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Losing microstakes player needs tips for Vegas trip Losing microstakes player needs tips for Vegas trip

06-20-2022 , 10:27 PM
Hello all! I am a mostly recreational player at NL2 and NL5 stakes on Americas Cardroom, but I try to play as well as I can. I can't quite beat it yet, but I'm learning and hoping to improve. My birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and I'm going to Vegas to celebrate it. I have $1600 to play with saved up especially for the trip, so I know I'll be staying to the lowest stakes. I might play a tournament while I'm there.

My poker bankroll/budget is currently about $90 on Americas Cardroom, so to say this is a big jump is an understatement. This will be my first time playing live poker at a casino, and I only have very limited experience at home games. 95% of my experience is online.

I know I'll likely walk away from this trip down money, but I'm going to give it my damndest. From what I've read, I believe I can expect Vegas players to be significantly looser than ACR players, assuming I don't get assigned to a table full of regs. Is this accurate? And what level of postflop play can I generally expect, assuming I stick to $1/2 or $1/3?

For perspective, I'm the type of player who can logically understand that King-Jack Offsuit is not a particularly strong hand but I would have difficulty laying it down. My VPIP typically hovers around 30% in the 6-max games I typically play in, and my PFR is within a few points of that. I've played for probably 6 months total now, with a few breaks. I've lost about $500 playing poker so far, mostly from MTTs. I think my biggest weakness is making bad calls, which I'm trying to get better at.

Do I have a shot at beating the low stakes in Vegas? I'm going to be staying at the Excalibur, so any advice for nearby poker rooms with good games would also be greatly appreciated!
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06-21-2022 , 12:23 AM
I know nothing about which rooms in Vegas have the best games, nor have I ever played in any of them. If the live games are typical there, though, they will be full of very loose, passive players (not all will be so, but many). There likely will be many multi-way pots, and it will be difficult to successfully bluff. You must adjust your game to that reality. As such, play a good solid game. Open as you would online; do not make the mistake of limping along with the crowd, but rather raise when you open. You probably will have to open larger than you would online to avoid getting a lot of callers, usually at least 4-5bb is a standard open at many tables. Do NOT get fancy; just be patient and bet for value when you do get a real hand, but avoid marginal hands (especially in the multi-way pots).
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06-21-2022 , 12:34 AM
That's about what my plan was, and continues to be at the microstakes tables. I'm going to try to get as much practice as I can before then!
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06-22-2022 , 10:40 PM
What stremba said seems mostly correct. Doing okay at lowstakes live is based around winning a lot of money with your good hands, nothing fancy required. Playing a fit or fold, value oriented game is simply the way to go. I don't know exactly how 5nl plays on ACR, but 1/2 live tables in Vegas are full of weak to mediocre players so I would expect anyone with any online experience to do fine. It takes a bit of time to get adjusted to live, but remember you can always ask the dealer to clarify the action if you're not sure what's going on.

Most of the good poker rooms on the strip are north of excalibur, but you can reach a bunch of poker rooms in 30 mins or less on foot (aria, bellagio, caesars) and more great rooms a bit past those. The closest one is probably at the mgm grand across the street. Lots of the rooms have small daily tournaments (often in the $1-$200 range), so I'm sure you can find a small daily to play within your budget.

Enjoy your trip, good luck.
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06-23-2022 , 02:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncelanas
What stremba said seems mostly correct. Doing okay at lowstakes live is based around winning a lot of money with your good hands, nothing fancy required. Playing a fit or fold, value oriented game is simply the way to go. I don't know exactly how 5nl plays on ACR, but 1/2 live tables in Vegas are full of weak to mediocre players so I would expect anyone with any online experience to do fine. It takes a bit of time to get adjusted to live, but remember you can always ask the dealer to clarify the action if you're not sure what's going on.

Most of the good poker rooms on the strip are north of excalibur, but you can reach a bunch of poker rooms in 30 mins or less on foot (aria, bellagio, caesars) and more great rooms a bit past those. The closest one is probably at the mgm grand across the street. Lots of the rooms have small daily tournaments (often in the $1-$200 range), so I'm sure you can find a small daily to play within your budget.

Enjoy your trip, good luck.
Thank you so much for the advice!
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06-23-2022 , 05:21 AM
I just returned to the uk after my first trip to vegas. Hadn’t played much poker for a long time but was still up on this trip playing 1/2 mostly at the mgm.

I’d agree with what has been posted above, it’s hard to get many bluffs through you got to pick your spots and make the strong hands pay.

The mgm games seemed a good mix of tourists with some regs. Places like aria seemed much more tighter with lot of reg players but I guess that was also due to fact wsop was on at same time.

The louder more fun tables seemed to be where more action was at with bigger pots.
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06-23-2022 , 09:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirspike
Id agree with what has been posted above, its hard to get many bluffs through you got to pick your spots and make the strong hands pay.
"Don't bluff ever" probably a simple enough piece of advice as a tourist playing live somewhere. It'd get called far too often for it to work in 99% of games and you are never going to play enough hands against any given opponent to even think about balancing ranges
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06-25-2022 , 12:39 AM
Fastplay your strong hands, fold to turn/river raises, dont bluff.

Good luck to you!
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06-25-2022 , 08:57 AM
It's good that you understand that online play is different than live play and all of the posts above are 'spot on' .. but I'm going to put it in a slightly different way.

Yes, please under-bluff your spots unless you are going to use polarizing bet sizes.

But I also must warn you to not 'get' bluffed too much either. It's very easy to give your opponents too much credit in 1/2. To think that they think the way you do .. they don't. And in Vegas this applies even more so IMO. They wont see 'your betting line' or read the Board the way you want them to .. it's mostly 'just cards' and unfortunately you may get bluffed out of some spots by those raises that they are talking about above. They will see 'any' check as weak and think that they 'need' to bluff just because.

How do you avoid that? Play a 'heavy' x/c game when out of position and avoid betting for thin value on Rivers that you can't take a raise against when in position. There's nothing wrong with just taking a Showdown .. your opponents may also see this as weak and this sets up you for bigger profit when they play at you when you're stronger.

You don't say how long you'll be there in Vegas .. $1600 is 'ok' but that can go in 2-3 sessions even at 1/2 if you run bad. STAY OUT OF THE PITS unless you have a separate budget for that.

Where to play? Anywhere you can get a seat .. don't be afraid to table change if your game is too passive/nitty. I always heard that MGM is hit or miss, if it's a miss then move on to the next room. Aria, Venetian, Cesar's, WSOP, Resorts World can all have crazy tables depending on the time of day. The one thing is that it only takes one Player to change the whole table and hopefully you run into a couple of those games.

I think you'll be fine unless playing live comfortably becomes an issue. Any awkwardness will be seen as weakness by Regs and you can take advantage of that as well.

I hope you do well and can possibly sit down at a 2/5 table on your last day. I have long had the opinion that 'any' 1/2 Reg should be able to comfortably sit down at 2/5 in Vegas since there are a lot of 'shot takers' who play bigger just because they are in Vegas. GL
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