Thursday, February 26, 2015

Transitioning to live poker: Topping up your stack

As a player who mostly studied the game online, I've had to adapt a lot to playing live: stop being a tell-box, dealing with distractions, wearing presentable clothes, counting and learning how to handle chips, etc.

Today I'm sharing another adaptation that most live players don't do: automatically topping up.  Failing to do this as a winning player is costing you money.
When you play online, the software has an option to automatically rebuy back to whatever level you want immediately after you lose money.  It's smooth, seamless, and it maximizes your EV compared to topping up only when you get felted. Those extra big blinds matter when you double up through someone who has you covered.

But how would you do this live? Playing in a brick and mortar establishment, refilling means getting out cash and bothering either the dealer or the cage to get more chips. This is okay-ish for $100+, but it would be a real bother for a small amount of chips, and doing it means you slow down the dealer or miss a hand going to the cage.

Solution? I buy extra chips beforehand and stuff them in my pocket. If I drop below the max buy-in, I just flip some out to my stack.  Voila! Automatic (okay, analog, shut up) topping up in live poker. 
I take all credit if you win more, but no responsibility if you lose extra money doing this fancy maneuver.

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