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Thread: First Time to the Casino!

  1. #1
    Faustus Fotherby is offline Senior Member
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    Default First Time to the Casino!

    My exams are about to finish and I've decided that while I still have a bus pass in this area I may as well travel to the nearest casino that's running a tournament because I'm dying to play more live poker.

    The casino's not too big so I'm not expecting the level of play to be astounding though I'm sure there will be people better than me there.

    Essentially I want to know what casino etiquette rules or tips there are that I should know before I give it a go - or playing tips for what is essentially a very standard tournament style (freezeout, no rebuys) but for me it'll be a different live environment to anything I've done before.

    Regardless of where I come in the tournament I'm leaving straight after - won't be touching none of those devil slot machines!

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    Queso's Avatar
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    Default First Time to the Casino!

    Are you saying that you have never been to a casino before?

    Don't act out of turn, know when it's your turn to act, don't discuss a hand while it's going on (when you aren't in the hand, I mean), don't act disgusted when you fold preflop, and then see that the flop would have hit you, don't tap on the aquarium, and no matter how well (or how poorly) you play, remember it's all a learning process, so don't go on tilt!

  3. #3
    Tim's Avatar
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    Tim is offline quintessential chopbuster
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    Check out these articles:

    Beginners Guide to Playing Live Poker

    Adjusting from Online Poker to Live Poker

    If you have any specific questions then just let us know.

    Have a blast!

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    RyckyRych's Avatar
    RyckyRych is offline Retired Micro Grinder
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    I've played only one live tournament for money (it went well) but I'll add one suggestion.

    Pay attention to everything at the table.

    Just because you folded or will fold doesn't mean its time to fall asleep. Watch the action in every hand and try to pick up clues on bet sizing, how often a player limps or raises, and also any tendencies on how they may play different types of hands post-flop.

    Often you see a lot of guys that will limp any pair except AA/KK, but call raises regardless. Others will do the same with AXs. Some others will play any kind of connectors in hopes of nailing the straight. Same with suited cards, even non-connectors. Others will play silly tight. Pay attention to how they play their draws as well as their monsters.

    Sometimes from table talk you can get a decent idea of their philosophy in certain situations, especially when a monster hand gets cracked or somebody gets a dose of dumb luck. A lot of players can't resist the pulpit when it comes time to talk about a fun hand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyckyRych View Post
    Sometimes from table talk you can get a decent idea of their philosophy in certain situations, especially when a monster hand gets cracked or somebody gets a dose of dumb luck. A lot of players can't resist the pulpit when it comes time to talk about a fun hand.
    Yep, good tip. Players give away so much information from table talk. Just listen to what people are saying, even before the first hand is dealt, and you'll pick up some useful information about how they're likely to play. It's free information!

    And if you're ever unsure about anything then just ask someone. People are generally friendly and willing to help. Of course the downside to asking beginner questions is you'll be giving away a lot of information - but it's better than making a huge mistake.

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    Faustus Fotherby is offline Senior Member
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    Ahh thanks for the tips everyone, as it happens I have actually already read the two articles you linked (I got keen and went hunting before I posted on here) but yeh. Finished my last exam today and the tournament's on Saturday so have to work out how I'm getting out there and back again in that time - right now thought I'm going to the pub!

    Quote Originally Posted by Queso View Post
    Are you saying that you have never been to a casino before?
    Unfortunately no, as a student with no car I've always ended up living in towns that don't have their own card room anywhere. I've been absolutely desperate to play live poker more and I only realised back in the Easter holidays that I have a bus pass for the whole of Kent so I might as well try and find a casino SOMEWHERE in all that and now my exams are finished I'm determined to give it a go. Really excited!

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    Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

  8. #8
    Faustus Fotherby is offline Senior Member
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    Hey again all, just got back from the my first casino extravaganza.

    I final tabled the tournament I entered but was shortstacked (more on that in a bit), someone shoved Aces UTG and it folded to me in mid position and I looked down at Queens and just couldn't not call given my size (like 4BBs -again see below for more) - to my advantage another person after me called with A-9 so I knew it was less likely the Aces would improve but sadly my Queens didn't improve - unfortunately coming 9th wasn't enough to make any money cos there were only about 45 entrants so only 6th place onwards paid.

    I quite enjoyed it all in all but noted another continuing problem I seem to be suffering from in the live games I've played: the blind structure... AGAIN! (For those that don't recall my previous complaints then see here.)

    I'm used to playing PokerStars SnG MTTs where the blinds tend to increase at a reasonable rate - I'm sure many of you are familiar with their structure but I shall enclose it for the sake of an illustration of what I'm used to for an MTT of 45 people (roughly how many were in the casino live game today):

    1500 starting chips - 10 minute blinds:
    10/20
    15/30
    25/50
    50/100
    75/150
    100/200
    100/200 (25)
    150/300 (25)
    200/400 (25)
    300/600 (50)
    400/800 (50)
    etc.

    On this structure I typically make the final table at least in many of the games I play (unless I make some horrific error mid game).

    But this casino was running:

    18000 starting chips - 15 minute blinds
    25/50
    50/100
    100/200
    200/400
    300/600 (100)
    400/800 (200
    500/1000 (500)
    600/1200 (500)
    (weird leap)
    1000/2000 (1000)

    The antes alone were MURDER by end game - we were all under 10BBs in no time and the game just got reduced to sove/fold. I recognise that the starting chip size is a LOT bigger but it still seemed silly especially seeing as the blind timings haven't really adjusted that much for real life dealing. The biggest stacks who chose to see a flop were losing vast amounts of money fast if they got into a fight over a pot. Even the tournament director himself said the structure was a bit of a joke!

    Am I just hideous at adjusting or is this just a really bad structure?

    Online I'm absolutely fine, I regularly make the money on single table or small MTTs and I just don't understand how everywhere I play live just has mental structures.

    Anyway, despite this, the thrill of playing live was really good fun and I was going to stay for cash games where the frustrating element of weird blind structures isn't an issue and I would still get the live poker feel but unfortunately they weren't happening till the evening and I couldn't really stay given that I had to work with the bus timetables.

  9. #9
    Faustus Fotherby is offline Senior Member
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    Oh yeh I forgot to mention that I got dealt Kings first hand I played - another guy got dealt Jacks - we went all the way to showdown and I took it - always nice to win the first hand. Was feeling good that it was the first hand I got dealt in a place I'd never played before and was really unused to.

    Also another thing I found quite hard when playing live was getting used to working out bet sizing - obviously online you know exactly how much is in the pot at all times so if I want to bet half or around 3 quarters I know exactly what to put in. I got used to making a guess at how much was in the pot but like I said it became shove/fold after not too long so then it was just a case of asking for a count when it came to decisions.

  10. #10
    RyckyRych's Avatar
    RyckyRych is offline Retired Micro Grinder
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    As far as the structure goes, the early game structure is quite favorable. Divide everything by ten on the casino side and compare the first few levels and you will see what I mean.

    The antes seem HUGE though, are you sure that's right? If so then this would really make players open up a lot... and I mean A LOT. The pots would be HUGE. 20% antes are really big, but 25-50%? Wow.
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