How Good are You Guys/Gals?

So my question is really two-fold: How good are the top players here? And is there any correlation to success here vs. success at small stakes tables like 1/2 or 2/5?

Obviously with it being free-to-play there are some things that can’t be accounted for, but could certain assumptions be made about ranking vs potential success with real money?

Would a typical top 2000 player at Replay be consistently and decently profitable (let’s say 4BB/hr) at 1/2? Would a top 500 player be solid at 2/5?

On a directly related side note, my background is that I recently started playing here in Nov. of 2018 and I cracked into the top 25,000 with relative ease. After a couple months break I came back to playing and found myself in the top 10,000 inching closer to the top 5k.

I have very little poker experience outside of Replay and wonder if I continue playing should I try to play some low-stakes real-money games? Mostly for fun or course, but I would want to be at the very least a break-even player. No need to have a hobby that actively loses me money!

Again, obviously, you guys don’t know me from a hole in the ground, so you can’t give me an in-depth analysis on my game or tell me whether I’m ready for real-money poker. Personally, I just want reasonable assumptions, rules of thumb, and some anecdotes/personal examples if applicable.

Hopefully thanks in advance for the replies!

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Trying to correlate RP poker to Cash (Tourney or Ring) is like try to equivocate gold and lead because they weigh about the same. As for the “top” players, it is my opinion, based on how I’ve seen them play in low stakes games (tourneys - primarily free rolls) that most of them are only ranked high (low numerically) because of their chip stakes, certainly not on the play I’ve seen. There is a LOT that can be learned on RP from players of all ranks, but play on RP is not real poker and never will be so long as the chips are free to those who want them. Remember that before you buy in at a table or tourney.

There are very good players on replay that could and should do well in live games, I have played my share and do well in them, (heading to one this weekend) but the buy-ins are lower end, (under $250.00) I don’t suggest ever going to a table where you bring money that you can access during the game. (sit n go) This can be very dangerous since the mind will tell you that you can win it back. (any time now)
Instead I recommend buying into a tourney with the mentality that you can’t lose anymore than the buy-in cost. There is nothing the rush you will get at your 1st game, It will be intense, but you will have a story for years.
Most cities will have a tourney you can find, golf course, fund raiser, sports bars, and so on, and $50 is a good place to try it out. If you do it with friends at each others houses, it won’t get you ready for a game where you don’t know most the players. Would love to hear how it went after your 1st game. Enjoy

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i do well here and in live tournaments

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Your advice makes sense to me. However, I’ll certainly have to work on my tournament strategy. Thanks for the reply!

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What constitutes “well”? @county29

Some days, you should see me go, I’m amazing.

Other days, I totally suck. No really, it gets pretty bad. Some days i suck so much, we don’t really need gravity.

So I either suck and have lucky days or I’m pretty good and have sucky days. Honestly, I don’[t see much difference between the two, so take your pick.

My goal is to have more fun than anyone else. I seem to be doing quite well at that.

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Lots of info here, and always look for info anywhere you can find it, books, online, TV etc…

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You just went out in 51st position in a mutual tournament on RP with a small buy in. I suspect you had something better to do, which I know is often the case for me!

The real question is not what is the standard of play on RP. The standard of play on RP poker is terrible, including my own.

My current ranking is #590 and the standard of play in the 1-million and 5-million chip buy-in tournaments is really not much better than the lower buy-ins, except that the players are less likely to call an all-in preflop raise with A T in the first ten minutes of a tournament. Many players will limp with almost anything and then play like they have the nuts with second pair, no kicker. Many players will call any preflop raise with any small pocket pair from any position. Many players will miniraise when they should raise larger.

In all the tournaments on RP the standard of play is much better when it gets to the final table, but that is just because it becomes a shove-a-thon and there is not a lot of calling.

The real question is what is the standard of play like in live cash games and tournaments, and to that question I have no idea. I have only ever played one live tournament, about 10 years ago in the Dominican Republic for a $25 buy-in, and I only played 1 hand, which was KK, and I lost all my chips.

So I don’t really know, however I suspect that the higher buy-in tournaments where there are substantial prizes for winners will attract some very capable players as well as players with plenty of money to burn. As far as cash games, I always remember that old poker aphorism, take a look around the table and see who the fish is, and if you do not see one, then it is probably you.

Coming back to tournaments on RP, the biggest difference is between those players who are playing to try to win tournaments, and those who just want to relax and have fun.

I can actually flip between the two, and tend to try harder at bigger buy-ins where a loss will damage my ego, and experiment more with tactics and calling what I think are bluffs at lower buy-ins.

To win tournaments on RP, you have to be prepared to fold most hands, raise to isolate opponents when you have good hands or position, or sometimes as a bluff, so that when those good opening hands get a favorable flop, there is a very good chance that you will be ahead, or that when there are tied hands you will have the better kicker.

You cannot play with fear. You must make opponents fear you. You must accept that sometimes bold moves will backfire on you and you will be knocked out, but also know that some of the largest pots can be won with bluffs.

I don’t think winning tournaments on RP means much, but at least having experience of winning tournaments means that you have some idea what it takes to win.

Having said that, look at this hand, the very last one that I played a minute ago. I am in second place in the tournament, there are 12 players left in from 52 starters, and 10 will win prize money.

Should I have folded to this wild attempt to resteal on the cusp of the bubble or called as I did. In a higher stakes tourney I might have folded the to resteal, but in this lower stakes entry I had to call with KK. And in a real money tournament would the opponent have tried this move right on the bubble? Who knows?

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/518703614

The perceived wisdom here in these forums is that this is an automatic call for me, but I am increasingly suspicous that given the stack positions, it would be better to fold in tournaments, not cash games, although if opponents were sure I would fold to any resteal then they would be doing this all the time.

Bottom line is probably that people just don’t take these RP games all that seriously and that you can’t really take anything from the hand shown and use it in a serious tournament for real money.

The blinds are getting up there and who knows how long it will take for 2 more people to bust out. If you fold kings there, what’s the plan? Hang on and try to coast into 8th place so you can get your entry back? I think you have to call.

The bubble is a great time to steal a few pots. If I even suspected you would fold kings, I’d do it every time.

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I think there are tons of things you can take out of these games, you are most likely to get called when you are not vested in a game, but you also learn how to lose & rethink why or how to play things. Real tables are much tighter, but they also have fish in the pond, and unless you are at a fairly high stake buy-in, you can learn how to catch them. And Vikkey ( who you lost your kings to), is a gambler, and often does the push with good hands to get you to fold or hope to get lucky.
As for me, I often use lower buy-in games to try out different styles, betting’s, ranges, idea’s, and plays, to see how they work on loose players before taking to my main stakes.

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Another thing I would add about the general standard of play is that there are numerous players who will call a pot-sized bet with second pair. While you actually want your opponents to play this way, the problem is that 1) the structure of these tournaments means that you may often have a considerable percentage of your stack at risk on any one hand, and 2) there are so many of these players that you may get past two or three, but still fall foul of the fourth.

I would expect that in real-money tournaments, you might see far fewer second pair callers who call large bets without having the right odds.In fact I think a defining feature of RP tournaments is that few players care about pot odds, or most likely, few players care about pot odds.

Again one should like playing against opponents who do not understand pot odds, but in short stacked tournaments, it can be difficult to formulate the best strategy.

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WINNING!

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Yea I remember that tiny stake tournament. I started and then realized I didn’t want to play a full tourney so I kinda just punted.

I also appreciate your analysis on a RP poker player vs. real, especially the comments about 2nd pair. I doubt many people would be happy calling a pot sized bet consistently with no extra equity. However, in RP its a more of the “what the heck lets see the turn” and happens relatively often.

As far as your hand is concerned, I would be calling that shove with Kings 100% of the time. It is a +EV move and people have a tendency to try to steal pots closer to the bubble. I would assume this particular phenomenon happens at both RP and in real tournaments, as most people tighten their play style close to the money. Seemingly if you have the cajones to shove with more marginal hands it could be profitable. In this case though, you got it all in while you were significantly ahead. That’s good poker!

Of course, that’s just my opinion though!

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Thanks for the comments.

Here is another hand of interest in which I played incredibly badly and was eliminated.

I was in the BB with about 12 big blinds and I had A 4o. It was a limped pot with 4 players including 2 from early position and a very large stack, who I think was the tournament leader.

The flop comes Ace high, and I check the flop and it is checked around to the big stack who is in position. He puts in a small bet of about 1/6th of the pot. I interpreted this as meaning that he didn’t mind taking the pot if no one else was interested, but didn’t want to put many of his chips at risk, or possibly that he had second or third pair, or some kind of pair/draw combo. So I shoved, being fairly confident that he would have to fold his hand. However he called and turned over A9, so had me outkicked, and ran out the winner.

So was I just fooled by a very clever player, or did he just decide to call my shove based on his stack being greater than mine (5 to 1), and expecting to lose to my range, which could be infinite considering that I limped in from the big blind position? Or did he suss out that I was shoving with an inferior ace that was not good enough to raise preflop-which would have been a good read? I just don’t know, and will welcome any comments on this hand. I would agree that I did not play it well. I suppose I could have just called the flop bet and the hand may have been checked down to the river, or I could have raised the flop bet to 900 to see what the villain thought of his hand and then folded on any further bets or a reraise from him.

Certainly his line of play seems very strange to me.

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/518749642

PS. After writing this I did a bit more research and found that the opponent who knocked me out finished in 17th place, 2 out of the money in spite of his huge lead at this time, and that he is ranked almost 44,000 on RP and has less than 100.000 chips, so I think I have probably answered my own question.

Here is another example of how many people play on RP at all levels of tournaments. You are sitting in the BB and four players limp to you. You look down at QQ or AKs and raise to 10BB. Three of the four players call the raise!

So none of these players has a hand good enough for an opening raise, yet they are good enough to call a huge raise. The reason this happens is that these players want to see a flop. The would like to see the flop cheaply, but if they have to call off their whole stack to see a flop, then so be it.

In reality, none of them have the correct odds to call at the time that they made the call, and yet playing as a team they are favorites to beat you, even though you have the third best opening hand.

If you are playing against a single player who calls with a hand that is probably dominated, you are very happy, but if you are called by three, your chances rapidly diminish. For example:

Add a 4th player with a pair of 3s and you go down to less than 33% chance of winning the hand over the full five cards.

From this you can at least take consolation that even if you do not win the hand, two of your three opponents are going down with you!

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It is important to note here that the “small bet of about 1/6th of the pot” is actually a minimum bet. I have noticed in tournaments here that players might call a raise preflop, but will often fold to a minimum bet on the flop, if it misses them. Since everyone checked to the button, it only makes sense to try to take down the pot with a minimum bet, especially since he actually had picked up top pair. Firing off a minimum bet here also lets him know if anyone is slow playing the hand. If you had called, rather than raised, you might still have ended up HU with him (with both an Ace and a King on the board, any small pocket pairs are liable to get out of your way, even to a minimum bet). I’m not sure why he called when you shoved, but he had the chips to spare and I think of him as an aggressive, loose player. Honestly, I wouldn’t have shoved with your hand or called with his, lol.

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To be honest, I was pretty sure that I was ahead, (wrongly, as it turned out) and did not mind if he called with second pair, because I needed a strategic double up from somewhere as with 12 BB I was around the point where I could not make preflop raises and would have to start shoving preflop.

In a lot of ways it was just a mundane hand with bad play all round, but I don’t remember ever being knocked out of a tournament with a hand quite like this before.

In his position there is no way that I would have called, because my experience is that if you get a big lead early in a tournament, you don’t want to fritter away thousands of chips in marginal hands, and can probably nick enough blinds from late position or from blind on blind action to stay ahead of the game while others eliminate each other. Of course if I get monsters, I will try to take out smaller stacks or put them in the position where they must shove or fold.

Here’s my humble opinion:

I think looking at this hand from both perspectives is key.

So from your perspective you have almost no information. The pot is unopened. So with no pre-flop raisers everyone’s range is relatively wide. Placing a raise here is an option, albeit probably not a great one, since you might just bloat the pot with a weak ace and force yourself to commit. However, when the flop comes 6-A-K rainbow there is a good chance you have the best hand, since no-one raised pre. A-10+ is most likely not in play, nor are any larger pocket pairs (no set of kings for you worry about).

You could open here and make a small bet of 300-500. Betting into 4 other players certainly makes your hand look stronger than it really is as well. That being said you are out of position so making a donk bet has its own risks. If you get called, then someone else connected on the flop. If you get raised, 1) someone is trying to steal the pot 2) they have you crushed.

The other option, which might be better is to just check-call and re-evaluate on the turn. If the villain fires again you can certainly narrow his range. Likewise, if he checks behind, then yay off to the river with solid showdown value.

Heck, you could even raise if you didn’t believe him. Just pop it to 800-900 instead of the whole stack. You’ll end up with the same information without having to commit all your chips. Plus you will be the aggressor so he should check to you on the turn allowing you to dictate pace.

From his perspective, with no pre-flop aggression and the best middle Ace he can profitably make that call. Plus, he is not playing for his tournament life and he knows small stacks will be making moves to secure their chance to money. To me it makes sense that he called the shove.

You kind of played it in the “If correct-win min, if wrong-lose all” mentality. I’ve made that mistake so many times, that’t what it strikes me as.

The times you win the hand you’re winning a much bigger pot as well!