Comparing Online Opponents to Real-World Ones
Marc Gilutin wrote...
> I occasionally visit PP and have watched some of the games from
> $3-6 thru $10-20 and I must be missing something. For those of us
> fortunate enough to be within an hour of a real California poker room,
> I haven't seen a game online that is anywhere near as good as the
> average....no, the worst...of the loose/passive 'brick & mortar' variety.
> An Omaha 8 game with less than 5 people seeing the flop is pretty much
> fiction in the Los Angeles area. I watched online for an hour the other night
> without seeing a pot that would've qualified for a kill. So how much is it
> worth to play in your bathrobe, Steve?
First, who needs a bathrobe? Second, this is really a case of looks can be deceiving. The LA games are wonderful of course
as we know. However, LA games often are not "loose passive" but "loose aggressive". For example, any game with
Lucky Kevin in it. Pots can be three or four bets, seven-way action.
That is great. However, obviously you need to show the best hand, so starting hands become even more important, with a little pot manipulation
your only other key skill. Also, since all pots are the same number of bets before the flop, you lose the ability to play for two bets the
obviously good hands (say A24K), while being able to play the highly speculative, need-the-flop hands like 234K or KKxx for one bet.
Windows - Mac
I'm far more familiar with the 10/20 Omaha8 games than anything else on Paradise, but these games are *extremely* weak. The
players are so passive, so weak, so timid, such terrible bluffers, there is no comparison between how poorly these folks
play and the loose-aggressive players who light up Bike/Commerce/Hollywood/Hustler Omaha games. In fact, the LA-typical terrible
players do relatively well on Paradise merely because they are aggressive. These players should be destroyed almost instantly,
but because 6 of the 10 players are such passive milquetoasts the loosey-goosey is allowed to win or split many pots s/he shouldn't.
The LA games may be looser, but the online games are weaker.... one example. Player1 limps two under the gun, everybody
folds to the big blind. He checks. Flop is 876. Big Blind bets, Player1 calls. Turn is a 7. Check, check. River is a Q.
Check, check. Big blind turns over 23TQ. Player1 has.... AA25! While this is an extreme example of horrific play, that
super-passive sort of thing goes on all the time.
I will say though that some of the liveliest 10/20 Omaha8 games at Paradise are tougher than LA games. When the online games
get live-r, the players tend to play less poorly.
Playing Heads-Up Online
> Just for kicks, I went to the play-money heads-up tables at Paradise.
> I started with the $1200 in play money they give you, and went straight
> to the 3/6 HE heads up games. In 3 weeks or casual play, I've got $5,600+
> in play money, ALL from playing 3/6 HE heads-up. While I would say,
> in general, that the quality of opponents playing for free online is bad,
> I can't help but note that most of the players I've played against for
> money are just as bad, and in many cases, worse. The thing that struck
> me about heads-up play for play money is that most players actually
> play as though it were real money.
This is an excellent point, I think. I've only paid a tiny amount of attention to play-money games, but head-up, it seems
people play mostly sanely. Sure, they play every gutshot on the turn regardless of pot odds, but there isn't much of 75o
calling on a KQ2 flop. As for the quality of opponents, this does seem to vary a lot online. Some people post here about
Holdem games being tougher than parallel real-world ones. My experience with the Omaha games is the level of play is far
lower than (California) real-world clubs. Shockingly so actually. I don't know about head-up, so I think you should go
experiment and tell us... :) It takes a fairly unique sort of person to want to play head-up. Most people who desire to play
head-up feel a greater need to defeat an opponent than to make money, that is, they think of "winning" in a non-monetary
way. That obviously should be exploitable by a player valuing the money more.
> The lack of a rake. This is the one that is most important, I think.
> I didn't account for the rake in my results, but even if I do, I'm still
> WAY ahead of the game. After calculating a rough "rake per hour"
> of play by watching the live tables, I'm still killing the game. Granted,
> this is a small sample of playing time, and I did indeed have my
> negative swings, but all in all, the ride was consistent and not too bumpy.
How many hours did you play to accumulate that much profit? My feeling, with nothing to back it up, is that a rake of $1 a
hand ($100+ an hour) playing $3/6 (or $20/40 for that matter) is just likely to be either unbeatable, or at least less
profitable than if the player played a full game. On the other hand, Last Chance (and perhaps Kidpoker) allegedly made
$50,000 - $100,000 primarily playing head-up for a year.
If you made PM$4400, but it took you 70 hours to do it, that is really close to breakeven poker (at $60/hour for your share of rake).
> So, my question again is, does anyone (I don't expect to get any
> screen names) here play a lot of heads-up online poker? And if so,
> how are you doing? I'd love any opinions on this.
Me too. I volunteer you for the job.
> I know this issue has been discussed over and over again.
> I just can't seem to believe that some people won't admit
> that on-line poker is a risky proposition.
Poker is risky. Online poker is risky. It's not stamp collecting or solitaire.
> Why risk your hard earned money when cheats are going to scam your for it?
There is cheating in all forms of poker, including on the kitchen table with buddies. It's ludicrous to single out cheating
in one form while blissfully ignoring it in other forms.
I can't prove it, but it's obvious to me that there is more effective cheating in
ring game casino poker than online, just
because it is a hundred times easier to do in a casino (like craning your neck to see an opponents cards). With the
exception of comparing mucked cards with friends whose bankroll you don't share, cheating online requires a lot of work, and
even then it is detected like at Highlands where it ended up *costing* the cheater cash money.
> It's just odd to see how convinced Badger is that on-line poker
> is a safe and positive environment for poker.
"Safe"? No, stay in bed with the covers over your head if you want that. Relatively safe? Yes. Safer than a casino ring
game? Yes, probably. Safe on a risk-to-reward basis? Absolutely definitely yes yes yes.
Online poker is the best thing to happen to poker since flop games came to California. It ain't perfect, but it's great for the game.
> > Badger: "Poker is risky. Online poker is risky."
> Agreed. I simply think that it's riskier than a casino game, and that
> the reward is not worth the inflated risk.
Just suppose a player playing Omaha could win 2.5BB per hour in a casino, but could win 6BB per hour online. In your mind,
is the "risk" not worth the reward? Or more simply, if a player can beat an online game for 2BB per hour, why not play?
Or even more simply, if casinos very rarely spread games $1/$2 or below, why shouldn't a novice take advantage of the very small
games online by putting up a couple hundred dollar bankroll and get some experience under their belt? These are all no-brainers.
The risk to reward makes playing online a slam dunk for any decent player, or one who wants to do the work to become decent.
> I think the reason for all the "it's safe/secure" drama is two-fold: 1. Ego - the
> winners like nothing better than to tell the losers that it's 100% legit and
> they lost because they are losing players. 2.
Greedy - the winners don't want
> the games to break because of bad press - they want to keep winning.
Why is it some people have a gripe against online poker? You don't like it, don't play. Why is it some people think that
something that "walks like a duck, etc." isn't a duck? What is the deal on this endless negativity? What I say about
online poker has nothing more or less different than anything I ever say about casino ring games or tournaments. Money is to be
made in all of them. What motivates people to draw these mythical lines? As for greed, that's at least somewhat
logical. But again, I've made money in all
three of the forms of poker I mentioned above. I don't post here to lure people into ring games/tournaments/online. But, what
is good for poker is good for winning poker players (at least I can't think of an exception).
There just seems to be very little sense being shown by the critics of online poker. Yes, it isn't perfect. Yes, as of
today, good players can win easily regardless of the level of cheating going on. Yes, the card rooms have every motivation
in the world to run a square game and deal severely with cheaters. It's just another way to play a poker game. Play if you
want. Don't if you don't. Me, I like money, I like super soft games, so I play online.
Playing Head-Up Online
Matt Grapenthien wrote...
> A lot more players will play heads up, which will increase, rather than decrease,
> [the cardroom's] bottom line.
I doubt this is true. A lot of the heads-up action is very strong players destroying tilt-prone, arrogant, bullheaded, bad players.
This is not in the room's interest, nor in the interest of players in general. The awful players are likely to just bail out, instead
of hanging around to play bad for a longer period. The equivalent phenomenon in brick & mortar casinos is pot limit or no limit. The
bad players go broke too fast, and the games dry up,
which is bad for the house and the bulk of the players - everybody except the player or two who made a big score.
I agree the head-up rake makes it unattractive to play. Overall though, I would have to think this is best for everybody
concerned -- except excellent head-up players.
Pokerspot, "Fraudulent Chips" & Online Poker
There is a great future for poker on the Internet. This being so, there should be one thing that the poker playing community
should make very uniformly clear -- there is no such thing as "fraudulent chips." It is a non-term. It will not be
recognized by any online poker player. If some criminals defraud an online site, the online site must bear 100% of the
burden of that. This burden can be passed along to customers like any other business expense in the form of higher rakes,
but the idea of somehow invalidating some part of an honest player's account because they won chips that were dishonestly
purchased is totally unacceptable.
If players owed substantial monies want to make a settlement with Pokerspot regarding debts, that is up to them, but in no
case is the concept of fraudulent chips acceptable. Any online cardroom that uses this term (or concept) should receive no
business from any player, ever. And no second-generation business should either... Fortunately, online poker does present us
players with a positive option. The Pokerspot software is unique. It could be sold. Someone will possess it, and it is
useable for an online cardroom. However, in my view, many players have a (non-legal) lien on that software. No player should
play on any new commercial site attempting to use this valuable software, unless all legitimate Pokerspot debts are paid. (I
mean a new cardroom, not the freebie use PokerPages puts it to.) All potential buyers of this software should be put on
notice that players will not play on the software unless all the liens on it are satisfied. (Also fortunately I believe the
value of the software is substantially greater than the debts owed players.)
There are no "fraudulent chips". There is only a business that was run poorly. Sometimes businesses fail, and assets
have to be liquidated to cover liabilities. This is one of those cases.
> This is the quote from Russ "Dutch" Boyd concerning the situation:
> >"I estimate that between $150k and $250k of the chips in the
> > system are fraudulent, most of which are being cashed out by the
> > perpetrators of that fraud. Unofficially again, anyone who has won
> > more than $500 in fraudulent chips will receive a notice of the
> > games in question. Those fraudulent chips will be withheld. Any
> > non-fraudulent chips will be paid off."
I hadn't seen this. It is totally unacceptable, and should not be taken seriously by any player. Pokerspot can and should
withhold money from players who cheated or committed credit card fraud, but withholding the chips from any honest player is
theft committed by Pokerspot. End of story.
> if certain players requested chargebacks from their cc companies
> because it became clear they were not going to be paid, I have no
> problem with Pokerspot withholding payment for the amount of the
> chargebacks to those particular players.
> I'm pissed, frustrated, unable to do anything and hence resent
> the shit out of anyone profiting or giving profit to Pokerspot.
> I think they should have used their influence to withhold payment
> until Pokerspot paid the players. Obviously PokerPages did not
> withhold payment. Why is everyone so intent on holding PokerPages
> harmless here?
If PokerPages contracted for software it is not the right thing to do to not live up to their commitment just because they
contracted with someone who doesn't live up to their own commitments. What you should be asking is if PokerPages continues
to make arrangements with Pokerspot for that software... for example if the contract is renewable each month. If that were
the case, it seems to me people should rightly question PokerPages for choosing to do business in an ongoing fashion with a
company that has many outstanding liabilities that it isn't making good on. But Mark has said they made a one-time payment
many months ago. It would just be stupid to stop using the software that they have already paid for. But, if they ever pay
Pokerspot another cent as long as people are owed money, that seems to me to be a bad thing. I don't think players should
play on that software -- for any company that pays money for it from now on -- in the future until all Pokerspot's responsibilities
are taken care of. That's one thing that players as a group can do to discourage this sort of thing from happening again.
> I still go to my mailbox every day looking for my Pokerspot check.
May as well check the mailbox for Jennifer Connelly too. Chances are about equal.
Ten-handed Tight Games
> [The typical on-line poker player is] much tighter and much better,
> for the most part, than in live rooms.
You guys just have to stop thinking Holdem is the entire universe. There is no worse poker played anywhere than Paradise
Omaha games. There are other places where the play may be *equally* awful, but day in and day out, I have never seen a
bigger collection of the whole gamut of dreadful poker playing than on the Omaha tables (from 1/2 up to 10/20). (I've also
been doing an experiment on the $1/2 five-player Holdem games. Here again, the level of play is pitiful.)
I also have a hard time understanding this obsession the majority of people have thinking tight = better. Half the Paradise
Omaha players are tight, and they are treacherously poor players... 97 pound weaklings who are no threat to either good
players or the liveones. Likewise, tight Holdem players are no threat, but Holdem is a different game -- random luck looms large,
skill edges show themselves over a very
long run, poorish play is not punished nearly as much as
in other games, etc. etc. If you are going to play the game with the most luck, and is easiest to play adequately... well, what do you expect?
Now I'll mix a few threads and say that if people want to bellyache to Paradise about something, the thing that should be at
the TOP of every list, above little things like rolling or seat changing, should be ongoing agitation to encourage Paradise
to switch to nine-handed tables from ten-handed. The Holdem games are tight? Well, they are ten-handed! Ten-handed games are
tight in this world, nine-handed games much less so.
As a Californian I am used to nine-handed, and greatly prefer it. It's no coincidence California games are better/livelier
than Nevada games (which tend to be ten handed). I like games with more action... I like games that discourage rock-y
play... I like games that move faster and I get more hands per hour.... I like making more money per hour because games are
prompter and livelier... (and in b&m casinos I like having more room at the table). Many people complain about the
tightness of Paradise ten-handed Holdem games. Nobody complains about their five handed games being tight! Playing
nine-handed encourages action, but much less so than five handed.
David Huberman wrote...
> You're playing in a 10/20 game. Mostly same people you play with
> all the time. One guy, who you know to be a good, solid player, is a
> winning player. He's quiet, rarely if ever talking, and has the respect
> of everyone involved. Except how can you tell he's real?
If he's winning he is real. Bots would be little threat in full games. But of course this is a nonsense argument. If an
online site wanted to take up a game seat and cheat they wouldn't use a bot. That's ridiculous. They'd sit a human being
down who could look at all the cards. But if they did that, then how could the biggest winners online be individuals who
post here and on 2+2, are known human beings that many people have touched, etc. The way to get huge sums of money in poker
is to own the rake. Every single other way barely registers. The best evidence for the honesty of online poker sites is that
the good players win and the bad players lose, consistently.
Steve Carbonara wrote...
> If so (and I don't disagree), then I still don't see the supporting evidence
> that 9 handed games should play looser than 10 handed games.
"Should" is a funny word in poker. People should do a lot of things they don't, and do things they shouldn't. A lot of
things happen in poker for no good reason.
The great mass of players will play more hands head-up than three handed, more three handed than four handed, more four
handed than five handed. At some point this phenomenon becomes meaningless. Playing more hands fourteen handed than fifteen
handed might mean playing one more hand a month. The difference between nine and ten handed is small but it is something.
Again, since nine handed games will get seven handed (instead of eight) easier, they will also be looser when people are
sitting out or waiting for blinds.
> Or, even a difference that would make one game better than the other?
Looser doesn't necessarily mean more profitable, or better. It just means looser. Players tend to like that. I love the
Paradise Omaha games because they are weak/passive and tightish. I seldom play the 5-handed Omaha games much because they
are looser and more aggressive.
And a couple of guest comments...
JT Autry wrote...
I am going to hypothesize that playing online is entirely different then playing in a B&M card room. I would go further to
say that people online will play MUCH looser than in real life AND that you will have MANY more people that don't know what
the F*** they are doing. Add those factors up and you will probably find a whole bunch of people that found an online poker
site and say to themselves, "DAMN!! I crush our weekly quarter poker game and this one's only 50 cents so what the hell.
I think I've played Holdem before too!" They buy in for $50, and play any two cards.
These people have never read Sklansky, Malmuth, Jones, etc. and don't know that you are supposed to fold a 35o. Thus the
board hits with KQ35x and my AK gets cracked by the 35. WHAT HAPPENS THEN? I get pissed off and go on tilt and the poor
player's no foldem attitude is reinforced. That is until he bets the farm on that flush he just made with his 35 (at least
its s00ted this time) and gets rolled over by the nut. Then he probably thinks, "NO WAY!! This site is rigged, how can you
possibly beat that hand, I had a flush!, this sucks, I'm going to go post on alt.gambling.smellslikefish that this site is
rigged and I'm NEVER playing here again."
These threads are a waste of bandwidth. If you can't figure out how to beat the game (bots and all if that be the case) then
don't play it. If you can't beat it and still play it, then don't complain when you lose. Insanity is doing the same thing
over and over and expecting different results.
> I just don't believe that those games can be beat, by anyone.
> I just can't believe it isn't fixed.
Well, I'm sorry but you're wrong. Plenty of people DO beat those games. Just ask people on RGP. Don't rationalize your poor
results by claiming it's fixed. Just because you don't win at Paradise doesn't mean that you are being cheated. Like the
other poster said - Where's your proof? Did you ever think that *GASP* you simply are not very good at online poker?
And a Few Words From a Famous Net Kook
> You want hand histories from 1700 tournaments?????
> what are you?????
> No I played there won, began to lose (like always) and quit
> winning a week ago. The site is rigged. Sure.
All these sites you lose on are different. The only consistent thing is your poker ability. Your play is rigged for you to
lose. Time to rewire.
> Using paradisepokerexposed.com as an URL doesn't go anywhere.
Neither does Scobi's site... except the nuthouse I guess.