There are thousands of videos and articles that cover the exact strategy to playing poker. In this “Tip of the Day” I wanted to give some insight into playing the larger stake live games. In this example we will use my home state, Florida.
First off, Florida is a very good US State to make a living. While the variance is very difficult due to looseness of players, a solid $5/10 player should make around $75-$100 an hour or $100-$200k yearly depending on how much you decide to play.
Let us discuss some basic tips when playing higher stakes.
1. You are the outcast
Immediately a poker pro will notice you. Almost all pros in Florida, or most other States will know whether to mess with you or not within the first 5 minutes. If you’re fumbling your stack, have trouble keeping pace, or can’t count your chips – it’s a dead giveaway. Try not to stick out like a sore thumb. If you want to play $5/10, trying playing the $100 buy in tables. You will basically be playing the same thing but adding a zero.
2. Find the Pros and Play the Opposite
They’re pros for a reason, and like you are easy to spot, they too are easy to spot. They know every dealer, tip terrible, and don’t play many pots. What most pros don’t expect from the average player is to be outplayed. Try raising with your suited connectors. Pros in live games won’t put you on a suited connector so if you hit a straight, a small set or something of the sort you can generally win a sizeable amount and gain some respect so they don’t bully you around.
3. Don’t Overbet the Weak Players
We see it all the time. A low stake player makes some money and wants to try higher stakes. I say “high stakes” because most poker rooms in Florida don’t run higher than $5/10 very often. Don’t try to bully or bluff this player. An all in bet is usually a serious hand vs a serious hand. It is not often you see the pros put all their money in with a massive bluff – unless they have a good read on their opponent. Pros usually have the best hand when they bet big against you and bad players are more likely to call you whether you’re bluffing or not. Use this to your advantage.
Keep your cool, set a desired amount to play with and take it as a learning experience. If you feel like the cards are running bad or you’re constantly getting outran don’t worry, this is common for higher stakes games. Watch how the other pros grind (not the pretend pros) and see how few hands they actually play.