1st Live Cash Game 200NL Tonight Any Advice?

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junkmale

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Here's the situation. My friend is going to stake me for $100 for a 200NL FR game against some of his friends tonight. First of all, I've never played a live cash game before. I would say I have an alright understanding of the game though. I've built my bankroll from freerolls to $600 over the last 5 months. What worries me is I'm only getting bought in for half the max buy-in. I always buy-in for the max in online cash games. I feel really constricted by this half buy-in already. I figure I have to really tighten up my hand selection, as it wouldn't make sense to play speculative hands because I won't make the max profit from them with my low buy-in and I don't have the chips to throw away.

I feel like I won't be able to play my best with this low buy-in. On the other hand, I've watched these guys play last week. They seem like the gambling type. I seen people buying in for $40. Going broke with Q8s and buying in for $40 more. I seen people raising $30 preflop. All-ins preflop with low-medium pocket pairs. My friend went all-in preflop for about $80 with pocket 5s. In my head I was thinking "WTF?!?". He was down about $400 that night and I kind of wish he let put that $400 to better use (he did offer to buy me in for $50 last week though). The mentality at the table seems like ATC can be played and won with. Very unorthodox game.

I guess I should feel confident playing this game but I feel uncomfortable.

My strategy would be to sit back and observe the other players. I would like to give off a tight image and use this to my advantage. Maybe steal some blinds when I'm in position, depending on the players sitting to my left. I guess my best bet would be to play premium hands aggressively AA-JJ AK AQs, in hopes of building my stack up so I can open my game up a bit more.

Any thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated. :)
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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With the short stack you should basically be waiting for your monsters to get your stack in. Don't try to see flops with implied odds hands (suited connectors, small pairs) unless you're getting an extremely good price, like limping behind 4 people on the button, or completing the SB.

I guess as the night goes on if you've added to your stack you can open up some, but tight is probably best even then without good reads to pick your spots.

Prepare to get very bored sitting and waiting for hands :)
 
J

junkmale

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Thanks ChuckTs. Yeah I guess it's going to be really boring. I'll limp with low/medium pockets if my implied odds are good, same with suited connectors. I've read Caro's "Book of tells" today. I guess it'll be interesting trying to pick up on live reads.

A few of these guys are constantly straddling, which I'm not looking forward to with my short stack. I remember one of them from last week. My plan is to avoid sitting in either of the two seats to the right of him.
 
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israelibadamm

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Don't worry too much

I have been playing live cash games w/ similar player who just seem that they have money and really just don't give a shit.

A game for $100 $1-$2 blinds they buying for like $200-$300 and play so aggressively like raising 30-100 and even all in pre-flop.

You must sit there and wait for the cards, and don't be afraid to raise them remember the 3-4 times the big blinds style and other correct styles does not play a factor for this guys, they there to try to get lucky.

Wait for you move and shoot them out one by one, try to make sure that you raises leave only one or two opponents pre-flop when you raise. and if you floped a high pair or better raise like crazy.

The most importent thing, that if you get a bad beat don't kill yourself over it, i lost to an idiot almost $200 w/ AA calling my $40 raise with 7-2 they and the board came K73-7-2 they get realy lucky sometimes that's y they keep coming back and giving us better players money every now and than.

Good luck and keep us posted,
maybe we could design a better strategy to play against fools like that


Joe
 
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junkmale

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Just to update anybody who's interested, I didn't get felted :). We went at it for about 10 hours. I was pretty tired at about 6 hours in because I was up for 24 hours at that point. I ended the game with everybody up $65 (I started with the half buy-in $100). I got nailed pretty badly in the first few hands with my 2 pair aces and queens, got beaten by a straight he made on the turn. It was very disheartening. He checked the turn and I sensed something was up. He bet about $15 on the river for a $50 pot and I called. Over time I learned he loved playing suited connectors or just connectors. *mental note*

I doubled through somebody I pegged as a gambler with AJ, I hit top two pair on the flop. I seen him go all-in with 36s before and he made some crazy pre-flop raises which made me think in the direction that he didn't understand the game too well. I think he lost over $1400 that night. We were playing 200NL and after awhile, he only wanted 8 $25 chips and would raise $25 pre-flop UTG. *mental note 2*

I was up to $120 and called a 3x raise with Ac6c in position. Everybody pegged me as a tight player by then and were wary of my pre-flop raises and pre-flop raise calls, so it was nice to get HU in position with a decent hand against somebody who had about $120 chips also. I remember 2 clubs coming out on the flop. I got checked to and bet about over half the pot trying to disguise my flush draw. I got called. Turn was another club giving me the nuts. He bet out I just called. I was hoping either he had a flush, or he had a high club and another club would hit on the river. He bet out on the river and I thought for a bit and shoved and got insta-called. Turns out he had 7c5c and thought he'd won. I remember my friend telling me that that guy would raise with any two suited cards. I remembered this while playing that hand. He later said he couldn't put me on the flush because of my flop bet.

I doubled through another player, who I would peg as the best player at the table. He seems very observant, watching us very closely, mixing up his playing, playing position, etc. I noticed this about him when I went there just to watch live play last week. He was a big winner up about $600 that night. I doubled up through him with the nut straight.

I was standing at $240ish, got some raises picked off and a bout of bad cards which caused me to blind out some of my chips. I think I went down under $200. I got aces twice, raised and nobody wanted to play with me :(
They caught on that I was playing premium hands at that point.

I woke up with kings later on. There were two limpers and I raised to $12 and got re-raised to $28. I looked at the re-raiser and his face and body twitches screamed aces. I thought, "I'm being so tight and he's re-popping me so he has to have a good hand". Flop was something like 9h3d8h. He checked to me and I thought about making a bet to see where I was at. I also remember he re-popped me pre-flop and my read that he had aces, so I checked also hoping for a king on the turn. King of hearts hit on the turn giving me a set. He looked very nervous and checked to me. I bet about half the of the pot and he called. I can't remember exactly what the river was, it wasn't a scary card though. He had me covered and thought he could possibly have a flush. He checked and I checked to be safe. Maybe I could have bet on the river but if he pushed me I don't know if I could have called. He turned over aces, and I was kicking myself because my read was right and I could have extracted more from him on the river.

I was at around $270, then I went card dead for about 4 hours. I got 27 about 6 times. I got a lot of small pairs and called raises pre-flop but couldn't hit a set.

I woke up with Ah10d in the CO. I raised and got re-raised by the guy I considered the most skilled of the guys at the table. The flop was something like Ah8h3d. I watched him as he was first to act and he seemed to like the ace as it hit and kept looking down at his chips. He bet about 1/3rd of the pot and I called. I watched him as the turn came, and he was looking down at his chips again, deciding what to do. His body was upright and leaning into the table. I remembered some of the poker tells I had read about on some websites and about how people glance at their chips when they have a big hand and lean into the table when they're interested.
He bet out and I mucked my hand. He turned over AsKh. I think I have a read on him now.

I made another correct read on the same guy who had aces on me. My friend had jacks and bumped it up. I looked over at aces guy and he looked the same way he did when he had aces against me. Warning bells went off in my head. My friend had shown me his jacks (I don't know if this is allowed but other people had shown their cards to other neighbouring players at the table). I wanted to tell him to get the HELL out of there, but I didn't think it was appropriate as everybody should play their own game. My friend went all in and was insta-called with aces. There went $200.

The last significant hand I remember when was I was in the CO again and had KJo and had been card dead for awhile. I threw out a raise and everybody folded except my friend who was sitting to my right giving me position. Flop was 32K rainbow. I bet out and my friend insta-raised me and was very chatty. I remembered reading people who talk is often a sign of confidence which means strength. I know he likes to play with junk from time to time and put him on 2 pair. I reluctantly mucked and he showed me 32o.

Overall it was an interesting experience. I'm very happy I didn't go broke. I could have mixed up my game better if I had a few buy-ins or if I was properly bankrolled for 200NL. My tight image at the table that night and betting pattern reads I've picked up from online play had helped me pick up reads that night. I experienced a whole new type of read though, physical reads, which brings the game to a different level for me.

Anyways I thought I'd just update for anybody interested and sort of refresh my memory of what went on that night.

See you at the tables!

-junkmale
 
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israelibadamm

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So just to make sure

You finished the night making $65?
 
J

junkmale

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Yes, I finished up making $65. At one point I had $270 chips in front of me. The game started getting REALLY REALLY loose at the end of the night. I just couldn't get any hands. A highlight is when a guy went all in with 36s preflop and showed his hand when everyone folded, then turned around to watch the TV again. You basically go all-in, stack somebody or get stacked then reload and do it again. Just too bad I didn't have a hand to join them.

Yeah my game is similar to your 200NL game. Insane pre-flop raises. Yeah you're right, standard poker raises and other factors do not apply to most of these guys. Any two cards can win. The like to push too far with garbage hands.

If I'm to play this game again, I think 3 buy-ins should cover me. I don't think I want to play with a half buy-in of $100 scared money again. So 3 buy-ins so I could loosen up a bit, but still play a tighter game than everyone else.

By now my raises get me HU with somebody usually. They understand my raises are not jokes. Probably 30% of the time I scooped the blinds. Sometimes with KJ in position, etc.

Actually they're playing again tonight. My friend said on Sunday's there's a really good person who plays. Tonight they might play a $20 SNG 9-man, before they start the cash game. I think I'd do well in this, I love SNGs. I can't really see them understanding the structure of the SNG and how to use it to their advantages. I'm not sure about the structure of their SNGs. I can imagine a turbo structure with 1000 chips maybe. Gamble it up fast. I wouldn't mind a pokerstars turbo structure. 1500 chips, 5-minute blinds, 10/20, 15/30, 25/50, 50/100. Maybe that's best I can hope for. I can't imagine them wanting to play regular blind increase intervals of 10 minutes each level. My tight image I created last game and would show in the SNG *should* allow me to steal blinds when they get to around 50/100 and up. Tight image + short-stack + high blinds + weak players who want to make the money = fun for me. If we go tonight, we'll see how it is.

That's a really ugly beat you had. So far I haven't encountered any bad beats, I'm running hot. The problem with me is, if I get stacked, there might not be any coming back for me. I am playing with staked money from a friend. I definitely do not want to play short stacked again. 3 buy-ins would be nice, bad beats are sure to come. I think that would be a good strategy against these guys. Just bring enough money to cover your bad beats. I'll gamble AA vs. ATC anytime, in the end it's profitable. If you're losing, steaming and it's just not your night, leave. In my case, the same game goes on a few times a week. There will be a time to get back at them.
 
J

junkmale

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I forgot to mention a very important thing about these guys.

*THEY LOVE TO STRADDLE* luckily the guy to my left was the only guy who didn't straddle. I got my small blind straddled away by a huge gambler type guy throughout the night.
 
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israelibadamm

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I must tell you this story,

although I finished up losing all my money ($150) the last night we played w/ a crazy bad beat I did have one of the most memorable hand of my career,

As you said they love to straddle by my places too, but for me usually they straddled $10-$20 or sometimes place a Mississippi on the button.
But the last time I played there was a guy on tilt must have lost $1200 that night and he always straddle for like $10-$15.
this time he placed a $55 Mississippi on the button, and I’m telling the dealer please let me get a pair of AA, the dealer smiles and deal the hands, everybody fold because of the huge pre flop Mississippi and than I look on my cards and guess what!?!?! Pair of aces!!!
so I'm declaring like I'm trying to bluff and get his Mississippi "let’s make it all in" and I put in the pot like $120 everybody folds to him and he says no problem I call, once he called I flip my two aces and everybody getting all excited how I got them to my request.
he doesn’t show his cards the flop comes out a K68-6 and another card I can't remember, he telling me " I busted your ass" and he flips kings 8's and me w/ all the excitement like “o shit no, he has two pairs, he got me beat”, and then my friend screams Yossi (that’s me) got a higher two pairs and I’m like “hell yea”!!!
And I took the pot!!!! The most amazing thing is that the friend I came to play w/ had two pocket 66 and he folded because of my pre flop all in!! if not he would have busted both of us w/ a 4 6’s!!
You know that is y I love playing real cash games, you can see the expression of the poker bully when you take all the air out of his lounges!!!
 
V

viking999

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For the record, this doesn't sound unlike $1/$2 at a casino. It's very loose, wild, and everyone who can't play worth a lick plays $1/$2 because it's the lowest stakes.
 
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israelibadamm

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Really?

I never had the chance to play in a casino yet, and i live in Brooklyn NY, how stupid is that? AC is just a few hours away!

Any way, I'm wondering, how do you think a pro will play on a table like that?
And take the money object away, becouse they have millions lets say he got rubbed he got only a 100 left and he must make $600 tonight or else he dies or something like that, except reading the players what will he do? what strategy would he play? (and lets remove the image from the table because regular people fold when the pro is in)
 
CubKiller

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I play in a 2-4 house game weekly that almost runs the same way. A lot of limps and ATC. My strategy is begin limping with them. Just be patient and wait till I flop out a nice draw and continue it on. Use position on them like it's your job. And when you hit make sure you get paid off. Also don't get very aggressive with AK AQ AJ. If they bother to limp in limp right behind them as raising them isn't going to get them to fold anyways. Be patient and just wait on a big flop.
 
C

CfPoker

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I played a cash game in my local casino a few weeks ago. Blinds were £1/£1 ($2) and I sat down with £80. They were complete maniacs. ATC were good enough because "it's a cash game", straddles got up to £16. My answer to this: play massively tight.

I managed to turn my £80 into £162 by the end of the night. I'd have had more if not for this hand:

I'm SB with 99.
early position raise to £5. couple of callers.
i call.
BB makes it £20 so I decide she prob has AA/KK/QQ.
all but one players fold and it gets back to me.
I see they only have £40 behind them each so fold because I'm not getting the implied odds to call.

turns out i'd have hit my set and busted her AA. shame she didn't have another £100 sat in front of her :(

It was nice earlier in the game when my AA got paid off by someone who'd hit a pair of 4s..
 
kadafi

kadafi

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I always buy in for roughly half the max because I do better playing against larger stacks.
 
R

RIVERHANDS

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Well as you know u have to change your game up an what i do is try to play blinds an button an the last seat before button as much as i can with any 2 cards cheap cause u can hit big hands with rags but as you said try to get your stack up before you take too many chances an do like you feel after you get a read on most of the players. good luck.
 
D

drawingneardead

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Sounds like you chose the right strat for this situation

Since you are going to be playing very tight. (this is a great strategy for this situation) I recommend trying to limp with your PPs 22 through 99 for sure and maybe TT as well.

These are your money hands and you should be happy to see any pp any time. Don't put in any $ voluntarily with these hands, you will be releasing these often on the flop and that will be hard to do if you raise with them. For the most part "no set=no bet". When you do hit your set, you will need to milk them a bit more than normal due to your tight play.

The most powerful move in a tight players arsenal is the check-call. When you make your set check as if you are ready to fold to a bet. When they bet into you, do a bit of acting...recheck your hole cards and think for a minute. Call as if you have a draw. If a safe turn comes, repeat that move. If all goes well, your first act of aggression on these hands will be your check-raise all in after the river. Let them think thier next bet will fold you until you have felted them.

This type of play with your small and med. pairs allows you to get great reads. If you can determine that your opponent is defending (a hand like top pair) Let them bet to the river and get your stack in there. This is the absolute best way to felt weak-loose players. If a scare card (flush) comes late in a hand, only represent the draw out if you are relatively sure that they werent drawing to it.

If you can double through on just 1 flopped set, you will be in command of the game. Remember that a flopped set is an extremely powerful hand for a tight player. Let players draw against it a bit, and when you boat up you are nearly guaranteed to felt a player who completed his draw.

Another play that works very well with this overall strategy is limping in with AK from early position. You are hoping for a raise so you can reraise, but on the limp pot you can often felt a player after hitting an A or K. This play with AK is too much for weak-loose players to handle, and is the best way to get them to overplay top pair.

When you look down at AA or KK, the best thing that can happen is a player raising in front of you. If they have narrowed the field for you, a reraise will only give them info. and not help your hand statistically. Don't take more than 2 players with you to the flop on these hands. If you can get there without reraising then you have a great chance to stack the player that made the initial raise.

The staple of a tight player's game is letting opponents do the work for you while you try to keep your strength hidden until later betting rounds.

As a tight player, you are not looking to win many pots at all. You are looking to always have the best of it when u commit chips, and to break weak-loose players who will be subconsciously drawn to overplay thier hands against you. Always sure you will fold on the next bet...

I would forget about playing suited connectors until you have doubled through. You will be surprised to see how much easier it is to break a player with a set. I can't stress enough that sets and big pairs are the bread and butter for a tight player.

The idea here is not necessarily correct longterm play. The idea is taking minimal risk while gathering information & building a commanding chip count. A couple hours in, your strategy will be transparent. While this should cause you no additional risk, it will lower the value of your big (and infrequent) hands. If all goes well, you will be sitting pretty (chip wise) by the time you need to loosen up.

If you want to continue beating up on this game. (It pains me to say this) Dont walk right when the players are beggining to see through your strat. Play a few more hands loose, but without being at all commited. Lose 5% of your winnings back and leave on that note. You do want to be invited back right??

Hope this helps & is in time for your next game. GL.
 
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israelibadamm

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i like your strategy, altough we giving a chance to more players to joine the battel, you must also combine the limping w/ the ability to predict that sombody raise and will push out many limpers, if you in position you must rais becouse if sombody has just two stupid cards that he limped in and hit the flop w/ a top pair or even a set you done and the pot is his.

One more aspect which the most importent but the hardest to do with us beginers is to read the players, when they have it, we need to spot it, and we should not donate any money for them. bad beats are alwayes there you get the correct read you milk him all the way and he gets so lucky on the last card. we must learn to live with that fact.

I really like this forum, it helps me bring my game to highr levels, i just wish i did not have school and i could spend some more time playing.
 
J

junkmale

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Great story israelibadamm. Glad your aces held up! Wish I could say the same right now. But my aces are getting cracked by lower pocket pairs, suited connectors and the old Q10o. I'm playing online MTT SNGs these days and I'm taking a beating. All those aces were all-in pre-flop too. OUCH!

My 25NL game is hurting too, played about 500 hands on 4 tables today. Played positionally loose aggressive game, got aces 3 times and NO action. I'm tired and done with poker for today I think.

I had a chance to go to the same live cash game on Sunday but these beatings are getting to me. The 200NL live cash game is also running right now, but I'm too tired from working today. Tomorrow's another day of gutting out a basement, smashing down tiled walls and hauling the garbage upstairs.

I like drawingneardead's strategy for tight players at loose tables. "No set=no bet", is a great little saying that I'll keep in mind. Sometimes the game gets so heated up, especially in the last few hours, that the ridiculous pre-flop raises make hard to play low to medium pocket pairs. But we must stay alert and look for our chances to sneak in at the right price and implied odds.

I was using the check/call strategy a few times that night too. This is a good place to pick up reads too, studying how the other person reacts and hopefully using it to make a correct decision later on. A lot of the times I doubled up was on the river, when I had a short stack, it was a good spot for me to push since it looked desperate and the check/calling was sending weak signals.

I will make a note to cue in more on reading other players when I have a solid hand.

Thinking back, I went all in at least 3 times that night and got called each time and doubled up. Very loose game.

I never thought of just limping with AK in early position, calling or reraising pre-flop. I will add this play to my game next time.

About the AA and KK reraise. Makes total sense, especially if they see a tight playing like me reraising pre-flop. It would give away too much info, so it would be good to disguise AA and KK by just calling a raise pf. I remember that night getting reraised pf with my KK by reraise that screamed AA. He gave me way too much info. He also reraised with AA again against my friend with JJ. When I looked at him I could see it clearly, but of course I couldn't say anything about it to save my friend from being doomed. I also would like the chance to be invited back to their game. So basically disguise your AA and KK, but don't let more than 2 players in on the flop.

So basically playing leading hands weakly, check/calling, double-checking my cards, etc. has a good chance of my aggressive opponents trying to make me lay down my hand. And while doing this, I should be studying my opponent's mannerisms to gather reads.

When you talk about not playing suited connectors until I have doubled-thru, do you mean when I have doubled my short stack of $100 to $200 or $200 max buy-in to $400? I would guess you meant once I have $400 in chips. Given the overly aggressive nature of the game, and how much easier it would be to lose chips quickly trying to hit long shot monster hands. If they would make standard raises between 3-4xBB with implied odds I wouldn't mind calling with suited connectors with $200. The 6-10xbb raises have me folding instantly with $200 though. If I had $400 and one person raised to $20 with $400 in chips and another called with $400 in chips, regardless of the hugemungous, I'd be obligated to call with say 89s. Any pocket pair I would call in that situation and look for a set. AA or KK depending on who's in the hand I could disguise by just calling.

Good tip on loosening up my game later on. Once I've made enough profit, throw out some raises with hands I wouldn't normally raise with having intentions of throwing them off and just dumping the hand. And If I happen to get lucky and win a pot with a showdown with a junk hand, well all the better I guess as they catch me being loose. Would it be wise to take down a pot if I knew I could, without a showdown and showing my junk hand to let them know I can play loose? This could also bring me more action later on if I do get dealt a premo hand later on in the game.

Anyways thanks for the initial advice, I'll definitely be taking bringing with me to my next live cash game.

GL to everyone.
 
D

Dierwolf2000

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i was extremely tired, so i can't give specifics but last live game i played was at a cabin party (yeah i drank, but only after the game). 4 people were newbie players, totally unaware of the game, five were good players, two were rounders i am pretty good buddies with. in the seven hours it lasted, i probably played 25 hands. i know its been said, but it absolutely bears repeating, LET THE HANDS COME TO YOU. if you gotta make a hail mary all in, make it count. the person who taught me is 41 and started learning when they were 4 years old, its advice i took from them, and you should too. sorry if i sound preacherish about it, just one of my pet peeves that too many people see way way too many hands. one byproduct of playing what some would characterize as "tight weak" is that when ya have it people may not want to believe you got it. learn to recognize the tells people have that give away that disbelieve, then slow playem. watchem fall all over themselves putting chips in the pot :D if you start playing with a group of people regularly, the game will shift from the math (because by that point you should have it down pat, if you don't already) to the interpersonal psychology. that happens to be my favorite part of any game, be it gambling or not. a lawyer's gonna play methodical, whereas a surfer's not likely to play as such. a guy whose greasy is more likely to be either compulsive gambler or not gonna care... etc etc etc. hope that was worth the calories it took to move yer eyes :D good luck.
 
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Dierwolf2000

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oh one other thing. if you play a live game that happens to be deep enough to require antes, either make yourself the ante monster and gobblem up like cookies, or get so tight you won't lose anything. no in between at that point.
 
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