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Old 11-28-2007, 05:33 AM
Bond18 Bond18 is offline
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Default Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

I've been thinking a lot lately about the adjustments we need to make to adapt as internet players in the live arenas. I'm not trying to write a definitive guide here, what i'm really interested in is discussion and your thoughts on the issue, so please join in on what you agree/disagree with and what you feel has been omitted.

First, when talking about live play we're going to have to make some generalizations. When refering to the play of live tournaments or live players let's make assumptions:
1. The villains in the hand aren't very well known live players whos game you respect.
2. The villains in the hand aren't well known internet players.
3. The villains in the hand are basically unknown live players or known live pros who play badly.

As i said, it's a fairly cumbersome set of generalizations, but discussing how we would play against other internet pros in a live setting seems somewhat redundant to our discussion of playing them online.

First, some tendencies i've noted in your more standard live players:
1. Early in the tournament they call raises or limp to loosely.
2. They have a weak understanding of pot odds.
3. Their open raising conditions are often too tight.
4. They resteal at a very low frequency.
5. They are concerned with their tournament life.
6. They call raises out of position too lightly and defend their blinds too loosely.
7. They don't understand what kind of actions their stack size (should) limit them to.
8. They tend to play large draws more weak than online players (less big semi bluff raises, more calling.)
9. They tend to bluff less, especially in terms of big multi street ones.
10. They don't think about ranges very well.
11. If they are the type that's capable of adjusting their play, they will often react to a loose aggressive style quicker than in many online tournaments.
12. They don't thin value bet as much as they should.
13. They slow play much much more than online.
14. They (mostly) read all ins for strong, or at least stronger than nominal bets, especially early in a tournament.
15. They may seem highly inconsistent, that is, you'll see some players play very tight/weak for a long time then suddenly do something very loose and spewy almost out of nowhere.
16. They bet and raise for information and don't necessarily have a clear motivation of value bet/bluff bet behind their actions.
17. They may commit a very large % of their stack and fold to more aggression.
18. They percieve a pre flop 3 bet range to be much tighter than it normally is, unless you are very often 3 betting.
19. They may search for tells or visual cues of intent.
20. They make a decesion based on a very specific read.
21. They won't isolate limpers in position nearly as much as they should/could.
22. They squeeze at a much lower frequency.
23. There is basically no such thing is a pre flop 4 bet all in as a bluff in their arsenal.
24. Their shoving ranges on a short stack tends to be much tighter than online.

I'm sure i could come up with some more if i sat around thinking about it for a while, but that seems okay for now. Again, these are some really massive generalizations, but often devoid of a specific read they are the kind of generalizatoins we should be making.

So here's the part i really want to discuss, that is, the kind of adjustments we internet players should be making in the live arena. I feel like at this point in my live experience, i may have done a pretty mediocre job at doing so in some areas. These are the points i'd really like feedback on:

1. I think we should call down tighter: I think live villains are less likely to bluff, especially in multi way pots. When i think back to my live experience and everytime i've tried to make a tough call down, the only one that sticks out that i got right was against a good/aggressive/thinking player on a money bubble (and it was only on one street.) I think it's probably okay to give our villains more credit than we're used to online and take spots that seem like marginal/close call downs and weight them towards folds. I think the kinds of bluffs we should call down are the more obvious ones in pot controlled situations when a draw misses and we've checked on the turn. Live players will still often make the mistake of betting rivers in those kinds of spots.

2. I think we should call in position a bit looser pre flop (when stack appropriate): It seems since many players will play bit more weak/straight forward post flop, as well as slow play and give us more free cards, that i think we can call a bit lighter than normal in position, especially with the decreased chance of being squeezed (though obviously you need to be aware of who's behind you.) Also i think calling a looser range is especially effective since they often won't give you credit many hands in your range if you haven't established that kind of image yet, and they tend to call to many value bets on the river assuming it doesn't get to the stage of all in.

3. I think we should value bet nominal amounts in favor of all in when appropriate: If the all in get's treated with a lot of seriousness, and players aren't often aware of stack size considerations, than i think we might be missing value by shoving in spots where we can make what is a very clear value bet and get a call a ton of the time. If you think the player is very unlikely to adjust to this and start shoving over your bets as a bluff all in (this seems very unlikely with most live players) then betting for value intending to fold to a shove might be the better alternative. Obviously, if all in on the river is only a half pot bet, we should basically never be going the nominal amount.

4. I think we can use plays that have become somewhat out dated online: Such as the stopngo or the squeeze, as live players are mostly expecting this less and few put in enough volume to become overly familiar with these plays.

5. I think we should limp more: Especially behind other limpers, but i also know of two players whos game i really respect (Alan Sass, William Thorrsen, spelling might be wrong) that also do a fair bit of open limping with considerable success. I think we should limp behind limpers looser since it's less likely we get isolated and since people play pretty poorly in limped pots. As far as open limping, that's something i have zero experience with and would love for someone more experienced with it or smarter than me to come in and explain with detail what kind of situations it's good in and why.

6. I think we should increase our 3 bet frequency with antes: That is, moreso than we do online, however there's a catch to this. I think you can increase your 3 betting frequency to a point, but finding the line is very important since eventually live players may just start stationing you much wider. I was talking to a successful Australian live player, David Saab, and he called this the 'vindictiveness factor' which i thought was a good term. Basically, you can pummel your table/the players on your right with reraises for only so long until suddenly they just kind of snap and start spite calling you down very wide.

7. I think we should go absolutely [censored] ballistic on the bubble on most tables: Unless your table is packed with pros who don't give a [censored] about cashing, i really think you can go all out on a live cash and final table bubble, much moreso than you can online. People are normally playing for multiple days to reach these points, and going out at that stage is a pretty gross feeling for most (even plenty of online players when you consider the time investment.) I think you should be willing to break rules in terms of stack sizes needed to 3 bet or open raise (to a reasonable degree), i think you should put people all in with an almost reckless abandon, i think against other deep stacks you should flat call pre flop when a 3 bet isn't appropriate and just make their lives miserable post. I think in most of these situations you can get away with murder. As one WSOP player once told me one off the money bubble "Of course i would of folded my kings if you shoved and had me covered, i didn't come all the way from Alaska just to finish 271st!"

8. I think when we have a tight image we should consider making more big bluffs: Be they multiple street or 3/4 bet type things, i think live players will make some rediculously tight folds if your image isn't too loose or anything. When i think about it, in most online MTT's i very rarely make big or 3 street pure bluffs, and while i certainly don't think we should go crazy with these things i think there's more possibility to make these work in live than online.

9. I wonder about the inverse of the Gigabet dilemma: I'm pretty sold on the idea that in some tournament situations, taking a -EV spot to open up future +EV opportunities can be a good investment. Can the inverse of this be true? If we have a table full of very bad players in a live tournament, should we consider passing on some slight edges for a ton of our stack, since if we lose we miss future opportunties where these players would put their chips in in a much worse spot. I am OBVIOUSLY not talking about being a tournament life nit, or "OH MY GOD YOU HAVE AA FIRST HAND AND 9 GUYS GO ALL IN YOU MUST FOLD!" or anything like that. One example i might give: The $3000 buy in pokernews cup i played recently was an incredibly weak field with a very deep structure. If it's first hand and it folds to SB with me in the BB holding 66 and SB open shoves then flips up AKs, should i consider folding? I think (and i can't prove it, i'm not good enough at math/theory) that might be a fold given the field. Do you think this inverse applies? If so how far does it/can it go?

10. I think we should call short stack all ins tighter until villain proves he's capable of shoving light: People in live just don't seem to shove very light on a short stack, even under 10 BB's with high antes. I can't say how tight we should go, and obviously the villain in the hand is the pertinent detail here, but i do think we should tighten up in this spot.

11. I think we should be really really image conscious: Since you're only getting in like 30 hands an hour in a live tournament everyone can (if they want and bother to) watch most hands pretty accurately. People seem to be a bit less observent in the early stages than mid/late where every pot is so important, but they will often sit around talking about the way other people at the table play and if you play as loose/aggressive as most of us do will eventually just start calling you a lot wider. Image and meta game in live is kind of hard to put into words, but i think adjusting to this factor is really important in dominating the live scene.

12. I think we should do more obvious stuff and take more obvious lines for what we want: Remember the stack a donk line? Guess what, in live it still works. Even dirtier, you can stack a donk by check min raising the turn. Soooooo dirty. I think min raising for free cards on the flop, or min raising for value on any street is way more viable live than online (though i still haven't done it.) I think live villains will think about your hand range less, so doing what might be really obvious online becomes considerably more viable live where they haven't already seen that pattern 10,000 times.


Okay, that's what i have on my mind for now. I'm really keen to get some discussion going here, so i'm actually going to post this in SSMTT and HSMTT since the two have a pretty different crowd these days but both play a fair bit of live. Agree/disagree/omissions/additional thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2007, 06:14 AM
dw2006 dw2006 is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

Awesome post, thanks for doing this.

I am also interested in learning more about open limping. I played with Johnnybax in the 3k foxwoods events and noticed he did a lot of limping in the first few levels.

Something you touched on about the table reaching a breaking point if you continue to raise and rr. If you are planning on being very active and don't want the table to reach that vindicative point you can counter some of that by being friendly/chatty, showing some of your bigger hands, complimenting people on their play. If they view you as a nice guy they are less likely to pull the vindictive call down move.

Something I've noticed is they often have no idea about pot size. This allows you to be able to make cheaper bluffs and bigger value bets. Also, after a few hours anyone over 60 years old begins to look for spots to give their chips away.
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Old 11-28-2007, 07:16 AM
apestyles apestyles is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

Nice, I'm heading out to the five diamond and this is just what I needed to think about. Great post. If I weren't drunk right now I'd expand. Looking forward to checking this tomorrow.
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2007, 07:30 AM
JayPez JayPez is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

yeah great post bond, jetlag'd also hopefully make a response later.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2007, 07:40 AM
Bond18 Bond18 is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

Wow, i just realized this post is a grammatical nightmare. This is what happens when you have to write with Wordpad.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2007, 08:05 AM
LuckyLloyd LuckyLloyd is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

[ QUOTE ]
Wow, i just realized this post is a grammatical nightmare. This is what happens when you have to write with Wordpad.

[/ QUOTE ]

lol, not important.

I would only add that general live players have different leaks and tendencies wherever you play. For example:

UK players veer on the tight weak side of things and like to make bad laydowns; bet to find out where they are way too much, etc. Irish players are generally looser and gamblier and basically never make any tough folds ever.

Bad Swedish players never, ever give up and do actually try and win every, single pot etc, etc.

And just like I am doing here, it is so easy to generalise and put people in big boxes. But you get so much information over a couple of levels in big buyin; long structure; deepstack events that can be turned to your advantage and help you to work out what leak applies to what player in what situation.

Anyway, end ramble. Great post - the quality of your english is very unimportant. [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:18 AM
mastr mastr is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

love the post agree with most except #9 which i strongly disagree with
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2007, 09:57 AM
registrar registrar is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

[ QUOTE ]
love the post agree with most except #9 which i strongly disagree with

[/ QUOTE ]

In what way? I've only broadly skimmed the whole post but #9 seems broadly valid. As a contrived example, if you have 200bbs and, for whatever reason and holding, you are brewing a big pot and a marginally +EV situation against a bad player as SB v his button, I think it's generally wise to let this go. There will clearly be other more +EV spots in position. Live and deep, I think the 'pass up small edges for bigger edges later' argument is way more valid than it can ever be online.
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2007, 10:05 AM
shaundeeb shaundeeb is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

[ QUOTE ]
love the post agree with most except #9 which i strongly disagree with

[/ QUOTE ]

yup having 2x starting stack 54% of the time is awesome cuz you can play more hands without limiting the fact you cover those horrible players even if you spew a bit .
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2007, 11:27 AM
IcarusJam IcarusJam is offline
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Default Re: Live Poker Adjustments/Considerations/Tendencies (Discuss please)

I'm really really interested in the theory of #9, because it is good to look at specific early hands vs a weak field as a snowball effect.

As obvious as this may be, a lot of it is field size, and bankroll. If your roll is 500k in a 1k event, and u can go home and play online MTT's or Cash or whatever you play and make money, i say the reverse Gigabet #9 can have some incredible value, assuming specific things backing it up, and that it's a freezeout and not a rebuy. Make sense to anyone besides me?

IJ
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