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Poker News | Online Poker | News

Boot Camp - Late Night Poker

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After a battle that compared in some ways to the painted warriors fighting for their freedom in "Braveheart," both twins are asleep and snug in their carriers, where they will spend the night.

I look over at the clock. It's 10:30 p.m.

It's poker time.

I can't worry about the fact that it's 12:30 a.m. on the east coast. When you've got a toddler as you're raising newborn twins, as I am, you have to play poker when you can get it. The beauty of online poker is that a game is always available with players around the world.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere in the world with someone just waiting to push a pair of 10's into my A-A. Occasionally that also means playing poker in the afternoon or even in the morning, although I generally don't do that, since I'm about as much of a morning person as a raccoon.

There are some advantages and disadvantages to playing at odd hours. Here are some observations about playing not-for-prime-time poker in $25 NL cash games on Ultimate Bet , Full Tilt , Poker Stars:

• Friday night fever is real - Poker is a skill game, but it's also a form of gambling, and gambling is based partly on superstition. So it may not be entirely true that Friday nights are looser and more profitable. Although I think they are because they are good to me.

It makes sense though, Friday nights are for partying, right? So they're either thinking about that party at work and choosing to play a little poker, or they're coming back from that party a little tipsy and ready to spew off some chips.

Friday nights are a great time to play, even late, and in fact you could argue the later, the better, given that these people need a little time to get inebriated. And Friday afternoons are the best time, I've found, to play at a time other than the evening. Saturday nights are the same, but only late at night, I've found. Saturday afternoons appear to be filled with more good players than you might think. And Sunday evenings are surprisingly good, and by good I mean filled with bad players.

• The players vary wildly - Late at night, you'll find wilder, loose-aggressive players to feast on, but you'll also find more sharks. The typical player these days at $25 NL tight nut peddlers - tend to be in bed sleeping for their day jobs. That means you're reads on players have to be better than ever because you could be dealing with a tricky player or an idiot, and mistaking one for the other can cost you a lot of money.

• Sit ‘N' Gos are tougher - SnG's are best when you let others make mistakes. Generally late at night at in the afternoon, players don't make many mistakes. It's not like Doyle Brunson is trolling around at all hours, but when you play SnG's in off hours, you'll find mostly tight, careful players, and when you've got too many of them, SnGs tend to become luck fests when the blinds skyrocket. I don't play SnGs now as a result, since I rarely get to play in prime time without my wife attempting to kill me.

• It's good to learn how to play shorthanded games - I do play at full tables even late at night, but you might find only two or three tables, especially on smaller sites such as Ultimate Bet , so you might have to play seven-handed. And no matter what, there are always plenty of 6-max tables full of players. If you know how to play 6-max games, you'll have a lot more options both in the afternoon and in the evening. It's regular poker. Just widen your hand range, play a little more aggressively and bluff more (and be willing to call more). In the afternoon, the 6-max games are by far the juiciest.

•You'll probably only play Hold ‘Em - On the smaller sites, Hold Em is the only game in town late at night. You'll still find Omaha and other games on Full Tilt , Poker Stars, but you might have to play 6-max games, and it might be at a level higher than you're comfortable with. As always, if you start to make plays you normally wouldn't at those levels, log off or play another game.

• You'll only find a few juicy games at a time - In fact, you may only find one. That's truer than ever these days, unfortunately, as the fish continue to dry up. But late at night or in the afternoons it's even more true. So settle for the other games to warm up and get on the waiting lists of the games you want.

• You can find the same players easier - The good news is it's easier to find your favorite fish that way. The bad news is the players may also be paying attention to your tendencies. Take good notes on your players and play a little differently than you normally would to counteract their notes.

• Keep checking the tables for good games - Games change frequently in the later hours, so keep checking those percentages and the averages per pot and don't be afraid to change at a moment's notice.

• You'll concentrate more - Your poker buddies aren't usually up at all hours (most don't have twins to feed), so you'll be able to focus more on the game. That is, unless your babies are up. Then you'd probably better play the lower levels.

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