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Bashing my head against the wall. How to identify player types?!?

AM Posts: 20Member
edited November -1 in NLHE Strategy Discussion
At the beginning of Ed Miller's "Playing the Player", he says, "You have to identify correctly how your opponents are playing" and "I will help you to identify how your opponents are playing". Then he proceeds to never actually do that in the book.

HOW DO I DO THIS? For some reason, I can't seem to figure it out. I've been playing poker for a living for 9 years and I can't figure this thing out which is apparently so simply to most people that they think it can just be assumed that you're doing it. I try as hard as I can to observe and see what's going on, but I just can't put the data together. I play with regulars I've been playing with over a year and I have no idea if they're a nit or not. I can't even begin to imagine how others can pick up on this in a single session.

My inability to do this has completely crippled my ability to switch from online to live after Black Friday. I've ended up semi-compensating for this failing by short stacking, but although that makes more than most people think, it's totally stunting my game and my progression as a player.

Comments

  • Uhhh I'd like to be helpful here but you've been a poker pro for 9 years and can't tell if someone is a nit or not? lol. Watch how the hand goes down, replay the hand after it's over from start to finish then analyze how each player played the hand. This has got to be a level
  • AM Posts: 20Member
    pokerja3 said

    Uhhh I'd like to be helpful here but you've been a poker pro for 9 years and can't tell if someone is a nit or not? lol. Watch how the hand goes down, replay the hand after it's over from start to finish then analyze how each player played the hand. This has got to be a level
    I know. It's severely messed up. That's what I'm saying. And no, it's not a level.

    And replay the hand? This is live poker, no replays...
  • AM Posts: 20Member
    Note that all of my time before Black Friday was limit poker and SNGs. Very different from deep NL games. Part of the problem is a general adjustment to NL ring.
  • Replay the hand in your head after it finishes. Look at it from each opponents perspective. What did they do good or bad? How would you have played it differently if you were them. Sounds like you're just inexperienced in full ring nl but you are in the right place to learn! It's going to take a lot of hours at the tables and thought away from the tables, but use the forums, and listen to bart. what stakes are you playing live?

    Don't play too high just yet. Put some time in at the lower limits. Once you can easily beat them go move up to wherever. good luck
  • AM Posts: 20Member
    I'm beating 2/5 and 5/10 just fine... with a short stack. Pretty fail when I get to 100 bb+.
  • Ok, sounds like some deep 1/2, 1/3 is in order then. You can experiment and learn without it affecting your br too much sounds like
  • LarryLido Posts: 52Member
    Start out by picking a single player at the table, ideally the guy sitting directly across the table from you. This is your guy to absolutely peg this session. How often does he limp/fold/raise PF? Does he bet draws? What does he have at show down and how did he play the hand? Know the pot size for every hand he plays? Is he aware of pot size when value betting against perceived draws? Whats his raising range? Ect... Do this every session until you get good at it, then try doing 2 players per session. Rinse. Repeat. Add another.
    Dropping down in stakes and buying in for 100bb during this process wouldn't be a bad idea either.
  • AM Posts: 20Member
    Yeah, I wanted to do some deep 1/2, but deep 1/2 doesn't really exist here. The main local room has a 50bb cap. I played a bit in another room recently while waiting for 2/5 where I could buy in for 100bb, but most of the table was shorter. I may try going there more, but it's further away and they have a $2 jackpot drop with shitty promotions, so it's not super exciting.

    But I really feel like I should be able to learn in the games I'm normally playing. I mean, I'm there, watching what's going on, so I should be able to learn from what I'm seeing. There just seems to be something missing in my brain about how to go about storing information people properly. I do great on game theory stuff, so the more a poker game is about the game theory rather than about reading people, the better I do. Of course, deep stack NL holdem is the poker game that's the least about game theory and the most about reading people. If the games existed around here, I would be crushing at limit holdem or stud or omaha8, etc. I have been doing pretty well in MTTs, which are much more complex due to the varying stack sizes and blind levels, which makes it a lot harder on those who are more about reading people. I'm trying to be more diligent with note taking to see if that will help, but it seems like I gather information soooooo slowly that it would take months to get useful reads on people. And really, it seems like I need to have default player models that I can plug someone into and then move them elsewhere when my information changes.

    What I'd really like to see is something like Crush Live Poker where we don't actually see the hands unless they're tabled. Watching a table play as a group, commenting on what we observe and what that means and why we think a player might have X characteristic and what kind of ranges they might have in situations because of it.
  • AM Posts: 20Member
    LarryLido said

    Start out by picking a single player at the table, ideally the guy sitting directly across the table from you. This is your guy to absolutely peg this session. How often does he limp/fold/raise PF? Does he bet draws? What does he have at show down and how did he play the hand? Know the pot size for every hand he plays? Is he aware of pot size when value betting against perceived draws? Whats his raising range? Ect... Do this every session until you get good at it, then try doing 2 players per session. Rinse. Repeat. Add another.
    Dropping down in stakes and buying in for 100bb during this process wouldn't be a bad idea either.
    This is probably really good advice, and I'll try to do something like this. I think I do probably get overwhelmed by trying to take in all the data on all the hands. OTOH, if the player ends up folding 20 hands in a row, this could be frustrating.
  • LarryLido Posts: 52Member
    AM said
    LarryLido said

    Start out by picking a single player at the table, ideally the guy sitting directly across the table from you. This is your guy to absolutely peg this session. How often does he limp/fold/raise PF? Does he bet draws? What does he have at show down and how did he play the hand? Know the pot size for every hand he plays? Is he aware of pot size when value betting against perceived draws? Whats his raising range? Ect... Do this every session until you get good at it, then try doing 2 players per session. Rinse. Repeat. Add another.
    Dropping down in stakes and buying in for 100bb during this process wouldn't be a bad idea either.
    This is probably really good advice, and I'll try to do something like this. I think I do probably get overwhelmed by trying to take in all the data on all the hands. OTOH, if the player ends up folding 20 hands in a row, this could be frustrating.
    If this is so, then odds are you identified your first nit. Congrats!
  • AM Posts: 20Member
    LarryLido said
    AM said
    LarryLido said

    Start out by picking a single player at the table, ideally the guy sitting directly across the table from you. This is your guy to absolutely peg this session. How often does he limp/fold/raise PF? Does he bet draws? What does he have at show down and how did he play the hand? Know the pot size for every hand he plays? Is he aware of pot size when value betting against perceived draws? Whats his raising range? Ect... Do this every session until you get good at it, then try doing 2 players per session. Rinse. Repeat. Add another.
    Dropping down in stakes and buying in for 100bb during this process wouldn't be a bad idea either.
    This is probably really good advice, and I'll try to do something like this. I think I do probably get overwhelmed by trying to take in all the data on all the hands. OTOH, if the player ends up folding 20 hands in a row, this could be frustrating.
    If this is so, then odds are you identified your first nit. Congrats!

    But no, this simply isn't true. Just because they're tight doesn't mean they're folding too much when they get in a hand. It doesn't mean they're not jamming tptk or a flush draw on the flop. It just means they're tight. :( It may not even mean they're that tight, they could just be card dead.
  • JerseyJay Posts: 181Subscriber
    Did you use a hud online? If you did, try and equate peoples play to that. Is someone playing 50% of hands? Are they limp calling. Are they 3 betting often? These three things are good places to start in order to play the player. Equate them to vpip, 3 betting frequency, and aggression metric from the hud. Maybe you can better assign them a range. Lets start easy, playing 50% of hands? Hes a loose player with a wide, weak range. You can do that, right?
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    LarryLido said

    Start out by picking a single player at the table, ideally the guy sitting directly across the table from you. This is your guy to absolutely peg this session. How often does he limp/fold/raise PF? Does he bet draws? What does he have at show down and how did he play the hand? Know the pot size for every hand he plays? Is he aware of pot size when value betting against perceived draws? Whats his raising range? Ect... Do this every session until you get good at it, then try doing 2 players per session. Rinse. Repeat. Add another.
    Dropping down in stakes and buying in for 100bb during this process wouldn't be a bad idea either.
    +1

    Really focus on the river and how they are getting value. If they are not getting a lot of value on the river then they lean towards nits (i.e. auto checking over-pairs when it is obviously the near nuts).

    Also get into conversations with them. Start telling them what you folded and ask them as well. I'm not saying take their advice to heart. Just find out how they see the game. Lots of clues there.

    Remember a nit is just a person that avoids big bets with marginal hands. They only call big bets with strong hand. They ONLY make big bets with near nut hands.

    NO ONE IS A NIT. There are just degrees to it. Once a person reaches a threshold they are called a Nit. It doesn't mean they will 100% be nitty everyday & every hand. You have to be watching the game.

    But yeah most people are a nit in my eyes (self included).
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