Live Grind: How to Fall Asleep at the Table (Without Getting Caught)
There are cliffs.
Originally Posted by Scourrge
So, since all the cool kids are doing it, I figured I'd start a cash thread. But since it seems like there's not a whole ton of live discussion on CC, I figured I'd start detailing some of my exploits to my local casino.
Quick little bit about me. I've been playing poker on and off for a long time, but started taking strategy seriously about 8-9 months ago, and tried to attack my mental game issues about 6 months ago. I turned 21 this past September and every chance I've had since then I've been playing live. I'm a full-time student, so it's sometimes hard to find the time, but hopefully I'll continue to be able to go on a frequent basis.
This is how I opened my old live cash thread, http://www.cardschat.com/f11/live-gr...asleep-216948/
, which detailed my new experiences in the world of live, low stakes cash games. My enthusiasm was not met with matching success though, as my bankroll plummeted, and I began to question whether I was ever meant to touch poker chips.
I'd had marginal success online at the micro stakes, but had never moved up past 25nl. That all changed this past summer when I began playing somewhat more legitimate volume on Bovada
. The games were soft, and I ran quite well, catapulting up the limits from 5nl all the way to 200nl - from a starting bankroll of $150 to about $3,000. I had won a tournament for about a $1k score, so I cashed out $1,300 and continued playing. I proceeded to go on a pretty brutal downswing.
Until I binked a live tournament, of course. I'd been playing live tourneys here and there, but nothing resembling "volume," and I'd only cashed in 1 out of 5. Then one Thursday night and sat down to play my casino's weekly $120 tournament, and I didn't get up until I had all the chips. (Well, technically I had to change tables a few times, but you know what I mean.) That was a $2,300 score, though heads up we decided that 1st would pay $200 to 2nd (which paid $800 less). We were about 15-20bb deep at that point, so it seemed prudent.
With that $2k+ boost to my bankroll, I was feeling solid again. That was on January 16th, 2014. Live cash had been going better too, where stringing some wins and minor losses together was boosting my confidence. Online games, on the other hand, were beginning to try my nerves. In the past month or so, I've gone from a $1,000+ bankroll online to an almost empty account. I didn't move down aggressively in stakes since most of my bankroll wasn't online anyway. I ran objectively poorly, though there was certainly some play bad along the way as I got stubborn in some spots - "how can they ALWAYS have it?!" They can. They probably have it.
So here I am. My bankroll is sitting right around 15 BI's for $1-$2, and I'm feeling like my skill set is much better suited to beating the game this time around. I've developed a lot as a player, in a number of ways:
: It's tough to fold. Not only this, but it's tough to sit at a cash game for 4 hours and do almost nothing BUT fold. I've improved so much in this regard that I can actually observe myself saving money in some spots where I knew I was giving it away before.
2. Positional Focus
: I've never really struggled with position conceptually. The idea of playing more pots in position just made sense. But implementing it can be pretty different from the concept. From a practical standpoint, being in position more means over-limping less in early and mid position and more in late position. It means folding the blinds in marginal spots. It means isolating wide for value from the button, and playing the cutoff and hijack aggressively so as to "buy" the best position. This is something I would have realized was good if you told me, but didn't start implementing in a systematic way until somewhat recently.
: This one has always been a point of contention among people who discuss live $1-$2 games and how to best go about beating them. Some say you should peddle the nuts, or the rake will eat you alive, even if you can outplay your opponents. Some say these opponents can't even be outplayed. Some say that you should be playing a 62/55 style so as to kick ass and take names. None of these are quite right though. I used to try to nut peddle and play implied odds
hands preflop, while playing strong hands and decent draws quite aggressively post. Now I focus on WHO I can make fold, and WHO is going to pay me off when I value bet top pair decent kicker on a scary board. Calculated aggression is key. I've begun to barrel more, which is a lot of fun and adds a new dimension to my game. But more importantly I've really opened up my isolating game from the button to the hijack. It's incredible how much money is to be made in isolating with a hand like JTo and then either taking it down postflop or value betting and hand reading better than your opponents. Which brings me to:
4. Hand Reading
: I always struggled with hand reading in a live context. I don't know whether I just got caught up in the action of the hands, or whether there was just so much going on that my brain couldn't keep up, but the embarrassing truth was this: My live game was nowhere NEAR my online A game, nor B game. My B game live was pretty much my C- game online. I especially struggled to think in realistic ranges consistently. I don't know if it's just the brute force experience, or a honing of my mental game, or both, but I find myself thinking with a much higher degree of clarity now, and with much more consistency.
I opened my first live cash thread with some numbers, so I guess I'll put some here. Keep in mind that this is not my lifetime numbers. I ended up purging my database at one point because it was absolutely decimating whatever semblance of self confidence I had before. These results represent my cash game results from September 2013 onward, and my lifetime tournament results. Though I wouldn't necessarily expect to see much tournament stuff here - this is primarily a cash thread, and I'm thinking of quitting the live tournament scene for a while since I'm probably way over my true ROI right now, and I can't play anything resembling real volume. But without further ado, the numbers:
Total sessions: 34
Total profit: - $784
Total hours: 182
Hourly profit: - $4.35/hour
Standard deviation: $144.27/hour
Perhaps the most important number here is the standard deviation per hour. This is over 182 hours, represents a fair bit of play bad in the beginning, and a significant amount of run bad in a couple places, but my graph is currently trending upward from a low point of -$1,800ish. It hurts to admit that, but I'm a much stronger player now than even since the start of these sessions.
Total tourney count: 9
Total profit: $1,475.00
Standard deviation: $726.07/tourney
Total cost: $1,190
Total won: $2,665
Average profit/tourney: [COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]$163.89[/COLOR]
Average tourney cost: $132.22
Obviously, and ROI of greater than 100% is pretty absurd given how much they rake - it's almost certainly not sustainable for someone like me who kind of just screws around in tournaments. So, will probably not continue playing these for the most part. It's a drain on my bankroll, which is already not enormous.
The goals of this thread are:
- Keep me motivated to keep grinding
- Give me a place to post hands
- Give me a place to run out some ideas for strategies/lines
- Make some interesting story posts once in a while, since casinos
are... interesting places...
THE ALMIGHTY CLIFFS:
- I've been playing poker a while
- Let's be real, my results sucked online for a while
- Then they didn't suck
- My live results sucked for a while
- Then they sucked a bit less
- I won a couple tournaments
- I kind of have a bankroll
- NEW THREAD = GRIND MODE INITIATED
So, for rungood - and let's be honest, you probably won't stick around unless I do this - here's some fun pictures: