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Old 05-17-2018, 03:48 AM   #1
oldsilver
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General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

Last night on a $2-$5 nl I'd been at the table for about 5 minutes when it became apparent that there was an ATM sitting in seat x who was playing every hand and spewing chips.

Sharks were circling. Feeding frenzy. There was no change-host on the floor, so players were running to the cage to get chips in their pocket to obligingly reload the whale at table and nod understandingly about his terrible luck as it continued.

I wanted to get into as many hands as possible. Taking a 40% range into a whale has obvious risks but top pair 9+ kicker was a fairly reliable value point as a $500 pot with K9 v K8 proved.

Another strat might be to wait for AQ/99+ range and 3! to iso v whale (who called QTs to a 20, call, call, 165 sequence at one point) but if whale busts prior to premium arriving then there's potentially a ton of profit missed.

$1K profit in a little over an hour, about 70% v whale. Others did similar v whale and random v field.

What adjustments are 2+2 regs making to such a dynamic? Is it more profitable to open your range, or sit tight and wait/hope for premiums to iso. I saw both strats work, but which is more profitable?
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:59 AM   #2
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

What people tend to forget is that there are 7 or 8 other players at the table that all have the same dream. Anybody coming into the game is going to be a tough player because they noticed what was going on and knew enough to ask the floor to put them on the list to be seated at that table.

If you're the best player in the room, your strategy is to isolate the whale and get everyone else to fold when in a hand pf. That's going to be a lot of 3betting and even light 4 betting. If your just a good player but not in the top 2 or 3 in the room, your best strategy is to play at another table. The top players are going to be concentrated with the whale. Meanwhile, the other tables are going to be softer than usual.

Just as a note. If you're asking 2+2 what the best strategy is, you're probably not the best player in your room.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:07 AM   #3
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

Not sure whether a light 4! range is optimal against a station who sees only the middle pair he hit.

I have no doubt the best in the room have an edge v all comers but the question here is what the best short term strat is against this rare (and sad) type of opponent
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
What people tend to forget is that there are 7 or 8 other players at the table that all have the same dream. Anybody coming into the game is going to be a tough player because they noticed what was going on and knew enough to ask the floor to put them on the list to be seated at that table.

.
Agree with this. Often times I think players over adjust when a whale is at the table and they're specifically targeting that player. Like you said, people will forget that they're still at a table full of other players, it's not just you and the whale.

I'm okay with selectively widening your range against this type of opponent, but the key word is "selective" Dont start playing a super wide range of crap hands that you don't normally play, just to get involved with the whale. All you're doing is opening yourself up to getting into a lot of -EV spots against the rest of the table. If you can find decent spots to safely isolate the whale then do it, but don't fall into the trap of playing 60-70% of hands just to be in pots with them. Always remember that just because a whale is spewing money, it doesn't mean you're entitled to take it. Play your game, make some minor range adjustments when good opportunities present themselves, but don't hunt the whale so much that you yourself become the second whale at the table.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:46 AM   #5
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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Originally Posted by oldsilver View Post
Last night on a $2-$5 nl I'd been at the table for about 5 minutes when it became apparent that there was an ATM sitting in seat x who was playing every hand and spewing chips.

Sharks were circling. Feeding frenzy. There was no change-host on the floor, so players were running to the cage to get chips in their pocket to obligingly reload the whale at table and nod understandingly about his terrible luck as it continued.

I wanted to get into as many hands as possible. Taking a 40% range into a whale has obvious risks but top pair 9+ kicker was a fairly reliable value point as a $500 pot with K9 v K8 proved.

Another strat might be to wait for AQ/99+ range and 3! to iso v whale (who called QTs to a 20, call, call, 165 sequence at one point) but if whale busts prior to premium arriving then there's potentially a ton of profit missed.

$1K profit in a little over an hour, about 70% v whale. Others did similar v whale and random v field.

What adjustments are 2+2 regs making to such a dynamic? Is it more profitable to open your range, or sit tight and wait/hope for premiums to iso. I saw both strats work, but which is more profitable?
This is one of the stupidest things Ive read in a while. People aren't dumb. Acting normal is going to keep this guy at the table a lot longer than patronizing him and getting chips for him like a bunch of little bitches
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:40 AM   #6
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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This is one of the stupidest things Ive read in a while. People aren't dumb. Acting normal is going to keep this guy at the table a lot longer than patronizing him and getting chips for him like a bunch of little bitches
This is one of the stupidest things I’ve read in a while. People were not running to the table when he needed chips, or acting like a patronising bunch of little bitches. They were quietly ensuring that at least one or more ppl at the table had a couple of full buyins on hand for when he busted.

Poker is not a morality contest mate. This guy was giving his chips and cash to someone, the question was who. Sorry if you find that offensive.

This is a serious strat thread about an unusual but not rare dynamic of how best to adjust to an atm.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:24 AM   #7
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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This is one of the stupidest things I’ve read in a while. People were not running to the table when he needed chips, or acting like a patronising bunch of little bitches. They were quietly ensuring that at least one or more ppl at the table had a couple of full buyins on hand for when he busted.

Poker is not a morality contest mate. This guy was giving his chips and cash to someone, the question was who. Sorry if you find that offensive.

This is a serious strat thread about an unusual but not rare dynamic of how best to adjust to an atm.
So which is it? Were they "running to the cage to get chips in their pocket to obligingly reload the whale at table and nod understandingly about his terrible luck as it continued." or not?

Nodding understandably about his terrible luck is what I would call patronizing him. Players werent running to the table when he needed chips? No they were running to the cage so they would have chips to give him. I guess that's normal and they do it for everyone because they are just nice people? No, they are patronizing him and Im sure hes smart enough to know whats going on. Lots of whale will be offended by that and leave. If this guy didnt, good for you guys, but its a stupid habit to get into.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:28 AM   #8
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

Welp can we hear a better description of whale first?

In what ways was he spewing chips?

Is he passive or aggro?
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:39 PM   #9
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

Whale was ultra loose passive.
Preflop was something like 75/5/0.
Post flop very low AF, c/c lines mainly. No c/r I can remember. Few leads and when he did it was for ridic small amount. Cost little to stay in hands and improve against him, and once you’d hit it was easy to iso for a reasonable cost. He’d rarely fold mid pair +
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:51 PM   #10
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

idk if you really need to change strategy that much if you are playing solid. other than maybe bluff less and size bigger with your value hands. Iso a little more often when it makes sense.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:54 PM   #11
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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If this guy didnt, good for you guys.
If the whole point of your rant was to say something like ‘I would caution against making it obvious you were keeping him at the table, or patronising him, but it sounds like you guys got away with it’ then that’s a reasonable statement and one I would wholeheartedly agree with. However, there was no risk of whale leaving.

Not sure whether you regularly respond to threads in this way. Interesting that you used the phrase ‘whiney little bitch’. Perhaps that phrase was ringing in your ears for some reason when you posted.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:39 PM   #12
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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Originally Posted by oldsilver View Post
Whale was ultra loose passive.
Preflop was something like 75/5/0.
Post flop very low AF, c/c lines mainly. No c/r I can remember. Few leads and when he did it was for ridic small amount. Cost little to stay in hands and improve against him, and once you’d hit it was easy to iso for a reasonable cost. He’d rarely fold mid pair +
You should have included this information in your OP.

Anyway, I would try to isolate him with my value range (hands that can flop strong top pairs and overpairs) and try to see a cheap flop with (suited) connectors, preferably in position, and small pairs. It's no use isolating some guy who won't fold post-flop when you're holding 33 or 65s imo. I definitely don't think you should want to take too many hands to a multiway flop for a raise. I know it can seem appealing, since "hey, this guy will pay us off when we hit", but you'll end up leaking too much money in general and with the second-best hand too often.

Also, generally ~never~ bluff and valuebet big.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:33 PM   #13
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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If the whole point of your rant was to say something like ‘I would caution against making it obvious you were keeping him at the table, or patronising him, but it sounds like you guys got away with it’ then that’s a reasonable statement and one I would wholeheartedly agree with. However, there was no risk of whale leaving.

Not sure whether you regularly respond to threads in this way. Interesting that you used the phrase ‘whiney little bitch’. Perhaps that phrase was ringing in your ears for some reason when you posted.
I never used the word "whiny", but yeah. If guys are running to the cage to get chips for the guy just to keep him happy, its pretty pathetic.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:45 PM   #14
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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If guys are running to the cage to get chips to ensure someone could be ready reload him when he busted, its pretty smart. I now understand that no one was taking the guys money to the cage to get chips for him. I appreciate you correcting my post and acknowledging my poor reading comprehension skills.
FYP
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:41 AM   #15
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

Its you with the poor reading skills. I didnt say anyone was taking the guys money to the cage to get chips for him.

Stop beating around the bush. People were going to the cage to get chips to give to the whale when he busted so he could reload faster. If players arent doing that for everyone, then they are patronizing him.

Its disgusting, pathetic and the desperate actions of people who cant take money from people. They sit around waiting for a whale to give it to them.....IMO of course.

To make matters worse you come here asking for advice on how to take money from a guy who is giving it away so fast that people are helping him reload as fast as possible? All I can say is WOW! SMH
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:40 AM   #16
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

ok pigeon
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:32 PM   #17
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

I'll loosen up a little, but I won't go overboard. I'll also size my bets and raises larger, both preflop and postflop. I'm still going to fold KJo UTG, for example. But when the whale limps in MP and I'm in the HJ with ATo, I'll raise it up to $35 instead of my standard sizing of $25 after one limper.

I will still bluff occassionally. Like I will continue to Cbet dry flops and sometimes barrel turns when I pick up equity. But I'll reduce my bluffing frequencies somewhat - maybe bluff half as often as I usually do.

Make small to moderate adjustments. Don't make huge adjustments.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:18 PM   #18
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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Not sure whether a light 4! range is optimal against a station who sees only the middle pair he hit.

I have no doubt the best in the room have an edge v all comers but the question here is what the best short term strat is against this rare (and sad) type of opponent
At one point (maybe) this was a strat thread and not a pissing contest.

As to Venice's point, I think he meant light 4! pre, which speaks to reg-on-reg violence that will come up as you and some other reg are duking it out for the right to go HU vs the whale and/or scoop the dead money. That's why I think it is hard to make general statements about what to do in spots like this, b/c the table dynamics will differ greatly.

Only thing I can offer is the reminder that having position on active regs seems to be more important than having position vs the whale.
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:27 PM   #19
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

I like this table.

Personally I try to isolate the whale with solid hands, so basically just play poker. Not much to say here, make hands and bet monies, easy game.

What's more interesting to me is how it affects the reg dynamic. You can make more money IMO from frustrated regs getting into pissing matches with each than you can from the whale. Ideally I like to see a couple of young guns bringing their 3bet/4bet bluff ranges to the table.

If that doesn't happen, what you will see is people 'adjusting' by overcalling the whale super wide. Expect to see bloated pots with weak ranges that are just begging for a 3bet.

EDIT

Re. venice's 4bet light strat, as he said, if you are the best player in the room. If you are an excellent hand reader and have position, you should be able to comfortably murder a guy like this even with a wide range.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:48 PM   #20
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

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Ideally I like to see a couple of young guns bringing their 3bet/4bet bluff ranges to the table.
This didn't happen.

One reason it didn't happen is that whale was desperate to play hands. If he limps/floats 70% then gets 3!-->4! off a large portion of those hands, he'll lose interest. Sure he'll call QTs because there's a royal flush jackpot ticking, and small pp because he can flop a set and doesn't know/care about odds. But he'll fold some K-rag, A-rag and other stuff that's dominated. Keeping him at the table and in hands was everyone's goal, so we frequently had $100+ in the pot pre on a multiway, then extracted safe value post. When he hit a hand, we folded. When we hit a hand, he didn't. Simple stuff.

Another reason it (3!4! game) didn't happen is because of my seating position. I was seat 9, whale was seat 5. I was easily the most active pre, raising EP with a ton of hands. Seats 1, 2, 3, 4 wanted to keep seat 5 in - which left seats 6, 7, 8 free to 3! - but if I'm EP then 6, 7, 8 have either folded already or are in poor position post (and I can raise premiums too). Seat 6 (very good reg) was the only potential spanner, and he did 3! a couple of times, but not enough to really change the dynamic.

Note: Sorry if this info and the whale 75/5/0 stats were not in OP. I felt there was strat potential in this, but not a reg on LSLNL and not sure what's going to be relevant at the outset.

It did make reg opponent ranges unpredictable though, because it was rare to see 3! and every multiway pot therefore had a potential mix of premiums, low three-gappers and everything in between. It became more of a soul reading, 'feel' game than a range exploit game against other regs - because no-one knew what anyone had. Fun stuff.

My thinking was that playing a (reasonable) maximum number of hands had to be a good thing, because i was in more pots which provided a greater opportunity to take advantage of the dynamic. When the 3!4! adjustment didn't happen (see above), I continued my strat was to open wide, call in position, draw cheap and iso/pound away with value hands against whale and with a mix of value/combos against the regs. I didn't pound combos against the whale, because his mid pair 8 kicker might end up good in a $1K pot and he'll have no idea why.

The table did seem to adjust with more 3! towards the end, as it was fairly clear that if I'd opened EP (yet again) and had two callers, then it was as juicy a 3! spot as you're ever going to see regardless of whale. But some (very good) regs continued to flat premiums and look for monsters post flop that could extract value against the entire field in bloated pots. I just didn't like taking the chance of waiting for monsters while someone else scooped chips.

Last edited by oldsilver; 05-18-2018 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:06 AM   #21
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

Lol those regs sound almost as awful as the whale himself.

It's common to see fish "adjusting" to a whale by becoming even bigger stations themselves. He's playing a wide range of hands, so it must be okay for them to play a wide range too! And screw being aggressive, let's just call down and try to win a 6way pot with our TPGK.

If you're flatting raises more often than you're 3betting, then you're a fish, plain and simple.
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:19 AM   #22
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

Not 3betting this guy is leaving money on the table. No need to go crazy but we should bet for value and squeeze aggressively. Much better to collect a bunch of dead money and play the whale HU than go 5 ways to the flop with a bunch of regs.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:33 AM   #23
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Re: General question about best strat with an ATM at the table

@oldsilver,

I'm a reg at crown, I play in the 2-5 games regularly and have witnessed similar experiences with whales punting off stacks and not really being prepared for the re-buying process but have loads of cash on them (cause they are whales).

I think if you have a player who is just obviously terrible, you just want to let them make as many and as big mistakes as they can.

These players over-value their hands, they don't know anything about bet sizings, pot-odds, ranges etc.

You just need to make hands vs them, and then take them to value town.

Go for fat value with your value hands, bet big, use as few chips as possible so it's less threatening... They will call more and without thinking as much.

I don't think you need to worry too much about isolating them preflop. You can get in for the min (pre) and out for the max (post).

Of course, I do think you should make adjustments when a whale is at the table, because most likely the money is going to come from him and not from the other players.

But I've also noticed that it's easier to read the other players hands when a whale is seated because they are making obvious adjustments and their hands are more face-up.

GL getting the whale's monies next time

+$1k at 2-5 is not bad by any means too.
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