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Old 04-16-2011, 09:53 AM   #1
FlatTireSuited
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FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Mods - if you want to merge this into one of the other "what to expect" threads, I understand. I just wanted to offer my advice to the online guys who are now going to have to come to B&M - as I will note, a good majority of you are vastly better than me online, so if I can beat live, and I do, there's no reason you can't. I've only been playing live on a consistent basis for a year and a half now, but I've been able to pick it up quite quickly and become fairly successful - why? Because it's just that easy due to the sheer number of complete donks out there.

Cliff Notes: For Live Play, Most players are either extreme nits, calling stations, or over-aggressive gambolholics. Go full-blown LAG against first group, but wait until you’ve got a monster and valuetown other two groups. Put away the fancy plays, put away the balancing range plays, put away “representing” hands. Expect tons of multi-way pots, often multi-way limped. Remove hands that suck multiway like KTo, tread carefully with 99-JJ, AQ+, and learn to love the small-pairs, suited connectors, and even one and two-gappers if in position and getting decent odds or if fairly deep. There are an insane number of times with table dynamics where I’d rather have 97s than AKo. If you hit flop hard, don't be afraid to donk-bet into the PFR - a good number of them do know that check-raise = strong, so they'll fold to a check-raise, but a donk bet into them, they'll so they'll think it's some sort of wierd bluff or "where I'm at" bet, raise it, you'll shove and get paid.

Last edited by FlatTireSuited; 04-16-2011 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:53 AM   #2
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Welcome to the Wild World of LOL LIVE POKER!

For online guys with no live experience - I do well - nothing earth-shattering, but well, at 2/5 NL at Horseshoe Hammond, one of the biggest pokerrooms in the Midwest. Online, I struggle at 25NL and am about break even at 10NL online. So if you're beating 10NL or 25NL, 1/2 live should be a joke and 2/5 won't be much tougher. I’m fully willing to admit that the vast majority of people beating 10NL or higher are better overall players than me - and since I do quite well live, if you struggle, it’s either because you’re overrating how good you are online, or are stubbornly thinking that what works online, works live. If you’re a good online player who can adjust, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t kill live. This post may be TL;DR for some, and it’s also going to make a few exaggerations for comedic effect, but for the most part, it’s basically all true, and if you take your good online chops (proper bet-sizing, assessing villain’s range, avoiding trap hands, etc.), and combine that with simple understanding of LOLLivepoker players, you’ll kill the games. The players are that bad.

Here are the most important pointers. I'm going to use 2/5 as the standard, so adjust for 1/2 or 5/10 or whatever level:

The underlying principle is this:

A good number of people at B&M are there to "play cards!" - and by that I mean play as many hands as possible. They didn't drive an hour after they got off work the one day a week they can get away from their wife and kids, to fold pre-flop for 4 hours to some young twerp in a hoodie. They're there to "get in, mix it up, make some moves, and show everyone else how it's done!". Therefore:

1) A 5x pre-flop bet (which is, at least at 2/5, the most standard pre-flop bet) often times will be called by 6 guys. It is absolutely standard for a guy to raise to $25 or $30 UTG and get called by the entire table. I always laugh when an online guy comes to a B&M table, raises to $30 UTG with KQo and then proceeds to get 7 callers, and makes this face of "WTF just happened...7 callers to a 5x bet but no 3bet?"

2) Limped pots are frequent. If you're on the button and 5 people limp, don't interpret that to mean that they're all weak and will fold if you bet $40 - they're all going to call - what it means is they have hands they don't WANT to play for $40, but they'll still call since they're soooted and goddamit, they wanna see a flop (see rule 1).

3) There are a significant number of players who will call cbets with just about any sort of draw. Continuing with the KQo example, if the flop is T53 rainbow, fully expect a c-bet of $120 into the $210 to be called by T8 (hey, ZOMGTOPPAIR - do you know how hard it is to have top pair) and also by A4 (gotta at least see a turn, I could spike a deuce, and then, ZOMGIHAVEASTRAIGHT!)

4) And fully expect well-sized turn and river bets to be called by the same T8 hand. You can't get him off his hand. He's not playing you, he's not soul reading you, he simply has a pair and he's not getting away from it. Remember Phil Ruffin just a little while ago on HSP? Yeah, that's a good number of live players at any level. Look - they drove all this way, so they're here to play, not fold. In other words – no representing, no fancy play – it won’t matter to him, because he’s got a pair so he’s calling.

5) So - don't be the stubborn moron who doesn't adjust and can't fathom how these guys are that bad - yes, yes they are. Just wait until you have TT and valuetown the ever loving crap out of him. Bet pot on flop of T53, because 65 will call you. Bet 2/3rds pot on turn - he's call. Shove river - he'll call, and then curse his bad luck.

6) For some reason, these guys also seemingly think that the only way to play a strong hand is to check/flat. I call it "Hellmuthian trap-mode". They flop a set? The only way to play that is to check/call until river, then, and ONLY then, raise big (unless the board flushed out, in which case call the guy who hit the flush and curse the suckout and curse the dealer for dealing the suckout)...and since no one hit their draw, no one calls, so the villain complains that no one called on the river when they finally made a hand. Flop the non-nut flush? No hellmuthian-trapper bets there - don't wanna scare anyone away!!! Nevermind getting value from the A-high flush draw or two-pair/sets, and nevermind that the only way these hands call you on the river is if they've passed you on strength.

7) So, the inverse of that - don't be afraid to bet the ever-loving crap out of your hands that way. The amount of times I'll pot non-nut flopped flushes, top-2, sets, etc., they'll call with TPTK all the way down and be flabbergasted when they see my hand, and they'll say something like "I didn't put you on that, why would you bet that so strong, all that does is drive people away - you'd want to keep me around with your flush!" - except, of course, I did keep you around and built a much bigger pot so you felt committed to calling a river-shove.

8) Now - when they’re the ones doing the pre-flop betting or post-flop betting - first, don't be afraid to call. Online, you want to see a small gap between VPIP and PFR. Live? No shame in calling a lot of the time. 75s in late position, someone's led out for $25, and 3 callers? Easy call. This will happen a lot of the time. Look, don't limp/call with anything, but trust me, there is a lot of value to calling someone's pre-flop raise, particularly if you're the 4th or 5th one in, and in position, and yes, that will happen - FREQUENTLY. Heck, don't be afraid to be the first caller if you know that the people behind will call, and yes, chances are they will. Get into a multi-way pot with suited one-gappers or small pairs - you'll thank me when you hit and they can't fold TPTK.

9) One reason - if you’re the one on a standard draw – they’re most likely going to bet size HORRIBLY. It doesn’t mean weakness, it’s because they have no clue. Example – you have 98s, guy leads out for $25, 4 callers to you on button, again, standard call, flop is Axx, two of your flush. The PFR donk will either check (JJ, scared of the ace), or bet $35 (AK, thinking that’s the right bet, after all, it was more than $25). He’s not betting $35 into $100 because he’s weak, he’s betting $35 because he bet $25 pre, so $35 post makes sense – he doesn’t track pot size. Turn bricks you, he’s going to bet $50. You’ll call, hit on river, he’ll bet $70, you’ll raise, he may call, he may fold, either way prepare for him to lecture you about calling his huge bets with just a draw. Let him do that, smile, say you’re just a lucky donk who likes to gamble, laugh, and scoop pot.

10) Finally – your “image” most likely does not matter. Balancing ranges? Yeah – these guys don’t even know what a range is, much less that one “balances” it. With rare exceptions (soul readers), how often you’ve raised or not raised pre means NOTHING. With the exception of the nittiest and most aggressive pre-flop players, whether or not you get called depends on whether they have the cards. You can raise for the first time in 4 hours – if the opponents have playable (in their opinion) hands, they’re calling. I’m not saying don’t raise with 76s on the button, the play isn’t horrible if it’s done at the right time, but don’t do it for image reasons. That said, if somehow you’re at a table where image does matter – well, first, table change since there are probably softer tables with suckier players, but if you can’t, then if you need to loosen up your image – some quick ways to do it – straddle always works, or show one bluff(make sure it’s against soul realer or nit donk), or be the 5th or 6th limper in position with complete rags if you know the blinds aren’t the type to raise – it costs one big blind, if you hit hard you can valuetown, and there’s also a good chance it’ll check all the way through – and in either scenario, SHOW THE HAND, let someone say something about how only donks play that hand, and voila, image ruined.

Last edited by FlatTireSuited; 04-16-2011 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:55 AM   #3
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Are there good players at B&M places? Yes. There are also players, who aren't necessarily "good", but clearly have a decent idea what they're doing. But there are also a significant number of horrible players. They can mostly be broke down into 4 groups, and it won't be hard to identify who is who:

1) Nit-donk - the only group of players that the above (except the underlying principle) don't apply to - they're complete nits who are scared to gamble and scared to play big pots under any circumstance other than when they have the nuts. But they still want to see flops because of the underlying principle. So, unless they have AA/KK, they go fit/fold - they'll call a 5x pre-flop bet (they won't 3bet ever without AA/KK) but fold if they don't hit Top Pair or better, every time. For this one group, enjoy raising pre, then c-betting and taking it down every time they don't hit the flop hard. They only open pre-flop with QQ+, maybe JJ/AK, and only 3-bet with AA/KK.

2) Soul-reader donk - this guy is obsessed with putting you on an exact hand. His ego and pride in soul-reading skills are almost more important than making money - it's almost like he'd rather make that awesome fold than win a big pot. Like the nit-donk, he's quite bluffable - the key is you have to think, how would the soul reader himself play the hand I want to represent, and then play accordingly. Flush card hits on the river and you missed your straight draw? Feel free to bluff this guy - but the key is figure out the exact bet size that HE would bet if he hit the flush, and bet accordingly. He'll tank, then say "man I knew you drew out on me", and fold - the correct response is to sigh, tap the table and say good fold, quickly muck and give him credit for a great soul read.

3) Calling station donk. Basically nit donk in that he doesn't want to get his entire stack in without the nuts but he can't get away from middle pair or a gut-shot straight draw like the nit donk, so he'll just call you down all three streets since he doesn't want to stack off (unless he hits his gutter). DO NOT BLUFF THIS GUY. He will call you, not because he has you on AK, but rather, because he's the Phil Ruffin type - he has 3rd pair and that's good enough for him. Here, just wait him out until you have something that's way ahead of his calling range and valuetown the ever loving crap out of him. IF YOU HAVE A SUPER-DRAW LIKE OESFD AND YOU HAVE BEEN BETTING IT ON FLOP AND TURN AND HE CALLS YOU BOTH STREETS, DO NOT BLUFF RIVER, CHECK/MUCK. He's not the nit donk - he'll call you on river with 3rd pair. It sucks that you were absurdly ahead of him, but next time you'll hit it, and he'll call your river bet because 3rd pair is worth calling, and you'll show your flush and get his stack.

4) Gambool donk. He won't just call with any draw or any made hand, he'll raise or shove. I've seen people CALL 4bets of 200bb with QJo, KTs, 88, K7s, A2o...I've seen people CALL flop shoves with gutters, bottom pair no draw, top pair no kicker no draw, two overs no draw - and we're not talking like priced in shoves, we're talking just because, as I said in the beginning, this is there one chance a week to play cards and they didn't come here to fold for 4 hours.

Live poker is much easier, but there are different skills needed. The game moves much slower, however, if you start forcing the action, what will end up happening is you'll flop a pair/flush draw combo, bet it big all the way down, then brick-brick out, shove river representing a real hand, and you'll go bonkers when the donk calls you with 3rd pair. It happens. That's why patience is key. Wait it out. Yes, if you’re at a table of the first two types of donks, okay, you can LAG your way to a nice profit. But if you’re at a table with the third and forth type of donks (and they’re the ones who will stack off routinely and lead to your most profitable sessions), wait until you’ve got a hand way ahead of their range (which is absurdly big), and valuetown the ever-loving crap out of them. Further, adjust range to multi-way hands that flop big. Just completely remove hands like KTo and AJo – it’s almost impossible to get it down to heads-up pre-flop, even big 3bets can be called by 3 or 4 people sometimes. Tread carefully with 99-JJ, AQ/AK, because, with 99-JJ, a flop of Kxx and someone calls your c-bet on flop, and pot sized bets on turn and river, there’s a good chance he’s doing that with K5o, sorry, that’s live poker. AQ/AK, and flop is 3 unders? Guess what – he’s got 87 and thinks it’s worth raising on a 753 flop. At the same time, suited connectors, suited one-gappers and even suited two-gappers become valuable. The same guy who thinks K5o is good on a Kxx board? He’s still going to think it’s good when it’s K64 – too bad you have 53s, and when the turn is the 2, he’s going to call your shove because, well, he thought maybe his top pair was good. Ace-rag suited becomes valuable if you’re deep – flush over flush is a guaranteed stack-off for any non-nit donk, regardless of stack size. Guaranteed. They hit a flush, they’re going ZOMGFLUSHIWANNAGETALLMYMONEYINBECAUSEIAMGOINGTODOU BLEUP!!!!!!!!

Trust me, the players ARE this bad. What works online doesn’t necessarily work live, and the best value live is to be made capitalizing on calling station and gambol donks, because it all goes back to the underlying principle – they came to play. Wait ‘em out – that doesn’t mean fold everything but KK/AA pre-flop – just adjust range – remove hands that suck multiway, add Axs, SC, S1C and sometimes even S2C, hit hard, and valuetown. They’re not going to fold to your valuetown bets/raises, but they’re also not going to properly bet themselves (particularly the calling station donks), so you’ll get the odds to draw against them.

Thank you for reading. Looking forward to see you out there. Lastly – please, please, PLEASE do not berate the bad players when they call and suckout on you. I work very hard to be nice to these morons so that they enjoy the time while they lose all their money. Yes, it’s gross that they called you with a gutter, and then called you when they spiked A PAIR. Go have a cigarette, come back, rebuy, and wait until they call you down with a gutter, miss, spike a pair, and call your shove with a set because “if you really had a set, you’d bet small to make sure I call, so I call to catch your bluff..ZOMG YOU HAVE A SET, HOW?!?!?!” Then smile, shrug, and offer to buy them a drink, because that'll keep them happy and keep them calling you when you hit your bottom two and they have TPTK. I know you want to let them know how good you are at poker, but really, they're donks, they don't care how good you are, they want to gambooool, so help me give them the entertainment they want while we take their chips with standard, straight-forward, hit big and valuetown plays.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Thank you for the great post. I'll (we'll all) be seeing you soon, further on (up the road)
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:21 AM   #5
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

hes so right, i play 1-2 and 2-5 at the shoe. nothing surprises me. i slow play nothing and always get pfr to put a raise in on the flop. its redonkulous. i needed a little more variance in my game for sure. ive recently bought property in VALUETOWN.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:38 PM   #6
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

solid public service announcement.

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Old 04-16-2011, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshane1037 View Post
hes so right, i play 1-2 and 2-5 at the shoe. nothing surprises me. i slow play nothing and always get pfr to put a raise in on the flop. its redonkulous. i needed a little more variance in my game for sure. ive recently bought property in VALUETOWN.
Come say hi next time you're going. I happen to fancy myself the mayor...well okay, I'm not that good, but I'm at least a member of the city council of VALUETOWN.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:54 PM   #8
ashiXIII
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

pretty good general advice. i already know all this stuff, but it was good to read because if I applied it, I'm pretty sure my results this month wouldn't be so awful
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

thank you for answering my questions in other thread and for this great read. Yes I agree be nice to us fish/donks. Not only do you want to take my money but when us online players learn how to adjust I think you may want to have made a friend rather than an enemy. Some of these online players are heavily rolled and will come back at you later down the road.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Bookmarked sir!

So spot on with the attitudes and thought processes of live players. Live games appease gamblers more cuz they literally SEE the money flying around. That and they got crushed too quickly online cuz they got more hands in totally screw playing so they went back to live where their poor play isn't punished as routinely cuz they are surrounded by bad players.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:27 PM   #11
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Thank you for taking the time to post this information.

I think I'll head to the casino tonight and try playing this game live (might have to take my mouse with me cause I'm not sure I can play without being able to click).
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:58 PM   #12
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

I agree with this 100%! I have a win rate of like 3.5/100 online at $.02-.05 but 10BB/hr live at $1-2, notice I said hr so I dont really know how many hands that is but Im atleast 3x more profitable at way higher stakes live...Anyway my real question is how to play against the people who do know to properly size their bets? Im talking like late on sat nights at $1-2 Im am not suprised to see someone open UTG to $18-22 and get 5 callers at $1-2. How do you adjust for this kind of craziness???
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:09 PM   #13
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRounder View Post
I agree with this 100%! I have a win rate of like 3.5/100 online at $.02-.05 but 10BB/hr live at $1-2, notice I said hr so I dont really know how many hands that is but Im atleast 3x more profitable at way higher stakes live...Anyway my real question is how to play against the people who do know to properly size their bets? Im talking like late on sat nights at $1-2 Im am not suprised to see someone open UTG to $18-22 and get 5 callers at $1-2. How do you adjust for this kind of craziness???
Late saturday nights, I don't know if those people are properly sizing their bets as much as they are drunk over-aggressive maniacs. There's a distinct difference. The guy who pots flop to protect against draws is a lot different than the guy who pots or over-pots because he wants to gambooool. See - Phil Ruffin on HSP - were his bets "properly sized"? No, they were just a rich guy throwing money around.

So if you're dealing with a table filled with drunk over-aggressive maniacs - If you close the action pre-flop or are on button, still maybe considering calling with a spectulative hand, but otherwise, really tighten up, wait for the big hand, and then go nuts. Still call with small pairs because if you hit your set in the above situation, you're going to go YAHTZEE! in your head and stack the other guy.

Or, conversely, if you've got a REAL crazy table, as in one guy constantly opening to $20 and 5-callers who all want to stack him but can't bring themsleves to committing money pre-flop, seat change to his immediate right, wait for TT+/AQ+, limp, he'll open, 5-callers, and then jam with a hand that is way ahead of his pre-flop raising range. He still may well call b/c he's a drunk maniac, the other guys will fold since they're scared to commit their stack pre-flop, and voila, you've got an all-in pre-flop with $80 in dead money and you're way ahead of his range. Show the hands, tap the table, wish him good luck, say something like "good ol' fashion gambling!" he'll enjoy it, and hopefully when the board stays in your favor, he'll rebuy, and since he liked how you decided to gamble with him, he'll continue to play that way and look for another spot to get it all-in with you.

And if the table is filled with good players who properly bet size because they know what they're doing? Stand up, go to the floorman, and ask for a table change. On a saturday night, there is NO reason to be playing at a table with only other good players.

Last edited by FlatTireSuited; 04-16-2011 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:00 PM   #14
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Playing in a live 2/5 as I'm reading this, looking and the donks around me and smiling
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Old 04-16-2011, 08:54 PM   #15
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

this is quite good actually, no offense OP but I wasn't expecting it
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:35 PM   #16
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Thanks for the great info.

Can you tell me what the standard tipping looks like for 1/2 game?

Like whats the max one should tip? I played live poker one time. Everyone on the table was tipping atleast a buck on a 10 dollar pot. I didn't want to look like a douche being the only one on the table that stiffed the dealer.

At the same time how is a game like that beatable? And whats the max one should tip the dealer?
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:19 PM   #17
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Very nice post. This stuff is gold!

But don't forget the bad player who will over-bet pots to price out all the draws he's sure is out there. Betting $25 into an $8 pot with top pair so no one will call. Classic big bets that will make all worse hands fold and only get called by better.

I'd fold most draws vs. this guy unless you have some kind of combo draw/pair. It's just not worth it. He'll over-pot the turn if a non-scare card hits and check/fold if a scare card does hit.

But these are the guys small pairs and SCs work so well against when you hit a set or two pair. Just call them. Let them bet the tun again. If you raise, they WILL fold (unless they have TPTK), as they have defined their hands pretty well and they actually know this. So when you raise, they will most likely fold.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:21 PM   #18
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

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Originally Posted by Guy986 View Post
Thanks for the great info.

Can you tell me what the standard tipping looks like for 1/2 game?

Like whats the max one should tip? I played live poker one time. Everyone on the table was tipping atleast a buck on a 10 dollar pot. I didn't want to look like a douche being the only one on the table that stiffed the dealer.

At the same time how is a game like that beatable? And whats the max one should tip the dealer?
most tip a buck for every pot won. I prefer to tip in a pot where there is action on the flop or after. Meaning, if I raise pre, get a couple callers, C-bet the flop and they all fold, I don't usually tip.

And I never tip if I take down the pot pre unless there was some decent action before my raise.
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:29 PM   #19
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

i've never played live but i'm somewhat beating 50nl and this all sounds very easy. so in live play pretty much everyone is a total drooler with blatantly exploitable leaks?

only thing is, how do you guys handle playing 15 hands an hour? do you adjust anything in your game to compensate for the game moving so slowly?
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:06 PM   #20
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

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Originally Posted by spewing View Post
i've never played live but i'm somewhat beating 50nl and this all sounds very easy. so in live play pretty much everyone is a total drooler with blatantly exploitable leaks?

only thing is, how do you guys handle playing 15 hands an hour? do you adjust anything in your game to compensate for the game moving so slowly?
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:28 PM   #21
FlatTireSuited
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

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Originally Posted by spewing View Post
i've never played live but i'm somewhat beating 50nl and this all sounds very easy. so in live play pretty much everyone is a total drooler with blatantly exploitable leaks?

only thing is, how do you guys handle playing 15 hands an hour? do you adjust anything in your game to compensate for the game moving so slowly?
That's part of the challenge. Waiting for the right spot when you see so few hands is not that easy. But forcing the issue out of boredom will only cause trouble. And since you play so few hands, variance can be a *****.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:30 PM   #22
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

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Welcome to the Wild World of LOL LIVE POKER!

For online guys with no live experience - I do well - nothing earth-shattering, but well, at 2/5 NL at Horseshoe Hammond, one of the biggest pokerrooms in the Midwest. Online, I struggle at 25NL and am about break even at 10NL online. So if you're beating 10NL or 25NL, 1/2 live should be a joke and 2/5 won't be much tougher. I’m fully willing to admit that the vast majority of people beating 10NL or higher are better overall players than me - and since I do quite well live, if you struggle, it’s either because you’re overrating how good you are online, or are stubbornly thinking that what works online, works live. If you’re a good online player who can adjust, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t kill live. This post may be TL;DR for some, and it’s also going to make a few exaggerations for comedic effect, but for the most part, it’s basically all true, and if you take your good online chops (proper bet-sizing, assessing villain’s range, avoiding trap hands, etc.), and combine that with simple understanding of LOLLivepoker players, you’ll kill the games. The players are that bad.

Here are the most important pointers. I'm going to use 2/5 as the standard, so adjust for 1/2 or 5/10 or whatever level:

The underlying principle is this:

A good number of people at B&M are there to "play cards!" - and by that I mean play as many hands as possible. They didn't drive an hour after they got off work the one day a week they can get away from their wife and kids, to fold pre-flop for 4 hours to some young twerp in a hoodie. They're there to "get in, mix it up, make some moves, and show everyone else how it's done!". Therefore:

1) A 5x pre-flop bet (which is, at least at 2/5, the most standard pre-flop bet) often times will be called by 6 guys. It is absolutely standard for a guy to raise to $25 or $30 UTG and get called by the entire table. I always laugh when an online guy comes to a B&M table, raises to $30 UTG with KQo and then proceeds to get 7 callers, and makes this face of "WTF just happened...7 callers to a 5x bet but no 3bet?"

2) Limped pots are frequent. If you're on the button and 5 people limp, don't interpret that to mean that they're all weak and will fold if you bet $40 - they're all going to call - what it means is they have hands they don't WANT to play for $40, but they'll still call since they're soooted and goddamit, they wanna see a flop (see rule 1).

3) There are a significant number of players who will call cbets with just about any sort of draw. Continuing with the KQo example, if the flop is T53 rainbow, fully expect a c-bet of $120 into the $210 to be called by T8 (hey, ZOMGTOPPAIR - do you know how hard it is to have top pair) and also by A4 (gotta at least see a turn, I could spike a deuce, and then, ZOMGIHAVEASTRAIGHT!)

4) And fully expect well-sized turn and river bets to be called by the same T8 hand. You can't get him off his hand. He's not playing you, he's not soul reading you, he simply has a pair and he's not getting away from it. Remember Phil Ruffin just a little while ago on HSP? Yeah, that's a good number of live players at any level. Look - they drove all this way, so they're here to play, not fold. In other words – no representing, no fancy play – it won’t matter to him, because he’s got a pair so he’s calling.

5) So - don't be the stubborn moron who doesn't adjust and can't fathom how these guys are that bad - yes, yes they are. Just wait until you have TT and valuetown the ever loving crap out of him. Bet pot on flop of T53, because 65 will call you. Bet 2/3rds pot on turn - he's call. Shove river - he'll call, and then curse his bad luck.

6) For some reason, these guys also seemingly think that the only way to play a strong hand is to check/flat. I call it "Hellmuthian trap-mode". They flop a set? The only way to play that is to check/call until river, then, and ONLY then, raise big (unless the board flushed out, in which case call the guy who hit the flush and curse the suckout and curse the dealer for dealing the suckout)...and since no one hit their draw, no one calls, so the villain complains that no one called on the river when they finally made a hand. Flop the non-nut flush? No hellmuthian-trapper bets there - don't wanna scare anyone away!!! Nevermind getting value from the A-high flush draw or two-pair/sets, and nevermind that the only way these hands call you on the river is if they've passed you on strength.

7) So, the inverse of that - don't be afraid to bet the ever-loving crap out of your hands that way. The amount of times I'll pot non-nut flopped flushes, top-2, sets, etc., they'll call with TPTK all the way down and be flabbergasted when they see my hand, and they'll say something like "I didn't put you on that, why would you bet that so strong, all that does is drive people away - you'd want to keep me around with your flush!" - except, of course, I did keep you around and built a much bigger pot so you felt committed to calling a river-shove.

8) Now - when they’re the ones doing the pre-flop betting or post-flop betting - first, don't be afraid to call. Online, you want to see a small gap between VPIP and PFR. Live? No shame in calling a lot of the time. 75s in late position, someone's led out for $25, and 3 callers? Easy call. This will happen a lot of the time. Look, don't limp/call with anything, but trust me, there is a lot of value to calling someone's pre-flop raise, particularly if you're the 4th or 5th one in, and in position, and yes, that will happen - FREQUENTLY. Heck, don't be afraid to be the first caller if you know that the people behind will call, and yes, chances are they will. Get into a multi-way pot with suited one-gappers or small pairs - you'll thank me when you hit and they can't fold TPTK.

9) One reason - if you’re the one on a standard draw – they’re most likely going to bet size HORRIBLY. It doesn’t mean weakness, it’s because they have no clue. Example – you have 98s, guy leads out for $25, 4 callers to you on button, again, standard call, flop is Axx, two of your flush. The PFR donk will either check (JJ, scared of the ace), or bet $35 (AK, thinking that’s the right bet, after all, it was more than $25). He’s not betting $35 into $100 because he’s weak, he’s betting $35 because he bet $25 pre, so $35 post makes sense – he doesn’t track pot size. Turn bricks you, he’s going to bet $50. You’ll call, hit on river, he’ll bet $70, you’ll raise, he may call, he may fold, either way prepare for him to lecture you about calling his huge bets with just a draw. Let him do that, smile, say you’re just a lucky donk who likes to gamble, laugh, and scoop pot.

10) Finally – your “image” most likely does not matter. Balancing ranges? Yeah – these guys don’t even know what a range is, much less that one “balances” it. With rare exceptions (soul readers), how often you’ve raised or not raised pre means NOTHING. With the exception of the nittiest and most aggressive pre-flop players, whether or not you get called depends on whether they have the cards. You can raise for the first time in 4 hours – if the opponents have playable (in their opinion) hands, they’re calling. I’m not saying don’t raise with 76s on the button, the play isn’t horrible if it’s done at the right time, but don’t do it for image reasons. That said, if somehow you’re at a table where image does matter – well, first, table change since there are probably softer tables with suckier players, but if you can’t, then if you need to loosen up your image – some quick ways to do it – straddle always works, or show one bluff(make sure it’s against soul realer or nit donk), or be the 5th or 6th limper in position with complete rags if you know the blinds aren’t the type to raise – it costs one big blind, if you hit hard you can valuetown, and there’s also a good chance it’ll check all the way through – and in either scenario, SHOW THE HAND, let someone say something about how only donks play that hand, and voila, image ruined.
This is not a flame,in fact your assessment is spot on, however you are basically telling people to play the same way the guys you knock are, except in your scenerio you end up winning.
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:54 PM   #23
Giantsbran
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

Great stuff bro.

Thank u.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:51 AM   #24
FlatTireSuited
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Re: FTS's Handy-Dandy Guide For Online Guys On How To Kill Live - Yes, It Is That Easy

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Originally Posted by elocutionist View Post
This is not a flame,in fact your assessment is spot on, however you are basically telling people to play the same way the guys you knock are, except in your scenerio you end up winning.
Not really - first, the bad players play hands that suck multiway and treat top pair any kicker like it's worth calling all the way down. As a result, AA, KK and AK value-town the ever loving crap out of KJo and KTo on a Kxx on board - "good" live players avoid as, as does any good player, live donks do not.

But more importantly, the live donks will call with draws despite any price - so you valuetown the crap out of them when you have the made hand and they have the draw, whereas when they have the made hand and you have the draw, their bet is going to be much less since they have no ability to bet size properly. Also, with the monster made hands, they "trap", thereby removing any value they get from draws that don't hit (they have set, you have flush draw, they check to you since they want to trap you...if you catch up, you'll get value from them on river, if you don't catch up, you call nothing on river), whereas your standard bet, bet, bet line means they'll give up a ton of money to see if their flush hits (and yes, sometimes it does).

Essentially, the main area to abuse the players is with proper bet sizing - they play loose but extremely passive, checking frequently, and when they bet it's horribly sized. "Good" live players play loose but extremely aggressive when they have the hand, because they'll get called, and get their profit that way.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:41 AM   #25
Al_Capone_Junior
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Talking WINNER!!! WINNER!!! WINNER!!!

Flattiresuited... for your super post(s) with super length and easy readability, with some good advice in there too, something you obviously put a lot of thought into, you have won a "get out of getting kicked in the nuts free" card from myself, al capone junior!!

Awesome man!!!

Now to utilize this card, you have to quote the original post and present your one-time use card, at which point you'll get a free pass out of getting KITN'd! Yes, it's that easy!!

al
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