Saturday, December 1, 2012

#3: Opponents, typical Player Profiles

Since live poker is all about adjusting to your opponents, I thought it's cool if I'd give some reads about the players you're going to face at the average table:

1. Old Man Coffee - Loose Passive (LP)

We'll start with the most typical appearance at the poker table. The old Man Coffee. The Nit. You'll find him in casino's all over the world. Generally don't raises - occasionally with ultra-premiums - and complains when someone does. Loves to call, hates to raise. When he does he's got a strong hand, and depending on the old man, a hand that he think is strong. He's characterized by:

  • 60+ Years of Age
  • The cup of coffee
  • Occasionally a newspaper 
  • Is able to stack all his chips in óne hand

Old Man Coffee
2. Let's have some FUN

You'll see them a lot. Players that are one a night out, barely know the rules, but just are looking to have some fun. Nothing wrong with it, actually, we love them. Your typical Fun-guy saw poker a few times on TV, some know poker rankings (Which one's better, a straight or a flush?), others don't. Various amount of players, but in general they play a lot of hands. Some are LAG, others are LP, but what they've got in common, is that they love to go to showdown, just to 'see what you've got'

  • Dressed up nicely
  • Friends come visit the table every now and then, or he stands up to watch his friends every once in a while.
  • Most of the time drinking.
  • Occasionally nice and friendly

One night Out

3. The Gambler

The Gambler, the name's probably enough. Vpip 80%+, loves to chases draws, some likes to criticize people or complain about luck, other gamblers just don't. There isn't just one type of the gambler. Only thing they've got in common is that, yeah you get it, they love to gamble. Very well could be on tilt already while entering the table and is sitting down to chase losses.

  • Various Ages, various clothing styles, various manners 
  • Loves to see áll the cards in the deck before eventually folding (if they're LP)
  • Drinking most of the time,

4. The Wannabe Online Grinder

Especially at the lower limits, he's a quiet young man playing a pretty straightforward Tight Passive game. He's your average 25NL online break-even grinder who knows the basics, but still got a shitload of leaks you'll spot immediate. He feels like he's mining gold at the 2/2. He isn't planning on adapting that much, he came to the Casino with a certain strategy and is going to hold on to that. Will spaz soon or later.
  • Young guy who think he's thé next thing
  • Prefer wearing sunglasses 
  • Loves to talk 'strategy' at the table (an absolute DON'T)
  • Sighs and complains a lot. 

5. The Online Grinder

Also a young fellow, but one that does understand the game, and knows how to play. Can play TAG or LAG, but is turning a steady profit. He picks the right spots and it doesn't has much loosing nights.
Looks pretty much like the guy above, but here are the major differences you can spot:

  • Young guy up to mid 20's
  • Don't wears sunglasses, pretty much always wears something really comfortable like sweaters
  • Doesn't talk about strategy on the table

6. The Regular

The most important one. Someone who comes in the casino often. He knows the people who work over there, is friendly, and a good guy in general. But this still, doesn't say anything about how they're playing, and what their weaknesses are. 

Most of the time only time will tell if you're up against a good regular or not. Some other notes how to recognize a regular:
  • Feels really comfortable at the table
  • Likes to talk to other regulars
  • Most of the time you can know if a regular is good pretty easy just by logical thinking:
If someone looks very wealthy, and he's young, there's a pretty solid chance he knows how to play the cards. But if someone old is looking wealthy, he easily could have a good carrier.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to edit it again, but this are some pretty good guidelines on how to index other players.

Friday, November 30, 2012

#2: Starting ABC: Positions and Opening

Our openings-range depends on the table. You can pretty much hold on to the following chart if you're learning the game, and open up more as soon as you'll get comfortable, just as when the table becomes even more loose passive as it's usually is.

We'll kick of with the Table Positions for those who aren't familiar with it:

While for a 7-Max Table it'll be:

  1. UTG
  2. MP
  3. HJ (Abbreviation of Hi-jack, the seat before the CO)
  4. CO
  5. BTN
  6. SB
  7. BB
I hope you'll get the picture :) It's handy knowing positions while discussing hands in the future, since position is Mega-Important. (double-capital-important!)

Over here I´ve got an opening guideline:

Early Positions (UTG1 - UTG3)(Relatively same as UTG - UTG +2)
Raise; AJs+, AQo, KQs 77+

Middle Positions: (MP1 - MP3)
Raise: ATs+, AJo+,KQo,QJs+ 66+
Overlimp range: Low pocket pairs, Axs

Late Positions: (HJ - BTN) 
Raise: Axs, A8o+ K5s+, K9o+,Q8s+, Q9o+, J7s+, J9o+, 67s+, T8o+, 22+
Overlimp range: Low pocket pairs, Kxs+

Pretty much the same as Late Positions, but tighten up a bit because of the fact we're Out Of Position. Something like:
Axs+, A8o+, K5s+, K9o+,Q9s+, J9s+ T9o+, 78s+, 22+

But as you'd probably expected, there obvious are a lot of limpers. I can make a schedule which says which hands I recommend playing with X amount of limpers, but that'll turn out pretty obscure. Also in my opinion it's way better to think about it yourself, so I'll sum up some facts and assumptions which are going to determine our range.
  • Is the table playing fit or fold? --> Raise much pre, C-bet small a lot of the time
  • Are a lot of players at the table capable of calling 2 barrels with bottom pair, 2 overcards, or a weak draw? Tighten up a bit and play close to the schedule, a bit looser if you're feeling comfortable.
  • Are there people who make it clear they come to dump money? Isolate them a lot.

And so you can go on, and it's all logical stuff that you just need to think about a little bit at the table, and adjust your play to the situation. Easy as Dell. Again, this is just a guideline. You're openingsrange at MP3 obvious should be wider then at MP1, and all depending on the table, but I guess that's crystal clear.

I hope you guys got an idea about how to play. There's not one single play that'll work, more ways will lead to Rome. But for the beginning live player, I recommend to just play ABC, and pick your spots carefully. Also really try to practice adjusting to other players. If you're able to adjust quick, you'll be printing money in no-time!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

#1: Intro to Crushing Live Low-Stakes NLHE

Hi there!

Welcome to my blog!

I decided to make some informational blogs, and as it seemed fun to me, I decided to make a blog about crushing Live Low-Stakes (up to 2/5) No Limit Holdem! I guess this blog will look something like this:

  • Small part (~20%) technical talk: Like theory and Hand discussing
  • Pretty big part (~60%) meta-game talk: Importance of being friendly, things like that
  • Another small part (~20%) about random poker talk, like variance, stop-loss etc. 

There are lots of places where you can play some live poker. Most common and accessible for people are the Casino's. A lot of people there to have a good time, but also some people who play poker as a profession (regulars).

Obvious the most easy money you can get, is getting a lot in pots with people who come there to have a good time. Most of these people don't understand the game all that much, but saw some High Stakes Poker on TV and decided if these guys at TV can do it they also can.  They love to play every hand, and prefer limping. That's live poker: Limping Limping Limping. From here comes our core strategy: Playing ABC, and targeting the less-educated (pokerwise) people. 

Then there's another significant part from where we can make our money from. Exploiting the regulars. Low-stakes No Limit live regulars aren't good. Actually, they pretty much suck, and I'm a firm believer you can make more money from these "regulars" then playing against the people who come there to have a good time.

We're going to talk about exploiting regulars later, while we'll kick of with some ABC concepts.