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Old 01-05-2014, 02:26 PM   #26
Bob148
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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Originally Posted by MikeHoltPHD View Post
1) If I see certain behaviors from a player I completely write them off and don't pay any further attention to them. A) Please A no-kicker in early position, call to river, showdown and lose more than once B) Old ladies (sorry, I stereotype cause it's easier). C) In a hand that is checked down (ie: small pot) and there is a single bet on the river if a player says "I just have to see it" and then loses the hand. D) Calling down with less than 2nd pair.
I don't mean to pile on, but I'm going to pile on.

C) even in a small pot, you should lose the majority of the time when calling down.

D) what's wrong with that? There are times to fold second pair and there are times to call with King high. Using this heuristic such as you have to categorize someone as a bad player is a mistake imo.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:51 PM   #27
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

Completely agree. There is no iron clad heuristic. These criteria are just an attempt to verbalize the inner conversation I have with myself. And the voices in my head often disagree. My reasoning is often an irrational enigma. But I'm eeking out a small long term profit at a $6 +, $1 rake structure so I'm at least right some of the time.

I would take exception to your exception to point C. I don't think in the typical loose passive 3/6 that calling down to the single final river bet is good practice. It's rarely a complete cookie jar situation. They have a piece of it and I see plenty of people calling here with A high; especially on a paired board.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:40 PM   #28
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

I'm too lazy to whip out HEM, but I recall losing money with 1 pair in Mid-stakes 6m games. Most pots are either not going to showdown or are HU at SD. If 1pr doesn't win there, I doubt it is profitable in a game with multiple people at SD. That's okay and pots are big, but 1 pair isn't crushing. I'm not saying fold pairs or miss value bets, but you're losing plenty often. Again, folding mistakes are super expensive so you're not getting away from the losses.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:41 AM   #29
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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How's your ability to recall past hands? This will limit your potential. If you never see some particular pattern of action and think, "oh, I've seen this before and the answer's clear to me." or something of the sort, then I'm sorry to say it but you're at a distinct disadvantage in this game. If you do find yourself thinking such things, then you should already know what to look for.
It definitely doesn't come naturally to me. For me to truly remember a specific hand I have to make an effort to repeat it to myself and commit it to memory when the hand is over, i.e. "the guy called 3 streets with JJ and waited for the river to raise me after flopping a set" or "He called me down on an Axxxr board with A3 and raised the river after he rivered a 3", but I definitely can't just sit down and remember every junk starting hand I folded, I definitely can't remember folding something like J9 after a raise and 2 coldcallers etc. and I don't necessarily remember ALL of the action and positions and whatnot.

For example there was a hand where I raised QQ, got 3-bet, tiltcapped and an ace flopped. I ended up folding the turn. But I don't remember:
- how many limpers were behind me when I raised
- what position I was in
- if it was a 3-bet or a limp-3-bet

As far as patterns, what I've started doing is assuming that everyone at the table:
- limps along pre with any reasonable hand
- raises or 3-bets pre only with monsters
- If they raise pre, bet the flop and turn and check the river, it's a busted draw
- will show down any one pair hand
- will bet but not raise one pair even TPTK
- will raise any two pair plus hand
- will fold the turn with no hand and no draw and usually even fold the flop

And then I basically just try to remember everything I've seen that's contrary to that. It helps when a lot of hands are going to showdown, and (ldo) a bit harder when they're not.

Obviously I'm still trying to study and adapt the other specific suggestions in this thread, but they seem to fall under that umbrella so far.

EDITED to say that if parts of this message don't make sense it's because I had to type it in a hurry.

Last edited by DalTXColtsFan; 01-09-2014 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:09 PM   #30
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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For example there was a hand where I raised QQ, got 3-bet, tiltcapped and an ace flopped. I ended up folding the turn.
You're looking in the wrong places to improve your game. You have big tilt issues to go with entitlement issues.

Tilt capped? Built a huge pot and folded the turn? If you quit before this came up, that would improve your game.
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:14 PM   #31
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

Do any of you spend a significant amount of time actively "scouting the competition" before picking a table?

I'm assuming LawDude does this to some extent as he says he looks for people playing too many hands and sits to their left.

It can take a long time to watch an entire orbit much less two, and to properly scout multiple tabes multiplies this ldo, I'm just wondering how seriously people take this concept.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:02 PM   #32
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I don't. I just assume most people at the low limits I play at are bad and call too much, bet/raise when they have it, etc. I just sit down and try to play well.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:21 PM   #33
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I advocate never seat selecting and never table selecting until you're playing the highest stakes available to you.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:30 PM   #34
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

I agree with Zeke and Calli. I've seat changed just once with the intention of getting position on a bad player. I've left early though because a game had gone bad and there was no list and no other game to combine with. I would usually enjoy playing short, but this time I felt the rake was too much to overcome because of the average quality of player at the table.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:31 PM   #35
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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I advocate never seat selecting and never table selecting until you're playing the highest stakes available to you
I wouldn't go that far. Every 4/8 game should be good. Of the three tables at the casino, one could be clearly best. Being aware of bigger game conditions isn't bad. That said, agree that lower limit players shouldn't spend a lot of energy on this sort of thing. DTXCF seems to spend a lot of time looking for the secrets of the game rather than focusing on playing each hand really well. The meta concepts are fun, but in the end playing well is more than enough to crush small stakes, as much as rake will allow.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:59 PM   #36
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Let me tldr this thread up.

As a general rule, I think the best way to (theoretically) measure when to move up is by number of tough decisions resolved. That is, you basically play a level until you've encountered, thought through, and solved a certain number of scenarios.

Some people ("self-taught") do this the hard way by grinding out thousands of hours. Others shortcut this process by reading books and watching DC videos (assuming they think and not just blindly accept what the authors say). Some people will play and play and never think about things and end up as the 3/6 lifers that we all know and love.

Your goal at the lower levels is to knock off that checklist of Things You Need To Learn and move up. You don't need to grind out a bankroll (go tutor SATs to rich kids or work a night shift McDonald's drive thru), and the difference between eeking out $5/hr at a great 4/8 table and slogging $1/hr at a terrible table is dwarfed by the fact that every hour you're not playing the 40/80 available to you costs you $60+/hr.

There's no table changing at higher stakes and seat changing is often contested. There's no point getting used to it. Instead, if you find yourself in a 4/8 game full of 40/80 players, thank your lucky stars - you get to knock off a few checkboxes on your 40/80 checklist for the price of playing 4/8.

Sure, this has its caveats. Don't anti-tableselect if you're already a loser, only when you're a winner. And obviously 40/80 players playing 4/8 may not bring their A game. But as a general rule, I think it's better to ignore selection and focus on learning at the lower stakes.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:41 PM   #37
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
Let me tldr this thread up.

As a general rule, I think the best way to (theoretically) measure when to move up is by number of tough decisions resolved. That is, you basically play a level until you've encountered, thought through, and solved a certain number of scenarios.

Some people ("self-taught") do this the hard way by grinding out thousands of hours. Others shortcut this process by reading books and watching DC videos (assuming they think and not just blindly accept what the authors say). Some people will play and play and never think about things and end up as the 3/6 lifers that we all know and love.

Your goal at the lower levels is to knock off that checklist of Things You Need To Learn and move up. You don't need to grind out a bankroll (go tutor SATs to rich kids or work a night shift McDonald's drive thru), and the difference between eeking out $5/hr at a great 4/8 table and slogging $1/hr at a terrible table is dwarfed by the fact that every hour you're not playing the 40/80 available to you costs you $60+/hr.

There's no table changing at higher stakes and seat changing is often contested. There's no point getting used to it. Instead, if you find yourself in a 4/8 game full of 40/80 players, thank your lucky stars - you get to knock off a few checkboxes on your 40/80 checklist for the price of playing 4/8.

Sure, this has its caveats. Don't anti-tableselect if you're already a loser, only when you're a winner. And obviously 40/80 players playing 4/8 may not bring their A game. But as a general rule, I think it's better to ignore selection and focus on learning at the lower stakes.
I agree with most of this. 2 quibbles:

1. At least where I am, there's plenty of table selecting even in mid-stakes games.

2. I think learning at least what you would look for in terms of a good table or seat is something even a 4/8 player should think about in the back of their mind. Because eventually you move up to where it does matter.

So at least know that you want to sit at tables where people are playing a lot of hands, and you want the players who play a lot of your hands to your right. And if you do get into a situation where a table change is available and would be profitable, do it. Just to get into the habit of doing it rather than changing tables because of short term losses (the reason 90 percent of players do it).
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:07 AM   #38
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

lots of good advice here. I find sticking to Sklansky's Hold em Poker advice works for any 3/6 or 4/8 table I've played. At these stakes as many of you have suggested, are filled with nitty retired type folks, drunk aggro types, and the best type, players who THINK they have game but are donk machines. and seriously the only time I make a seat change is toward seat five so I can see the players and board easier.
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Old 02-23-2017, 10:20 PM   #39
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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at some point you'll beg people to play short.
DougL posted this to me over 3 years ago and to this day it still makes me think. I'm not sure if I'm posting this for advice or for conversation, but whatever.

I haven't been seriously into studying and playing lately, but if I'm being honest with myself, I think my short-handed game is still way behind my full-table game, especially when the full table includes 3 or 4 LPs.
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:05 PM   #40
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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I agree with most of this. 2 quibbles:

1. At least where I am, there's plenty of table selecting even in mid-stakes games.
There is very little table selecting anymore above 20-40 (or 25-50) I suppose. And the table selecting available there is not much.
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Old 02-25-2017, 04:06 PM   #41
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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Originally Posted by golfnpoker View Post
lots of good advice here. I find sticking to Sklansky's Hold em Poker advice works for any 3/6 or 4/8 table I've played. At these stakes as many of you have suggested, are filled with nitty retired type folks, drunk aggro types, and the best type, players who THINK they have game but are donk machines. and seriously the only time I make a seat change is toward seat five so I can see the players and board easier.
Seat 5 is like the only seat I can't see the players? Also 1 and 9 to some degree.
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:53 PM   #42
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

Definitely watch for tilt in lower limit games. It's common in higher games as well, but it's important to see who's on tilt, and the more you're content observing and appreciating your opponents, the less you'll find yourself tilting. Some empathy is actually good in poker, imho. Don't auto-hate the person who sucked out on your hand. Understand where they are coming from, and what they are likely to do next hand. As soon as the dealer ships the pot, start thinking about the next hand, what your requirements are, and stick to them so you do not abandon your game plan.

Tilt imo destroys the most bankroll in these games. Almost nobody is entirely stupid, but you'll see the damndest things come from someone who just got his/her aces snapped.
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:20 AM   #43
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

Serious question: do "reads" really matter than much in LHE?
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:41 AM   #44
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

Winrates in limit holdem are low. Just one hero call in a big pot every 10 hours, or just one extra thin river value bet an hour, or one saved bet river fold, all with the right reads, can make or break a sub 1 big bet / 100 hand winrate.

In no limit you can **** up much more often and get away with it.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:07 PM   #45
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

Looking left, especially preflop, has been really helpful for me. Seeing the retirees reaching for raising chips before I open a non-premium hand has saved me many bets.
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:23 PM   #46
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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Serious question: do "reads" really matter than much in LHE?
They can't matter as much, because the single decisions matter less. Also in most LHE decisions, the villains are less excited.
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Winrates in limit holdem are low. Just one hero call in a big pot every 10 hours, or just one extra thin river value bet an hour, or one saved bet river fold, all with the right reads, can make or break a sub 1 big bet / 100 hand winrate.

In no limit you can **** up much more often and get away with it.
It is pretty hard to sway a 12:1 decision from call or fold based on just a tell. The call was a tiny bit profitable and now it is just a tiny bit unprofitable? Sure, the tell might do that. You're talking tiny fractions of a BB. Only results bias makes it seem like "I had this read, folded, and saved a whole bet".

In NL you're seeing something like a half or full pot sized bet on the river. Now the odds are only 3:1 or 2:1. The villain is out of his mind excited due to putting in most of a buyin. These decisions are big. They come up rarely. The villain might be actually a tell-box, due to caring so much. Now you're making a not close decision for $350. You still have to temper the decision change with math, but it has to matter more in NL.
Quote:
Looking left, especially preflop, has been really helpful for me.
+1

This is the most reliable and profitable tell. It works in every game. The folding tell is even more reliable, because the villain has looked and doesn't care -- he/she has nothing immediate to gain, and is just ready for the hand to be over. You can be BTN+3 and know you actually are on the button and only contending with the BB for the blinds.
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:45 PM   #47
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

My point wasn't comparing the profitability of tells. I was thinking in terms of "how much is this going to affect my winrate." In no limit, good players talk about 20+ big blind/100 winrates at low stakes. Add a 2 big blind exploit, and you're talking about a 10% increase in winrate. Contrast that with limit holdem winrates <2 big blinds/100. An exploit of 0.2 big blinds = 10% increase of winrate. I'm reminded of this thread:

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/17...ight=combative

Quote:
It is pretty hard to sway a 12:1 decision from call or fold based on just a tell. The call was a tiny bit profitable and now it is just a tiny bit unprofitable? Sure, the tell might do that. You're talking tiny fractions of a BB. Only results bias makes it seem like "I had this read, folded, and saved a whole bet".
The folding example was bad. I admit that folding will rarely save you a full bet unless you're going off the exploitive deep end.
Quote:
In NL you're seeing something like a half or full pot sized bet on the river. Now the odds are only 3:1 or 2:1. The villain is out of his mind excited due to putting in most of a buyin. These decisions are big. They come up rarely. The villain might be actually a tell-box, due to caring so much. Now you're making a not close decision for $350. You still have to temper the decision change with math, but it has to matter more in NL.
Now we're talking about tells, which are different from reads. A read would be knowing the guy never bluffs and thus you can fold and save a bunch of money. A tell would be body language, mannerisms, changes in character, etc.
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:07 PM   #48
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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Serious question: do "reads" really matter than much in LHE?
No. Here's a hand I played last week. Kill pot and I get cr on AT2 flop I raise Q turn but I do it with s big chip but declare my raise somewhat loudly so dealer knows it's a raise. Opponent says wow you must have a monster when you are acting that strong. I say it doesnt matter your just going to call twice anyways.

He calls turn and river and I show KJ and he starts to say how he knew I had it and what a big tell it was. I say it doesn't matter since you still couldn't fold A3.....


That being said it does matter when other players give some stuff off but I wouldn't put much focus into trying to read good players. Ranges will give you better info than tells

Last edited by Jon_locke; 02-27-2017 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:06 PM   #49
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

You should always make sure all the right amount of chips go. Especially when it's raised. I see so many people short pots, accidentally and otherwise.
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:58 AM   #50
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Re: What to "watch for" while playing live?

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Serious question: do "reads" really matter than much in LHE?
Yes, Zachary Elwood's tells book states that in limit they are far more common, because people don't guard against it as much w small wagers. You can narrow where in their range they are w practice.
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