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Live Low-stakes NL Discussion of up to 3/5 live no-limit, pot-limit and spread-limit Texas Hold'em poker games, situations and strategies.

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Old 04-14-2014, 08:07 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2013
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$1-$2 live Cash Game strategies?

Hello all, I wanted to get some insight from live players that play at the $1-$2 stake no limit hold em cash games. I've only been to a casino and played live less than 50 times of my 5 years playing the game. First 3-4 years was just playing zynga (Facebook) poker and haven't gotten into serious study of the game until about 1 year ago. Anyway, before I went to play I was giving myself the mindset that I was going to run 200 up to 1K+, and figured that's the type of focused mindset I would need to really have a good session. I was planning on running over the table but when I got there it was a totally different ball game. Everyone calls raises pre up to about 15-$20. There's no isolation at all!!! Everyone is there to spew and gable with any two cards. The only strategy seems to be to sit for hours and wait for good hands. I'm starting to think that above average/good players don't play $1-$2 cash games and that it's just crowded with people that either want to win big luckily or loose it all. Very different from a .10 .25 cent game on Bovada where I can run up bankroll by being aggressive, picking good spots to steal and just playing solid. Any comments or other strategies are welcomed, thanks.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:19 AM   #2
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Re: $1-$2 live Cash Game strategies?

I may be simply overlooking the fact that people are a lot looser live as opposed to cash games online because the players are different. It's almost as if cash games online are played with a tournament mentality. But I would still like to get insight from people that play live cash games and how they cope with at least 4 people going to the flop with you, people are calling down with 4th pair, shoving any and all draws, floating every street, etc?

Last edited by Timhvids; 04-14-2014 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:00 AM   #3
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Re: $1-$2 live Cash Game strategies?

I think 90% of your winrate at 1/2 comes from straight forward value betting. dont try to mix it up too much and play super standard ABC poker.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:10 AM   #4
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Yes, most 1/2 games are filled with fish. Bigger the card room, more fishy 1/2 seems to be.

Play tight, play position. Most profit will be from value betting. Running over a 1/2 is normally a terrible plan.

Good luck

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Old 04-14-2014, 11:42 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Re: $1-$2 live Cash Game strategies?

yeah common problem.. most 1/2 games are very 'cally' preflop..

Few options..

1) In games where very high% of pots are opened for a raise preflop, you can lean on a limp/reraise play preflop. The problem you often get with premium hands 1/2 is that if you open them for 7-10, you're getting called in multiple spots and alot of flops can be problematic. By using a limp/re-raise you dont get to see many flops but often take down the initial opener plus the few callers he has gotten before it gets back to you - dead money is free money. As people are naturally inclined to think that people only limp/reraise with AA/KK in early position you can widen your range. General rule of thumb is that if pot hasnt been 3bet before it gets back around to you, its only the pot opener's hand you really have to get through and people fold 10s, Js to limp/reraise if deep enough/when you have made play with big pairs before and got to showdown. The times you'll do it successful to take down pot pre will far outweigh the times you'll be caught with your hand in the cookie jar from my experience.

2) Your 3 betting range.. Don't go crazy on this but think about it along the lines of what I've just said about limp/reraising. People tend to play very standard at 1/2 for most part. If their hand isn't good enough to 3-bet, they don't tend to call 3-bets, especially big 3-bets. For many, 1/2 is a social thing. They want to hang around with their buddies without accruing a massive expense. Therefore, the 66 that they've called an opening bet of 7 with pre, will fold pre to a 3-bet to 30 in a lot of spots, especially if players aren't particularly deep. The only thing I would caution against is 3 betting light at table of gamblers. Players who open to 7 with K8 off ( they havent seen a hand in a half hour) are likely to call your in position 3 bet so don't 3 bet with utter rags on tables where you feel you'll be called. If they hit flop at all, they will cling on, and 3 barrelling aint guaranteed to get them off middle pair on the flop, or top pair rag kicker. Being out of position doesn't enter their decision making process in the way it should.

3) C-bet flops and apply pressure post flop.. Opponents at 1/2 are simply thinkers.. Concepts such as floating streets to enable bluffs on the end don't cross their minds. Theres a predisposition to thinking that they could run into the nuts trying a wild bluff like that. Bet flops, most of the time they'll basically tell you what they have. They call, they've caught a piece. Depending on how wet/dry the board is you can assess whether to shut down or continue.

4) In late position open your range .. Suited connectors, one gappers especially at non agro tables. If table is limpy, you can limp hands with high potential, hands that if hit will often go under the radar.

By the way.. I fully accept that much of what I have just written is from a theory point of view, quite questionable. However, from a results orientated point of view, I have found it to work. 1/2 is about judging the atmosphere of the table, the disposition of the players. Are they there to gamble, or there to pass time with buddies? Are they adept or are they playing black and white poker? If they're gamblers, stick close to ABC, if its a tight table, open your range, apply pressure. GL.
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:46 AM   #6
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Re: $1-$2 live Cash Game strategies?

Play ABC poker and get it in when u got it. I beat my local 1/3 game regularly playing like that. Don't try to bluff!
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Old 04-14-2014, 11:47 AM   #7
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Re: $1-$2 live Cash Game strategies?

Read the stickies OP. There is lots of useful information on adjusting to live play and guidance to crushing the live game. GG's "A clueless n00b reaches 1000 hours of live $1/3NL" comes to mind, just to name one.

The major difference between online cash and live cash is that people are in general much looser and much more passive and there is thus a ton of dead money created from people wanting to see the flop. Live players generally have much bigger leaks than that of their online counterparts, so our job is to recognize those leaks and to capitalize on them. Just like we would adjust to our online villains, we adjust to our live ones. We choose a gameplan that we think is going to be effective vs. each villain.

I notice a lot of people saying that playing ABC is the way to go.

While I do think that playing ABC is a good starting point, I would strongly disagree that you should not mix it up and lead yourself to think you've got the game figured out just by waiting for good hands and getting value out of those hands. This is essentially what the average $1/2 reg will think and do, so we have no edge over them if we approach the game with the same attitude.

I would also disagree with the statements that you should not bluff or that you can not run over $1/2 games. You just need to pick your spots to bluff a little better, and you CAN run the game over.. it's just in a slightly different way than online.

Last edited by gotwoot; 04-14-2014 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:13 PM   #8
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Re: $1-$2 live Cash Game strategies?

Read all the threads in the best of thread. It is stickied.
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