See http://www.nopaypoker.com/articles/index.php/article-1-of-10-a-prerequisite-for-poker-venues-involving-real-money for article 1 in this series on how to graduate from free poker to live card room cash game $5/10 play.
Little doubt exists on my part that you’ve noticed, throughout this series of free poker Articles, throughout all of the preceding series of Articles (if you’ve read them), that I fundamentally adhere to a very ‘conservative’ style of play. And, I’ve yet to find any reason to remove myself from what is an exceptionally rewarding approach to the game. After all, it does produce an average monthly Return on Investment of 65%.
But, how does it do so well? And, why does it do so well?
The answer to both of these questions reside in a very simple fact. One that should be easily understood by all of us. We don’t gamble, many others do.
Not everyone, but countless numbers of players that we end up competing against do gamble.
And, these gamblers are completely unaware of the long-term negative consequences associated with the way they play. Therefore, as long as these players remain a constant at our table, and they will, we’re going to regularly strip them of their cash; large amounts of cash. Plus, our standard method of winning their cash will be founded in the conservative poker play that we bring to every one of our B & M sessions at the felt.
Now, this being so, I’ll wager that most of you have no idea how many of these types of poker players…the gamblers…fill the seats at the B & M tables. As an example, I often play with an Orthodontist; he’s not a friend, just a poker table acquaintance.
He joins a ‘private’ $5/$10 No Limit table every Friday. He’s a gambler, he buys-in with $2,000 every week, and he rarely leaves the table with any money. If the truth be known, I want him around. He’s the source of a lot of cash regularly flowing in my direction. And, again, it’s my conservative play that is the principal cause for the movement of his cash to my pockets.
He’s a gambler…and, I guess, he should be on my ‘I love You’ list (it’s a figurative list; not a literal one). Or, for his benefit, he should be on the ‘I Need to Read Fyodor Dostoevsky’ list (the author of ‘The Gambler’).
And, if, by chance, you too have not as yet picked up this classic piece of Russian literature, you’d be well advised to do so. It won’t take more than six hours to read the book in its entirety.
Where, you’ll discover, that the contents of the book get you inside the gamblers mind. Once immersed, you’ll be shocked to learn that the subconscious goal of just about all gamblers is to lose. That’s right! To lose!
Conversely, I compete with two extremely good players in the very same ‘private’ game, both of whom have become close friends; we’ll often end the day at a dinner table with one another. Each of the two of them know full-well exactly what’s happening when, for example, I’ve flopped a ‘low pair’ set.
Obviously, they say or do nothing while the hand is being played. But, when the hand is over, they’ll often shift their eyes in my direction, and offer up a discretely veiled congratulatory grin. Additionally, as you might expect, It’s rare for any of the three of us to be in the same hand together at ‘post-flop betting’ or ‘post-turn betting’.
In essence, why should any one of the three of us compete against each other when there are ‘Farm Animals’ filling at least half the seats at this cash game table. And, since it’s a weekly private game, it must be obvious to you all that I am in possession of extensive notes on all fourteen of the groups members; eight of whom have got to maintain full-time residence in a pasture…their play stinks; much like manure in a sweltering sun.
Yet, weekly, eight to eleven players show up for the game, and, four to five of them wouldn’t be able to win money if they were competing against a table full of imbecilic, ‘anal-facial’ inverted, tiddly-wink players.
Now, inversion aside, it’s necessary for me to point out a few things to avoid...or, a few things to be fully aware of while you’re at the tables with other players.
- The first item of note has to do with gender. It is infrequent, indeed almost non-existent, to ever find a woman who is a gambler.
- I don’t know why, but I do know that I have yet to encounter one.
- Possibly, as a byproduct of their innate patience, they maintain a ‘wisdom’ about their play that often escapes their male counterparts.
- Of note, this ‘wisdom’ may also be the case in every day life.
- Think for a moment, if you’re male, about your life-time tally of large mistakes, versus the life-time tally belonging to the female who shares your abode. No comparison! Right?
Additionally, make note of the fact that there aren’t a whole lot of females in my sample. On average, at least nine out of ten participants at just about all B & M tables are men.
As evidence of this proportional statistic, visit your local poker room…then count the women you see who are playing at cash tables. Your eyes will quickly validate the statistical veracity mentioned in the preceding sentence.
In fact, when you count heads, when you separate by gender, you’ll discover that approximately nineteen out of twenty players in the card rooms are men. And, rest assured, the lone female in this group of twenty players is not a gambler.
Also, with gender as a non-issue, toss away any attempt to make a gambler the victim of your deceitful plays…all three of them.
- The gamblers don’t bring anything but ‘reckless abandon’ and aggression to the tables.
- They’re simply not attentive enough to pick-up on the ‘deceits’ you would like to implement.
- Save the well-intentioned, profitable, and deceitful set-ups for the players who possess some degree of comprehension about how to play the game.
- Then, at ‘deceit success’, stack their chips at your small space on the felt.
- Additionally, use the serendipitous occasions of holding non-deceitful ‘nut’ hands to relieve the gamblers of their money.
Plus, you need not exclude any of the ladies from the ‘deceit’ tactics that you’ll regularly put to use at the tables.
- Frankly, since they are so observant, since they are so patient, since they are so non-forgetful, and since they bring ‘wisdom’ wherever they go, they will often fall victim to the deceit shows you stage.
- And, Lord knows, there’s nothing wrong with stuffing your pockets with the cash that once existed in their purses.
- Remember, gender does not exist at a poker table. A woman can take a man’s money, a man can take a woman’s money…no sexism; it doesn’t exist.
Next, now would be an appropriate time to render some clarity to another statistic.
One that may have buried itself into your thoughts, but escaped definition. It has to do with ROI.
Where, frequently, throughout all of my poker ‘writings’, I have mentioned a sustained 65% Return on Investment (ROI) regarding my years of B & M play.
And, should you not have done the arithmetic tied to a 65% ROI, should you not have calculated the amount of money tied to a 65% ROI, take a moment to allow the explanation contained within the next two paragraphs to introduce you to the potential effects on your wallet’s contents.
Paramount within the introduction is the very simple formula used to compute an ROI.
- Do not use your buy-in amount as the basis for arriving at a Return on Investment Percentage.
- You can only use the largest amount of money that you have put into play during any one hand…on any one day that you have played.
- If you bought in for $1,500, but never put more than $1,000 into play, then your basis for computing an ROI is $1,000 (not $1,500).
- And, if you ended the day with winnings that totalled $500, you would have experienced a one day ROI of 50%…where $500 in winnings, versus $1,000 put into play, equals 50%.
- Pretty simple! The amount you won expressed as a percentage of the amount you put at risk.
- If you never used your original $1,500 buy-in as an ‘all-in’ bet during play, you never put your $1,500 buy-in at risk.
Then, game day after game day, maintain a journal where you record the day’s ‘at risk’ money, and the day’s ‘money won’ or ‘money lost’.
- At month’s end, total up all of the ‘at risk’ money, and total up a net of ‘money won’ less ‘money lost’.
- As an example, let’s identify the monthly total of ‘at risk’ money as $20,000.
- And, let’s identify the net total of ‘money won’ less ‘money lost’ as $13,000 (in winnings).
- OK! Done! You’re looking at a 65% Return on Investment…where $13,000 in winnings, versus $20,000 put into play, equals 65%.
However, considering the preceding, it’s important to note that the numbers I just used were hypothetical…they were only intended to clarify the process of calculating a Return on Investment; they were not meant to convey the monetary results that I may, or may not, experience during my play at the tables.
Those results, understandably, are personal to me. And, my goal here was not to toot my own horn, or to highlight my own stupidities; no, the goal here was only to get each of you to understand how much money can be accumulated as a result of playing with a 65% Return on Investment (ROI).
In candor, my play, my 65% ROI, is a byproduct of the two most valuable words in the English language. Those two words are ‘How’ and ‘Why’.
I know of no other words, when properly used, that will yield more information…more knowledge…and, more benefits.
The word ‘How’ permits us to dig…to uncover.
The word ‘Why’ permits us to understand…to reason.
In their absence, we’d be blind at a poker table. And, none of us, not if winning money is our goal, not if a 65% or more ROI is our goal, should ever look to sit down at the B &M felt without having mastered the use and effect of the words ‘How’ and ‘Why’.
In truth, even with our comprehension of the power of these two words, nothing to follow will be easy…actually, it’ll all be very hard. Yet, nothing to follow will be as difficult as the really, really, really, hard stuff…like, “What does a woman want?”. Go ahead! See if you can bring forth an answer to that question; it has essentially puzzled men for thousands of years.
And, if you were to commence a research effort in an attempt to answer that very question, you’d undoubtedly spend thousands of hours performing the task. Plus, in the end, you’d likely come to an erroneous conclusion.
So, suffice it to say, that the work involved in the task of properly utilizing your ‘player notes’ will pale in comparison. But, it’s your choice. Take up the task of trying to answer a question that is no more than an exercise in futility, or, take up the task of productively utilizing player notes that is no less than an exercise in success.
The latter will stuff your wallet with $100 Bills and make you pretty damn happy, the former will deplete any and all of your energies and make you pretty damn frustrated. A no brainer? It sure appears to be!
Moving forward…at least for those of you who chose the cash and happiness….we need to fully involve ourselves in the utilization of player notes.
And, as stated above, while the task will be an exercise that both culminates in success and fills your wallets, it’ll also be a task that challenges your ‘Hows’ and ‘Whys’, tests your perseverance, and strains your memory.
- You’ll not successfully conclude this effort without complete determination
- Without a continual attentiveness to ‘How’ and ‘Why
- …and, you’ll not successfully conclude this effort without making full use of all your abilities related to the process of memorization.
To begin with, when you’re first seated at the table:
- Recall that you’re going to say hello to all the players you know, you’re going to re-introduce yourself to all the players you think you know…but have managed to forget their respective names,
- You’re going to hand over your buy-in money to the floorman.
- Then you’re going to excuse yourself from the table. And, during your brief absence, you’re going to hide yourself from the table, and quickly research all of your relevant player notes.
- Once done, you’ll need to commit all of the player notes to memory, return to the table, apologize for your ‘phone call’ absence (or some similar white lie), and commence play (obviously, waiting to start until you’re the Big Blind).
Or, if it’s your plan to start play with a ‘false presentation’ that is intended to let people know that you’re a loose player, you’ll need to ignore the normally accepted principle of waiting for the Big Blind and put out the BB so that you’ll be dealt pocket cards on the first hand.
Yet, don’t be foolhardy in putting out a BB if most of the table’s participants know you. I mean, if the bulk of the players at the table know full well that you’re both a conservative and very good player, the charade of suggesting to the table that you’re loose is meaningless.
Second, pre-flop, you’ve got notes about tells and betting habits.
- As an example, I’ll use my ‘AR’, ‘SA’, and ‘CB’ notes.
- The ‘SA’ note tells me that this player always shuffles his two pocket cards when he has seen that the first card he looked at was an Ace.
- The ‘AR’ note tells me that he’ll call modest raises with Ace/Rag
- And the ‘CB’ note tells me that he’s a Calling Station once he’s participated in a BB raise.
- Plus, two other notes, ’8A’ and ‘RP’, have told me that he’d have been an eight times the BB raiser if he were holding pocket Aces (’8A’)
- Or that he’d have been a re-raiser if he were holding Ace/Paint (‘RP’).
- So, when he calls a three times the BB bet, after displaying his ‘shuffle’ tell, I can now play the hand with almost total confidence that he is holding pocket Ace/Rag.
No doubt, I’m in an ‘advantaged’ position. I know his cards, an Ace with either a 2 through 9, but he doesn’t know my cards. Granted, I don’t know if his cards are suited…mostly because I’ve never had the opportunity to record an ‘ARs’ note; it having never been shown to me at the conclusion of any one hand.
However, if, by chance, I’m holding Ace/Paint+ (K, Q, J, 10, or 9) in my hand, I’m about a 7 to 2 pre-flop favorite versus this player.
Yet, I still need to take an accounting of the notes that I have for the player who made the original raise to the BB. And, in this case, let’s just label him a pre-flop ‘LA’ (loose/aggressive) and ‘FB’ (chip flinger who likes to bully the table).
Also, to make this example a bit simpler, let’s assume that my notes contain the very useful code ‘FQ’ (folds to quality players). Plus, the two players to my left are both coded ‘ET’; this code tells me that they are both Extremely Timid.
Now, with the knowledge that there are two Aces out, and the fact that the chances of the ‘ET’ players holding a pocket Ace are approximately one in ten, I’d like to isolate myself against the Ace/Rag player (keep in mind the ‘CB’ note).
And, since the original raiser is a ‘LA’, ‘FB’, and ‘FQ’ noted player, it is more than likely that a pot size raise will get rid of everyone except Mr. Ace/Rag.
So…my best play is to put out the three times the BB of $30, announce that I’m going to raise, and then place $100 in additional chips onto the table. In candor, when all of the above is true, I will experience greater than a 90% success rate with this play.
However, at this point, pre-flop, the 90% only relates to the mission of getting to an ‘isolation’ versus Mr. Ace/Rag…it has nothing to do with the number of times that I’ll win the hand. But, we already know how many times I’ll win the hand when I’m isolated with this A/rag player….it’s about 77% of the time.
Remember, I’m close to being a 4 to 1 favorite…my A/Q against his A/rag has put me in a considerably advantaged position.
Then, we need to know, and use, our player notes post-flop, post-turn, and post-river. Clearly, no easy task. Yet, when done properly, the rewards far outweigh the discipline, effort, and mental challenges that are the identifiable obstacles in our path.
- Think of them as ‘one foot’ high hurdles…possibly as many as 300 of them.
- In the aggregate, they may appear to be insurmountable.
- Individually, however, each of them is merely a single step.
- This being so, each of them becomes passable, attainable, and surmountable.
- Plus, having triumphed over my 225 hurdles, my 225 player note codes, I can’t bring myself to believe that many of you can’t do likewise…or, can’t do better.
And, while I would like to go much deeper into the subject matters relating to ‘Player Note Utilization’, there is a restriction placed on me that I am currently unable to navigate around.
In a general sense, it has to do with my ‘publishers legal authority’. They own the publishing rights to my 225 player note codes, and they own the publishing rights to my book: ‘A Journey Down the Brick and Mortar Road’.
In return, I own the money they paid me, and I own a ‘royalty contract’ that they, my agent, and I have signed. In the end, the bottom line is that I am prohibited from publishing anything more than a ‘sampling’ of the codes…here at NoPayPOKER, or anywhere else.
Yet, given all that’s been presented to you in this series of Articles, I’m comfortable with the prospects for your future success at the B & M cash game tables. And, I’m equally comfortable with my own projections that many of you can, and will, develop all of the ‘note taking’ codes that you’ll need to attain the aforementioned future success.
There is, however, one last natural, innate, or God-given individual poker ‘skill’, or ‘characteristic’, or ‘gift’ that each of you must possess to move forward….to bring about the frequent stacking of $100 Bills on the green felt laid out before you.
And, while I have no interest in offending anyone, I will be brutally honest in defining the ‘skill’, ‘characteristic’, or ‘gift’ that I’m writing about.
I could simply call it your Intelligence Quotient, or I could simply call it your ability to Memorize. But, if I were to do either, I believe that I would be instituting an injustice.
I know of any number of people with high IQ’s who can’t memorize very well, and I know of any number of people with great memorization skills who don’t hold a high IQ. So, it’s not one or the other…it’s really a combination of both.
Fundamentally, I suggest that you’ll need an !Q of 105 or higher, and I suggest that you’ll need above average memorization abilities.
And, without exception, it’s you who knows you best…you’ll need to determine whether or not you belong at a Brick and Mortar cash game.
Best of Luck at the Tables
(c) copyright 2009; no reproduction, all rights reserved by D. M. Vadnais
NB – Over your head a bit for now? Don’t worry! Read the whole series by D.M. Vadnais on the NoPayPOKER.com blog then go practice your free texas hold em poker online on the main NoPayPOKER.com site. As our maestro says in previous articles, you can win real money playing real free poker on NoPayPOKER.com and with that fund your bankroll for the real deal when you go up to the B&M bigs.
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