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Strategy with Kristy: Live Cash Game Coaching

Strategy with Kristy

Post Black Friday, many online cash-game poker players have had to transition to live games. The differences in strategy, composition, style, and volume can be difficult to adjust to. For this edition of Strategy with Kristy, host Kristy Arnett talks to two former online players who have evolved into live players and now coach for StackEmCoaching, Jaymes Rosenthal and Jon Hemmer. Their student, a poker dealer and player, Berk Brown, also joins the show. The four discuss the coaching process and also touch on the differences between online and live poker. Hemmer goes into detail on small nuances he has picked up on.

Here is a snippet from that part of the interview:

The first thing is that, especially at the lower limits, the games just aren’t as aggressive as they are online. A $1/$2 or $1/$3 (no-limit hold’em) game in a casino is going to play much softer than a $1/$2 game would online. Because of that, one adjustment you’ll see players make is that leading becomes more valuable. Leading wasn’t that valuable online because most of the time, you would just check to the raiser, and if you had a strong hand, you could just check raise. Live, you can’t always depend on someone to value bet top pair, top kicker on the turn or the river. Leading is more prevalent and has more value in the live arena.

Also, there is a lot less three-betting and four-betting, which means you have to make some adjustments preflop. There’s a lot more limping so you can isolate wider.

Can you talk about situations in which you think it’s best to lead?

Yeah. Anytime you flat a raise out of position, and then you lead into them, it’s called a donk bet. You’re taking the initiative away from the raiser. Generally, you would just check and let him [your opponent] bet.

Good boards to donk are ones that are super wet, so maybe like a ten-nine-eight board. If someone has ace-king, they can’t really play back at you because there are so many draws, two-pairs, and set combos. He’s just going to muck a large percentage of the time. And then, leading rivers for value is important too because people just don’t value-bet as wide. Sometimes, you just have to lead when you make your hand on the river, whereas online, that’s something I would just never do. I’m not saying always, but often if you river a flush or two-pair, it’s correct to lead.

Tune in every week for new episodes of Strategy with Kristy. Feel free to send in questions, ideas or suggestions for the podcast to Also remember to follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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