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Why 1/2 Sucks

FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,287Subscriber
So I have been playing 2/5 live for 3 years now. Occasionally I have to play 1/2 waiting for 2/5.

I think I would rather be forced to watch Breakfast at Tiffany's while eating spam on vegemite coated with Ex-Lax .... ok maybe not that bad.

Bluffing is incredibly difficult so you are forced to mostly play for value. It is so slooooooooooow as everyone wants to limp in. Every pot is 3, 4, 5 way with people making agonizing decisions with 3rd pair shitty kicker on a 3 diamond board trying to figure out whether player A who just shoved $120 is bluffing or not with an unimproved AK. The rake and short stacks murder your winrate while the clueless woman screams I knew that card was coming I could feel it as she runner runners your flopped nuts for a tie pot.

EVEN with all that I still make money but man it's painful.

To me there is a special definition to Bart's race to 2/5 comment about 1/2.
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Comments

  • neverlearn2 Posts: 2,804Subscriber
    fuzzy, the 1/2 is 60 max here and it runs more often then the 1/3. the 3/5 runs once a week. i played the 1/2 60max buyin, its a fucking crap shoot man and honestly if you go in and act like this is some 60 hyper SnG then its kind of fun.

    Most ive had on that table is 500ish. Most ive sen is about 1200 on a $60 cap hahahahahaha
  • misterbasicmisterbasic Posts: 62Subscriber
    I raise to $15 with my entire opening range in $1/$2 games. Everyone hates me and it immediately punishes the limpers but I do find it to be very effective.

    Some of you are gonna say "then nobody will play anything but AA and KK and you'll never win any money!"

    NOT TRUE.

    After they see me raise a few times and realize that I always make it 15, they just revert to calling with their normal pre-flop calling range. But they stop open limping (because they are scared of losing $2) and nobody wants to 3-bet because they would have to make it $40-60 which to most 1/2 players is too expensive and really scary without seeing a flop.

    When someone does 3-bet like that to me I just fold because I know they have a monster: and when I do have AA or KK I can 4-bet and we usually end up getting it aipf.
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,287Subscriber
    Not saying I don't know how to play the game. Just saying how painful it is to play it.

    Now if they had 1/2 $500 deep..... I'm all over that shit.
  • lauxen Posts: 95Subscriber
    I think this is just playing at the isle man. IME it's the worst 1/2 in Florida, ainec. I played a few hundred hours of the 1/2 there in the past and I got depression flare ups (serious). You're around comp grinding sick/dying elderly people who are usually pretty miserable. The games are super tight and you're squished in 10-handed. I'd rather work a warehouse job for $10 an hour than play 1/2 there tbh.

    Maybe try to drive around a bit more and experiment with some of the rooms that don't offer such generous comps and promote such a grindy culture. Theres too much action in s fla to be torturing yourself playing there imo.
  • nofriends333 Posts: 874Troll

    There are times when it becomes real painful i agree. On weekends during the evening is probably the best time to catch an action table. Many of the $2 $5 players are on wait list so they buy in at $1 $2 and the pots start to thicken.

  • nofriends333 Posts: 874Troll
    misterbasic said:
    I raise to $15 with my entire opening range in $1/$2 games. Everyone hates me and it immediately punishes the limpers but I do find it to be very effective.

    Some of you are gonna say "then nobody will play anything but AA and KK and you'll never win any money!"

    NOT TRUE.

    After they see me raise a few times and realize that I always make it 15, they just revert to calling with their normal pre-flop calling range. But they stop open limping (because they are scared of losing $2) and nobody wants to 3-bet because they would have to make it $40-60 which to most 1/2 players is too expensive and really scary without seeing a flop.

    When someone does 3-bet like that to me I just fold because I know they have a monster: and when I do have AA or KK I can 4-bet and we usually end up getting it aipf.
    I am going to play by those rules from now on. If i lose i lose but if win i will win big thats the bottom line. In order to play that way i will have to buy in for $250 and not be stingy

  • nofriends333 Posts: 874Troll
    lauxen said:
    I think this is just playing at the isle man. IME it's the worst 1/2 in Florida, ainec. I played a few hundred hours of the 1/2 there in the past and I got depression flare ups (serious). You're around comp grinding sick/dying elderly people who are usually pretty miserable. The games are super tight and you're squished in 10-handed. I'd rather work a warehouse job for $10 an hour than play 1/2 there tbh.

    Maybe try to drive around a bit more and experiment with some of the rooms that don't offer such generous comps and promote such a grindy culture. Theres too much action in s fla to be torturing yourself playing there imo.
    The sick dying elderly more or less applies to the $1 $2 limit which i played only once in my very first cash experience. I felt as though i was playing against nursing home residents. Never again worse than watching paint dry. Might as well be playing 1 cent 2 cent live if those games actually exist

  • pokertime Posts: 2,180Subscriber
    Fuzzypup said:


    Bluffing is incredibly difficult so you are forced to mostly play for value. It is so slooooooooooow as everyone wants to limp in. Every pot is 3, 4, 5 way with people making agonizing decisions with 3rd pair shitty kicker on a 3 diamond board trying to figure out whether player A who just shoved $120 is bluffing or not with an unimproved AK. The rake and short stacks murder your winrate while the clueless woman screams I knew that card was coming I could feel it as she runner runners your flopped nuts for a tie pot.
    This pretty much sounds like the 2/5 I play a lot. Same game just costs me more money when they suck out. It's great when I'm running good but brutal when I'm not. Agree the rake a short stack hurts more at 1/2 but the only real play difference I see is a lot of 2/5 players have played more poker so occasionally they can hand read or play the player well the once ever 2 hours they descide to pay attention.

    Your 2/5 games must be tough.
  • nofriends333 Posts: 874Troll
    i thought $2 5 was a huge step up in class over $1 $2 but from the way you guys descrie it its more like upgrading from $5 blackjack table to $10 or $15 table which isnt much to begin with but then again with BJ you cant blame anyone but the dealer for the bad run
  • misterbasicmisterbasic Posts: 62Subscriber
    nofriends333 said:
    i thought $2 5 was a huge step up in class over $1 $2 but from the way you guys descrie it its more like upgrading from $5 blackjack table to $10 or $15 table which isnt much to begin with but then again with BJ you cant blame anyone but the dealer for the bad run
    The main difference is that occasionally in a 2/5 game you'll have one or maybe two "low stakes pros" sitting at the table. Everyone else is just a 1/2 player with a better paying day-job lol.

  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,287Subscriber
    Games are different in different states and in different casinos within the local area. The Isles is the toughest casino in S.E. Florida apparently. Toward Miami it gets much easier or the PBKC.

    It is rare I get a 2/5 game playing like 1/2. The 1/2 is easier for inexperienced players learning because it is so face up poker and you don't have to worry about bluffing pretty much.

    The 2/5 is better for more experienced players because you can bluff at this limit also using all your tools. You just don't get paid as much on the value side as you did 10 years ago. So it makes the winrate of value less. But people are now folding too much instead because they don't understand frequencies.
  • nofriends333 Posts: 874Troll
    edited March 2017
    Do you see alot of hero folds at $2 $5 as opposed to those idiots that call down to the river at $1 $2 with their precious top pair when they are beat? Those type of players never have bet fold in their mind set but then again those are probably the best kind to make money off of . One hand that still bugs me to this day and its from the summer . Board was so uncoordinated no draws . I had some kind of two gapper. I limped in flopped bottom set. I called her raise then she river shoved me for $200 I had her covered with $100 remaining . I tanked for 5 minutes ready to pull the trigger but had some weird feeling she had top set. Ended up folding she show AA . Most forget bad beat after a day or two but that hand still haunts me to this day
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,287Subscriber
    It's a weird dynamic of how people fold in 2/5. I will try and run it down from my experience.

    If you have a tight player who has an overpair/TPTK or a set you pretty much can't bluff him off his hand unless the board runs out 4 straight or 4 flush.

    2 pair you can make fold more often than overpairs/TPTK for some reason.

    TPWK, 2nd pair good kicker they can fold to 3 card draws.

    And in some instances the 2nd nuts like a 1 card straight. They play a 1 card straight passively or for a small raise because they don't know where they are at.

    EXAMPLE on the last last sentence.... in one hand I hit a 1 card straight on the turn and got min-raised. The board was 2 flush on the flop and the 4 straight was on the low end. The nut straight for this player was impossible because of his range and where the 4 straight card was. So I decided to put on a show about counting odds and outs and I just called. If the flush hit the river I would shove on him. Which is what happened. He open folded the same hand I had. So this was a staged bluff that my play made sense.

    But this doesn't mean all players are vulnerable to being bluffed. Some are, some are not. But it is much easier to have a weak hand in a pot than a very strong one. In some 2/5 games I bluff a lot less. In others more. You just have to pay attention.

    In 1/2 games bluffing can be done if you can hand/tell read well. Because at 1/2 these players almost play indian poker with their tells. If you read Ed Miller's book you will understand that aggression @ 2/5 works. But wade into the game carefully because they aren't as clueless as you might think. Also the player pool is smaller so people will get to know you. I try to keep a balanced image to keep them on their toes to whether I have it or not.

    Other players just barrel often and get caught bluffing more but also get paid more when they have it. Their variance is higher.

    In Miami 1/2 @ Miko I wouldn't bluff that much. 1/2 @ the Hard Rock in Fort Lauderdale I would do it more. But not as much as in 2/5.
  • workinghard Posts: 1,544Subscriber
    At the end of the day, poker is about making adjustments to the situation. If you try to play the same mode in a nitty, short stacked 1/2 game as you do in 2/5 game, you're going to have a hard time. While you might not be able to overcome the rake in the 1/2 game for any real money, and it might be a boring game, it should still be a game that you can beat minus the rake.
  • nofriends333 Posts: 874Troll
    Fuzzypup said:
    It's a weird dynamic of how people fold in 2/5. I will try and run it down from my experience.

    If you have a tight player who has an overpair/TPTK or a set you pretty much can't bluff him off his hand unless the board runs out 4 straight or 4 flush.

    2 pair you can make fold more often than overpairs/TPTK for some reason.

    TPWK, 2nd pair good kicker they can fold to 3 card draws.

    And in some instances the 2nd nuts like a 1 card straight. They play a 1 card straight passively or for a small raise because they don't know where they are at.

    EXAMPLE on the last last sentence.... in one hand I hit a 1 card straight on the turn and got min-raised. The board was 2 flush on the flop and the 4 straight was on the low end. The nut straight for this player was impossible because of his range and where the 4 straight card was. So I decided to put on a show about counting odds and outs and I just called. If the flush hit the river I would shove on him. Which is what happened. He open folded the same hand I had. So this was a staged bluff that my play made sense.

    But this doesn't mean all players are vulnerable to being bluffed. Some are, some are not. But it is much easier to have a weak hand in a pot than a very strong one. In some 2/5 games I bluff a lot less. In others more. You just have to pay attention.

    In 1/2 games bluffing can be done if you can hand/tell read well. Because at 1/2 these players almost play indian poker with their tells. If you read Ed Miller's book you will understand that aggression @ 2/5 works. But wade into the game carefully because they aren't as clueless as you might think. Also the player pool is smaller so people will get to know you. I try to keep a balanced image to keep them on their toes to whether I have it or not.

    Other players just barrel often and get caught bluffing more but also get paid more when they have it. Their variance is higher.

    In Miami 1/2 @ Miko I wouldn't bluff that much. 1/2 @ the Hard Rock in Fort Lauderdale I would do it more. But not as much as in 2/5.
    Posting an actual example of a hand would make it a whole lot easier especially for me instead of 1 card straight or 4 straight on low end. Also i have no idea what TPTK means . You guys have been playing way longer than i have so i am a bit lost on those terms
  • misterbasicmisterbasic Posts: 62Subscriber
    Tptk = top pair top kicker
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,287Subscriber
    Sure.... Here are some hands that went down in CA...

    I was in the BB and some asshat min-raised to $10 and got a 4 callers. Since I was getting 11.5:1 I decided to call with Q 6 in the BB.

    $50 FLOP 8 7 4 - XXXXX ..... UTG checked his hole cards when the flop came.
    $25 TURN 5 - I bet $35, UTG min-raised me to $70, rest folded

    So I know UTG so I am 100% certain he doesn't have T6 here in any form. He might have 53s but he would raise more to protect his hand. He also checked his hole cards so that tells me he isn't suited. A6 is his most likely hand here. I looked at his stack, counted the pot quickly as if I was thinking. I decided if a diamond came on the river I would just bet huge. So I just called the min-raise.

    $165 RIVER K - I quickly bet $200 into the pot. The player open folded A 6

    Another example... California again....

    I raise UTG $20 With A Q a nit and a fish called
    $60 FLOP 3 6 T - I bet $35, nit called, fish folds
    $130 TURN 2 - I took about 10s and checked, nit checked
    $130 RIVER 9 - I bet $80 and the nit open folded 3 3 which he slowplayed.

    A failed example vs a tight meh reg in California with ~$700 effective.

    2 limpers, I raise 9 9 in MP $30, CO reg calls, BB calls, 2 limpers call

    $150 - 7 6 3 - X, X, X, I bet $75, reg calls and I actually see his hand 2 black QQs or JJs rest fold
    $300 - 4 - I take a good 20s and check, reg bets $125, I XRAI knowing that he should realize I can have a set, I can have 55, 76s, AA, and really of my whole range he only bets 99 and 88 which have outs. He shrugs confused and calls without much thinking showing Q Q and I lose a massive pot. I overthunk his capacity to think about ranges.

    Another failed example $750 effective

    nit reg raises $25 UTG, 2 callers, I call in the CO 6 5 , BUT calls
    $100 FLOP 6 8 T - nit bets $60, fold, fold, I notice BUT is signaling fold so I call. I know the reg never bets like this with top set and his range UTG is tight so he has to have an overpair. Plan is to rep any of the draws.

    $260 TURN 7 - nit checks, I take time and bet $160, he calls

    $580 RIVER 7 - nit checks, I shove all in, he looks confused and calls with K K

    And I have a pretty nitty image compared to these guys.
  • nofriends333 Posts: 874Troll
    pretty intense stuff . In those few examples you really taught me alot. It never ever crosses my mind to rep draws or let alone bluff . So in example 1 you rep the flush and it worked on a nit , Ex 3 you rep J9 45 or flush on turn but just happened to run into pocket K's. This is the kinda shit i need to incorporate in my game. Thanks for posting. Learning something new every day
  • FuzzypupFuzzypup Posts: 2,287Subscriber
    Interestingly while I am always looking for places to bluff I always and accidentally come out balanced on the river with value hands. Scenario setup like the above on the river dont happen often compared to value hands

    Optimally on the river you should be 2 to 1 value to bluff if you pot it.
  • nofriends333 Posts: 874Troll
    I was in a similar situation midway into a tournament blinds $400 $800 where i had AKh AKh flop had 2 hearts turn brick. Dont remember cards on flop and turn but i remember there was a 10 on flop this kid to my left who appeared to be a newbie nit bet 11k . I tanked and said to him " u got pocket 10's? " of course he shrugged shoulders. I think he might have been on the same heart draw . I folded he wouldnt show. I had 22k behind He had me covered but i had strong feeling if i shoved he would have called . Question. If i fold and i ask the dealer to show me what the next card might have been in the deck , are they allowed to show it to you ?
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