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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 06-19-06, 03:42 PM
ScottMc ScottMc is offline
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Default What are you doing?

I have been hitting live games a lot more now that summer is here. One of the biggest reasons for this is that I live in a college town and the games are full of guys thinking that they dont have to work for the summer if they can play cards. I have been making the rounds in town for 4 years now and I prefer to play live over online any day of the week.

One thing I have noticed with these Summer Players is that they have the attention span of a humming bird on crack. They are all over the place, between hands they are out of their seats grab-assing talking on cell phones not paying attention to the game. This is a big mistake for players live. Online you might be able to get away with it but even there you should be watching every hand. Live is all about peoples moves and reactions to action in the hand and if you are missing the action because you are a dipshit who needs to IM his buddy you are hurting your game.

My question to the Forum is What are you doing at the table to follow the action?

Some of the things I do is work on trying to put players on hands, EVERYHAND. Even if I am out of it I am still watching how they bet. Where they place the chips. How they look at their hand. How the react to flops (this is REAL FRIGGIN BIG) and when they do Showdown hands and I get to see the cards I work on ways to remember how they bet it and where.

I have little tricks for each of these that keep me in the game. Some of them are basic, PAD AND PENCIL! When the US Space program started sending people into space they spent untold amount of money on developing a PEN that could write in zero gravity. For years they worked on this The Russians sent their guys up with a pencil and the problem was solved. Keep your note taking simple!

No one at the table is going to like you taking notes but there is nothing that says you cant. I promise you it will help your game if you play regularly. I also keep notes on what I thought the player was on and then what he showdown. Add this into notes of the bets and after about 2 visits I know what a player is going to do before he does it.

My notes tend to look like this

S2 3x unop flop broken contbet pot fold reraise

Or
Seat 2 opened for 3x the BB into an unopened pot. Flop was ragged (no visible legit drawing hand) player made pot size continuation bet and folded when faced with a reraise. Sure it is a lot to take in but when I look at it over and over and see a pattern from this player I can exploit that edge.

Try this note.

S5 rera to 3x from utgbet 2nhd flop ck tr chkra all w/str8 brd T84 tJ noshow

Or

Seat 5 reraised 3x the under the gun bet preflop.2 players were in the hand and saw the flop and checked it on a board 10 8 4 rainbow and the turn was Jack. Our guy checked it then reraised all in when the bet was made


This tells me a lot about this player when I look at it later. It gives me 2 hands to look at. First is the obvious the Straight draw hitting. However with his reraise preflop the chances of him being in with Q 9 is very slim, even if he is loose he isnt suicidal. With his check on the it would lead you to believe he didnt hit the board so really the only hand I could put him on is AK because AA KK QQ would raise for sure, but that would not explain the check raise on the turn. This gives you 2 hands, 10 10 and J J. O dont see anyone making a reraise here preflop with a 10 10 with the UTG making it 3x to go but JJ is a BIG possibility with the check raise and is a hand that can be reraised preflop when looking at a raise. I can safely put this player on JJ and feel good about it. This tells us a ton more as well

1. He will reraise with mediocre pairs preflop (yes JJ is mediocre dont fool yourself into thinking otherwise)
2. The check on the flop was an obvious attempt to check raise so he is a Tries to be Tricky Player This means he is overvaluing the safety of a JJ on this board and is just dumb enough to give a big opening hand like Aks Ako and Aq a shot at hitting.
3. Most importantly he blows his wad like a high school boy at prom. If he turned a monster and Check raised all-in on that board he has no sense of value. Your big hands only come around every few 100 hands why waste them and not get full value for them? With a 10-8-4-J board the only cards that can come to scare you are A K Q to make a bigger set or a K to come and make a Broadway straight for AQ. His opponent in the hand if he has a bigger pair is drawing an 8% shot to beat him and he ran him out of the hand with out getting all the chips. Even more if the board pairs any of the other cards and he is up against AA KK QQ chances are that he is going to get a call for value from the two pair his counterpart is holding and he is holding a boat!

All of these things that I know about this player will help me later. This is a real person in a home game I am in weekly (sometimes 2 a week) and I repeatedly beat him for his money. He never pays attention to me but I always watch him.

Next time you are at the table make sure you are watching them.
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Old 06-19-06, 06:44 PM
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Lytspeed Lytspeed is offline
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Wow, that is a great post, and has lots of good advice.

I couldn't agree more about paying attention to the hands, whether you are in them or not. Poker is at least as much about reading your opponent as it is about luck, maybe more. The guys who make phone calls in between hands evidently think it's all about luck, and that no skill is involved.

That's cool. More money for you and me.
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Old 06-19-06, 09:09 PM
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Acorn89 Acorn89 is offline
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I know Phil Helmuth talks about what to do in his book Play like the Pros. Hes does what you do by playing a game with himself to see if he can guess the exact hole cards of the players in the hand when he is not in it himself. I try to do it too, its really fun when you can guess the cards exactly.
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Last edited by Acorn89 : 06-21-06 at 12:02 PM. Reason: cant spell
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Old 06-20-06, 05:59 AM
TriptreysNJ TriptreysNJ is offline
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Greeat Post!!! It seems like easy pickens for you at college. Good luck with that, lets hope the cell phones keep ringin! hahahhah
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Old 06-21-06, 07:27 AM
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Thinkerbell Thinkerbell is offline
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I also pay attention all the time. To me, that's part of what makes poker so much fun. Watching the other players, figuring them out. What drives me crazy, though, is the smoking. There's a bar near my house with cash prizes for games three times a week. I like playing there, but the smoke was a killer. The other thing about the youngsters (from what I've seen) is they get drunker and drunker, louder and louder. If I could afford to play in a casino all the time, I would. I like the environment so much more.
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