thoughts on low limit casino poker

i love poker and i do pretty well when i play.

my only complaint is the people i'm playing with.

its a good day if my 8 opponents can come up with a full set of teeth between them. they smell of body odor and stale cigatette smoke. they eat stinky asian dishes at the table that reek of fermented cabbage (it is - kimche), sickening and stinky menudo which is cow intestine soup and other assorted sickening meals. most of it goes into their mouths - the rest, on their shirts, faces, the table, the cards, and the chips (and occasionally, after one of their choking fits, on me and the rest of the players). i'm usually the only guy who speaks english at the table (except for a few old-timers who can't stop muttering to themselves) so i'm subjected to a head-splitting, migrain inducing mish-mash of armenian, arabic, chinese, and spanish just to name a few. every disgusting skin condition seems to have a representative at the table and the odds of contracting tuberculosis seem to be better than my making trips. some of these guys are so dirty that when i win a pot i have to clean my hands with purell after stacking my chips.

is this unique to my casino or are all low limit games this way? i've only played poker at two casinos - viejas indian casino in san diego which had a pretty normal crowd and the commerce (described above) so i really don't know.

Here is mine, taken from

Well I just got back from probably playing about 15 hours of poker at the 3/6 table and I must say it was an awesome experience.

I play a lot of live NL tournaments, but never have I played a ring table.
Buying in for $100, I came up to the 3/6 table as they announced my name.

I sat down to a full table of 10, first hand i get, is Ace Ten of Diamonds. A decent playable hand I thought to my self, let me test out the waters.

I say outloud, CALL and threw my 3 dollars out there. It was immediately raised and when it was my turn, I called. Flop is a miracle 10,10, ACE. SB checks, BB checks, I try and be clever and check it. It goes to the next guy who raises it, the guy after him reraises him. Now, I am thinking to myself, "What the hell....... Does the guy have pocket aces?" My turn to act, i simply call. 5 people still in the hand after a weird flop like this.
Turn is 4 and I check only to be capped out to me and I call.

River is a 9 and it is capped out to me. I call and think to myself I am in serious trouble even though I got a 10's over Aces Boat.

One guy had a 10 for trips.
One guy had pocket Jacks...
Two other people aces, with the crappiest kickers ever. ACE 3 and ACE 6.
These guys were reraising preflop with ACE 3 and Ace 6?

I was thinking to myself.... What the hell are these people doing.

This isnt poker.. We might as well deal the hole cards face up also. If no one is going to fold to reraises.

I folded all hands for about 30 minutes and just sat and observed.
I noticed many many things at the low stakes table.

#1 They are there more for the social aspect then the game of poker. Instant decisions, talking to other players and so forth. Most are regulars.

#2 There was no sweet science of poker being displayed. There was more physical activity from the players in terms of throwing out chips to a raise and drinking a beer then the mental activity of the calculations of pot odds, thinking after a reraise.... lots of chasing... You get the drift.

#3 Everyone is a freaking expert. Everyone telling each other how to play their hands.

#4 At this level of limit, people will play ACE anything and it is very tough when they do. Since people will actually raise with an ACE 3, they like it when you raise then when you are holding ACE KING. Then you know the inevitable happens. Ace, 3, 9 flop. You raise the living mess out of it, only to get beat by someone holding two pair.

#5 Expect to see a lot of flushes and straights. Wow, I have never seen so many flushes and straights in my life. I do not know if it was just a luckly streak or what but we actually had 5 flushes in a row. When people actually play Q, 2 diamonds, flushes tend to occur a lot.

#6 Pocket Pairs are extremely overrated in low level limit stakes. I was up a lot of money before losing $80 ($40 each time) from my bankroll back to back when I was dealt pocket aces. I had ACE ACE twice in a row and managed to lose. I lost once to two pairs, Kings and Twos, (who actually plays King 2 when it is capped preflop anyway) and once to a gut shot straight.

#7 These guys have a huge advantage over players like me. Not because they are better players then me, but because they money does not mean anything to them. Most are people on vacation and intended to lose that money anyway and always wanted to play Poker. Lets put it this way. My friend won a $165 pot with a 2,3 diamond flush. That isnt supposed to happen like that. They chase to the river everytime, play underpairs and end up with two pairs and so forth.

I apologize if it is starting to sound like I am ranting....

You just have to recognize your current situation and play accordingly. Or as Highway says so succinctly, "Improvise. Adapt. Overcome."

In this kind of game big pocket pairs go down in value and often should be dumped if you don't hit your set. Suited connectors on the other hand go up in value. Position becomes less important, IMO, also. One hand can mean the difference between a terrible and a great session, such as the Aces full of tens hand you described. If five players went to the river with each street capped, he should have profited $238 on that one hand. That's a reasonable profit for a 20 hour $3/6 session at 2 big bets per hour.

LOL! I sometimes play at Commerce too and what you described about is so right on. I am fucking laughing my ass off.

I've never gone there on afternoon weekday before, but last tuesday I went since I had a day off. Played some Carribean Stud. Talk about a parade of losers and scumbags! I then realized that these are the hardcore gamblers, the real low lifes. Some stanking ass folks who looked like they hadnt gone home(if they had one) in days. I was thinking to myself "what am I doing here." Last time I go there on a weekday. I just felt uncomfortable. The weekend vibe seems much different to me.

yeah i was thinking the same thing......"wft am i doing here with these degenerate gamblers??". at one point this mexican guy with thick glasses who was missing his two front teeth and had the downs syndrome look, passed out at the table. the dealer poked him him and he awoke with a startled look on his face and just threw chips into the pot (it wasn't even his turn and he hadn't even looked at his cards......) and went back to sleep. this was a tuesday afternoon and i was up $135 in less than one hour. but i felt like such a loser i had to get up and leave...i mean i owned that table but i just couldn't sit there anymore with those guys.

this brings me to my dilemma:

its these losers who allow me to make $200 bucks in a few hours of poker by their idoitic play but its the rest of it that can make playing poker seem like a degenerate activity in turn takes some of the fun out if it for me.

on the other hand, if i played with a bunch of my peers, i might enjoy the table talk a bit more and avoid disease and disgust, both with myself for being there and with the other player for being themsleves, BUT, i certainly wouldn't be pulling in the kind of cash that i pull in now.

the very repululsive and degenerate nature of my oponnents are what gives me my edge....i mean i met this guy there who's face was as pock marked as the moon who told me he was on a losing streak. i said, "yeah, i had one last week". he replied that he hasn't had a winning night in over two years and hasn't even been ahead once in that two years on any given night......he went on to describe how he can't even pay his bills, blah , blah blah.....

i wantched the guy play and he played every hand, called every bet, and only ever raised with the absolute nuts. he was a loser and instead of suggesting that he take up different game, i must have taken about 50 bucks of the guy that night.

so if given the choice between two tables, one full of young, educated, thoughtfull players and the other full of degenerate disfigured uneducated gamblers, i'd be a fool to pick the former as the latter can be up to ten time as profitable........

so, i have to decide if i am there to make money or socialize and have fun. if its money i'm after, i pick the losers and deal with all the negatives and keep a good supply of purell on hand at all time.

low limit poker is a post flop game....

i consistently beat the 3-6 at the commerce.

I made a good living propping low limit games in california.

Its very loose in Kinder Louisiana. I always got away from trouble hands, but got chased down many a times. 10-20 for me now.

i'm thinking of switching to the 100 buck buy in no limit game. i hope that the ability to chase out weak hands and bluff with relatively big bets will make it more of a skill game than the 3-6 i play usually.

another problem with 3-6 is that its a boring limited skill game that a disciplined monkey could beat in the long run.

i also hope that the players will be a step up "socially" and "hygenically" from the "pit players".

i really dont care for real low limit games. 15 30 is the smallest game i like to play. i usually play in one rl $40 no limit tourney a week. and i play one or two low buy in online no limit tourneys daily.

Oh well, I like playing 3/6 or 5/10 at the Casino whenever I get the opportunity. I think Canadian standards are a little higher at the Poker table, the players listed above sounds like low-limit BlackJack players at my Casino.

I keep records of each of my sessions which shows I make anywhere from 1.5- 2 big bets an hour when I play. Although I couldn't quit my day job, I'm very happy to make money at my favorite pastime.


problem solved!

I played no limit tonight at the commmerce for the first time there - $100 buy-in with 2-3 blinds (just got home - up $480.)

First off, very few bad beats. skill rules the day at those tables when you can put drawing hands all in or make pot sized plus bluffs and semi-bluffs. (in other words, very few morons to call you to the river with a 6,4 off suit and make their staights to beat my trip A's.)

second, and more directly related to my origonal post on this thread:

the class of people is about 5 steps up from the low limit pit players. they are friendly, clean , employed, and english speaking.

in short, no limit is head and shoulders above low limit in all ways.

You will still have very bad beats in no limit for more money, but you are right that the k-6 offsuit beating AK with two pair on the river is less frequent.

Losing withQQ vs.10 10 for the chiplead and 55,000 first place last week in a tourney comes to mind. Chips can be saved in limit , but it was a quality hand that beat me. Overall nolimit is just a better form of poker to win money from less skilled players.

question for wrekker,

How has the proliferation of poker over the last two years changed your strategy for NL poker in a tournament setting?

Seems to me, that a player has to commit to far too many races, to win. While luck always has something to do with winning, is luck a far bigger factor in the current tournament setting?

If I felt that I was a big dog at the table I'm sitting at, I would try to get in race situations with the superior players. If I think its only a matter of time before they get my money, why not take a chance on getting them in a heads up situation where I'm a slight dog or slight favorite? If I get lucky, I take out a superior player and have chips. If I lose, then so what? All I've done is forestall the inevitable. Obviously, if its in the money rounds that wouldn't make sense, but if its early in the tournament, it should be worth a shot.

You bring up some good points:

Be Realistic, if you are playing with a better player its the right thing to do in many occasions to play the coin flip hands and take some chances.

The growth of NO-LIMIT poker is Awesome! As far as changing my stratedgy I have, I create more playing situations with weak players. Any chance I have to run over tight players or play longshot hands againsy beginners with lots of chips I try too if i have the chips to do so.

Itry to avopid putting my tournament on the line in one hand or close situations.

I can avoid playing one big hand because I aquire chips leading up to the final table when the antees kick in. Many players tighten up to make the money, go after them. As I aquire chips Sometimes I get caught stealing with a J-9 or some medicore hand. The problem for the guy who raises me if often he has widdled down to nothing and I can call him wuith a crappy J-9 because his reraise can't hurt me much and the reward is big with blinds antees my initial raise and his reraise out there I often call getting 3-5 TO 1 on my call.

There are many skills and moves to aquiring chips and saving them, NO LIMIT is a game of skill. The more skill you posess the less cards you need to propel your way to the final table.

it seems to me that so many new poker players have learned from watching poker tournies on tv so they have an urgency that doesn't apply to cash ring games. i've played a bunch of no limit now and i make a lot of dough off new players that go all in every other hand with top pair - no kicker, or pocket 7's facing a board with 3 over cards. this guy last night was losing money so fast that by the time the casino worker got back to the table with his chips the player had to send him right back with another $100 bill for more chips as he handed the $100 in chips to another player from the hand he just lost. it happened like that 3 times.
they act like its a freeze out and the blinds are going to eat them up or something....they need to calm down and relax, but i hope they don't.....

do you notice the same thing in your cash games wrecker?