Live Poker containment thread

Posted 1 year ago

Hey gang, the "y'all deserve the love" thread was starting to sprawl, so I'll start a "containment thread", meaning all random questions/comments about casino play can go here. (Not HH, start a new thread in HH section for that.)

@Harvie You mentioned live MTTs, and no doubt, they suck. Donkaments, all of them, except for big buy-in like Main Events of EPT, etc. Even the side events can have terrible structures. The biggest BI I've ever played was a $330 side event to a medium-sized tourney, and it was still 20 or 30 min levels, total garbage. A friend of mine went to he Colossus last year, the cheapest WSOP event, $560, and said it was a great experience.

If it makes you feel better, I'm not really BR'ed for a career in live either, I'm just taking a shot and seeing where it goes.

@Kashclicks mentioned straddles. Casinos out here (BC, Canada), it's just one UTG straddle. I've yet to even see button straddles. Every now and then you'll get some action junkie who will make a blind UTG+1 raise, but that's it. The craziest/funniest thing I've seen so far is a middle-aged guy, clearly tired as hell, down to about $70, he's UTG and shoves blind, says he's been here 8 hours and he's going home. Kid next to me looks semi-horrified, says, "Dude, you could have got a lap dance with that!"
CycleVancouver

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CycleVancouver

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Posted 1 year ago
Yo nice thread idea and something we have needed for a while for sure - could have maybe gone in general discussion but i will not be picky lol!

I really have the urge to get back into the live poker scene but not sure i want it to be when I am in the UK - Maybe Vegas or something this summer.

I know @mattusko grinds a fair bit live so no doubt this will interest him!
Posted 1 year ago
I did think about putting it in Theory/Discussion, please feel free to move it if you think it fits better there. But didn't know how off-topic live is vs the majority of the discussions we have here. Plus it's likely I'll just put absurd things I see/hear itt, so it might get off-topic after all!
Posted 1 year ago
How many hands do you get in an average session of how many do you play? Would you think an online grinder 100/200nl could walk into a 5/5 game and crush or would they need to adjust quite a lot?
Posted 1 year ago*
I go for short sessions, cuz I have some health issues and stamina isn't my strong suit. My average session is 3-4 hours, from about 7pm-11pm, give or take. My goal for March was 3x/week, which I came very close to achieving. Figure 15-20 hands an hour, dealers vary wildly in their speed. So my # of hands, by online standards, is absurdly low. (Even by my own standards, where I only 4-table FR NL100.) Compared to Zoom, it's prob a joke. Variance will be a significant factor, absolutely no way around it.

Where I live there are about 6 casinos within driving distance (40 minutes), but NL 1/2 (and some FL 3/6, plus Omaha 1/2) are the only games spread. From what I've read, in USA you can find 1/2 and 2/5 in lots of places, with places like Vegas and LA going sky-high. There is a significant increase in # of regs at 2/5, so while there are still some soft spots, it's not the all you can eat buffet that 1/2 is. Unless the "regs" at 1/2 come from the online world, they don't have the discipline or maths that we do. Most regs are probably only marginal winners or worse. There are a couple who might make a living at 1/2 but not many. The only real winner is the house.

Any winning online grinder, from NL25 and up, can crush live 1/2, though as I mentioned, variance is rough when you only get involved in 4-5 hands an hour. I know your advice from the HH forum, you would ace it ainec. There are a couple of crucial adjustments you have to make. I can expand on any point in more detail if you want, but a quick and dirty summary of life at 1/2: pfr are between 6-10x; 3bets are very rare, but overcalls and limp/calls abound so multiway pots are the norm; ranging people is difficult because they will call a 10x with A6o; people will pay you off very light so spots where online you figure, "What worse could call me?", live players find a way. Also at my local, the Omaha is uncapped (I think), so it's really helpful to know who's sitting in at HE for $200 while they're waiting for a seat at Omaha for $5K, those players can't be scared at all.

If you can be patient and maintain a range advantage over these clowns, you're all set. One session, I left after about doubling my BI from 300 to 550. One V I stacked with AK vs a worse ace (I assume, he didn't show), said as I was leaving, "You only played 3 hands all night," and I couldn't help myself, I fired back, "Yeah, and I got paid on 2 of them." Giggle I think I play a general TAG game, sometimes almost w cards face-up vs a thinking player, and I still get paid off. (I feel like a nit compared to my online game, but that's probably more about self-perception, a function of seeing 15 hands/hour vs 200. But also it's very rare to be in the HJ and no one has entered before you, so there's less rfi chances, which means I do play a bit less after all.)

I actually take notes on my phone so I'm building my own personal database, not on V's but so that I can see my own leaks. Prob get about 10-12 hands per session, literally any hand I vpip I note and plug into a spreadsheet the next day. See how I'm doing with SC, PP, position, etc. It will take a few months to get enough data but it's a start. And of the 40-50 players playing 1/2 at any given moment, and I've got 43 hours logged since mid-Feb when I started keeping track, I have seen only 1 other guy take HHs, and I've never seen him since. So any amount of study you put in off the felt is more than your opposition.

But when I said crush, I do mean crush. 5/5 might be a different beast, unless it is the lowest spread in your area. Then you'll get the same bad players I get, just with more money on the line.


Posted 1 year ago
Thanks for the tips! Your games sound a lot like the games near me in England. Just people chasing every hand and paying super bad odds to see the next card.

Sadly I don't have the roll or patience to play these games :(.

Do you play full-time or PT? My friend plays as at an Indian casino near Louisville and he says the games are the softest he's ever played in. He plays 3x a week doing 17hr sessions and makes a good living from it.

How many $$ you made in rakeback from free drinks and food? Cool
Posted 1 year ago
Zero comps in my area. Complete tragedy. Only freebies are coffee/tea/soda, but unless you're a dick you're gonna tip the waitress a buck, and then it ain't free no more. Worse is, my local casino is moving to new digs in 2017 and is closing the poker room, so I'll have to drive to a 'burb if I want to continue. That will significantly add to the hassle and factor into my hourly.

I'm a part-timer, always have been at both online and live. Poker has never been a main source of income, but it's been a source of vacation money and gifts for the nieces since about 2009.

Yeah so soft. People who think poker is dying, man I have no idea where the money keeps coming from, but every night, there's more showing up. You can be so "exploitable" and get away with it. I'm so obvious with my bet sizing, but no one cares, they haz 1 pair! Regs have quickly learned to stay out of my way, and pretty much I do the same to them. Like any table, figure out where your profit's gonna come from, then make it happen.

BRM: I'm not practicing BRM for my live game. I don't want to touch my online roll, but I took $2K in profits out, and decided to use some of it to "take shots" at 1/2 live. (I'd been to the casino before, but again, just taking a shot once every few months.) Now I can mentally consider myself freerolling, thanks to a hot month and V's who love chasing gutshots, while at the same time still acknowledging that I'm still in the taking shots phase, even if it's 3x/week. I can envision a time when I decide to properly set up a live BRM plan, esp if I decide to hop to Vegas for a few days, which I would prob only do if I have enough profits from my current game.
Theoretically, proper BRM for 1/2 live is anywhere from 20-50+ BI, depending on what your goals are, and also how close to bust you can get before you mentally decide you busted. (It does no good to have 20 BI but when you lose 10 you freak and quit the game. Turns out, you honestly only had 10 BI after all.) 20 is low end for a rec player who is decent and TAGgy, which is where I'm at, so I could actually start proper BRM now. But TBH, I think there's a bit less pressure the way I'm mentally doing it, and less pressure lets me stay TAG and not go into nit mode. It's getting easier to just shrug when I lose $100 as pfr + 2 barrels with air, but it still helps that I think of it as fun/learning money and not BR. I would totally be the guy in my example, says he has $3K to lose but quits after $2K. So I just don't go there yet.
Posted 1 year ago
Everyone who plays live says poker is not dying and I'm pretty sure live will never die just because there will always be people who want to play live over a computer screen, or at least the last generation anyway.

What are you raked at? As you said earlier would seem very hard to beat 1/2 with such high rake at live games. As much as I hate live play, your posts have got me wanting to play again Puke .


Posted 1 year ago
People complain about live rake, but it's really variable. Standard casino rake around here, it's 10% up to $6 on a $60 pot, plus 1 for BBJ. So it only feels rough when you pfr to 10, blinds fold and you get one caller, tid otf. then the $23 pot is only $20. But the norm is more like you raise to 15, get 4 callers, bet 40 otf if you hit, still get 1-2 callers, and now it's almost a $200 pot and rake was capped at 7 ages ago. So it honestly isn't as bad as people make it out to be, in most casinos in N America anyway. Anywhere there's uncapped rake, I'd never play, since pots for $400+ are common. I do read about places with no casinos, and all the card games are in underground rooms, and the rakes there are outrageous.

There's also a wee factor of tipping $1-2 per hand you win, but I only tip on hands over $100 or so, so again, it's never more than $10 a session, usually like 5-6. Cheaper than a beer, meaning it can't be much of a factor, compared to my other life leaks. Cheeky
Posted 1 year ago
Rando story about building a pot.

So online, 100BB deep, we know if we want to gii, we need to start early. Then there's live....

1/2, $300 cap. I'm in the CO, semi-active image but nothing out of line in either direction, I have about $350, 175BB, and V covers. I look down at 99 and rfi for 10. BTN who's a decent reg but with a wide pf range calls, and "old man coffee" (OMC) who's shown an ability to put a lot of money in with marginal hands on wet boards, calls from BB. Flop is 944, so I have a boat and it's unlikely either V hit. So we check thru, and ott peels a K. OMC checks, I stick 20 out into 27, reg folds, V thinks about it, and you can see the gears in his head going, "why not, you know you want to," so he calls. River is an A, which is awesome for me. Online my line would so much look like Ax finally got there and we'd never get paid, but live, it's just as likely his Ax got there as well. $64 in the middle, I bet 50, he c/r to 100, I tank then shove for over 330, he thinks for a few secs then calls. I can only assume he had an A and called a massive shove just to chop. But all I can do is smh at the fact that a pot with only 14BB in it ott eventually built to 350BB when one guy clearly had a pathetic hand.
Posted 1 year ago
CycleVancouver: People complain about live rake, but it's really variable. Standard casino rake around here, it's 10% up to $6 on a $60 pot, plus 1 for BBJ. So it only feels rough when you pfr to 10, blinds fold and you get one caller, tid otf. then the $23 pot is only $20. But the norm is more like you raise to 15, get 4 callers, bet 40 otf if you hit, still get 1-2 callers, and now it's almost a $200 pot and rake was capped at 7 ages ago. So it honestly isn't as bad as people make it out to be, in most casinos in N America anyway. Anywhere there's uncapped rake, I'd never play, since pots for $400+ are common. I do read about places with no casinos, and all the card games are in underground rooms, and the rakes there are outrageous.

There's also a wee factor of tipping $1-2 per hand you win, but I only tip on hands over $100 or so, so again, it's never more than $10 a session, usually like 5-6. Cheaper than a beer, meaning it can't be much of a factor, compared to my other life leaks. :P


Pretty well summed up!

English casinos don't really tip but Vegas you are kinda expected to tip every hand. I prefer to just tip say $10-20 at the end of the dealers session. I think the gesture looks bigger and gets you in the good books with all staff.
Posted 1 year ago
Jon-PokerVIP:
English casinos don't really tip but Vegas you are kinda expected to tip every hand. I prefer to just tip say $10-20 at the end of the dealers session. I think the gesture looks bigger and gets you in the good books with all staff.


I don't know how tips are divided between staff in England, so it is all relative, but in N. America, tips are pooled, meaning they don't go to the specific dealer. All tips for the month are collected, and then distributed based on hours worked. While this does kinda suck for the better dealers, it also evens out the occasional jackpot table or mega-rich whale who is tipping over the top. So with that in mind, in my local, tipping at the end of a dealer's shift actually does NOT look good, since they are hating you for the first 59 minutes of their shift, when you win a big pot and don't tip. Doh! There are a couple of internet kids who essentially refuse to tip, and say they will tip at the end of their session, but they almost never do, and dealers hate them. But the amount you are tipping, Jon, well that definitely WILL win some fans!

Hopefully we here at VIP all tip cuz we're nice people, but there is also a wee bit of EV to be had from it. If you switch seats, and you move away from the blinds, you have to post a BB. But if I only move 1-2 seats, at least one dealer has let me slide on it. (Once I moved and posted, and he very casually tossed my chip back to me.) I've also accidentally put in a less-than-min-raise when I meant a call or vice versa, and the ruling could have gone either way. Dealers have a lot of discretion to enforce the spirit of the action vs a strict ruling, and this is not favoritism, it is in the rules as well as the best interest of the game, but I also know that with a couple of dealers, I'm batting 100%, so to speak. (And since I'm generally friendly to all players, I've never once had a player challenge the dealer's decision that went in my favor.)

I'm not the biggest tipper, not by far, nor am I an everyday reg. But I make a point of using the dealers' names as soon as they arrive, ask how they're doing, and keep the chat fun for them as well as others. The better ones can deal most hands on autopilot, so they can (and like to) have a conversation while working, as we all do. (Ditto for floor bosses. There's +EV to be had there too, for sure.) It only took 2-3 weeks, so less than 8 sessions or 25 hours, to feel like the table is my home, and keeping the atmosphere fun for both players and employees is a part of that.
Posted 1 year ago*
What is the average salary for a dealer? I don't mind tipping restaurant staff as I know they get way below min wage, but if a dealer is on a nice salary then I'd be reluctant to tip. Having said that, I'm from the UK and there is almost no tipping culture here, asides from getting a good haircut, I don't know where else I'd tip.

In Thailand they have a funny rule about tipping. If you leave money in the tray or wallet they put your bill in, the tip is given out equally to everyone. But if you physically pass it to a member of staff in their hands, the money is theirs. Such an odd rule lol.


Edit: I also tip at strip joints. In love
Posted 1 year ago
England it is pooled tips but I am sure in Vegas when I played there they kept their own so I felt it was the right decision - may have changed now!
Posted 1 year ago
I hunted around a bit, and it seems that it varies from casino to casino. In Vegas Wynn properties pool, and while I couldn't find any other examples, seems like the rest are by default not pooling. I think not pooling would be great, some dealers suck ass and I don't want to stiff them, just reward the better ones more.

Here in Van I believe all casinos pool poker dealer tips. I think it's the same in the pit (blackjack/table games) but I'm almost never there so idk for sure. Sounds like in Europe, not at all. MTTs pool, and that makes sense for obvious reasons. In Vegas and in Van, most dealers are paid minimum (about $5 in Vegas and $10 in Van), and their salary is pretty dependent on tips. No idea what it's like in Europe.
Posted 1 year ago
F/u to the tipping sub-thread: I asked some of the dealers, and they think every casino in Canada is pooled tips, so we're just weird that way.
Posted 1 year ago
Been giving the weekends a try, and omg they are a blast. You have to be ready to ride the variance train, and be prepared to gii with some crazy stuff. Was sandwiched between 2 drunk kids, gii pre with AJo for $140 vs QT and KQ. Just range them and go, "Wheeeee!" Seen lots of blind raises for up to and over $100. Two weeks ago I pulled an 11-hour all-nighter, chasing people who were falling asleep at the table, drunk as all get-out.

Last night a rich kid, I've never seen him but the bosses know him, sat down and the whole table went nuts. He immediately dropped 200 with a dumbass bluff, rebuys and gets it back with an "I haven't looked yet I'm AI pre" angleshot with AK. He tilted a decent player with huge blind raises and stacked him with some lol hand that made trips. Then he's in BB, he says last hand, he has to leave and is going to blind raise for 150. Bunch of limps, naturally he raises blind, tells everyone to hurry up he has to go, then ran to the cage to cash out his remaining 300. The guy he stacked is on massive tilt, like fry an egg on his head tilt, he calls, I get the floor (obv) to insist his money stays on the table. Qxx monotone flop, rich kid shoves for the 300, other guy calls with T4, no FD, and pairs the 4 to take the $900 pot. Insanity.
Posted 1 year ago
In Grosvenor's over here the tips are pooled for every body, so dealers, CRS, pit staff, chefs, waiters, managers, reception staff... which makes me reluctant to tip, though I still do
Posted 1 year ago
@CycleVancouver good story felt like I was watching a movie. How much was you up for the night on weekends? Surprised you don't focus on weekends they would be the best days to play.
Posted 1 year ago
Tx for the compliment @Harvie. I had one rough weekend session (the 11 hour one, I was just card dead all night), so my hourly is actually better on the other nights, but I agree, I want to see more weekend action before I can make any conclusions. Two catches: 1. waitlists on weekends are insane, I waited 1.5 hrs the day I pulled the all-nighter, and I don't factor wait time into hourly. Last Friday we drove to a suburb cuz again, the waitlist was huge at my local. 2. My health is pretty bad, so my ability to go is often based on what my body can handle. And if I have any kind of social stuff going on for the weekend, I kinda need to save my body for that, so that's why I am at the casino more on weekdays.

Far more important than the day I go is table selection. Some regs put their headphones on and zone out for the night, but that's just stupid. I play an orbit or two, and if it's not gonna be a lively table, I immediately put in for a table change. Even though I'm prob the nittiest guy under age 60 at the place, I want to be where the action players are. Last Sat I moved after about 20 min and got a good table, had a blast as well as made my money. (And I usually do have fun, it should be said.)

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