I play tournament style NLH in home games, low buy in and have been successful. I go to Vegas a couple of times a year and mostly play cash games, 1/2 NL. The last few trips, I have played some tournaments at Caesars, MGM, Harrahs and the Friday night game at Orleans without cashing. Seems like I need more luck to cash in the tournaments and lately I have been either card dead or get sucked out on. Last fall at the Orleans Friday night tournament there were 259 players and I finished 59, payed 30 spots so after 5 1/2 hours I was out and didn't cash.
So here is the question, am I better off sticking to the cash games or mix in some tournaments? What tournaments are better (easier to cash)?
Also, I haven't played limit at all, I am guessing it is no foldem holdem. What adjustments do you make playing limit vs. no limit? I am thinking if I am running bad, limit might be a way to control my losses.
Going to be in Vegas Feb. 29 - Mar. 5th. Can't wait! Thanks!!!
Sahara's tourneys were easy to go deep in, but they closed. I heard the Stratosphere now has the same set up. Also, if you want to have fun at limit hold em. Buy a rack of $100 and sit at a 2/4 LHE game at Flamingo, MGM, or Imperial Palace. Do not play a single hand until you have had at least 5 free beers. After the five free beers, raise every street on every hand in an obnoxious manner. Do this until you have just over $40 left and have gotten the table riled up. Now sit back, drink some more free beer, and only enter the pot with a top ten starting hand. Depending on your tolerance, you can usually suck down a twelve pack this way. Its the most fun you can have for $100 in Vegas. It is also a good way to blow off steam if you are running bad. And occasionally you will even make a profit pretending to play like a drunk aggro-donk.
Other experiences vary of course, but I won't go near a LHE game at my local donkey joint because my set always seems to be trying to fade two flushes draws and a gut shot. In Vegas, especially Venetian for some reason, the games LHE seem tighter and I don't seem to get luckboxed as often. I usually play the 4-8 LHE at Venetian while waiting for a HORSE game to go off. Sometimes the wait can be long and I don't want to be in a big hole before I can play what I really want to play, stud and razz. (Don't laugh, I once went through $700 at 1-2 NL on a Friday night waiting for a HORSE game to start and luckily grinded most of it back later that night in HORSE and 8-16 O8).
The only thing I urge anyone to do in limit is if you are opening a pot, raise every time. Don't let some yokel just call with 7-10 only to have him say at the end of the hand "there was no raise and I called because it was suited...yuk...yuk...yuk" because you limped. I have also found that the yokels (as I like to call them) will show frustration with you pretty quickly, which will let you know which players can play and which are not regular players. I'd rather play with a skilled player over a yokel any day, but that's just me.
Have fun. If you have to play limit, play at Venetian, MGM Grand, and Mirage. I do like the Imperial Palace suggestion for fun, but in my experience (and I stay there pretty much every time I go to Vegas), their 1-2NL game is as soft as it gets and if you can avoid spots where yokels will risk their stacks on eight-high flush draws and then crack your flopped set, you'll do well.
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 11:16 am Posts: 825 Location: St. Paul, MN
In LHE the implied odds are less compared to a no-limit game because of the fixed betting limits. So you generally want to play tighter preflop (although you can limp in multiway pots in late position with any pocket pair or suited connectors or suited aces). If you are first to enter a pot you should raise, and you should fold if you think your opening hand doesn't merit a raise.
In no-limit games you are always worried about protecting your stack. You don't want to commit your stack unless the situation appears favorable. In LHE, you are rarely worried about stack commiting decisions, again because of the fixed betting limits. Instead, in LHE you worry about protecting your interest in the pot. So you are usually combining tight play with aggressive play. Although LHE often lives up to its "no fold'em hold'em" reputation, the calling stations are how you make money in these games, despite the frustration of getting sucked out upon by the most curious of starting hands.
Finally, you really can't beat the rake at any limit hold'em game lower than 4-8. So find a 4-8 game to play in if your goal is to earn a profit from the session. if your goals are more focused on free beer or socializing, 2-4 games are a good fit.
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:28 am Posts: 3680 Location: Drawing Dead and Getting There.
^Ummmm, no; I do not agree at all. These are common beliefs which are often repeated (really chanted) among those who don't understand those games, and the key word is belief. No knock is intended on anyone who doesn't happen to care for the more intricate and less adrenaline inducing games, any more than if someone prefers the action of basketball to learning the subtleties of baseball, or on me for the fact that I've stayed completely ignorant of how to play Omaha under any sort of betting structure.
The structure does not determine the potential pot size at issue or the implied odds. In NL you are limited by stack size; in limit pot size will commonly have a lot to do with the number of players involved. I routinely see multiple stacks on 1/2NL tables that are smaller than many LHE pots all the way down to 2/4. You are more likely to be playing multiway pots in limit, causing many potential speculative drawing hands to go up significantly in value. Those games provide excellent implied odds for draws which can often be greater than in NLHE, as in LHE one can often correctly bet and raise those draws for value with multiple callers while putting in a small percentage of what becomes a large pot, compared to NL in which the same hand will often have to be folded based strictly upon the odds, or else played as a bluff or semibluff in the unfortunate event that one is called while contesting a hand head-up with a player betting half the pot or more.
There are a number of individuals who I know for a fact regularly turn a profit day after day week after week while choosing to play LHE games smaller than 4/8, there are many others who will be reading this here who'd recognize them if I named several of them and some people on this site who deal to them regularly, some of them have been doing it for a long time, much longer than the typical AVP poster has been playing poker, they continue to do it today and they'll be doing it again tomorrow. Personally I am modestly profitable at each limit from 4/8 down to and including 2/4, and have been in each of the last five years, and my play at such small stakes limit games has not resulted in a losing month within the last three years. I am not one of the best players I know of in those games.
If you lose money consistently at small stakes limit there is only one reason for it, and it isn't the game. Nothing wrong with that. There are many games I'm not very good at, and don't plan to be, and it isn't the game's fault.
I don't think playing limit is a good plan for a NL player who is struggling with their losses. While it isn't necessary, it is possible to puke away a lot of money quickly at a LHE table, even at quite small stakes, if you try. And a frustrated NL player's pattern of play is just exactly one that is most likely to accomplish that, trying to play football in the middle of a baseball game. Anyone who plays much LHE sees it a lot, and it doesn't look like much fun to be yet another of those poor superior NL bastards storming out without needing a rack. How good are you at quickly (intuitively) estimating the range of hands likely to be out there on a five way flop? And in such a hand do you feel you know immediately without pause about how likely it is your top set will be good at showdown with two cards to come on a very coordinated board with significant action to you? And how to estimate the value of a flop that gives you a gutshot with two overs? And how you'll want to change that estimate based in part on number of players if it also puts a potential flush draw on board? And I say immediately because hands move a lot more quickly in limit. I enjoy limit, there are a lot of others who do too, I really don't know whether it is likely your temperament is such you would or wouldn't come to like it too, but I think trying to play it for the reason you describe is most likely to increase your frustration level and may not be effective at limiting your losses in those circumstances. I think it would be even more of a problem switching from the mindset of a tournament style player. You could just sit there to use it as a place to drink and "limit my (your) losses" by just feeding the blinds without entering any hands, but you aren't going to end up doing that, are you? No, you won't. And the blinds are identical in 1/2NL & 2/4L.
If you'd like to do it, by all means have at it, but do so knowing you are learning a brand new game. Perhaps glance through one of the multiple excellent books on the subject, particularly those specifically written on the topic of playing the kind of loose games usually found in small stakes limit hold 'em.
I suspect someone who regularly plays tournaments and NL cash games might tend to do better at a short handed LHE table rather than a full ring game, and a tighter play at middle stakes may be more familiar for them than the loosest playing tables often seen at the smallest stakes games. So I guess I eventually wound up giving similar advice in the end.
_________________ Life is six to five against. -Damon Runyon
pretty simple, as far as variance goes Tournaments>Limit>No Limit...results over any short term period will reflect that. furthermore, the ideal strat for each is drastically different so if you dont feel like your approaching each one very differently your likely making errors.
I just want to add in my opinion here. I've only be the occasional tournament player, and that was back when I could still play online.
I also cut my teeth playing limit poker. I enjoyed limit poker back in the day, but *my* experience over the last ~3 years is that limit games are just not fun for me to play anymore. Any of the looser gamblers are typically playing NL now, and well, I'm not playing to test myself against the best of the best, I'm playing to win the monies.
Now, there is a difference between LH and NLH, different hands have a different value/strenght based on the action and more importantly potential action. A lot of overlap to be sure, but it is different.
I think it is much easier to play ABC poker at Limit that it is NL, but I probably think that because I started in limit, and I think Small Stakes Hold'em is still the best poker book I have read in terms of readability an how it impacted my game. I have not read a NL book yet that turned the light on like that one did for me.
Now, I was considering doing some tournaments on my upcoming trip to Vegas, but I compare that to playing in a NL ring game. So, depending on the size of the tournament, I could play 1-3+ hours, play fairly well, but still result in no winnings. Compare that to a NL cash game and I could be down more than the cost of a tourney, could be down $10, could be even, could be up a small amount, or could be up big. In general I think in NL live cash games I'm slightly up. I'm not a pro, I don't play everyday, or even every month, and hell, I think it has been over a year since I have sat down at a cash game. So to me, play for a few to several hours, drink beer, toke the dealer and waitress and be slightly below, slightly above or even, that is a damn good night in Vegas!
I was thinking about this the other day. I don't know for certain but I tend to recall that a good ROI for a tourney player was around 20% for bigger tourneys. If this is correct (or even if it's not) it seems this is a very tough road for a live player. This means that playing a $500 tournament you can expect to win $100 on average. Lets say that you average playing 2.5 hours that's a pretty small hourly rate plus, if you bust out early you can't just sign up for the next $500 tourney as it's not spread that often. Also, if you bust out early you may have to wait several hours for another tourney worth your time to come up. Just seems to me that a serious (good) cash game player can earn much more per hour and you don't have to hop from card room to card room. Am I way off here?
If you are Not very good & want to limit your losses while being able to have fun and say you played poker in Vegas...
I would play in a couple of tournaments while you are here... You will probably lose, but only the amount of the couple of tournament Buy-Ins.
If you really think you can win and want to try to be a winner... I would try Cash Games, because the tournaments are a crap shoot. But the better players ARE at the cash games. But in spite of that, you have your chance to win more consistently if you are skilled. The tournaments have a lot more LUCK involved. And probably no matter how good you are, you would lose in the tournaments unless you got to play in many many of them over time, and finally the long run would prevail for you.
But I would say the long run in tournaments might take so long to come around for you, that you would probably have to already be rich (have a lot of money backing behind you). That, by the way is a reason why I don't believe in the Free-Rolls very much.
Everyday when I play in the Cash Games, you see the tournaments fill up 2 or 3 tables maybe at certain times. And you can definitely tell that on a whole... they are not as great of players as the ones sitting at the cash games. And most of the tournament players, as they fall out, will not come over to play in the cash games. The Cash Players are HOPING they will come over & play, but they usually don't very often.
It is more probable that you can win consistently in the short run at the cash games, even though the cash game players are more skilled. So even though that's where you can win more consistently in the short run... you BETTER BE READY !!!
Let Me Put It THIS Way !!! The Best Poker Player in the World could probably go to the World Series of Poker Tournament for 20 straight years... but wind up Never winning it. And that could very well be expected because of the LUCK involved in winning that event.
So that's the same way a good poker player in Las Vegas could be in 20 Free-Rolls but never win a one. You just couldn't COUNT on it. You odds would be better than a novice going in, of course. But I would bet a Thousand dollars they wouldn't be the winner each & every time, and wind up winning a fortune, because that's Just the WAY IT IS !!! You need to be LUCKY to win no matter how good you are. The blinds go up so fast, the tournament could be over, and you never got anything good to play, period. There's nothing you could do about it. You could go all-in with your last breath, but then it's over.