostly play cash games at whatever level is available. I have played tournaments but I simply don’t like the feast or famine volatility that comes with it. I must say that I had quite a run in my local casino tournament. It is a low buy-in tourney on a Tuesday night which, at the time, attracted about 70-80 players every week. What is very important is that the structure of this tournament was of such a nature that the average stack was +- 20 BB from Level 2 all the way to Level 7 or 8 depending on how many players were eliminated. I played the tourney as if it was “shallow” online tables and applied the advance SSS. Between January 2010 to April 2010 I played 14 of these tournaments and make 12 final tables and cashed 10 times. On 1st May 2010 my father passed away and I did not play for a couple of weeks. On my return the tournament structure had changed and I was unable to repeat my performance.

      Well Enough about me. I will post my first real poker post below this.

      Tl, dr:

      I play poker. I play mostly live. I will post my nuggets of wisdom.
  • 287 replies
    • JonikoP
      Joined: 15.05.2010 Posts: 600
      Looking forward to following a live poker blog.

      Good luck,
    • fruktpuff
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      Welcome to our blogging section!

      This seems it could become a potential goldmine for the rest of us just starting out with live play!
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      The first thing when we sit down to play poker is we want to know “Who are we playing against”. This is the topic of this weeks blog.

      There is the old story that if you sitting at a live game and after 30 min you don’t know the donkey then you it. Well maybe this will help you finding the animal with the large ears.

      IMHO when you play live you must know that there are personality types and player types.

      Personality types relates to how villain looks, how villain came to play poker and what villain talks about.Player types is how villain plays. Often personality types will affect player types but it is not always the case.

      You must remember that you interact with the personalities and play against the players. If the gamble personality talks to you about black jack and tells you he had a good doubling hand then you must know that he had 65/74 if he had called or 83/92 if he folded. On the other hand you must not make the mistake of thinking that this gamble personality is a passive chaser and bluff off all your chips to him on the river. The big lesson is DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER. Just because a middle age lady comes from the “let it ride” or “casino poker” table to sit at your table you should not immediately believe she is a bad player.

      You must never ever sitdown at a table and think well all the old well dress people a bad poker players or fish and the young boys are over aggressive internet players.

      IMHO all the players on a live table can fall in one of the following personality types:

      - gamblers
      - casual players
      - poker players

      Gambler personalities:

      These are these people who have been playing “casino” games or came to the casino to make some sport bets on the weekends golf. They have money and they don’t need to work or they don’t need to be at the office. The good thing about these personality types is that they don’t mind losing money. They are use to it from the other tables. They might say “well at least at poker I only lose X amount”. The problem with these gamblers are that although they don’t mind losing is that they do mind losing EVERY time. So when they do win, and especially when they suck out on you, you MUST tell them how well they played and how they deserve it. If you don’t they will go away. Another thing about gamblers is that they have been sitting on casino tables for a long time and they can tell you exactly how much is in the pot and what pot odds are. The question is, and we will explore this when we look at player types, does he care about the odds?

      Casual personalities:

      This is the husband and wife who came to the casino to meet up with friends for dinner. After dinner they took a walk through the casino and saw the poker table. “Yes this is like on tv”. “No here you have a better chance because you are not playing against the casino….come it is fun”. They leave 100BB down but happy because they had fun or even better for us they leave 100BB up thinking they the best players in the world. Naturally the runner-runner flush was coming because they “had a feeling”. If they leave 100BB up we will see them next week and the week thereafter. Always trying to recreate that high. Always be friendly to casual players. Always negate any comment from any other player on the table intimating that poker is a game of skill. Losing casual players do not want know that poker is a game of skill. Winning casual players want to think that “I had a feeling” is the only skill in poker.

      Poker personalities:

      They “sitout” on their online table. Put off the PC. Drive to the casino and sit down on your table. They talk poker. They not necessarily good or winning players but they are - ev at the table. They berate and insult the casual personalities and gamblers and generally they flaunt their ignorance.

      DO NOT TALK STRATEGY with these players. WHY DO IT? Sometimes as a casual conversation you can discuss a hand with the poker personality next to you but keep it to a minimum. When they interact with casual personalities and gamblers you can enter the conversation with the clear intention of saving the persons feelings. If the poker personality attacks you personally it is a good idea to provoke them even more. Especially if it makes them angry.

      I cannot tell you how many young “internet” poker players have told me how good they are. More often then not they left soon thereafter and left their chips on the table.

      Well enough about personalities. I hope you now know how to talk and interact with them. Next we will discuss player types and how to PLAY against them.
    • Spungeh
      Joined: 29.06.2011 Posts: 1,212
      Nice read.. I sent you a friend request :) If you dont mind accepting :D
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      @Spungeh accepted.

      To everyone reading I plan to make the next blogs:
      1) player types: how to spot them, how to play them
      2) the rise and fall of online poker as I saw it
      3) Quo vadis : Moving from online to live poker a begining

      If anyone has a topic they wish me to cover or any questions i would love to hear from you.
    • TonyRice
      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 3,378
      Nice read looking forward to your future subjects and picking your brains a bit about them :)
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      This week we will be discussing PLAYER TYPES, how to spot them and how to play them.

      However just an observation or two about live play and how it affects people.

      Live Play is SLOOOOWWWWW. Very slow. Generally a player will see about 25 to 30 hands per hour compared to the 1200 hands per hour I have seen playing 3 or 4 tables rush. Pro-tip You can never multitable live :rolleyes:
      . This means inexperienced players, despite all intentions to the contrary, often start off playing very tight but soon goes into the “I don’t want to sit here for hours just folding” mode.

      Generally therefore live games are much loser than online. Therefore, and to maximize equity, the preflop raises are much lager than online.

      It is imperative to remember that player actions in live games are determine more often by recent history than personality type or player type. A normal tight passive player may suddenly decide to aggressively chase his gutshot straight draw simply because, after being card dead for hour(s), his 15 outer missed.

      With this caveat in mind lets look at the player types in live games as I see them. I shall start from the most profitable player type to the least profitable player type.

      The “drunken guerrilla”

      The drunken guerrilla walks through the jungle making a lot of noise until he walks into a tree. Such is the “drunken guerrilla” on the live table. How do you spot the “drunken guerrilla” on the table? Well how do you miss him? You will hear him when you walk into the casino.

      It is not uncommon for the “drunken guerrilla” to make a preflop raise of 20BB+ even before the cards are dealt. Postflop the “drunken guerrilla” suffers from the illusion that they are the next best thing after sliced bread. They will either play very tricky ie “strong is weak and weak is strong” or over play their made hands. Just looking at one showdown of the drunken guerrilla will tell you how they play. If the guerrilla played check call all three streets and shows anything more than top pair weak kicker you know he was slow playing and will do so in future. The guerrilla believes top pair is the nuts.

      The best way to play the drunken guerrilla is to take him on and get it all in preflop. This means never call the preflop raise of the drunken guerrilla. Always re-raise. Sometimes when you out of position and you know the guerrilla is going to raise it will be very profitable to limp re-raise. You must Never Every go to the flop in a multi way pot.

      Should you go to the flop we must remember how the guerrilla plays post flop. Against a tricky guerrilla we play check/call with TPTK+ and check/fold everything weaker. Against the non tricky guerrilla we will only continue with the near nuts by raising. Never bluff the drunken guerrilla.

      The Dog:

      The dog is a friendly animal. He likes to please its master. Sometimes when it sees an intruder it will bark or even bite.

      On the poker felt the dog is also a friendly animal. It believes “a pair is a pair old pal”. He will play check / call with any made hand simply because he believes that is what he should do. Occasionally the dog will make a monster hand but then he will dutifully raise.

      Spotting the dog is not difficult. He sits at the table with his wife/girlfriend behind him and he tells you about the nice meal he just had at one of the restaurants in the casino. He is oblivious to that purpose of the line around the felt and the dealer had to explain to him what a string bet is.

      Playing against the dog is also very easy. He plays fit or fold on the flop but thereafter he will play check / call unless you make your bets to big or unless he turns two pair +. So always make you c/bet and always value bet Top pair +. If the dog decide to raise then only continue with a monster. Do not bluff the dog he will seldom, if ever, fold a made hand.

      The road runner (chaser):

      The road runner thinks that if you run hard enough and long enough you will get there.

      On the felt the road runner is also easy spotted. “but they were suited” or “I was flushing”. The road runner has show down Q2s and K4s and even J5s.

      Playing against the road runner we must remember that not all road runners were created equally. There are the passive chasers, the aggressive chasers and the relentless chasers. The passive chaser will play check/call until they hit whereas the aggressive chasers loves betting his draw. A special breed of relentless chaser is the player that will call, with a weak flush draw, any amount regardless of potodds.

      Therefore it is very profitable playing Axs against a chasers especially a relentless chaser. With Axs against a passive or aggressive chaser we will play check /call simply because we will get villains stack when the flush comes. Against a relentless chaser we can even raise and get the money in whiles we have the dominating flush draw.

      In position and after the river bricks we can, when necessary, bluff the river. The road runner is capable of folding second pair if we have been betting and he missed his flush.

      The meerkat (regulars with benefits):

      The meerkat is a small animal living in a “gang”. They are often seen sitting on rocks but when danger comes along they disappear. Important about meerkat is, although they live in large extended families, they never fight!
      You can spot the meerkat when they arrive. All the regulars know them. You may even hear some comments like “here comes the family”. They greet everyone of the regulars by name. They may even kiss some of the players in greeting. You may also see some hands where two meerkats check down to showdown with two monsters after all other players have folded.

      The key to play against the meerkat is to look at the other meerkat. Especially if they sit next to each other. Remember meerkat families never fight. One meerkat will only call a raise or bet from another meerkat if another player has already called or if the second meerkat knows that the first does not have a monster.

      Therefore if a meerkat makes a preflop raise and the meerkat sitting next to him makes a insta call you know that neither has a monster and they will often fold to a 3 bet. If on the other hand a meerkat makes a preflop raise and the meerkat sitting next to him makes a “difficult” fold followed by a quick glance after the fold you will know that the first meerkat has a monster and the second meerkat has a new burse on his leg. In the last case pocket Jacks is no good.

      Other than the above the meerkat plays normal ABC poker with the slight adjustment that the meerkat, like most live poker players, are completely positionally oblivious.

      The horse (the regulars):

      The horse is an animal of burden. It does its work and hopes to get its reward.

      In live games the horse is the player that plays simple ABC poker. They are there 2 – 3 days a week and everyone know them. They are the grinders of the live poker world. The waiters know what they drink and the dealers know their names.

      The biggest leak of most horses: they a positionally unaware. They know UTG and the BTN but between these two positions there is simply a blur.

      Play the horse like you would play any other regular online with the slight adjustment that we can give their UTG +1 limp or raise less credit than you would an online player.

      Ok that is it for this week.

      If there are any specific topics you want me to look at just post and I will try to get to it.

    • fruktpuff
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      Awesome post, very well structured and informative.

      You reckon there are no proper good regs though, or just advice avoiding them like the plague?
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      No naturally there are wining regular players.

      What I said was that the one big leak of most regular live players is that they are positionally unaware.

      Specifically, unlike regular online players, live regular players do not have predifined ranges ie. "if I am short and UTG+1 my raising range is TT+, AQs+". You will often find the regular range is "i will raise 77+, Aj+ and KQs+ from any position".
    • fruktpuff
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      I suppose it makes a fair bit of sense though, with the pace/inability to multitable to widen, and one should rather widen up even further late pos?
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      Ok this week my blog will go out a bit early because I could find the time. It will be all about online poker. I will discuss the rise and fall of online poker as I saw it happen.

      As mentioned before I started playing online poker early 2005 after being drawn into the game by friends. In 2005 online poker was a completely different animal than today. It is mind boggling how much poker and in fact the internet has changed in just 7 years.

      In those days there was no PT, no HM or any of these other software tools. The average poker player played one table. There were rumors of players who played up to 4 or even 6 tables but for the most part it was just rumors. I mean we (the average poker player) had no tracking software to see this and we only played one table.

      A normal session would mean opening your table of choice (in those days I spent a lot of time playing FR 400NL ZAR on pigspeak poker) sitting down and asking everyone how their day had been. Because the field was small, especially on the South African site, I knew more than half of the people on the table. Many even in real life. On the international sites there were more unknown players but it was considered “rude” not to say hello when sitting down. At that time I was playing about 2K to 3K hands a month and was considered a wining regular.

      As time went on I started playing multi tables. I would play my normal 400NL ZAR and some tourney on an international site. Later, because of the growth of poker, I was playing 2 tables 400NL ZAR on piggs and 2 tables internationally.

      It was about this time that pokertracker made its first appearance. I was shocked. I knew I was wining but I had no idea how much. I remember on day sitting with my farther in law looking at my graph. I was winning more than 40BB/100! My best month on the 400NL table net me just over 15K ZAR (I cant remember how many hands but I remember it was June). On the other hand I saw some of my poker friends who were regular losers.

      During this time I was invited to a “poker day” with some of the chess players. I asked them why they continued playing even though they were consistent losers. One of them, a student earning about 2K per month, said something I never forgot. He said: “I don’t mind losing R500 per month at poker. It is the cheapest entertainment on the internet.”

      There I learned a lesson I still use today especially in live games:
      Poker is part of the entertainment industry. Regular people don’t mind losing as long as the cost is within their budget and they were entertained. It is imperative that winning players makes the game enjoyable to the regular losing player, especially when they win, otherwise they will have no reason to return.

      Moving along and the tracking software is alive and well. The next big thing was the HUD. Now suddenly we had stats of every hand we have seen villain play. It was about this time that many wining regulars started multi tabling on a big scale. Because the tracking software was doing its job the player no longer had to pay attention to every detail. Also by playing more tables the grinder would get more, and therefore more accurate, stats on all the other players. The tables became quite. I believe this was the first blow to online poker.

      The second blow to online poker was politics. Governments around the world noticed a potential source of income going unexplored. It was not difficult to get the conservative politicians and the greedy government departments to work together and so legislation came into being. Noteworthy is that in many cases the idea was to bring in temporary legislation and then to get the tax colleting side up. Only problem was that some politicians were against this and so things stayed, and in most cases still are, in limbo. The net effect of the legislation was that the regular people in many countries no longer wanted to play online poker simply because the risk. Simply put if they were going to break the law for some online entertainment then it was not going to be poker. Because of this the ratio between (i) the regular player sitting on one table and chatting to the guy “next” to him; and (ii) the grinder playing 12 tables + increased. This, in turn, meant that the grinders had to become more selective about where they sit. So began the aggressive edge seeking that we see today. So came the third blow to online poker.

      The third blow, IMHO, was data mining. We all know it is out there. We all know it is against the terms of most sites. Many buy hand histories. It was a natural evolution after table selection became an imperative to a wining player. IMHO this was the silent killer. Even a very good regular, with a small legit database, simply cannot compete against a decent player with a database of every hand the very good regular has played.

      The last blow was black Friday. Today, I don’t believe there are many, if any, online poker players who know they are losing, their own money, who plan to continue to do so. There simply is no “value” in it for them. It is not the same as when I started. People are no longer entertained. It is no fun depositing $25 sitting down and losing it within an hour without as much as an “unlucky” from the other players.

      I believe online poker will continue its negative growth and in fact we could see a near collapse unless the poker clients take steps to make poker more enjoyable to the new players and more importantly level the playing field. I don’t believe changing the rake structure or VIP points will make poker more enjoyable to new players. Neither will it level the playing field. I believe that you simply cannot allow a new player to compete with a regular player armed with a complete database and all the software tools available today. The new player will be gone in a day.

      Here comes our hero: The survival of online poker is dependant on players who are willing to lose. In order to attract these people we must offer them something in return. It is no coincidence that the poker clients moving to more “fun” stuff (read 888 poker and webcams) are the biggest growing poker clients.

      I don’t know how big online poker will be 5 years from now. I do know that it will not show positive growth unless things change back to how they were.
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      Yes because the live table is so lose it is very profitable opening up in CO/BTN.

      Because of very low fold equity it is adviseable to over limp with those small pairs and Sc's and especially Axs in these positions. We also know that the blinds will not raise without premuim hands so we will not often be punished for over limping.

      Furthermore because of the low fold equity we have a lot of implied odds. We will play our combo draws ie OESD+FD very agressively on the flop and our nut draws ie nut flush draw very passively in possition because of implied odds.
    • DrDunne
      Joined: 29.12.2010 Posts: 3,378
      very interesting reads here :)

      i'm planning on playing live at some point in the future but i have always felt slightly out of my comfort zone having to take not of everything like pot size, raise sizes etc etc. not like online when it's just displayed for you. anyway i found this very helpful and i will definitely be reading again and following.

      i think you have a good point about offering the bad players something in return and how they can't really compete with people who have hands against them etc. good stuff. nice blog.
    • fruktpuff
      Joined: 24.09.2010 Posts: 3,982
      It sort of already falls in under "VIP programs beneficial to fish/losing players/recreational players not being enough", but what do you feel about the Essence system used for points distribution on Ongame, for example? Losing players get better VIP benefits for the VIP scheme of the rooms/network.
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      IMHO bad/long time losing players will never be attracted to any site/network by any VIP system.

      There are regular losing players who do care about VIP but these are the players leave the poker ecomomy as soon as they realize that they can not win (i believe kofert in his blog had a nice word for it "turned" or something). I personaly dont care much for these animals.

      The players we want on the tables are people who are there to have "fun". When you go our to have "fun" do you care which place charges more for parking? Well IMHO when the bad player goes to play poker to have "fun" they dont care about rake/vip.

      Proof of my point:

      In live game my local casino introduced a bad beat jackpot. In order to pay for this they take 1 SB from each pot. The reaction of the players were interesting. No-one had any problem with this because "it is just 1 SB". The point is that atm if 3 players limp, the sb completes and BB checks whereafter the hand is checked down to the river the house takes 1 SB rake + 1SB "jackpot" leaving only 4 BB left. A total of 20% of the pot goes into the tray!

      Online some sites have "jackpot tables" doing the same. Ipoker has introduced the "side bets". On 888 poker people are playing micro limit - cam tables. What winrate do you have to maintain on 1 cam table to pay for the data cost of playing on the table?

      Do you think the people interested in these features care about rake/vip? IMHO these people play for the chance of winning these jackpots or the human interaction.

      That is way I want them at my table and why if they sit at my table I will try to give them what they came for "fun". In return I hope they will give me what I came for.
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      Great Expectations:

      So you are a solid winning online player, with a well studied polarized 3 betting strategy, just ready to go to crush those live donkeys right? Well no. The thing is IMHO even the best online player will do well to end level for the first few sessions live.

      Let me use an example for you. If the best live player, never to have played online, came to you and said he wanted to try playing online and you must help him. You put him on 50NL (he just wants to try online) and let him play about 120 hands. No HUD ect. What do you think are the chances that he will win. The fact is that he will do well to be level. He will be at a disadvantage because of his lack of HUD ect and secondly 120 hands is nothing. One cooler or heater will make or break the session.

      Well if you put a solid online player (vpip 12/ 8 pfr, and a win rate of 4/100 BB) on a live table the same thing will happen. You must remember that in live game 120 hands is a session. The game is that slow. If you play a 12/8 game on a live table your session results will often be determine by a single hand.

      Furthermore it is imperative to understand that a win rate of 4/100BB is of no use if that translates to an hourly rate of less than 1.6BB/hour.

      So don’t go there thinking that you going to crush them. Go there thinking you going to learn and that some day you will be a wining player there to.

      What then is the basic or fundamental skill of a live player?

      IMHO the biggest edge any live player can have is by paying attention.


      In a live game there is no little box displaying the pot size. In a live game there are no stats / HUD. In a live game there are no tools helping you to calculate your odds or equity. You are the tracking software. You are the equilator. You are the pot calculator. If you pay attention, even when you are not in the hand, then these calculations will become easier. You will also learn more and pick up things as time goes by.

      The way I like to keep myself on my toes is to ask the dealer to confirm the pot size after each hand and compare it to my calculation. This will help you to keep focus. When I sit on the table nothing escapes me. If you want to become a very good live player you must pay attention to everything. Start with keeping track of the pot. Then start looking at betting patterns / sizes. Go from there.

      When we discuses reads and tells we will look at paying attention in more detail. For now I just wanted the reader to understand that IMHO this is what sets a good live player apart from the rest.

      Adapt or Die

      I don’t know how many times a live player has said to me “I don’t raise AK it is not a hand” I also don’t know how may times I have read an online player making fun of this statement. The fact is with AK UTG on a tough online game I am very happy to raise 3BB or 4BB and take the dead money. I believe raising AK UTG online is a bluff because you hopping that players may fold medium pairs. In live games very few players will fold medium pairs even to a 3bet. On the other hand some players will call the UTG raise with ATos or 75s for up to 20% of their stack. Therefore in live games when I raise AK UTG it is a value bet.

      Because the game is slow and populated with people wanting to gamble hand values change. People show less “raise respect” and therefore we should adapt by raising more. Conversely we must understand that the regular players (horses and meerkat) have adapted by tightening their raising range and we must adjust by not calling these raises with speculative hands.

      Some specifics:

      Bet sizing: I like to raise from 5bb+1 per limper to 7bb+1 per limper. Depending on how lose the table is. Remember the bet size is designed to get a single caller.

      Calling Ranges: I believe you will be best served calling only with pocket pairs. Because of the multi way post you will often get good implied odds and good action. With sc’s you can call in co or on the btn but only those “funny” small raises. Never call those 1 – pair type hands ie AJo or even AQo. If you can not 3 bet then dump them. You don’t want TPGK in a 5 way raise pot with a 200BB+ stack.

      Raising Range: Your standard to tight raising range is a good start. I do adjust my raising range after there has been 3 or more limpers to the more value end. The fact is many live players will call 12-15BB raise after limping. Two stories come to mind here. Once I witness a player announce “fold” but then realised someone had raised so he changed his mind and called (“because there is more value in the pot” he said) After the hand he showed 52os. Another time: Player UTG raise 7BB, 1 caller, player in MP and bussy stacking his chips announces “call”. By the time it gets to me (BTN) the following conversation happens: “MP: dealer where are my cards? Dealer: I did not deal you in. MP: OK then I want my money back”. Yes the player called a UTG raise of 7BB without even being dealt in!. The moral of the story never bluff raise preflop.

      3betting range: Again you standard to tight range is a good start. Again adjusting towards the value part is good. The regular live player (horse or meerkat) has a fold to 3 bet of less than 25%, a call 3 bet of more than 70% and a 4 bet range of exactly AA, KK and sometimes QQ.

      Ok that is all for now.

      I think next week I will look at adapting the online game to live game post flop. Just the basic ideas.

      If there is any specific topic anyone wants me to discuss now is the time to mention them.
    • doctorkgb
      Joined: 01.04.2009 Posts: 1,263
      Great read about live play. Thank you for sharing.
    • Termi8r
      Joined: 04.02.2008 Posts: 408
      Hi Mineriva,

      Nice read so far. The different socio-economic location of the casinos also have an influence on the type of player you get at your table. The casino up north is definitely more profitable but you need a hefty bankroll to play there successfully. There you just sit patiently and one hand every 6hrs can be a hugely profitable night...

      the other casino (the one with the meerkats... omfg busted my gut laughing) people sit there with the a lot more passively too see some flops...and then fold when they don't hit. BTW the meerkats hate me :( Never suckout against a meerkat...hell hath no fury like a meerkat's scorn...

      I think another blow to the poker industry is cannibalistic poker skins offering 50+% rakeback to players. 6 or more players on the table sitting with 20bbs or less...grinding there on Ipoker...

      More tips in these live games:

      Just pay your blinds even if you sitting UTG! Seriously! Trying to explain why you not playing the hand to the dealer and the players around you is gonna tilt you too much. I had the dealer calling the floor manager called over to my table for me to explain why I'm not playing.

      Another thing is never "string bet" EVA!!!. People that don't even know why its bad will call you out. Rather announce the action and the amount and then with a single move all the chips over the line. This would stop the unfortunate situation when you what to raise and throw a single big chip into the pot...and its only a call...

      Lots of people buy_in for min (50bb) so pay attention to short stacks. Pre-flop raises is generally between 7-15bb (been in these games where 20+bb pre was the norm...) preflop so most times you commited against the short hands that do well in these situations.
    • mineriva
      Joined: 30.04.2008 Posts: 913
      yes Termi raise a good point.

      Many Casino's have their own "house rules". It is imperative that you know all the special rules of a particular Casino before sitting down. Where I live there are 4 Casino's offering poker each with a different interpretation of a "string bet".

      Last week I played at a Casino with a house rule that no matter how many chips you put into the pot and no matter what you say it is not a raise unless you say the word "raise". eg. if you say "all-in" and push all your chips into the pot the dealer will take it as a call and return your chips to you. I made that "mistake" 3 times. :facepalm: Luckly I got it right with AA and my 4bet shove (after properly saying "i raise all in") got called by KQo.

      As to the "Casino to the north" IMHO there are just more "drunken guerrillas" there. Some dont even have to drink...Point is play them as such.

      To all, non local, readers the point of this all is Adpt or die.