Posted 2 years ago
Ha that hand is totally sick and really sums up whales and live poker!

I guess if you somehow run into a black overpair and a set then you are going to be good on these runouts...solid dodging buddy!
Posted 2 years ago
I felt that one! That feeling, waiting for them to announce or muck... fear and anxiousness turning to quiet excitement the longer they take... the realness that Yes, I have the best hand! NH!
Posted 2 years ago
Thanks guys! I think I had more fun writing it up than actually playing it. Laugh I definitely didn't celebrate after winning, certainly I smiled but I really did try to keep calm; like I said, kid still had money in front of him. My lord, what have I become? Wink I did rather enjoy having so many chips in front of me that I had to get a chip runner to get me two racks so I could color up. Funny thing is, after this hand, I still only had 2nd largest stack; nitty but friendly old Asian guy on my right had over 2K, much of which he got from the kid as well.

One of the things I like about poker is that it is in many ways outside of my comfort zone, so it forces me to expand. Well, I guess I should say, WAS outside my comfort zone, since over the last 2 years, I've become rather comfortable with tossing around money like it's chips.

Forecast is for rain all week, time to check for cheap flights to Vegas....
Posted 2 years ago*


That was a great read mate, well done. Last night was my 3rd time, but for some reason I feel jittery when am there, also think my poker brain goes out of the window, did it take you long to become comfortable?.

I did rather enjoy having so many chips in front of me that I had to get a chip runner to get me two racks so I could color up.


This as gotta be one of the best feelings in the world, think its gonna be a long time before I even fill one rack Laugh , hate having to buyin for 40bb's.
Posted 2 years ago
Yeah it def took me a few sessions to get comfortable. I prob went 1-2x/year for first year or two, just testing it out, and I'd only go with friends. Was completely nervous, no doubt. It took an effort to get comfortable there, now it fits like an old sweater, but even going to a new casino, there's a wee bit of discomfort at first.

I still am not quite as comfortable with things like 3b from the blinds, online it's just w/e but live, feels harder. I hate being OOP and the pots get bloated pretty quick. I too notice sometimes my poker brain doesn't seem to fire 100%, in those moments I force myself to stop and take a deep breath. Usually my mistakes come from playing too fast. Even though it's slower than online, I still need to remind myself to stop and think.

Any game with a cap like 40BB has to be a complete PITA.
Posted 2 years ago
Just started using an app called Poker Income, got me thinking do you account for travel and waiting list when working out your hourly?.
Posted 2 years ago
I don't, for a couple of reasons. First, I enjoy live play much more than online. My hourly is pretty close (around 15/hr), but I actually have a good time playing live, and as serious as I take the game, it is still just a hobby, and it's nice to actually enjoy one's hobbies. (For a variety of reasons I'm starting to loathe online pay.) Second, very few people who commute to work think, "I will make $20/hr but that's really only 17/hr once I factor in commute." It's not wrong, it's just not what most of us do. I also don't price out the cost of petrol. It wouldn't be wrong, just clinically insane. Wink Plus I can get there in 15 min; if I had to travel over an hour, I'd have a much diffrent approach to this.

As to wait time, sometimes it gets factored in a wee bit when I round off my hours, but I am one of those people who carries a book with him wherever he goes, so I can read for 20 min and not think I wasted my time. But I always call in before leaving the house, so my wait when I arrive is almost never more than 30 min, though there are times I just don't go cuz there are too many people on the list. Weekdays isn't usually too much of an issue; weekends can be hit or miss, and that's with having 2 casinos to choose from.

Things I do factor in include spending for any training sites (for a few months I subscribed to one) and tourney entries, which are always a bit of a lark. Online they are a significant source of income, but live, the structures are so bad it's like hyperturbos, but you only get to play one instead of 12. If I ever get a massive bink I'd have to keep it out of the hourly and have a separate line item, but at the end of the year, if I dropped a grand on entries, it's gotta be accounted for. (Last year, 2 Vegas trips, and I always play a couple tournies for fun.) And this might sound weird, but factoring in the tourneys last year lowers my hourly, which to me is a good thing. If I start to see my hourly as approximating the hourly of a full-time salary, then the mind starts churning in directions it might be best to avoid....
Posted 2 years ago
You cursed me, @Gus Fring! Last night I waited over an hour, though I knew in advance I had missed the sweet spot. If I call in by 6 and arrive before 7, it won't be too bad. But I wanted to watch a (disasterously bad) basketball game, so I didn't call until 7, arrived 745, didn't get a seat til 9.

Table selection: There were 5 1/3 games and one 2/5 game when I arrrived, I wandered around and got a feel, rechecked once I was 3rd on the list. Decided I could play anywhere but table 1, bunch of pencil-dicked old men with $80 in front of em. Naturally that's the one that comes up, so I smile and say to the floor, "Well, please put me on the table change list to anywhere else, I'd rather play video poker than sit at that table." Sure enough, 2 min later, 2 seats open up, I get lucky and choose the table with a guy pfr 100%, cbet 95%. Bring it on.

I also thought about your question re: comfort, perhaps more than I should have. Sad So my normal game is 1/3, with a 400 cap. I have also played 1/2/5 PLO but it is uncapped, and my 400 is by far a shortstack, it's such a stupid aggro game. They play pretty bad, but too much variance for my bankroll. I've also played 2/5 a couple of times, $1000 cap (200BB). Did well both times, the play is a bit better but frankly still not good. Anyway, I was watching all the tables last night as I waited, and I did some math. If I buy in for $1000, we're no longer talking about a % of my bankroll, we're actually talking about a % of my entire bank account. I've got some socked away in retirement yadda yadda (I'm middle-aged, these things happen), but if I think about my liquid cash, one BI is a real % number, not decimals or anything. That kinda make me think, wtf am I doing? Unless I'm going to consider my entire savings as my bankroll (i'm not), then I have no business playing in that game. By midnight the average stack was prob 2K, and the pfr sizes were huge. Another reg thought it was a 5/T game but it wasn't. I could consider the idea of just not buying in for the max, and then playing for a hit-and-run, but that seems like I'm leaving EV on the table.

I get it, some people are like, well I have a grand, let me take a shot. Especially if you're young, lots of people have a larger dgaf gene than I do. If that works for them, cool, but in poker we have a term for most people who think that way: losers, and in the end, broke. Or like some of the people in my city, they can afford to drop 10-20 grand a year (at least) at the casino, in which case the terms we use include whales and VIPs.

So I sat in at 1/3, took my name off the 2/5 list. Made 2 bills while stll playing some pretty bad poker. Man I am in such a mental slump, I need a @MattVIP in my life to force me to meditate, or at least eat less ice cream. Or even @Harvie to get me drunk and pay for me to break out of a different slump. Puke Anyway, I will still play in a $600 2-day tourney next weekend, like I said I do punt 1-2 of these a year, but I think I'll retire the thoughts of moving up in stakes, at least for now. Not comfortable.
Posted 2 years ago
Friday: Skipped the tourney, and ended up in the 2/5 game after all. Wait list was huge for 1/3, but I got onto 2/5 right away. Played fine for the first few hours, but just like I witnessed before, play got wild and bad but still..... I don't mind ripping 3-400 in pre with a range advantage, but a 4bet to 400 with 1200 behind, eeeks I tighten up. Made a ridiculously tight fold, and decided to drop back down. Still made 90 in 2/5 over 5 hours, but then made 100 vs horribad play at 1/3 in an hour. Clocked out at 3 AM. But still need to slowly build my confidence to open up my game at the higher stakes with more aggressive play. It's just hard when you can't scare out rich kids with daddy's money. They def can put you to the test, but you can't really do the same to them.

Saturday: home game with the boys. We were 4 handed at one point, switched to O8, and after 2 orbits people were getting cleaned out. In NLHE people will bet half pot, for some reason in Omaha games it's just "Pot, pot, pot." So we quickly went back to HE. Game broke at 1, one of the guys and I roll to the casino and play until after 4. Table was mostly short stacked, and play seemed like the English game some of y'all describe, haz pair will call. One drunk guy, he's felted, reloads for 120, very next hand he limps UTG, I make it 15 with AQo, he shoves. I'm like wtf, call, he hs AT and I hold. He then starts with the I'm gonna beat you up in the parking lot act, I just shrug it off, 2 min later we're shaking hands, "Yeah man it was a total cooler, ace over ace blah blah blah." All good, he must've shook my hand 3 times, as soon as he left I ran for the hand sanitizer. I ended up +500 in a couple of hours, I now see why some people prefer to play the overnight shift, but no way my body can handle that too often.
Posted 2 years ago
The idea of playing live poker till 4 AM strikes me as incredibly fun, romantic even. I guess it's mostly because I'm trying my best to clean out my routine, cut pounds, get 8 hours of solid sleep every day, find time for three boxing classes and three gym sessions every week. "Grass is always greener" etc. Still, I really enjoy reading those posts so keep them coming.

My advice for that 2/5 conundrum would be sticking with 1/3 games. This can sound a bit risk averse but might be the optimal adjustment given that bankroll discrepancy between you and the 'rich kids'. Alternatively, if your bankroll is deep enough try to account for the changes in betting pattern frequencies that might be caused by playing with 'daddy's money' (potentially higher AF, bluff frequency, a tendency to pay-off lighter etc.). The fact that players mentioned by you have deep pockets doesn't have to be an advantage if their mental game has some holes you can exploit.

Good luck sir!
Posted 2 years ago
More notes on playing over my head

So I referenced the super tight fold I made on the weekend. It was actually worse than you can imagine; I assume it is the worst move I’ve made in 2017.

2/5 table, Friday night into Sat morning. Table is starting to get drunk, loose, wild, large PFR sizings. Hero: tight image, and somewhere between tired and very tired. Been at the table 5.5 hours (did take a dinner break), it’s 2 AM, too old for this shit. $1100 (220 BB). UTG QQ, raise to 20. 3-4 calls, reg who is closer to TAG or a LAG, covers H, 3! to 160. Hero...fml I folded Puke to protect stack/book a minor win. Within 10 min I dropped back down to 1/3. If I had just 100BB in front of me, I’d let ‘er rip.

Monday night, back in my 1/3 comfort zone, and awake. Laugh Hero has an active image at a limp-happy table, been raising more than everyone, including over V’s limps. I played with this guy once last year in a different casino, he fashions himself a pro (might even be, but there aren’t many at 1/3). If he remembers me, he told me how tight I play last time. OTTH: UTG Hero ($400) AQo raise to 12. Old man ($180) hesitates, seems reluctant to call, finally calls. Looked like he wanted to limp with a medium PP or medium ace, and doesn’t want to have to commit 4 whole BB pre. V (covers) in BB 3! to 80. Too big to be KK+. Hero waits a few sec, announces all-in. Old man folds, back on V, makes a minor production, “Man, I have a really big hand, but I don’t think it’s big enough...fine, take my 80 dollars,” shows a Ten, folds. Old man tells him he folded AQ. V pretends he isn't miffed, is clearly miffed. Tries to fish for information, I look at him and say, "Well, I don't know what your kicker was." V gets pissy, "Well it wasn't a jack." Hero shrugs and stacks his chips.

The combo of a smaller stack (133 BB vs 220), and the smaller actual $$$, let me assess the situation correctly and make the best play.

I think my plan is to sit in on 2/5 from time to time. I might buy in for just 5-600 and play my standard 100BB game. Depending on the lineup and stack sizes I may then top up to 1K. The way to get better is to play against better competition and deal with a few more tough spots. The way to get more comfortable with bigger stacks is to play with bigger stacks. And ofc, the fastest way to make more money is to successfully move up in stakes.

And then run good. Evil grin

Posted 2 years ago
MattVIP: The idea of playing live poker till 4 AM strikes me as incredibly fun, romantic even. I guess it's mostly because I'm trying my best to clean out my routine, cut pounds, get 8 hours of solid sleep every day, find time for three boxing classes and three gym sessions every week. "Grass is always greener" etc. Still, I really enjoy reading those posts so keep them coming.

My advice for that 2/5 conundrum would be sticking with 1/3 games. This can sound a bit risk averse but might be the optimal adjustment given that bankroll discrepancy between you and the 'rich kids'. Alternatively, if your bankroll is deep enough try to account for the changes in betting pattern frequencies that might be caused by playing with 'daddy's money' (potentially higher AF, bluff frequency, a tendency to pay-off lighter etc.). The fact that players mentioned by you have deep pockets doesn't have to be an advantage if their mental game has some holes you can exploit.

Good luck sir!


I agree with the use of the word 'romance', in its Classical meaning. Occasionally I substitute 'sex appeal', even though there is very littly sexy (or romantic) about your typical 1/3 grinder. But the idea of playing poker all night, which is always coupled with the idea of coming home in the morning wth all da moneyz, definitely hits the part of us who ever had the Rounders dream of going to Vegas and making it. But your path is honestly the one I think I'd rather be on: losing weight, hitting the gym, looking good in time for summer. Hopefully I can manage to squeeze in a bit of both.
Posted 2 years ago
One more note about overnight sessions. This one happened a couple of months back. Thursday evening, Cycle does a 7-10pm session, just a warm-up for the weekend really. I'm at a table with Tim, a bit of a jerk, middle-aged guy, kind of a semi-reg. He's on his second BI, and gets felted by some random Chinese man, really friendly guy, who immediately after the hand has security tap his shoulder and say, "Please rack up your chips and come with us." Guy tips about $15 to the dealer, racks up, and goes to the cage. Turns out he's on the self-exclusion list for problem gamblers. He can keep the money, but he's gotta leave.

Anyway, this tilts Tim the a-hole even more as now he doesn't have the chance to get 'his' chips back. Atmosphere turns a bit sour, and I leave soon thereafter. Come in the next night for my Friday grind, and I see Tim, at the same table, one chair over, with the same sad small chip stack...and the same T-shirt from the night before. I'm waiting for a seat, Tim gets up and I'm like, "You still here from last night, buddy?" He's like Yep, and his speech is pressured and his eyes are bouncing and his arms twtching, and all I can do is smdh. No idea what # BI he was on, to say nothing of what else he was on to get so jittery. And no idea how much money he'd poured into the game, but there wasn't much sitting in front of him after 24 hours of play. Definitely not the romantic notion of a poker all-nighter.
Posted 2 years ago
I had a bad night at a great table. It was all self-inflicted wounds, but there are a couple of funny stories worth relating.

I'm typing away on me phone, so I didn't see how this went down, but I look up and pf it's a 4way AI. Fun older chinese guy next to me in seat 1 shows my side of the table 54, so naturally we're all rooting for him. Flop is 662, and we're all going crazy screaming for the BBJ. Board runs out QQ. Other three hands turn over: pocket 7s, pocket 8s, and KQs. It was like a bingo game broke out.

So fun seat 1 is replaced by an early 30s E. European muscle factory. Gray sweats, if you go to central casting at the movie studio and say, "I need a mute to play a cheap mob thug," they would've sent you this guy. First hand, he's in MP and the btn strddle is on. 2 limps, he raises to 25, 1 LP caller. Jxx rainbow, he goes for a crai for 300, gets shrug called. Board runs out blank, he turns over JTo and loses to AJo. Rebuy for 300. Very next hand, 2 limps, he makes it 17, the whole world calls. QQ4, flop checks through. Turn completes the flush, again checks through. River is a blank, he bets, gets min c/r, he shoves, is snapped off. He had K high flush, loses to Q4s for a flopped boat.

The biggest hand of the night I won was on my last orbit, with me in CO vs V on btn. We were dealt monsters: I rfi to 15 wth 65o, he called with pocket 3s. Somehow we managed to get 225 in the middle before the river was checked thru and mhig. Board was 542ccK7, so the flop and turn bets and calls made sense, and I was planning to snap him off otr if he'd bluffed.

If all this was on a Wednesday before midnight, I can't wait to see what the weekend brings. Wink
Posted 2 years ago
A Tale of Two Casinos

8pm show up at my new local to play 2/5 1K cap. I generally only sit in this game when it's looks decent, it's just 2 tables (must move), sometimes it's the only 2/5 in town, very reg-heavy. When I was moved to main game, I was the only one who didn't know everyone else. I'm also slowly getting comfortable with 2K+ stacks. Anyway, I run it up to 2400, good cards and one miracle runout. Slip back down to 2200, decide that the lineup plus fatigue means I should book the win. +$1199, my largest ever! Waitlist for 1/3 is 40 deep, so I call my old local, and get on the 1/3 list there.

Head over, play 1hr 45min. 2 new dealers, one bad one, and a slow as molasses couple of seats, I estimate I saw 36 hands. Pulling teeth. But the usual Friday night bad loose play. $100 shoves were getting calls from JT, so there was no point in trying to squeeze. 2 YAGs with big stacks were playing bully poker, naturally one left broke and the other gave back half his stack before he left, disgusted that AK just flatted him pre and let him blast off. Anyway, I paid the blinds 4 times...and I was so card dead I didn't vpip once in 1:45. Closest hand I had to playable was early on, T9s otb, but it was raised to 15 by a guy with 100 in front of him, didn't seem worth it. I've never had a session even close to this. VPIP=0, session ends a hilarious -$16.
Posted 1 year ago
I haven’t updated here in a while, but in case anyone stumbles on this.... I reread this thread from the start, also my two Vegas TRs, and it is pretty amazing how far I’ve come. I was so scared, so new, even though I’d played online for years. By no means am I a crusher or anything, but since I started playing live almost 2 years ago, I’ve averaged a bit less than 2 sessions/week, moved up to playing 2/5 when the line-up looks decent, and I’ve got a decent WR and made a nice chunk of change for meself. Last night I was thinking about all the things I’ve been able to do with the money (in addition to building a BR that, compared to when I started, is crazy-big), and even more important that what I’ve bought, I now have a cushion that provides a serious amount of psychological comfort.

So as I said at the top, if anyone stumbles on this, if you’re somewhere in the beginning stages of your poker journey, you have lots to look forward to! After briefly toying with labelling myself a “semi-pro”, my volume tailed off, though at least I still study. I’ve returned to thinking of myself as just a guy who will never make poker a career, but who can say with some certainty that I’m a winner at a hobby I enjoy.

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