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Winning Tips for new low limit live player

Relatively new player to low limit live play and just curious for those that are winning players and have some experience what type of things have most helped them improve their win rates and moving up. I have listened to Bart's podcasts dating back to cash plays and have significant online experience at the micro and small stakes. I know some of the generalities about betting your good hands until played back at, thin value betting, etc. but just wondering what ideas or concepts have helped others really succeed at this level. Was there one or two concepts that just struck home for any of you? Thanks and good luck at the tables!

Comments

  • UntreatableFPS Posts: 1,004Subscriber
    If you played primarily online, then you should probably get used to the ultra loose-passive nature of live games and primarily multi-way pots.

    And you can get used to open limping too with hands that you want to see a flop with but aren't necessarily hands you want to raise for value. Online it's a cardinal sin, but you can get away with it live.

    And finally, yes, certain players are as bad as they seem. Don't overestimate the skill level of your opponents in low stakes live games. To this day, I still do that at every live table I sit down.
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    Claire said
    And you can get used to open limping too with hands that you want to see a flop with but aren't necessarily hands you want to raise for value. Online it's a cardinal sin, but you can get away with it live.
    I think this is mistake, but most regs seems to disagree. I didn't get used to open limping and I don't see why I should start.
  • UntreatableFPS Posts: 1,004Subscriber
    TDF said

    I think this is mistake, but most regs seems to disagree. I didn't get used to open limping and I don't see why I should start.
    I used to never limp when I started playing live, but now I understand why there's a place for it.

    Fundamentally, the purpose of raising hands that are not straight value instead of limping is for the chance to pick up the blinds. So in a loose passive game where this is never happening, limping > raising if you're not raising for value. Having the pre-flop betting lead when it's multi-way isn't that important because it's stupid to cbet into a lot of people with air anyway.

    The main reasons limping is a cardinal sin online is because the games are tight enough that you always have a chance of picking up the blinds when you raise. And players in late position will almost always raise instead of overlimp, which puts you OOP without the betting lead if you limp call, which is less than ideal. But these factors aren't the same in loose passive live games.

    If the game is tight passive or you're in middle or later position, which means you have a chance of picking up the blinds, then of course you should raise instead of limp. And of course in aggressive games (which are rare at lower levels), if it never gets limped around and checked through the blinds, you should play a raise or fold strategy. But this isn't the case in low stakes live.

    When you limp, you have a greater S/P ratio, so your implied odds go up.

    When you limp an Axs, people start limping all kinds of suited shit that they would fold if you raise, which are exactly the kinds of hands you want to be against post-flop.

    When you raise 22 and get 3bet, you have to fold against the exact types of hands you want to crack with 22 if you're not super deep (which you usually aren't in lower stakes games). So you don't get to see a flop and you put in a raise, which is more money than a limp.

    When you raise 22 and get a million callers, your hand is pretty much worthless post-flop unless you hit your set, and you're not going to try to cbet into 5 people.

    When you limp Axs and hit your A, it's usually easier to figure out whether someone has you outkicked when you have more money remaining. If you raise Axs and get called and are playing the hand OOP in a raised pot, sometimes it's hard to figure out if you're outkicked or if the guy is calling with something else.
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    I just don't know how to play in limped pots. And I'm too lazy to learn :) I feel way more comfortable playing in raised pots so I guess I will keep opening PF until I'm convinced that limping is better. Thanks for the big post anyway.
  • RecreationalRogerRecreationalRoger Posts: 789Subscriber
    1. Value betting - this has been my single biggest money maker from Bart. And I still don't do it anywhere near enough, but when I first started, I was scared to death to bet anything other than the nuts.

    2. Never slow play a flopped nut flush - man this has made me some serious money.

    3. If you bet TPTK on the turn and get raised, you're in deep doo doo. (semi) fixing this leak has started saving me cash.

    4. As a side note, I have found Elwoods book on tells and Millers book on playing beyond ABC poker tremendously helpful too. Miller's book helped me tonight identify a nit who couldn't fire a second barrel, so I was able to pick a few pots of him just by calling his PFR, calling his flop bet, then betting the turn with any 2 when he checked. Printed money. Both books have helped me get into the mental aspect of NLHE, which I seriously needed as my background was limit HE which all that required was that I understood the math better than anyone else to win. Seriously, buy both these books.

    5. As a side note, partly Bart, partly the comments above, partly my own observation, waiting for the donk(s) to make a big mistake(s) generally leads to my best sessions, and not fancy play syndrome or anything else. It can require patience, but all it takes is one stack a donk to make your night.

    6. One more not so minor thing which Bart has harped on a bit - don't be a leather ass. Shift seats at the table to get to the left of the most aggressive player and or the biggest stacks. And if whole table is old man coffees, switch tables. This has helped me too.

    7. Oh, also, you can bluff when you're winning but not when you're losing. Your bluffing ability is not a function of how tight you appear, its based on how you're running. I can literally fold for a half hour straight and then raise and get 5 callers in a lot of games. Also, I started labeling players into one of 2 general categories - nits or donks. Nits I can bluff once in a while; donks I just value bet to death. You can bluff a good player, but you can't bluff a bad player.

    8. Minor add-on - Bart mentioned really tightening from up front, and loosening up in the back. For my 9 handed game, I just use first 6 spots as early position and last 3 as late position, I find it easier than trying track early/mid/late (especially people get up from the table, a lot of hands are really 7 or 8 handed, breaking positions into 3 categories I find to be overkill). I can get into the habit of making a lot of loose calls in early position because some 1-2 games get into a big call fest, but find I'm playing better by trying to break this habit. I'm still not playing loose enough on the back end but one thing at a time.

    Roger
  • TJ Posts: 239Subscriber
    Thin value betting and bet-folding/raise-folding are the two things that have increased my winrate exponentially.
  • TDF Posts: 1,130Subscriber
    RogerHardy said
    Shift seats at the table to get to the left of the most aggressive player and or the biggest stacks.
    It might be depends on different style of play but I prefer to be on the right of good agro player cause I want to get a chance to isolate fish before he does it. I move to the left of biggest fish.
    RogerHardy said
    And if whole table is old man coffees, switch tables.
    Again I love playing with old nits. Those are easiest games with very little variance. Money just come not rarely in big chanks but from a lot of small pots won without showdown.
  • UntreatableFPS Posts: 1,004Subscriber
    The thing about getting to the left of the most aggressive player:
    I think you should be about 3 or 4 seats down. Because when he opens, it's unprofitable for you to flat with most hands, so you won't get to play very many hands if he's to your direct right.
    Also, if he raises and you call him and some other people do to, you have to fold a lot of hands on the flop that might be best (like second pair) because you don't know what the people behind you have.

    I'm fine with playing old nits too. They're not hard to beat.

    I don't think the bet/folding is any different live than online.
    The raise-folding probably applies more to live games since stacks tend to be deeper.
  • staaaaalin Posts: 42Member
    Claire said

    The thing about getting to the left of the most aggressive player:
    I think you should be about 3 or 4 seats down. Because when he opens, it's unprofitable for you to flat with most hands, so you won't get to play very many hands if he's to your direct right.
    Also, if he raises and you call him and some other people do to, you have to fold a lot of hands on the flop that might be best (like second pair) because you don't know what the people behind you have.
    If you're to the immediate left of these guys just re-iso by 3-betting with a merged range.

    Since they'll be isoing the fish so wide (or just bad LAGs/maniacs, whatever) they are forced to either give up their opens or play OOP postflop w/o the betting initiative in a bloated pot, and when you pick up limp-callers or cold-callers they'll have much more defined ranges and play more straightforwardly.

    If they start playing the whole 3-bet/4-bet//5-bet game with you then just switch tables (unlikely).
  • UntreatableFPS Posts: 1,004Subscriber
    I'd still rather be a few seats down if I'm 3betting the aggressive player. Because if people call in between and I'm squeezing, then there's extra dead money in the pot.

    If he's isolating the fish and you 3bet him directly from his left, you're just playing a whole bunch of hands against him when it's still more profitable to be playing a whole bunch of hands against the fish instead. Because you'll fold out all the fish who limped weak hands with your 3bet.

    The point I was trying to make was that having the aggressive player too close to your right prevents you from being able to play more hands against the fish. He raises and you can only flat with good hands or 3bet him. If you 3bet him, you're playing against him instead of the fish. But you get to open more hands if he's not directly to your right and play the rest of the players at the table, which is where more of your profit is coming from.
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