Joined: Feb '09
Age: 49 (M)
I dont have much detail to give, but I have noticed at very specific pattern in my gains/losses. When I play on money tables I usually choose my favorite (tournament) game, namely NL Holdem and on average I go away with less money than I brought to the table. In tournaments, however, I usually make some money or at least break even. What am I doing wrong at the money tables? Is it because it NL? Should I try PL?
It's easier to play tournaments and stngo's in general. All you risk is your buy in bat you can win much more if you are patient and calm. To play cash game you have to be more aggressive and change table often not to allow your opponents to understand your way of playing.
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 51 (M)
changing from NL to PL should not make to much difference - the bets which are larger than pot are relatively rare.
Cash games can often be quite tough for torney players to adjust to - the standard of play is generally better as there are less donks willing to gift you their chips. You are most often playing deep and as such the average winning hand is usually better when there's an all in.
Cash games is all about making reads and applying pressure where you see weakness.
Here's a few tips that may help you:
1, Always enter a pot with a raise if no one has raised before you - raise pot. If you don't wanna raise then fold. Raising will help define other peoples hands - if you limp others will limp with all kinds of junk and hand reading post flop will be nigh on impossible.
2, C-bet plenty - you'll often take down the pot even if you miss the flop.
3, Take notes on how people play - how they play there draws - how they play their monster hands - how they play AA/KK. Then when your in a hand with them you can make a read and play you hands optimally. Do they limp/fold to you raises - if so you can raise more hands to their limps. Do they call your c-bets light - if so you'll have to fire on multiple streets and value bet them with a wide range of hands. etc
4, POSITION it is your friend raise a wide range of hands from the button and cut off ( any suited connectors 56 and above are fine ), any pair ( even 22 ) any two broad way - you get the picture. Then c-bet weather you hit or miss the flop. You may wish to check a good second pair but bet every thing else.
5, POSITION is you enemy If you don't have position you'd better have a good hand play tight from every ware else and be super tight in the small blind. It is the worst position at the table so you're gonna need a premium hand.
6, Fold your blinds to raises - not something that torney players are good at but you'll lose a lot of money when you hit top pair, or you'll win a very small pot. 3-bet you very best hands + the occasional bluff - call with small/medium pairs - fold everything else. Do not even complete in the small blind. You won't like it but it will save you so much money - trust me.
7, Don't slow play - you should be betting your junk hands often enough that you'll get called light with your good hands - value bet all 3 streets.
Good luck and keep at it - you'll learn quick playing cash and you should start to turn a profit in the near future.
Joined: Feb '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 32 (M)
Switching to pot limit imo won't help. If you can play NL in tourneys you can play NL cash games but you have to realise there is a different technique in cash tables. I do not agree that cash tables are harder or that the standard is higher but people may play tighter.
In tourneys there is a pressure to keep your stack rising as the blinds go up. The blinds begin much lower in relation to the average stack so play begins very loose. People can leave when they are up in a cash game or take away less money than they brought in. So whereas in tourneys low stacks often move all in, in cash games people only have to go all in with a good hand. Its hard for me to give specific advice on switching unlike Delbo99 but I would give you two pieces of advice
1. you say you leave with less money. Why don't you try playing a bit more "tourney-like". Don't leave when your down. Take a specific buy in that you're prepared to lose. Play til you reach a target. Do as you would do if it was a tourney and these were the rules: reach the target or go away with nothing. Be warned though that others will not necessarily play the same way and you must adapt to how they play.
2. secondly if you can't play cash games avoid them. stick to tourneys and win more money. no one says you have to dominate the whole world of poker. You wouldn't bet money on omaha if you weren't very good at it. So why do you need to play tourneys and cash games just because they're both NL holdem
At cash game the short stack strategy is very good! you can win a lot of money and lost no more! but if you lose at cash game i think that you must paly only tourney because for you this way is more profitable!