Live Cash Strategies
I switched off of online poker. While my WR was generally positive I ultimately don't find it that interesting - and boredom is my worst tilt.
So I went to playing live a couple months back. Live, the lowest table for NL is $1/2. $1/2 online is fairly difficult stakes - you're rarely going against people who don't know a little something about the game. Live however, there's a huge mix. Having NOT played live in a while I lost pretty big my first couple goes, but then I adjusted a bit and I'm sitting pretty comfortably at around $50/hr WR.
I'm not a super pro or anything, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I'm just going to lay out some of the strategies that have been working for me.
1) Broad categorization works best.
Online we talk about TAG, LAG, LP, etc etc etc along with VPIP and all that. Ignore all that. At 1/2 live you've got two big categories to look at: Recreational and serious. Within an orbit at the player, usually by looking at people and watching them play, but often times just looking at people is enough, you can predict how they think.
Recreational players: Either passive (tend to be older, or just very new to the game) - they don't speak "bet size" so you can steal a lot of pots or make marginal calls with less equity. OR aggressive (tend to be Italian and grumpy, or semi-wealthy looking business folks out to get the edge out). These guys bluff too much. Give them reason to try a bluff, and they will. They also call without considering "relative hand strength" - so if you think they're strong but you have stronger no need to trap!
Serious: I guess this is me, but I try not to fit the stereotypes. These guys have on excessive swag (headphones, shades, "poker mode" demeanor). Think of basic TAG play, and they will usually do that. These guys tend to be tougher to play against overall though. Respect their pre-flop action and focus on playing hands, strong or speculative, with position.
Limping: Overlimp A LOT, open limp like never. I'm playing an obscene amount of hands live. There's so much limping I'm always getting good odds
to see a flop. You'll hit weird hands but when you do there's enough other players that you'll get someone along for the ride. Just be wary that top pair good/top kicker is not good by the river very often. Protect that hand. Take it on the flop or turn. Slow playing and stringing people along with anything less than a solid two pair is going to go badly, and even two pair you need to feel out the board.
Set mining: Yup, still works. Really well.
UTG: Play SUPER SUPER TIGHT. With 9 people behind, you're getting callers. AJo or less is a fold. AK, AQ, AJs, ATs, or PP. No one is watching you for table image like that so chuck that 78s shit out the window.
Late Position: Play LOOSE. Widen the range as much as you can get away with. Put in good size raises too. 78s with three limpers in front of me I'm happy to raise up to $14. All those limpers are going to fold, unless someone calls ahead of them. Either going to take the pot with a speculative hand pre flop, or go into the flop multi-way in position with something that will either miss or hit big. It's worth it.
3-Bet range: Do it by the book. Any early raiser is not folding to a three bet unless they're a "serious" player. Recreational players you are getting value, serious players will react by the book so you are getting information.
Image: Free pass. You're at a $1/2 table. Everyone thinks everyone is bluffing. You don't need to earn your image with reckless bluffs. Get in one or two bluffy looking bets and the whole table assumes you are a nut job. Easy, go get value.