888poker: Ian Simpson’s top tips for switching from online poker to live poker

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professional poker player ian simpson was overjoyed when he became the last 888poker ambassador earlier this year. The Englishman has also recorded impressive results since joining the platform.

In the latest series of Made to Learn videos from 888pokerIrish Poker Open 2013 winner details the tips you need to know about exchanging virtual felt for live poker games.

1. Calculation of pot size

A big difference between live poker and online poker is that it’s up to us to calculate the size of the pot. In live poker, it is important to keep a mental count of the current pot size. This will allow you to get the correct bet size when playing a hand.

Don’t forget that the dealers are there to help you. If you lose track of the pot, you can ask the dealer to spread it out so you can start counting it again.

2. One Token Rule

If you are new to live poker, some rules will be unfamiliar to you. One of them will be the one-flea rule. If someone at your table raises to 400 and you throw in a 1000 chip, that will be considered a call. It doesn’t matter if you use a 5,000, 25,000 or 100,000 token, putting a token will always be signified as a call.

To clarify what you want to do, express your intentions because verbal statements are binding.

3. Adjust to a slower pace

Live poker has a slower pace of play than online poker and this is largely due to the shuffling and flipping of cards which must be done manually by a dealer. It can be easy to get distracted by your phone or what’s on TV. Don’t fall victim to this.

Focus on what other players are doing, even when you’re not in the hand, because you might miss a few live commands.

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4. Know your battery size

When playing live poker, there is no display showing you the size of your chip stacks and those of your opponents. Before you play a hand, note how much each of your opponents has so you’re ready for later streets.

It is in the rules that chips should be stacked in easily countable piles of 10 or 20 if possible and large chips should be visible. You are perfectly within your rights to ask an opponent to sort their messy pile. You can also ask the dealer or upstairs if needed.

5. Be Aware of Live Tells

Live tells are a big part of what separates live and online poker. If you’re new to live tell, don’t worry too much because most people overestimate their ability to read live tell.

If you’re worried about giving anything away, try to act consistent with all your moves. Put the chips in the pot in the same way each time, for example.

This will make it harder for people to get a read of you and remember not to be talkative while playing a hand.

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Calum Grant

Editor and Live Reporter

Calum has been with the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the energy sector in the UK. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. The poker feat Calum is most proud of is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious night Flamingos at $60.

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