Now that the World Series of Poker is over, most of us are back home grinding our local casino or home games. These games are unlike the tight, shallow stacked tournaments we play over the summer. The play is loose, the stacks are deep, and the blinds are small. As a Las Vegas resident, I grind cash games often, and I see many mistakes made by pros and recreational players alike in the games, and most of them are easy to fix. Here are a few tips to help you make that transition back into cash games from the tournament grind.
Blinds are Small, Stacks are Deep
One crucial difference between live cash games and tournaments are the size of the blinds relative to stacks. In a 5/10 game in Las Vegas, for example, most players are buying in for $2000-$5000, but the BB is only $10. This means playing an orbit costs next to nothing, and even sitting down for hours will only cost you a couple hundreds bucks, even if you fold every hand. I know, I know, this is obvious, but if you sit down in a 5/10 game you will quickly notice players playing like their life depends on winning every other hand. It’s easy to fall in with the loose play of these games, but with a lot of money thrown around every hand on a regular basis, if you are patient enough to wait for a good spot or a big hand, you are almost guaranteed to have a solid win-rate.
Another difference between tournaments and cash games is that many hands will go 4, 5 or even 6 ways to the flop while in tournaments most flops go heads up or 3 way. Preflop hand strength is completely different in 4 way-plus pots, and many players don’t grasp this concept. For example, low suited connectors like 46s do well in 3 way pots, where you will get paid off nicely when you hit a hidden two pair or a flush. But in a 5-way pot, when you hit a flush, it’s frequently dominated if big money is going in. Two pair will also rarely get a lot of value, and hitting trips with unpaired holding is a long shot. It may seem counterintuitive, but if you aren’t in position or getting great pot odds–which is rare in cash with raise sizes being 5x the big blind or higher–I’d avoid playing low suited (one and two gap) connectors in big multiway pots. These are hands that are much better for squeezing OOP, where you a) have fold equity to take down quite a few chips pre and b) will likely get isolation or a 3 way pot against players playing not-so-strong holdings.
Big Pots = More Fold Equity
It’s very simple, but also very true: If you want fold equity in a live cash game, build a bigger pot. When you can put more chips on the table whenever you like, it makes throwing away a few hundred dollars hurt a lot less. So, if you suspect your opponents are playing loose preflop or on the flop, make a big bet or raise early so you can get them to fold easier later in the hand when the pot gets big. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a spot where you are certain your opponent is weak, but cannot get him to fold without overbetting because the pot is too small.
Some players like to play tournaments exclusively or cash games exclusively, because the play is so much different in each of them. Transitioning between two different styles of poker is tough, but if you follow my guidelines above, you may find that the transition is easier than you think. Good luck.
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As you’ve probably seen on twitter, I’ve gotten into Daily Fantasy sports recently and I’m doing pretty well. The biggest fantasy sport by far is Football, and the season starts in just over a week. There’s absolutely a boat load of money to be made on sites like DraftKings and Fanduel for anyone who is smart and knows a little about football.
Below is an article from my website, http://dailyfantasywinners.com. If you’re new to daily fantasy, this article should help you understand the elements that go into creating a lineup. If you end up signing up for DraftKings or Fanduel after reading this article, please sign up using the banners on http://dailyfantasywinners.com or by using this link http://partners.draftkings.com/aff_c?offer_id=489&aff_id=29984. You can also use the promo code ‘DFW’ on Fanduel for a 100% deposit bonus up to $200.
And if you want to learn more, feel free to tweet me or DM me, I’m always happy to help.
Creating a Lineup on DraftKings
Discovering Daily Fantasy Sports like DraftKings is, well, exciting. You can see by their promotions that the money to be won this year playing is absolutely massive, and as someone who already loves fantasy, this seems right up your alley. However, once you enter a tournament and start the process of making a lineup, you may find that you don’t really know where to start. Unlike season-long fantasy, you can play whoever you want every week, which means the lineup combinations are endless. But by understanding a few simple concepts, making a lineup can actually be very simple, easy and fun.
The goal of this article is to show you how to make a lineup by letting you see a real DraftKings NFL lineup that I will use in week 1. I will explain the key concepts and reasoning that go into each pick. After reading this article, you should be ready to make your own lineup and already have a big edge on other players who may be playing on DraftKings for the first time.
DraftKings: Salary and Salary Cap
On almost every Daily Fantasy website, each player is assigned a salary and the website gives you a specific payroll that the total salary of all your players must fit under. On DraftKings, salaries can range from anywhere to $3000 (i.e. Tedd Ginn Jr.) to $10,000 or sometimes higher (i.e. Peyton Manning). Salaries vary from week to week, based on an algorithm DraftKings has created in order to price players fairly. However, their algorithm isn’t perfect. Some players will be drastically mispriced due to injury, matchup, or other factors. Our goal in creating a lineup is to find the best value out of all the players in the NFL and balance that with players we think will be the top performers of the week.
QB Colin Kaepernick ($8000) – This is a play based on Matchup, Value, and Vegas.
Kaepernick is going against a defense that was absolutely atrocious last year in the Cowboys, and they almost certainly have gotten worse with the losses of Demarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher in the off-season. Targeting star players who are facing bad defenses is essential in creating a top team.
Sportsbooks (I use thegreek.com for lines) are projecting that the 49ers score 28 points against the Cowboys, one of the higher point projection totals you will see throughout the year. Sportsbook over/under lines and spreads are a big part of predicting big fantasy performances. Handicappers are very good at their jobs, so the lines in general are going to be very predictive of the actual outcomes of games. We want to use this to our advantage, so when the Sportsbooks say that the 49ers are going to have a great game, we believe them (Read more on why Vegas sports betting lines are so good here: http://dailyfantasywinners.com/vegas-trust/). Kaepernick is a massive part of the 49ers offense, so a good team performance almost certainly means a good performance from Kaep.
Kaepernick is a high potential fantasy player for his ability to both run and pass. I expect him to be one of the highest scoring players week 1, and in order to win a big tournament like DraftKings Sunday Million, you will absolutely need to have the top scoring players of the week on your team. You save a couple thousand by using Kaepernick over Peyton Manning or Drew Brees, but he has as much potential as either of them.
Arian Foster ($7,200) – This pick is mostly due to an expected improvement this season, and matchup. There are many reasons a player’s salary may be lower than it should be. Foster had an injury-riddled, sub-par, season last year and consequently his price is significantly depressed week 1. But now he’s healthy and his backup Ben Tate is starting in Cleveland. This means Foster should get the majority of carries against the Redskins.
While the Redskins have made some improvements to their defense, they still will be a mediocre to poor defense this season. Vegas has the Texans scoring over 24 points week 1, and like Kaepernick, Foster should play a major role in the Texans offense. This is a great matchup for Foster.
Want to see the reasoning for the rest of my picks? Read more by going to http://dailyfantasywinners.com/create-nfl-lineup-draftkings/
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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged about, well anything. All of my strategy articles are now going to my regular column in American Poker Player Magazine, I write an article every month so check it out.
I’ve started getting into Daily Fantasy more and more, mostly spending my time playing whatever is available on Fanduel.com and DraftKings.com. I feel like this may be the next online poker. There is plenty of money to be won in Daily Fantasy, especially in Football, and it’s growing at a rapid rate. I’m so into it that I’ve launched a new website with my twin brother and a writer at Bleacher Report, that talks about everything strategy wise with regards to Daily Fantasy. It’s called dailyfantasywinners.com, check it out if you get the chance. Recently, my older brother wrote an article on how he won $10,000 using our daily fantasy golf strategy, so feel free to check out that article as well http://dailyfantasywinners.com/won-10000-playing-fantasy-golf-draftkings/.
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