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Old 07-27-2016, 12:49 PM   #1
Ranma4703
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Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

(inspired by derail of https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...8&postcount=29)


Seat changing, table changing, talking about how good/bad a game or player was/is at the table. Someone asks you what you had and you stare at them stone faced. A recreational player flashes his hand to his neighbor before he folds and someone tells the dealer to show the whole table.

Everything above is theoretically +ev. In aggregate they send the message that poker is about winning money more than it is a game. This encourages people who play poker for fun to either treat poker like it is about winning money, or go find a more relaxed environment to play in.

When you sit down at a poker table, are you a competitor or are you the casino? Are the other people at the table your opponents or are they your customers?

Honest question that you should think about and decide on. If they are your opponents, hide information/try to get extra information, sit on their left, do whatever you need to win money from them. But know that it is very difficult to make a lot of money from your opponents, because they are playing the same game as you.
If the other players at the table are your customers, be nice to them. If they ask, show them your hand. If a bad customer (aka a regular) is berating a good customer, step in respectfully. Do NOT give the impression that your business is about twisting every last penny out of them and they are more likely to come back.



tl;dr: table changing and seat changing are +ev in isolation and -ev in aggregate. If you are playing poker to compete, go for it. If you are playing poker to make money, treat the other people at your table like they are your customers, not seats to drain money from.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:14 PM   #2
cannabusto
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

I struggle with the social aspect. I'm just so uncomfortable being outgoing. One of my biggest leaks for sure.

However, I'm not sure what the average person thinks of table and seating changes. Someone could do those things for comfort, to play near friends, "luck," or whatever. I do always ask for the seat change button when I sit down just in case I want to use it. I guess I just feel like those who recognize what I'm doing will also recognize me folding my face off anyway and think I have a clue. Idk, I'm going to keep doing it though!
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Just say your seat is unlucky and you have a better feeling about a different seat. Fish will sympathize with you. Problem solved.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:16 PM   #4
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Meh. Fish rarely mind if you grab position on them as long as you don't appear to be a douchebag
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:30 PM   #5
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Fish have no idea why you are changing seats. They change seats when they go 20 minutes without a big hand.

I changed seats not too long ago and one of the dealers that Im friendly with said "Why are you changing seats? You never sit in seat #2".

I moved to get on a maniacs left but I thought to myself "Are you serious asking me that in front of everyone?". My response was "that seat is too close to the next table. I get bumped every time someone walks by". One of the other regs looked at me and laughed because he knew why I really moved.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:33 PM   #6
Mat the Gambler
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

I absolutely think that recreational players can tell who the serious players are and play differently when in pots with them. I go out of my way to look like a fellow recreational player, and avoid the sorts of behaviors you mention. I don't think having position on fish is terribly important in any case. They don't understand position and I feel good about getting involved in pots with them from anywhere. The importance of position is correlated with the skill level of your opponents.

In an ideal world, I would almost never limp, but sometimes I do just to blend in. I don't think they'll pick up that I limp a lot less frequently than most players do, but I think they'd pick up if I never limped at all.

I don't wear headphones. I don't bring my backpack to the table with me. I engage in random conversation, but avoid talking about strategy except to agree with anything that another player on the table is saying about strategy. I think all this stuff is important.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:52 PM   #7
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cannabusto View Post
I struggle with the social aspect. I'm just so uncomfortable being outgoing. One of my biggest leaks for sure.
I find being genuine is better than 'faking it'. I'm naturally an extrovert who could talk to the wall. My husband is......not.

If I tried to be a stone face at the table or he tried to be the social butterfly, it would fail. BUT, being social/likable works for me where as being quieter works for him.

As for seat changes, like a PP, I always use the 'it's cold on this side of the table' or 'too crowded in this seat' when I move--and sometimes it is true! I'm unlikely to move to gain position on a fish, but, I do like to move away from people because of their play, their conversation or their odor!
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:24 PM   #8
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

It seems like a lot of people think fish are idiots. At least at 2/5 and up, the fish tend to be intelligent people, they just haven't spent a large amount of time studying poker. They can usually tell who the skilled players are and are paying some amount of attention. If you sit down and snap ask for the seat change button, people are going to wonder about why is where you sit at the table so important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmay28 View Post
Meh. Fish rarely mind if you grab position on them as long as you don't appear to be a douchebag
You think a player isn't going to notice that every time he goes to the casino, people try to switch to his table? And every time someone gets up on his left, half the table is fighting to move there? No one likes to feel like a loser.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:12 PM   #9
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

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Originally Posted by johnnyBuz View Post

Seat changing is a part of the game. Either villain is going to have position on me (like he did) or I am going to have it on him (like I did after switching). I'm not going to be a sensitive sap and worry about how some random I've never seen before and will likely never see again interprets my decision to have position on him. He's welcome to rack up any time he likes.
This is from the other thread, trying to avoid derailing it. This post exemplifies the concept of treating your opponents like competitors. The villain in question was calling large amounts of money with any draw and had 1000bb in front of him. After changing positions, hero says that villain has tightened up significantly whenever hero had position in the hand on him.

It isn't about being a sensitive sap, it is about running a successful, long term poker business. Or not. Just be honest with yourself about the impact you are having on the long term profitability of your poker market.
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Old 07-27-2016, 03:44 PM   #10
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Table changing or seat changing once isn't going to get any notice at most games. I insta get the seat change button if I come into 1 or 10. My preference is for 4 or 7 because I can see the board better and they're less cramped than 5 or 6. I'll also seat change if the AC is blowing on my head. The last time I table changed it was because the AC was blowing on my head.

Even decent regs are changing seats/tables for reason other than getting position on someone.

If I table change because I see megafish and megafish then table changes and I follow him? That'll get noticed. Same if I seat change twice to be on bigstack's left.

If you seat change once and regs at the table are laughing because they know you did it to get position then you're very likely a habitual seat changer/bum hunter.

Like most everything in life seat/table changing is fine in moderation but possibly harmful in excess.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:15 PM   #11
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

I think the thought process on this is no different than the old saying about letting a sucker keep their money. The idea is that if you don't take it, someone else will.

If you don't take advantage of an opportunity to improve your position at the table, someone else will.
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:17 PM   #12
javale mc g
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

i agree wizh everything ranma said
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Old 07-27-2016, 04:48 PM   #13
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Like I said in the previous thread, this is really a "when in Rome" situation.

If seat changing / table changing is frowned upon at your poker location and you'll quickly be made an outcast and not welcome in any games / etc., then obviously don't do it (or if you do, tread very very carefully).

But if you're in a typical casino room environment with multiple tables and everyone is table hopping / seat changing (for whatever reason, from totally innocent to totally cutthroat), then not taking advantage of this in this environment is a pretty big leak. Obviously do it as respectfully as you can doing your best not to draw attention to yourself, keeping the long term in mind.

Attempting to sit at one of the better tables in one of the better seats is obviously going to make a huge boost to your bottom line and, if allowed and accepted in your environment, should be a huge part of your poker strategy (some may even arguable it's the only part of your strategy that really matters).

Gcluelesstablehopping/seathoppingnoobG
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Old 07-27-2016, 07:54 PM   #14
cAmmAndo
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

My approach and wtfdik...

I quietly ask for a seat change button when I sit down. If a few people notice I may mention how seat 5 is like being a ping pong referee "looks left right left in animated fasion". Or seat 1 is terrible cuz dealer elbows, mucked my Aces once.... He doesn't acknowledge my tips I dunked into his toke box.... "Did you ever see that episode of Seinfeld when George is putting the dollar in the tip jar and they avert their eyes right before he drops it.... " blah blah we are having fun already.

When I seat change I do it either without fanfare and comment when I sit down "ah that's better" or I'll make a joke about how I'm tired of that guy stealing my blinds (point at OMC two to the right of my former seat who hasn't played a hand since yesterday) good natured and yeah I know people know why I'm seat changing but it's my right, I don't abuse it and I try and make the game fun for rec players when I can.

Point is I try and have fun with my table, needle the douchebags and even chat up the antisocial hoodie guys.

Sometimes I'll play anything remotely playable in my new seat and tell the dealer I'm trying this seat out don't disappoint me or some dumb ****.

I'm your basic idiot. I don't take myself too seriously I joke. Drink some. Mostly only say dumb **** in terms of poker strat... but in a pot I wanna rip your shoelaces through your nose if I can.

I guess my point is that you can seek advantage without being a buzz kill to the game.

I rarely make more than one seat change at a table though.

I have played in bigger games where the seat changing was rediculous to the point of embarrassment. It's the douchey semi-pro guys who seem to do it in a way that makes it obvious it's business.
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Old 07-27-2016, 11:09 PM   #15
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

I pretty much only change seats to get my preferred location opposite the dealer, where I can observe the whole table and the board is right in front of me and my seat isn't banging into seats on adjacent tables.

I don't change seats to chase the fish because 2/3 is a) a target rich environment and b) player turnover is high. If I don't have position on a fish right now, I will in 30 minutes, so rather than zoom around changing seats all the damn time, I'd rather just get comfortable and stay that way.

If I played tougher games where people stayed longer, yeah it would be a different story.
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:54 AM   #16
ATsai
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranma4703 View Post
(inspired by derail of https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/sh...8&postcount=29)


Seat changing, table changing, talking about how good/bad a game or player was/is at the table...

Everything above is theoretically +ev. In aggregate they send the message that poker is about winning money more than it is a game. This encourages people who play poker for fun to either treat poker like it is about winning money, or go find a more relaxed environment to play in.

When you sit down at a poker table, are you a competitor or are you the casino? Are the other people at the table your opponents or are they your customers?

Honest question that you should think about and decide on. If they are your opponents, hide information/try to get extra information, sit on their left, do whatever you need to win money from them. But know that it is very difficult to make a lot of money from your opponents, because they are playing the same game as you.
If the other players at the table are your customers, be nice to them. If they ask, show them your hand. If a bad customer (aka a regular) is berating a good customer, step in respectfully. Do NOT give the impression that your business is about twisting every last penny out of them and they are more likely to come back.



tl;dr: table changing and seat changing are +ev in isolation and -ev in aggregate. If you are playing poker to compete, go for it. If you are playing poker to make money, treat the other people at your table like they are your customers, not seats to drain money from.
+1
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:57 AM   #17
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Predatory seat changing is something that way too many live players do. Most intelligent recreational players will see right through your lame excuse if you try to insult their intelligence by making up some dumb reason why you are snap changing to the seat on their left.
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Old 08-26-2016, 02:03 AM   #18
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

More importantly, live poker players should act more like gentlemen regarding stuff like seat changing. The Golden Rule applies here. If you were a recreational player looking to have a fun time, would you like having half the table snap seat changing to your left whenever a seat to your left opened up? If the answer is NO, then you should not do it to the recreational player sitting at your table.

Sometimes I hate the idea of "live pros should do XYZ as good customer service." While it is true, it is much better to do XYZ things because you are a gentleman who was sympathy/empathy for your fellow human beings. (instead of treating everyone like your piggy bank)

This may be more of a modern societal problem than a live poker problem, but there are way too many people who are just looking out for NUMBER 1 instead of caring/sympathizing/empathizing for their fellow human beings.
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Old 08-26-2016, 04:23 AM   #19
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

The reason big money is possible to be made live (10bb/hr+) is because people make huge mistakes, and a big amount of mistakes are made, because people aren't really "trying to win". When you seat change to the left of a fish, maybe you theoretically add 1 or 2 bb/HR to your wr at most, but you definitely lose bbs/hr if that fish starts playing to win.

Rant: this isn't about seat changing but it's relevant to the discussion. Something that is tilting me to no end in my current game that is beyond juicy is a semi competent reg who is obviously playing to win/ tracking results etc, but still has enormous leaks in his game, who will not stop doing -ev things that are legitimately awful long term for the game. I mean, he's like your worst nightmare. He discusses equities at the table, pulls out his equity calculator and openly engages the table about his findings, snap asks fish who won a big pot how much they're playing and insta adds on to match that amount. I'm seriously contemplating asking him to have a talk outside where I explain how terrible everything he's doing is, not because I care about his success, but because people like him really damage the game for everyone I feel.
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Old 08-26-2016, 06:34 AM   #20
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mat the Gambler View Post
I absolutely think that recreational players can tell who the serious players are and play differently when in pots with them. I go out of my way to look like a fellow recreational player, and avoid the sorts of behaviors you mention. I don't think having position on fish is terribly important in any case. They don't understand position and I feel good about getting involved in pots with them from anywhere. The importance of position is correlated with the skill level of your opponents.

In an ideal world, I would almost never limp, but sometimes I do just to blend in. I don't think they'll pick up that I limp a lot less frequently than most players do, but I think they'd pick up if I never limped at all.

I don't wear headphones. I don't bring my backpack to the table with me. I engage in random conversation, but avoid talking about strategy except to agree with anything that another player on the table is saying about strategy. I think all this stuff is important.
This is spot on. Many regs don't keep things in perspective. Maintaining a game's longevity is becoming more and more essential as poker evolves. Bad players don't only funnel money to those on their direct left. If that's strictly the case, the opponents in your game are not adjusting to table dynamics -- luckily to your benefit.

We understand position is important. The observant players will also understand why you're table/seat changing.

Nonetheless, I will rarely, if ever, voluntarily give any hints or information to suggest I'm a professional or a regular. Fish may not fully comprehend why you're seat changing, but they can sense when they're being targeted.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:44 PM   #21
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Grunch and read TLDR:

They usually have no idea why I'm changing seats, and I don't tell them. If it comes up, I'm cold/hot, other player smells, whatever -- they don't realize it's to get position on them. If they do, they are good enough that it doesn't matter -- it's not going to get them to read.

Nobody has any idea about table changing when you get to a new table and if they do, see above.
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Old 08-26-2016, 12:56 PM   #22
gobbledygeek
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Lol, last night one of the bigger fish in our game table changed between our 2 tables a total of 5 times in about 5 hours (playing each table 3 separate times). Fish have their own reason for seat changing / table changing, and I'm guessing they can easily project their reasoning (which is often fairly innocent) on to why we seat / table change.

Also, regarding seat changing method, almost all of mine revolves around stack sizes plus difficulty a particular opponent can cause me OOP, which often means I'm moving to the right of fishes (so my moves often don't look predatory towards them at all).

GwheninRome,imoG
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Old 08-26-2016, 01:24 PM   #23
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

You guys must play in some different games because seat changing is done habitually by fish and regs alike where I play. Unless you are an absolute social leper there should be creative ways to improve your position vs. the table as a whole without arising suspicion. Maybe try moving 2-3 seats to the "mark's" left instead of directly to his left. There's no honor among thieves.
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:44 PM   #24
ATsai
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

Seat changing occurs often in the LA cash games, but it is still pretty cringe-worthy when people are making predatory seat changes to target Recreational players.

The worst is when a recreational player is table changing or must moving to the table from another table...and 1-3 regs make him wait forever to sit down at the table because they all want to move to his left. Or when he is just about to sit down in the open seat, and 1-3 regs suddenly demand to move to the open seat because they noticed that a rec is coming and want position on the rec.
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Old 08-26-2016, 05:06 PM   #25
MikeStarr
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Re: Metagame considerations around table/seat changing

A good player should not need to have position on a rec player. You should be able to beat him from anywhere. You need position on the tough tricky hard to read players.

I agree with Johnny though. Where I play people change seats because theyre card dead, because they cant see the TV, because they never win from seat 4...ect. People change seats so much that nobody really even notices or cares.
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