I came down to LA for a few days last weekend and thought I would offer some ideas. The most striking thing I noticed during most of my play at the Bike (in the 200-500 and 300-1000 games) was that the regs were incessantly talking strategy to the entire table during hands. They were talking ranges, justifying every move, discussing situations, etc. They were giving full-length strategy lessons at the table. They also made it loud and clear that they all new each other and were even playing games with each other on their phones in between (and during) hands. There were times that as many as six people at the table were screwing with their phones.
I was reminded of my early days as a (bigger) fish. I was a huge donator and when I got the sense that the entire table was full of career players with mystical knowledge of the game I would just get up and leave. I can also credit much of my advancement to those "regs" back then who couldn't keep their mouths shut and let kernels of knowledge and truth slip so often that ideas started to stick in my ignorant poker brain.
I remember clearly one time where one reg was justifying his bet on some street to another reg. He said "you have to make bets while they still have outs". At the time all I knew was slowplaying and this enormous light bulb exploded in my brain. YOU HAVE TO BET WHILE THEY STILL HAVE OUTS! Of course! From that INSTANT forward I was determined to understand the game. Immediately after this reg spouted his idea, another reg at the table said "don't give lessons at the table". I think he saw the flash in my brain. I immediately understood that there were intricacies to the game and knew that I could become a contender if I figured out how to study the game. I suddenly understood that there were basic ideas I was lacking. The curtain was peeled back. I saw OZ.
Until that point I had spent months just almost blindly donating basically thousands to the game. I loved the game and knew I could learn the game but I didn't know where to start or how to learn. The regs indirectly taught me. I took the lessons they gave at the table and investigated. Instead of just running back to the table with my next 2k I sought out strategy help.
The point is obvious, people. The money comes from the fish. Smarter and more aware fish give up less money. Uncomfortable fish give up less or leave or worse, learn the game. I always knew I was the fish but i liked the challenge and sometimes I won. Once I realized that a little bit of strategy knowledge would help stop my bleeding and make the game more fun and profitable I became determined to actually become a winner. I realized that the deck was stacked against me and that the regs were laughing their way to the bank using some core knowledge that I lacked.
Maybe this process would have happened naturally but it was DEFINITELY accelerated by the big mouthed regs who for whatever reason just could not keep their mouths shut. I would have probably donated for another year and then eventually given up and not become another tougher recreational player. But thanks to whatever the problem is (boredom? ego? ignorance? imperviousness?) I started listening very carefully to the regs and picked up enough info to hold tighter to my money and start studying the game.
Most fish will remain fish longer if you guys will keep it quiet and provide a comfortable place to play. Be nice to the fish. Don't make them feel like the only sucker at the table. And don't teach them how to beat you. You may always be one step ahead of them but why not be seven steps ahead? And if you're gonna play your super TAG styles and get bored at the table, play games in your head not on your phone. You are missing so much information while you play your stupid games with the other regs. Watch Rambo VII at home after your session. You will have the time to do so because your sessions will be shorter when you pay attention to the game and pick up some extra spots.
It is so satisfying to me to go back to my original casinos and play regs that haven't played me for years and just pick them apart. They get that deer in the headlights look when they see the moves I've learned. Now most of them are afraid of me. Thanks for handing my money back boys.
Don't hand your money back.