Played at my usual 1/2 NL cash game last night. Pretty rough way to make 45 bucks. Tough first table with alot of strong players, about two thirds of whom I recognised. No real memorable hands at this table just a bunch of regulars not getting too far out of line and passing money around. The only bright spot was when a guy I didn't know got pissed because I called his all in for $52 with a flush draw when I was getting the right odds to make the call. I love when people get mad at me for playing correctly.
Transferred after about 2 hours to try to find a softer table. It helped but I was pretty card dead, I may as well have folded all my small pairs and suited connectors preflop because none of them hit. Two hands from this table stand out, one is an example of an edge that I have live that I don't have online, and one is a good example of a hand where I was able to put my opponent on a very narrow range right from the start using things I could just as easily have used online.
In the first one I just made an instinct read on the guy. I'm not sure what gave it away but I just knew he'd fold if I bet the turn. He had limped from UTG+2, it folded to me in the cutoff and I raised to 10 with AJo, the big blind and the limper both called. The flop was Q 8 6, it checked to me and I bet out 20, the BB folded and UTG+2 called. I don't know if it was the way he bet or what but I knew he'd fold if I bet the turn. I don't remember what the turn card was or if I even looked at it, he checked, I bet 45, he folded. This is a good example of the kind of read I just can't make online.
The other one came down to paying attention to my opponents betting patterns and using that information to help make my decisions in the hand. I may have played it the same anyway, but the added information made me alot more confident, and that's always a good thing. I had been paying close attention to the guy on my immediate right as he seemed to be one of the strongest players, he was definitely one of the more aggressive. I got involved in a big hand with him where there were 2 early limpers and he made it 10 from the button. Since this is a pretty standard move for an aggressive player with a pretty wide range of hands, I made the call from the small blind with Kh8h, one limper folded and the other called. The limper only had about 65 behind, I had about 185 and the button had us both covered. The flop came down Kc 10h 8d, the short stack checked and the guy on my right bets out 50. This probably would've screamed TPTK anyway, but because I had been watching him I knew he had a habit of underbetting the pot with his really strong hands but overbetting with his good but vulnerable hands, so I wasn't worried about him having flopped a set and really only needed to be concerned if an A or Q came out. I smooth called because I figured I was best at that point an not very vulnerable, maybe I should've raised but I wanted the other player to call too (or thought I did at the time anyway). As it happened she came over the top for the rest of her stack and we both called. The turn was a low unsuited card and opponent bet out for 80, it didn't take me long to come back over him for the rest of my stack as I was 90% sure he had either AK or KQ, and was also sure he'd have to call 40 more right there. He did have AK, but the short stack had K 10 to win the main pot. But I took down the side pot with my 2 pair and was pretty happy about the way I'd played the hand despite not scooping the whole pot.
This is something I need to do more of, both live and online. I need to pay closer attention to my opponents and look for patterns. If I cant use physical tells and "feel" online I guess that's the next best thing, and so it's something I need to concentrate on.