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Building Nerves For Small Stakes Live Games


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I just started focusing on online cash games toward the end of last year. I am beating 50 NL for ~4 PTBB over 30K hands, which I think is pretty good. I went to play some live 4/8 limit at a local casino and sat at a 1/2 NL game while I waited for a seat to open. Bottom line, the game was super aggro and there were two really loose aggro players that saw about 1/3 of the flops and there seemed to be a lot of bluffing going on. I was pretty intimidated and after limp folding AQos to a $22 raise and folding 99 UTG due to fear of being reraised and having to fold it, I decided limit sounded much more enjoyable. So my question is how do you build up the nerve to play in a game like this? I'm use to playing against mostly passive players online and for only $50, which I have no trouble jamming $50 in a pot if I think it's a good spot. But this game has a 100-300 buy-in, and I think it probably isn't very beatable unless u buy-in for the max. Playing for so much $$$ and against such aggro players really took me off my normal game. Any advice?I'm thinking maybe buy-in short ($100 or so) until I get used to jamming it in. Also, how beatable is a game like this? Max buy-in is 300, but rake seems real high. They charge $6 each dealer-switch, which 3x an hour (I think), so $18 bucks an hour + tips. Seems like that would really cut into a win rate. Is that even beatable? Any thoughts on what a average/good players win rate would be?Thanks!!!

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But this game has a 100-300 buy-in, and I think it probably isn't very beatable unless u buy-in for the max. Playing for so much $$ and against such aggro players really took me off my normal game. Any advice?I'm thinking maybe buy-in short ($100 or so) until I get used to jamming it in.
Nothing wrong with that. There are lots of people out there who would feel intidimidated by pushing in $50. How did you get accustomed to doing that? By easing your way up from pushing $25 I would guess. There's nothing magic. You just have to practicekeeping your emotions in control for each successive size of game.
Also, how beatable is a game like this? Max buy-in is 300, but rake seems real high. They charge $6 each dealer-switch, which 3x an hour (I think), so $18 bucks an hour + tips. Seems like that would really cut into a win rate. Is that even beatable? Any thoughts on what a average/good players win rate would be?
It's probably 30 minute dealer downs. $18/hour would be excessive, but that's still very beatable.
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I just started focusing on online cash games toward the end of last year. I am beating 50 NL for ~4 PTBB over 30K hands, which I think is pretty good. I went to play some live 4/8 limit at a local casino and sat at a 1/2 NL game while I waited for a seat to open. Bottom line, the game was super aggro and there were two really loose aggro players that saw about 1/3 of the flops and there seemed to be a lot of bluffing going on. I was pretty intimidated and after limp folding AQos to a $22 raise and folding 99 UTG due to fear of being reraised and having to fold it, I decided limit sounded much more enjoyable. So my question is how do you build up the nerve to play in a game like this? I'm use to playing against mostly passive players online and for only $50, which I have no trouble jamming $50 in a pot if I think it's a good spot. But this game has a 100-300 buy-in, and I think it probably isn't very beatable unless u buy-in for the max. Playing for so much $$$ and against such aggro players really took me off my normal game. Any advice?I'm thinking maybe buy-in short ($100 or so) until I get used to jamming it in. Also, how beatable is a game like this? Max buy-in is 300, but rake seems real high. They charge $6 each dealer-switch, which 3x an hour (I think), so $18 bucks an hour + tips. Seems like that would really cut into a win rate. Is that even beatable? Any thoughts on what a average/good players win rate would be?Thanks!!!
in a game in which very large preflop raises are common buying in for the minimum can be a profitable strategy. when you feel like you have the best hand get all the chips in preflop (more or less). i wouldn't bother buying into a live 1/2 game for anything other than the minimum or the maximum. search around the internet for information on short stacking no limit holdem.
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Oh, and it goes without saying: buy-in for an amount that you are comfortable losing, consider the money spent, and try to think of it as chips and not money.

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No game is beatable if youre playing scared. Build up a bankroll where youre comfortable moving up, and then play your game.
I don't think this is a matter of bankroll size. I have ~10K which I consider accessible for poker, which would be about 33 buy-ins. Am I suppose to wait until I have 30 K to play play 1/2NL? I think this is a matter of just being comfortable playing for 300. Was looking for advice on how to get comfortable at this limit or what the best approach was for this kinda LAG game.
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If you feel you are being outplayed in the game, simple answer: quit the game.As far as neves go, if you are uncomfortable playing for that much money again you shouldprobably not play in it. Being nervous and uncomfortable is going to make you play bad poker by default.

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  • 2 weeks later...
All questions about calming nerves have one answer:rub one out.
Ok done.What now?
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ive played in these games at my local casinos (low limit/high rake)...my advice is don't play them. Move up to the next level, whether its the 2-5 or 3-6 limits. Most of the people who play in the lowest stakes are either donkalicious-super aggro kids or the sharks who buy in for the max and catch the little punks bluffing... unless you feel comfortable buying in for the max and punishing the sup-aggro's by risking more pre-flop, i would move up to the next level stakes. I find that those players generally play real poker...meaning more post-flop play. The pre-flop raises are a little more reasonable and i have had more success with people who actually know how to play without pre-flop shoves. Of course you are risking more money, and the other players tend to be more skilled, but i think there is alot less shove and pray donk-play.

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I just started focusing on online cash games toward the end of last year. I am beating 50 NL for ~4 PTBB over 30K hands, which I think is pretty good. I went to play some live 4/8 limit at a local casino and sat at a 1/2 NL game while I waited for a seat to open. Bottom line, the game was super aggro and there were two really loose aggro players that saw about 1/3 of the flops and there seemed to be a lot of bluffing going on. I was pretty intimidated and after limp folding AQos to a $22 raise and folding 99 UTG due to fear of being reraised and having to fold it, I decided limit sounded much more enjoyable. So my question is how do you build up the nerve to play in a game like this? I'm use to playing against mostly passive players online and for only $50, which I have no trouble jamming $50 in a pot if I think it's a good spot. But this game has a 100-300 buy-in, and I think it probably isn't very beatable unless u buy-in for the max. Playing for so much $$$ and against such aggro players really took me off my normal game. Any advice?I'm thinking maybe buy-in short ($100 or so) until I get used to jamming it in. Also, how beatable is a game like this? Max buy-in is 300, but rake seems real high. They charge $6 each dealer-switch, which 3x an hour (I think), so $18 bucks an hour + tips. Seems like that would really cut into a win rate. Is that even beatable? Any thoughts on what a average/good players win rate would be?Thanks!!!
small stakes NL live ($1/$2 and $2/$5 is SO MUCH a people game that you can win very good money by barely paying any attention to your cards and playing the players insteadbut if you're obv scared shitless, you're going to get eaten alive at these tablesso go sit, turtle up, and watch and learn before you engageif you're beating $50 NL online, you have what you need to beat $1/$2 NL liveand you don't need $30,000 to do it
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I don't think this is a matter of bankroll size. I have ~10K which I consider accessible for poker, which would be about 33 buy-ins. Am I suppose to wait until I have 30 K to play play 1/2NL? I think this is a matter of just being comfortable playing for 300. Was looking for advice on how to get comfortable at this limit or what the best approach was for this kinda LAG game.
Absolutely not. The 1/2NL Live games are much easier than the 100NL even the 50NL online. 1/2 is the lowest NL game you can play live, which makes it very profitable. If you have the skill to beat 50NL online consistently there is no way you should be losing 1/2 live. 10K is more than enough for a 300 buy-in. If you lose 10K playing 1/2 live, you should quit poker IMO
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  • 2 weeks later...
small stakes NL live ($1/$2 and $2/$5 is SO MUCH a people game that you can win very good money by barely paying any attention to your cards and playing the players insteadbut if you're obv scared shitless, you're going to get eaten alive at these tablesso go sit, turtle up, and watch and learn before you engageif you're beating $50 NL online, you have what you need to beat $1/$2 NL liveand you don't need $30,000 to do it
This- OR Drop down to micro stakes online ($5 nl) and play a shove feast type of game. You will eventually fill a game with people who like to play super aggro. Get used to that style.The key in these crazy live games is to realize a few major differences from online.Since the rake is so big, opening raises tend to be bigger then online. It is very normal for $10 to open a pot in a $1-$2 game.Also- too many players see too many flops. Reraise more from position. People will open oop with marginal hands a lot. Make them pay. You really need to be comfortable getting it all in preflop or on the flop. Very seldom will there be river decisions.
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Also- too many players see too many flops. Reraise more from position. People will open oop with marginal hands a lot. Make them pay. You really need to be comfortable getting it all in preflop or on the flop. Very seldom will there be river decisions.
This.For just getting used to the game flow and becoming comfortable at the table, I think you could get good experience and make money as well by nitting it up like crazy and only playing hands from the CO and Button (minus your monsters of course). People may notice you being tight, but that won't stop them from seeing flops anyways.
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