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A little help on this one.

Ok I had a new visitor to my blog and he took the time to write two posts and I am more then happy to respond. His two posts are below if you would like to read through them all. They talk mostly about no limit poker so that really is not my strong suit but there are a few tips that I hope to add. I also hope many people who do play NL can help him more then I can.

I didn’t want to just include it as a comment in another post because it was an older post and I thought that others might have the same question. Also I need the help of my common readers to give the best response. Here is what they said:

Quote 1

How do I handle a loose player in a no limit or limit game that is constantly raising everytime you bet. When you have a short stack and the cards are not comming to you. You can't draw suited connectors or high pairs. and yours stack is getting dangerously short.

Quote 2
I do very good in local tournaments. usually placing third or better, and I also did fair on the internet in low limit limit cash games.
But I just resently went to a nearby casino with $300.00 and played in the no limit $100.00 max no limit game with $50.00 in chips to start.I intendend to start slow only playing go hands at first. hight pair and hight suited connectors.
The blinds were $1.00 & $2.00 I folded everything that came to me I couldn't get any starter cards. They soon spotted me as green and a tight player.when I bet went all in with my pocket rockets they all folded, even the one maniac that hammered the pot every hand. I had a short stack that I never got off the ground with, because of the maniac raising the hell out of my mid sizes pair after the flop knowing I had a short stack and if I didn't have an excellent hand I wouldn't risk it all,or most of it to call his constant raises. I was intimidated by the quick pace of the cosino games where I wasn't allowed to think very long on my betting.
I felt like a fool whom lost his $300.00 in a very short time.
I know I have the abillity to win in these games.Because I consistantly win at home with players that consistantly win at the cosino's
What is the difference in the two sinerios? and can you give me some help in developing a strategy that I can use in the casino's using the same size bank roll.
This is the only size bank roll I can use in cosino gambling.
I think the relitively small bank roll and the intimedation of the cosino are part of the problem. Is there a strategy that can help me overcome these obsticles.

Ok first step you should take when playing in a $100 max NL game is that if you are willing to lose $300 on the day then you should always buy in for the max of $100. When you buy in for only $50 that says that you are scared to lose $100. You cant play with scared money instead you want to scare them. If you only have $50 in front of you then you cant scare anyone else. When I see someone buying in for less then the max I think a few things. He does not have enough money to lose the max. He is afraid to bet the max. He does not think he will need the max. He is going to go all in all the time. They don’t know the lost value in buying in for less then the max. You don’t want to give players that much information before you even play a single hand. If you buy in for the max you look like everyone else in the game.

As for playing with the maniac, the first thing you should do is move to the seat directly to his left, or as close as you can. In online poker it is not easy to move seats at the same table. I a live game different seats have different values because of the players at the table. This will change all day long so its good to move your seat to maximize these potentials all day. If you sit to his left you will never get stuck calling a small bet and then being raised off the hand before you get to see the draw. One of the first things I do when I sit at a new table is ask the seat change order. Some places it goes by seniority at the table and some places have seat change buttons that you need to request from the dealer. If it is the latter you can hold onto the button and change seats once you figure out which is the best position at the table. There is a second thought I had about this and that is to move as far away from them as possible, 4 seats to their left. The reason for this is because you usually play most of your hands with the players directly around you. The further away from them the less hands you will play against them.

If you are playing in a game where a hand is always raised preflop then you should only play hands that you can come in with a raise. If you limp in games like that you will be isolated and picked apart every time you miss the flop. If you are playing in games where most pots have lots of players and are either just limped or very small raises then you can play small pairs. You still want to stay away from suited connectors unless you can usually see the turn for a good value. If every flop is raised and re raised then there is no point in playing drawing hands.

As for you not getting any hands and everyone folds when you finally do get aces there is not much you can do about that. You don’t want to change your game and play bad because that will be more counter productive then profitable. What it will do is give you a higher winning percentage with hands like AJ and TT. People are not going to fold their good hands before the flop but they will be scared of you on the flop. If everyone is playing you as an ultra rock and trying to come over the top of you all the time the only real defense is to play position even more. If you are the last to act you can get them to bluff away a lot of chips when you eventually do get a good hand. The only other option you have, which can be a good one, is to transfer tables. Most places you can ask the floor person and they will be more then happy to move you when another seat opens up.

The big difference with home games and casino games is often the comfort factor. That really only goes away by going to the same place more often. Some ways to get over that is to try to get to know peoples names for that day. Try to remember the dealers names and talk to them. Make sure you know the floor person for your area and introduce your self to the people near you. You don’t have to be chatty with them all day but just an initial conversation may be helpful for you.

There is really one magic bullet against these players. If everyone at the table tightened way up he would lose every time. These are actually my least favorite games, they are difficult to control. One positive thing I would like to say about your game is that your frustration is actually good. Playing good poker with bad cards is VERY frustrating and can be VERY boring if the correct situations don’t present themselves.

Those are just a few tips for you. I really think everyone else can give a lot of good advice on this and maybe even comment on a few of my points. I would personally like to know how many of you agree with me and or disagree. Either that or just help the guy out. I am happy to help others any way I can.


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Comments (1)

You hit the first piece of advice right on the head: buy in for the max. Otherwise, you look weak.

Second advice, start very tight and get a feel for the tables and the players before you start mixing it up.

Third advice, start mixing it up when you get a feel. If someone is very loose, limp in more pots (assuming there isn't a lot of preflop raising) because if you hit big, you will get paid big. Start to take advantage of your tight image if people start to fold to you a lot.

Forth advice, don't give a fudge about what the other players think. In other words, take your time deciding, and if they rush you, tell them that if they want to stake you, you'll be glad to take their advice, but while it is your money, you'll do what you like. You can actually use this to tilt your opponents. If/when they call time, then so be it. Make your decision and move onto the next hand.

Fifth, don't worry about it. Assume you are the best player at the table. Relax. Have one drink (but only one) if you think it will help you relax. Chat up a neighbor and ask how the table is running. Have fun.

Sixth, accept the fact that you may lose. Don't worry about the money. If you are worrying about the money, you will not play well.

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