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Cigars, Beer & Poker Ground >> First Casino Poker Experience


5/25/12 7:38 PM
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Koc
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Hey guys I'll relay my experience then ask for advice on things. I'll try to avoid FRAT

First time playing live in a casino (limited live home game experience and I've played a fair amount online (obviously this is relative).

I chose the 1/2NL game, bought in for the minimum $60. Observations: Only one guy seemed to really know what he was doing (knowledge beyond the winning order of hands). Everyone had more money than me. Everyone was very loose (hands where everyone would limp except for me and the other guy who seemed to know what he was doing).

I played for awhile, folding constantly. Played a few hands, was up to about $85.

Then I receive pocket Aces UTG. I raise to 6 dollars (my standard pre-flop raise of 3X the big blind, I got this idea from Phil Gordon's Little Green Book (thank you Andre) and think the logic behind the strategy is strong.

One player in MP calls, so does the small blind and big blind.

Flop comes 6,7,10 rainbow. Blinds check to me at which point I raise 20 into the 24 dollar pot. I figure this large bet will either get everyone to fold or give me a clear indication of the strength of someones hand.

Player in MP raises to 22, both blinds call the 22 dollar bet and I call the 2 dollars. Turn comes with an Ace, both blinds check, I raise the rest of my money ($59) into into the 112$ pot. Small blind thinks for awhile then calls, big blind folds.

River comes out and its a 9.

Small blind turns over a Jack-8 off suit, giving him the 7-Jack straight and beating my trip aces. I just said "that sucks" and left.


Obviously he's retarded, I'm interested in any help with what I could have done better.


I'm thinking I should have made a bigger raise pre-flop as everyone was fairly loose. With idiots at these lower stakes should I increase my pre-flop raise to 4 or 5X the big blind?

Was my bet size after the flop correct (83%), was I right to assume that no one had flopped a set or a made straight when I wasn't re-raised?

Was there a better move to make then the all-in bet on the turn?

Any help or advice is appreciated.
5/26/12 2:31 PM
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Spuds Buckley
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 Your first and main mistake IMO is buying in for the minimum.   Unless you think you are the worst guy at the table, please buy in for at least 100BB so you can play actual poker

But the way you played, with AA you want to get as much money in pre flop, and live poker you can easily raise more than 3x pre without getting everyone to fold.  

As played, with your stack, when you get raised on your flop bet, go All In, at least make the draws pay to chase

But I really, really hate buying in for the minimum.   
5/26/12 10:27 PM
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Koc
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Thanks for the help.

The reason I bought in for the minimum was that this was more of a trip to see what it was like playing in a casino as its something I had never done before. At this table 100BB was the max buy-in. When I go back it'll be with 100BB.

The 3XBB raise preflop thing is something I do when playing online and I think I will adjust it to something higher when playing live from now on.

And I didn't have a choice of going all-in after my flop bet because the person who raised went all-in meaning it was a short-raise and my only option was to call. I guess I didn't make that clear in the OP, after I bet 20 he went all in for his remaining 22.
5/31/12 8:54 PM
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Roland Bates
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IMO the 1/2 game live is difficult to profit from due to (i) the rake and (ii) the difficulty of isolating to one player pre-flop.

Re (ii) above, it seems that there is often a razor's edge between getting no callers (e.g., raising to $15 or $20) and getting three or four callers (e.g., raising to $12 or less).

6/11/12 10:35 AM
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Govnor
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 in late here, but yeah, as discussed the main issue was your raise wasn't enough considering how loose the table was. 3-4 callers is bad news no matter what hand you have.
6/14/12 7:00 AM
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andre
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Koc,

A few things I'd recommend (mostly what's been said by Spuds, Roland, and Govnor):

1) $1/$2 is great when you are relatively full or deepstacked because everyone makes such bad calls that you can get full value out of your strong hands. The fact that you werent deeper means that you missed out on some value when the villain called you on the turn with his draw. Forget the fact that the 9 hit. You got your money in good and I wouldnt sweat the results. For every time that 9 doesnt hit, you made an additional $59 from that players loose call.

2) At a table like this, raise more preflop when you have a strong hand for two reasons: 1) because multiway pots are harder to play with a single pair (if you are disciplined to make big laydowns then this point is arguable), but more importantly because you want to charge the most (get the most value) when you know you have the best hand and people are willing to call a greater bet.

3) In bigger games against better players it is relatively bad to base the size of your bet on the strength of your hand--especially preflop--but at the $1/$2 level in most casinos you can get away with all sorts of things that would normally give away too much info about what you're holding, so feel free to take advantage of it. If you think raising to $22 preflop will be called--I have seen people routinely call 10x-12x raises preflop, then definitely do it.
6/14/12 7:05 AM
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andre
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Lastly,

Bring a few buy ins, try to buy in for the max, and be patient enough to withstand a bad beat and continue with a session thats obviously good. If you feel tilted from the hand (your comment of "that sucks" indicates you probably were, then take a walk for awhile (you have about 30 minutes before they pick up your chips) and sit back down so you can take advantage of the mistakes in other people's play that you noticed from all the previous play. Those mistakes are money in your pocket, and leaving right away means that you have to start over the next time you return to the casino.

Good luck, man! The $1/$2 game is profitable if you are allowed to buy in big enough and can play ABC poker. The rake is a killer and the bad beats will break your heart, but try to stick with it--and above all avoid any kind of fancy play...it's wasted on those players as they will never get whatever it is you're representing. It's all about value you at that level.
6/16/12 10:18 AM
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Koc
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Hey guys thanks for the responses:

I realize now that 3X the big blind won't be enough for tables like this, I was just so used to doing it from playing online where people seem to play a hell of a lot better.

I suppose hiding the strength of your hand by keeping your pre-flop raises consistent is not worth it at this level of play and I'll stop doing it.

As far as taking the beat and being on tilt. When I said "that sucks" it wasn't in an angry type of way. I meant it in the way that someone would say "that's poker". Obviously I'm not happy about it but I do realize these things are bound to happen.

I also realize that I was approximately a 92% favourite to win the pot, and took solace in the fact that I did get my money in when I had the best of it. Which from what I've read is the goal lol.

I would have liked to continue the session but I did only bring the one buy-in as this trip was more to check out what it was like playing at a casino and how bad or good the play was. Whenever I do go back I will be buying in for the maximum (as recommended in this thread) and I'll probably bring several buy-ins as well.

Any comments on my play after the flop? I thought betting out after it had been checked to me twice was appropriate. I also thought if someone had a made straight or a set they were likely to re-raise me as I didn't feel any of them were capable of slow playing anything like that.

And on the turn, after I hit the 3rd Ace is there any other option except going all-in?

Thanks again for the help everyone.
6/16/12 12:47 PM
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andre
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I think postflop you managed to get everyone to put their all of their money in really bad so I dont think there's any argument that can be made for playing it differently.

When you start a hand with aces and 42 bbs, there isnt much room, if any, to question whether or not you should fold at any point after the flop. Except for extremely coordinated flops (monotone or T98) and/or a bad turn, I'm generally not slowing down no matter how strong the villain is acting. Not with a stack that small. Once you are above 100 bbs you can consider folding on the flop or turn. There are exceptions, of course, but I think your hand was so strong all the way to the river that I wouldnt give postflop a second thought.
6/18/12 2:00 PM
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Govnor
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Note: this was not for money.

I played a hand this weekend with AA. I bet pretty big but got 2 callers. and the flop was J 10 9, all of hearts. I had c and s. Nightmare flop. I bet again, got rasied and folded, which hurt (he had a flush).
6/19/12 9:39 AM
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andre
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Govnor,

I honestly would curse the poker gods and then check fold on that flop against two players. I think we are slightly ahead some of the time, pretty fair behind most of the time (two pair hands and combo draws), and drawing nearly dead some of the time.

Even against one person I'm proceeding with extreme caution because I cant think of many turn cards I like, even an ace (I'll take it) is potentially a disaster card since one of the aces is a heart and even a non-heart ace completes the KQ straight draw.

It's good that you didnt feel married to the hand and were able to get away so cheaply. Ive struggled with folding overpairs before and its been super costly.
6/19/12 9:47 AM
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Govnor
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folding hurts, often not folding hurts more!!
7/17/12 5:17 AM
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VectorWega
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3x is the big blind is a horrible raise for 1/2. You should be raising as large as people are willing to call. At 1/2, they are nearly always willing to call 5x and some tables will call as much as 8-10x. If I'm at a standard 1/2 table I'm probably not raising less than 6x.

In regards to the hand you actually got max value post-flop and should be happy he called as he wasn't getting the right price to draw.

Common wisdom is that you should buy in for 100bb+ if you have an edge on the game. I actually don't agree completely with that logic, especially for newer players who have many holes in there game. Anyways, I've played full time for the last 9 months and have been killing the games when I buy in for 60bbs. There are positives and negatives to buying in short.
9/13/12 12:50 PM
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Koc
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^^^Slow play pre-flop you mean?

I now realize that 3X the big blind in a live 1/2 game is not a very good pre-flop raise, but that's what had been an effective strategy online for me, and this was my first time playing live in a casino. I went with what I thought to be best at the time.

After the flop I made a bet of 80% of the pot, then went all-in on the turn? I'm trying to understand where your telling me I slow played this. (This is a genuine question, it might be hard to tell from text).

Also as an update, I played at the same limit at the same casino several nights ago and destroyed the game. I bought in for 180 (I know its not the max buy-in but I'm an idiot and forgot the cab would cost money) and left up several times my buy-in.

And I'm happy to say I heeded your advice and did not make one pre-flop raise of 3XBB. I actually chose to make it 7.5XBB every time I was the initial raiser.

I think I might be learning...
9/13/12 7:27 PM
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andre
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Koc - ^^^Slow play pre-flop you mean?

I now realize that 3X the big blind in a live 1/2 game is not a very good pre-flop raise, but that's what had been an effective strategy online for me, and this was my first time playing live in a casino. I went with what I thought to be best at the time.

After the flop I made a bet of 80% of the pot, then went all-in on the turn? I'm trying to understand where your telling me I slow played this. (This is a genuine question, it might be hard to tell from text).

Also as an update, I played at the same limit at the same casino several nights ago and destroyed the game. I bought in for 180 (I know its not the max buy-in but I'm an idiot and forgot the cab would cost money) and left up several times my buy-in.

And I'm happy to say I heeded your advice and did not make one pre-flop raise of 3XBB. I actually chose to make it 7.5XBB every time I was the initial raiser.

I think I might be learning...
You didn't slowplay at any point. The preflop bet size was small but not because you were slowplaying but because that's your standard size and you didn't (because of lack of casino experience) charge the fish a greater amount--that they'd gladly pay because they're fish. That's not slowplaying, it's just a missed opportunity to gain some value--forget the results. Phone Post
9/13/12 7:27 PM
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andre
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Koc - ^^^Slow play pre-flop you mean?

I now realize that 3X the big blind in a live 1/2 game is not a very good pre-flop raise, but that's what had been an effective strategy online for me, and this was my first time playing live in a casino. I went with what I thought to be best at the time.

After the flop I made a bet of 80% of the pot, then went all-in on the turn? I'm trying to understand where your telling me I slow played this. (This is a genuine question, it might be hard to tell from text).

Also as an update, I played at the same limit at the same casino several nights ago and destroyed the game. I bought in for 180 (I know its not the max buy-in but I'm an idiot and forgot the cab would cost money) and left up several times my buy-in.

And I'm happy to say I heeded your advice and did not make one pre-flop raise of 3XBB. I actually chose to make it 7.5XBB every time I was the initial raiser.

I think I might be learning...
Glad to hear you had a great session! Phone Post
9/14/12 7:00 PM
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Koc
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Just to clarify my bet on the turn (my all-in bet) was for $59 more, not $12. If I would have only had $12 left I would have put it all in on the flop instead of betting 80% of the pot. I understand if he only has to call $12, then he's committed to the pot, but for $59 (more than half the pot) I easily priced him out of his gutshot.

And naturally if I can get it all-in preflop with aces I'm going to do that.

Thanks for the feedback guys.

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