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Old 10-22-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
venice10's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nowhere special
Posts: 24,671
Driving Guide to LLSNL (Rules and Tips on Posting)

I welcome you to the Live Low stakes NL forum. All are welcome here, from the player who is about to play his first hand of live NL poker to the pro who is making their living from playing NL poker. By even coming on to 2+2, you have shown that you are looking to get better than the majority of players you face. The purpose of this forum is be a resource for people looking to improve their game. We're here to help you.

In any new environment, you get the most out of it by learning the conventions of the forum. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions.

Behavior Standards

The posters in this forum don't like an atmosphere in the forum of personally insulting people for their opinions. It is one thing to write, "Folding is a terrible decision." That's OK, although if your goal is to actually help someone, putting it a manner that they are more likely to heed the rest of the message is more useful. It is quite another thing to say, "You are a terrible poker player," "You're stupid to," or "LOL, do you know what a poker table looks like?"

If you see a post that you think violates the rules of this forum, click on the triangle icon . You fill out the report and it is automatically sent to all the mods of this forum. One of us will review it and take action. The standard is that if you're debating whether a post should be reported or not, you should report it.

Sep 2020 Edit By Garick: Let me clarify the above: Rule #1 in this forum is "don't be a jerk." This is not an objective rule and it is not meant to be. What is a humorous ribbing between two posters with a similar sense of humor can be bullying in a different context. If you have any doubt that your post might make you look like a jerk, don't post it. If a mod tells you that you're being a jerk, don't try to defend it, just stop.

And in clarification of the second para, if you see a post that you think is obnoxious or insulting you, don't respond to it and get a flame war going, just hit report. If you are a jerk "because he was a jerk first," you are still breaking rule #1 and it is not a valid excuse.

And if you really want to be banned from 2+2, respond defensively when you are told that you are breaking rule #1. Things we don't want to hear are "show me what objective rule I broke," "there's nothing in the ToS about that," "you didn't infract X when he posted something almost the same," or "Y did it first, I was just defending myself." I have zero patience for that childish sophistry.

Reasons to Make a Post or Thread

There are three primarily purposes in making a post or thread. The first is that you have a question that you haven't been able to find an answer about. It could be a theory question or a hand history (HH) where you unsure of what the right decision is, or even a HH/idea that you think others could learn/enjoy working on. Next, you can respond to a thread where you want to test yourself by applying what you know to a situation and see if other players agree with your assumptions/logic. Finally, you are looking to pay it forward. Some time in the past, you didn't know the correct response and somebody helped you. While you can't help them, there is someone else who could benefit from that knowledge.

Modification 5/2021 While there is a Med-High Full Ring forum, that forum has declined in participation over the years. As such, people who want to post hands from 5/10 blind games or higher are welcome to do so. Keep in mind that most of the posters in this forum don't play in such large games and may have limited to no experience with the differences in play from deeper games and time charges instead of rake.

There's other reasons people make posts and for the most part that's fine.

Unacceptable Reasons for Making a Thread or Post

Insulting and Provoking Arguments: We have a wide range of players with a wide range of skill sets. Insulting a poster because they posted what you perceive is bad advice is not acceptable. Everyone is here to learn and making a bone-head post is one way to do it. Remember, at one time you were thinking the same way. At the same time, if someone posts that you’re wrong and doesn’t mince words about it, don’t over react. Take a moment to think about what is posted. If they are wrong in your mind, state why. That’s how everyone learns.

At the same time, making a thread or post looking provoke posters into an argument or reacting is trolling. Trolling is not acceptable. You can tell someone that you think they made an awful play or gave awful advice. You can't tell them they are a fish and should give up poker because they are hopeless. If unsure where the line is, then error on the side of caution. If you're looking to get into a fight, there are other forums that tolerate it. Go there.

Blogs: There are plenty of sites that host blogs. If your thread is mainly about your poker life, it will get locked.

Conditions at certain poker rooms: The Live Casino Poker forum covers this, along with rake, promotions, names of players/dealers/floors or angle shooting situations. This is a strategy forum.

Staking: Live cash game stakes at low limits are hard to obtain. You can try at the staking forum, if you want.

Complaining about How Bad the Villain Was: This can either be in the form of a "reverse" HH where you are actually the villain and you're trying to show how bad your opponent is, or a "How can he call my bluff" thread. The idea is to play poker against players worse than you. Expect them to make bad plays.

Further, even if you just do a reverse HH "to understand what V was thinking," and not as a hidden complaint, it will completely confuse/anger people. Posters (OP and other) often get confused about who is Hero and who Villain in these hands, and, of course, the given reads are all highly prejudiced. Just don't do it.

Tipping: As of March 2011, there are approximately 3,687,126 threads on 2+2 about tipping dealers and other support people in a poker room. There just isn't a need for another one. The facts are that dealers and other people in the poker room are paid near minimum wage or less. Tips make up the bulk of their earnings. The minimum tip is $1, although some people will tip more than that if the pot is large. Some people tip $1 for every hand they win or every item that is brought to them, like drinks. There are some that never tip, while others will only tip dealers they believe are doing an above average job and/or the pot is large/goes past the flop. It is a matter of personal preference. Economics plays a role since tipping every hand won can significantly eat into a player's win rate.

Asking How to Beat LLSNL: We get a number of new posters who come in and ask in essence, "I can't beat LLSNL right now. Can you tell me 2-3 things I can do so I can consistently win?" Consider the rationality of the request. First if it was really that simple, there would be no need for the forum in the first place. I could post a locked sticky at the top of the forum, people could read it and then go on. Next, you are asking a bunch of people who are still participating in the forum for the answer. The only logic of them participating if it was that simple was that they are too dense to pick up those key 2-3 things. So you're asking people by your own definition unable to figure out the answer for the answer. The reality is that beating any level of live poker requires work. The people posting are spending a lot of time figuring out how to improve and maximize their winnings. Put in the work.

Starting a Thread

I strongly suggest a course of reading and responding to existing threads before posting one of your own. That allows you to learn, understand how a good thread is made, and often answers the question you had in the first place. Your goal should not be to know what you should have done, but rather how to work out what you should do in similar situations. You are losing a huge opportunity to learn if you post a sloppy Hand History (HH) or theory thread. That’s why I discourage posting more than two HHs per day. There are posters that can teach you a world of concepts over one hand, if you let them.

If the thread is about a bad beat you took or how great you are at bluffing, we have a Brags, Beats and Variance thread you should put it in.

If you have a question on what is a good winrate (10BB/hr) or how big your bankroll should be (2000 BB or 20 100BB buyins), then post in the winrates, bankrolls and finances thread.

If you are going to start a thread, here are some tips to get better responses and more in depth analysis.

Easy to read Formatting: The standard 2+2 format looks like the OP of this thread.

At a minimum, it should include stakes, reads on the players (this is live folks, you should have at least 4-5 pieces of information as the player sits down and before he plays a hand), what your image is, relevant stack sizes, your hand, the action, the board and pot sizes on each street. Do not post results, but stop the action where you have a significant decision to make. Let us know what you are thinking as you make an action.

One hand per thread: The more hands you stuff in a thread, the less likely posters will want to wade through it all. Most multiple hand threads get quickie responses. You should want more.

Be descriptive in your title: “Turn Decision” doesn’t make people interested in the thread. If you say, “1/2 with AA, facing raise on flop,” the readers have some idea of what they are going to comment about.

Heros and Villains: 2+2 convention is that the poster is the “Hero” of the hand, while his opponents are the “Villain.”

Finally, everyone encourages you to post winning hands. Many people post hands they lost and they want to know if they could have avoided it. There are some times you win a hand, but played it so badly that you didn't deserve to win, or it the decision wasn't that great, but you won a 40/60. Those are far more valuable, but far too rare to see.


Here is a list of common abbreviations used in strategy posts in this forum. If you see one used that's not on there, please request in that thread that it be added.


Any suggestions that you have to improve your experience in this forum should go in the Suggestions thread.


You can chat with other live regulars about anything from the best chip castles to your favorite breakfast foods in the official chat thread.

Hot Women (or Men) in Bikinis

2+2 has a policy of banning full frontal nudity. That includes nipples for pictures of women. This forum is for everyone interested in live cash game NL poker. Posting pictures of semi-clad men or women is not encouraged. “Not Suitable For Work” (NSFW) threads will not be tolerated in this forum. Everyone needs to be comfortable reading any thread in this forum. Yes, my family calls me the party pooper (the dogs just know me as the pooper scooper).

If you want to see these type of pictures, I suggest using the search function and type in “NSFW” (no quotation marks) and you’ll find lots of threads that have virtually every free internet picture available that can be uploaded. BBV4L used to have has some of the loosest standards, but advertisers complained and the threads with those pictures have been eliminated.

That said, I don’t intend on playing “wack a mole.” If you occasionally have a “hot” picture you just have to post, give notice and post it in a spoiler in the chat thread.


The first time on this forum you break the rules, you'll get a warning. After that,

10 point infraction, then
20 point infraction, then
40 point infraction, then
Permanent ban.

Be assure that there is no poster in this forum that is so good that we wouldn't permanently ban them. In addition, if the mods believe that someone needs time away from the forum, we're going to temporarily ban them, too.

Finally, if you miss the old FAQs, they are linked here.


2/5/13 Edit by mpethybridge

We've had some drama in recent days--chat thread blow ups, the ATF thread, and some trolling strategy threads. I'm appending to Venice10's stellar OP some of my thoughts on his rules. With one exception, I'm just giving my interpretations of his guidelines, there's not much new here. Leading with what is new:

I have a Zero Tolerance Attitude Toward Trolling Strat Threads

2+2 aims to be the premier provider of free strategy advice on the internet, and, by and large, has succeeded in this goal. If you troll a strat thread, you are working directly against the financial interests of the site's owners. I'm not sure of a lot in this life, but one thing I am sure of is that the site owners would appreciate me getting rid of posters that actively seek to harm their bottom line.

Thus, if I see it, I reserve the right to permanently ban anybody I see trolling a strat thread--no infractions, no warnings, no nothing, you're just banned, on the spot. If i have a legitimate doubt, I'll take some lesser step, but if I am confident you meant ill with your post, you're history.

What constitutes trolling a strat thread?

1. Intentionally bad advice

2. Low content posts that more effectively insult than provide advice. A post that only says "That was a terrible play" or "fish logic ITT" will get you permanently banned. I might let slide either of those comments if you follow it up with an attempt to provide solid advice. "That was a terrible play; you're way ahead of his range" is a post with a completely different character than just "that was a terrible play." if you don't immediately understand why, I strongly urge you to never, ever post in LLSNL again.

3. Anything else I decide is trolling in conformity with my interpretations of venice10's guidelines I describe below. Don't be unduly alarmed by this catch-all; I was a lawyer, I have to leave myself weasel room to ban folks who are patently offensive in a new and creative way that doesn't neatly fit into either example above.

My Interpretations of the Original Guidelines

This is an entry level forum. the mission of LLSNL is to be a resource for new players who want to improve their game. If you are not 100% on board with that mission, if every post you make in a strat thread is not a good faith effort to accomplish that mission in a sincere and polite manner, you're best off not posting strat.

I just wrote the following in a PM to a user that was trolling a strat thread--I gave him a warning, not a ban, because your mod is a just and merciful mod. In response to my warning, the user claimed that the strat thread was a BBV thread and that trolling it was appropriate. I replied:

Probably not. Until we have substantial evidence to the contrary, we assume in a beginner's forum that what might be a BBV post is actually a legit strat question from a poster who has not yet learned the difference between a bad beat or cooler and a potentially misplayed hand.

Teaching the difference is one of the important functions of an entry level strategy forum such as this one.

In the future, if you can't be bothered to make a detailed response, just report the post and leave the decision to the mods.

Also, consider it the golden rule of this forum that people who appear to be clueless new players or posters, or bad at poker are the ones who are most protected from responses other than those that are completely helpful and polite. Our mission in LLSNL is to try and help exactly those types of posters, not to assume they are BBV whiners like me and smart off to them.
Posting in the Chat Thread

We have more users than I can easily count who make a habit of trolling anybody in the chat who looks vulnerable to trolling in any tiny way whatsoever, and a few posters who make a habit of making posts designed to provoke the trolls into their trolling behavior. It's wrecking the chat thread; those users we would be better off without are taking over the forum.

Henceforth, I will infract and temp-ban for any post in the chat thread directed at another user that is not completely and obviously good-natured, or that constitutes troll-baiting. No getting away with calling someone busto even if he is, no getting away with saying somebody is using "fish logic" as a half-assed dodge around calling them stupid, no taking cheap shots, and no retaliating if any of the above is directed at you.

Feel free to engage in polite debate. Feel free to come into the thread and rant your butt off about Phil Hellmuth being a jerk or Ivey having heisted your FT roll or whatever. But anything that looks uncivil that is aimed at another poster will be infracted.

I'm going to be blunt and candid: there are 8 or 10 chat thread regs who will be incapable of following this strict guidance. That is my goal--that they will run afoul of this rule 4 times each and wind up perma-banned. I'm sick of the bad apples destroying the sense of community Venice10 and the other good posters worked so hard to try and create in LLSNL


These are just my interpretations of the rules. The other mods have the usual 2+2 wide discretion to do pretty much whatever the heck they feel like doing in moderating this forum, and i can't predict whether they will be more or less strict than my interpretation of the rules.

Last edited by venice10; 05-24-2021 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Update
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