Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ban live poker imo

I'm probably never going to attempt to seriously play live poker ever again.

Us online players are spoiled. We see a ridiculous amount of hands per hour. And if you haven't played live poker in a while it will definitely test the limits your patience.

In case you can't tell by the immediate tone of this post - my trip didn't go so good.

The thing about live poker is - even if you have sick patience, it doesn't matter since you will end up not playing a hand for 2-3 hours at a time and when you do eventually lift up your now asleep arm to make a bet, everyone will insta-fold.

The poker that we have come to know and love that we play on-line is simply not the same game as live.

There are few things more annoying on the planet than being card dead in a live poker game. This is especially true if you are like me and have the knowledge and discipline to prevent myself from playing marginal hands out of boredom. You fold 45 hands in a row (1.5 hours real time) finally pick up KQo but old man river has raised for the first time in his life from UTG and you just have to fold. You take solace in the fact that a weaker minded player would call there, but that isn't much of a consolation. You came to Vegas to pwn noobs, not to fold for hours straight.

The problem is a combination of things really. One - every game is full ring. Even I can't handle full ring online, so its not a shock that I don't enjoy it live either. I don't like playing a limited number of hands, I don't like the idea that limping some hands is +EV, I don't like folding KJ UTG.

The second problem is a bit more complex. Because the game is painfully slow, everyone obviously makes their own adjustments. Most adjustments people make include folding less. This makes sense because the game is fucking boring, and so is folding. Most hands get to showdown and because of this, bluffing is much less profitable live than it is online. Online players realize that another hand is quickly coming, so folding isn't the end of the world as it is live. So the proper adjustment a smart player should make here is to play less hands, bluff less, and value bet the fuck out of people when they make good hands. And in theory this will work - if you have patience and a normal run of cards. However it is extremely difficult to maintain patience, especially when faced with a bad run of cards. Even when you get a great hand, something like KK and you finally get involved in a pot - its going to be extremely difficult to lay that hand down if you suspect you are beat.

So after playing a few days I decided that live poker is really not worth my time. I ended up playing about 30-35 hours at the tables, which boiled down to about 750-1000 hands. If I played online that would be in range of 30-35k hands. Not to mention online I don't have to pay for a hotel, I don't have to fly anywhere, and I don't have to shower.

Thats not to say I didn't have some interesting hands and spots to discus, but I've decided to put them in a separate post to keep this one from being 534,234 words long.

'Till next time.


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