Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Adjusting from Online to Live Play

So I've been continuing to go to my local, somewhat divey, cardroom on a daily basis and although playing 1/2 live would not generate enough income for me to make a fulltime go of it, for now it is at least bringing in some money and is hopefully teaching me a few things about adjusting to live play.

I have had some success playing live the last couple of years at the WSOP, so the fact that I still am bad at estimating how many chips people have in their stacks and still take forever to push out exactly $xx in chips to call a bet doesn't bother me. My biggest adjustment so far has simply been the need to reel in my impulse to join the other fish at the table and play a "let's gamble gamble" style of poker rather than be patient, wait for decent opportunities and then pounce.

The problem for me has been twofold: 1) the vast majority of the players are shortstacking - so they are buying in for somewhere between 20-30 Big Blinds rather than the full 100 Big Blinds which I buy in for - yet they generally have no real concept of stack depth or pot odds. So they are more then happy to call a 6 BB preflop raise (which is 1/3 of their stack) with a hand like 33 or K7s and then just play fit or fold postflop. What this means for me, is that preflop aggression, which is what has become so pervasive in the online MTT world, is no longer as useful a weapon, because my opponents will just call me preflop which starts a calling train, and then forces me to play fit or fold as well because I can't really try multiple street bluffs against opponents who only really have enough to call one more bet. So I have to become more selective in the hands I am going to play - in essence the easy way to beat the game is just to become a nit. Which leads to...

2) The play is slow. I am part of this problem because when I do actually play a hand I am not afraid to take my time to make a decision. But the bottom line with live play is that you are going to get to see somewhere around 25-30 hands an hour tops. Whereas online, playing 8 tables at a time, I could see 250 hands an hour. And slow play leads to boredom. And boredom leads to wanting to play more hands. And seeing all the fish playing their 85o and A6o, and K3s type hands makes me want to start playing those hands too, which leads me into playing like the fish and wanting to gamble gamble as well.

My plan this week is to just keep live grinding and hopefully stay out of the fish pond.

On the house front - we have had our inspection which went ok. The buyers want us to credit them $500 for possible repairs, which we agreed to. The appraiser for the loan came yesterday, so if he agrees that our house is worth our agreed upon price, then we should be go to go. At a minimum, we should find out soon.

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