My first live tournament

    • Dippy19
      Dippy19
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      Joined: 04.12.2007 Posts: 1,346
      Last Sunday I qualified for a live tournament through Party Poker. It's held at a casino in the city I live in. It's a rather smallish tournament with a 300EUR buy-in.

      Now, this is actually not only going to be my first live tournament, but also my first actual live game of poker(if you don't count playing with friends), soooooooooooooooo........ I NEED ADVICE!!! :P

      Any piece of advice is welcome, so don't be shy :)
  • 30 replies
    • darkonebg
      darkonebg
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      Joined: 17.01.2008 Posts: 9,508
      Hi and GL.
      For the first hour or so I suggest you tighten up. On a first night, I am often observing and sucking in any information about any showdown. Dont go into marginal situations before you know your opponent well, and if you create a first impression that you are a solid tight player, you could steal unpunished for the rest of the hands later.Bring sunglasses though, it may look silly, but even if you dont think that you give away anything, they are very usefull when you are observing, since players cant notice what you are looking at, if anything. So y, as a live player my advice is to just sit there and watch for an hour-two(depends on blind levels),then change gears.
      About the so proclaimed "body language" and "sensing bluffs" in live games - dont try any of this stuff. Such "tells" exist, but it is with experience that you gain them. Since you cant prepare a full thesis on body language and play for some years with different guys until the tournament starts, just consider the normal factors that you have in mind when you are playing online.
      One last advice - 300e is a rather big buy-in for a tournament,even a live one, I suggest you go once or twice before that and play some cash games in the same casino. It should make you more comfortable in the big day, will familiarize you with the dealer's language and actions( they can be pretty hard to understand from time to time),as well as the game flow. One big addition, whatever the stakes you are playing, go observe the bigger games - some of the players there play "for" the casino, and will participate in such tournaments too - it will be easier to spot them on the T day.
      Good luck :)
    • Dippy19
      Dippy19
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      Joined: 04.12.2007 Posts: 1,346
      thanks for the advice darkonebq! Sadly it's on Friday, so I won't have time to go there before to check things out.

      What did you mean by dealer language? And do you have any good tips on keeping track of the pot size?
    • PokerKingMatt
      PokerKingMatt
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      Joined: 07.11.2008 Posts: 97
      If you get lots of chips stack them high and not in 5 small piles coz thats when people can tell you have never played live and are an online player! Also when you hit a massive flop try not to change your body language or shift in your seat! Also count the pot as it goes along so you have an idea of what it is! dont be scared about people shuffling there chips in fancy ways either they are probly the worst players! and last of all THE LOUD 1S ARE ALWAYS THE BLUFFERS! GL
    • STR82ACE
      STR82ACE
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      Joined: 01.10.2008 Posts: 389
      Play tight is great advise for starting, especially if you never played live before.
      ONLY show the nuts for the first three or four levels. Believe me, it'll payoff for you in later rounds. Not much you can do about your body language if you never played live before unfortunately. You WILL have tells that more seasoned players will pick up on. You can try to hide them, but it won't do much good.

      Watch the other stacks at the table. Play accordingly. Just remember you will have to manually calculate the stacks in live games...there's no little icon telling you who has what.

      Dealers make mistakes, they're human. If you see a mistake, don't be afraid to bring it up to the tournament officials right away, but do it in a non combative manner. Screaming at the dealer will only make you look like a fish. Loud players ARE bad players.

      Play your best game and go deep as you can. Don't make any moves until you have the players down pat and the stack to go to war with. Chances are though you will get sucked out on at least once...don't take it personally.

      When you do eventually get knocked out, shake everyone's hand, including the dealer, regardless of how bad any of them are. It'll show professionalism and that goes a long way.

      Don't get angry, stay calm, remember to breath in big hands, and play solid poker from beginning to end.

      Good luck!!!
      (this advise, should you actually win it, comes with a fee of 15% of any winnings you might acheive :D )
    • darkonebg
      darkonebg
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      Joined: 17.01.2008 Posts: 9,508
      @Dippy19 - Well some dealers announce every fold, and when its raised some tell the total ammount, some just the extra ammount. Besides that, they often miscalculate the raises, so dont be shy to correct them asap.About the pot size - I calculate it at the end of each street, and approximate it. You can always ask the dealer about the potsize too, or visually count it yourself. Take the extra time before the tournament starts to memorise all the chip colours well,as well as the possible combinations for quick bets - two reds and a green and so on.

      @PokerKingMatt - I must disagree with all your advices :) . I stack my chips by color range in piles of 10 - that way i always know how many chips i have, and how to make a big bet fast. If that gives away that I play online too - so be it. Online players are by no means inferior ones, in fact, most live game players learned to respect "nets".

      I also love playing with them, especially when Im waiting for the cards to be shuffled or so.With a risk to sound full of myself, i know some pretty sophisticated trick combos, but when i perform them, its more of a reflex, not trying to impress or intimidate.
      People that talk much vary too - some are bluffers, some are trying to disguise their hand strenght, some just do it irrelevantly of their hand. So It shouldnt be a guideline too.

      @STR82ACE - Yup, I totally agree.
    • chenny8888
      chenny8888
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      Joined: 03.10.2007 Posts: 19,324
      id the regs vs the fish. fish generally play very tight in these "higher buy-in" games, way too tight in the late stages. when blinds become large you can pretty much push atc from mp3 onwards with <12-14bb.

      be aware of table image. it matters a lot more live.

      make mental notes.

      remember exact raise and bet sizes for each street to help you calculate the total size of the pot in your head rather than physically counting it.

      learn to count stack sizes. keep a mental note of approx stack sizes of the 2 players to your right and the 2 to your left.

      don't focus so much on tells IMO. you won't have enough experience to profitably spot/use them. even the fish are good enough at hiding them (after all, how much emphasis does the media put on tells in poker?) be aware though to hide your own tells. i wouldn't get into a levelling war with false tells etc. just keep quiet when you're in a hand.

      only look at your cards when it's your turn. this way you don't give off any subconcious tells, etc.

      try to remember each hand for betsizes, positions of the players. forget the hand if it doesn't reach showdown. notice how each player played each hand if it's shown down.

      early on, know that they won't go broke light. so bluff more and valuebet tighter. semi-bluffing is your friend. EARLY ON: fish generally are generally loose/passive preflop and either tight/passive or loose/passive postflop. if they're tight/passive obviously isolate a bunch of hands from late position and the blinds if they limp and take it down with a cbet for free money. standard cashgame stuff.

      can't think of anything else.. gl!
    • Dippy19
      Dippy19
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      Joined: 04.12.2007 Posts: 1,346
      Originally posted by darkonebg
      I stack my chips by color range in piles of 10 - that way i always know how many chips i have
      I have to remember that, very useful

      @STR8ACE - Thanks for the etiquette lesson, but I'm not a loud and insulting asshole by nature, so I think I should be fine :) + I'm very very very used to getting sucked out, so no biggy really, and I know that fish out there payed for a lot of my stuff and trips and such, so I don't mind if they suck out here and there :D

      I heard that in some casinos you can ask the dealer about the pot size and in some you can not, what's that all about?

      And that whole correcting the dealer might be a problem, since I'm not really to fond on correcting ppl :P

      Thanks again for all the advice, if anybody has any more or something new pops in your head, please post :)
    • Jaime001254
      Jaime001254
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      Joined: 02.07.2008 Posts: 366
      well, there are some important things i learned the hard way:

      - always put a chip or something (card protector) over your hole cards, so the dealer doesnt fold them accidentally

      - if you are going to raise, announce it: "RAISE" and then move the chips in one movement (google: sting raise)

      -if you are all in, or other player is all in and you are going to call, ASK FOR A CHIP COUNT.

      - bring sunglasses, hat, etc...

      - i dont talk, i play

      - only look your hand when its your turn, that way you concentrate in the game, and you wont be giving too much "tells"

      - when you get a premium hand, dont try to act like you dont have it... instead, do something you always do with every other hand (taking a deep breath, moving your head, etc)... or jut act like crazy on every hand :D

      - chewing gum can give you a lot of tells: if someone is chewing gum, look at the speed and try to get some reads (faster = bluffing for example)

      - in a showdown, ALWAYS flip your cards, unless you are really REALLY SURE you lost.

      - try to estimate the pot odds, its a lor harder than online

      - live poker gives a lot of information, dont focus on everything... to much info, just try to play your online game looking stack sizes, bet sizes, pot odds, etc.

      - try some chip tricks :D


      good luck!
      BTW, badbeats on live poker are a pain in the ass, RIGGED!!! :P

      i tried live poker, and i got tired: too slow, too much info... etc
      PD i know a casino with a NL200 table, with NL5 players, a shame i dont have BR!!!

      EDIT:
      if you are interested on reads, read mike caro in super system intro
    • CoreySteel
      CoreySteel
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      Joined: 25.10.2006 Posts: 3,366
      Grand Casino Ljubljana, right? :)
      They are expecting +50 players, so prizes will be nice I guess :)

      Good luck.
    • STR82ACE
      STR82ACE
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      Joined: 01.10.2008 Posts: 389
      Originally posted by Dippy19@STR8ACE - Thanks for the etiquette lesson, but I'm not a loud and insulting asshole by nature, so I think I should be fine :) + I'm very very very used to getting sucked out, so no biggy really, and I know that fish out there payed for a lot of my stuff and trips and such, so I don't mind if they suck out here and there :D
      Didn't mean to suggest you were loud or insulting in the least. Chances are very good though there WILL be guys JUST like that. Trash talk live is alot more violent then online.

      Getting used to suck outs?? OMG...how?? ;)
    • Dippy19
      Dippy19
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      Joined: 04.12.2007 Posts: 1,346
      Originally posted by STR82ACE
      Trash talk live is alot more violent then online.
      yaiks :D

      Originally posted by CoreySteel
      Grand Casino Ljubljana, right? :)
      They are expecting +50 players, so prizes will be nice I guess :)

      Good luck.
      Are you gonna be there?
    • CoreySteel
      CoreySteel
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      Joined: 25.10.2006 Posts: 3,366
      No way I'm p(l)aying 300€ for poker (NL). :D
    • Schnitzelfisch
      Schnitzelfisch
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      Joined: 08.11.2008 Posts: 4,952
      corey you can stake me and i'll go play instead of you :P .
    • CoreySteel
      CoreySteel
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      Joined: 25.10.2006 Posts: 3,366
      What didn't you understand when I said "No way I'm paying 300€ for poker."? :D
    • Schnitzelfisch
      Schnitzelfisch
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      Joined: 08.11.2008 Posts: 4,952
      well it's not paying for poker... it's like... a gift :P ?
    • marecrocop
      marecrocop
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      Joined: 08.07.2007 Posts: 72
      Dippy19 ...report how it went...

      Good luck
    • Parasites
      Parasites
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      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 23
      If a hillbilly like Moneymaker did well, you should kick some ass. Good luck :D
    • TFMonty
      TFMonty
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      Joined: 17.04.2008 Posts: 126
      I would add if you want to raise then make sure you say the words RAISE before putting any chips in, as many casinos only count that as a call.

      I would also advise against getting involved in any table chat as what you say and the tone of your voice can give away a lot of information.

      And yes everyone will be nervous to swome degree early on until things settle down.

      My advice would be to bring an ipod plug in and chill to the music early on , but make sure you have the volume low enough (or only 1 ear in) so that you can hear the dealer and the other players.

      The structure of the tournament is important to know beforehand, ie time between levels, when the breaks are, when antes come into play etc. As it is in a casino I am assuming that they will have at least 1 large screen with the tourney info on it (time to next level, next blinds etc, just like an online tourney lobby) so you can check the details.

      You have to bear in mind that you will recieve less hands per hour than online and following on from this means that you recieve less hands per blind level, which you should bear in mind when deciding which hands to play with.

      Also note that 10 people round a poker table plus the dealer is quite crowded so you wont have a lot of space :P make sure that you protect your hand when you look at your cards.

      Agree with the general advice on here to play the early levels tight to just get used to how things go.

      Enjoy :P
    • EagleStar88
      EagleStar88
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      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 7,359
      Hey Dippy,

      I'm not too experienced at live events myself, but I would say the following:

      1. Good luck;
      2. Let us know how you get on;
      3. Enjoy it :D

      Good luck buddy,


      Bart
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