Questions and Answers

AskThePRO with Jeff Metajan

We would like to invite all our users to watch and participate in the next AskThePRO episode on TiltBook.com that will take place on Wednesday, 23.04.2014 at 20:00 CET! You can start posting your questions right now and when the session begins, our hero will choose and answer your best and most interesting ones in a course of exactly one hour.

This week's special guest: Jeff Metajan

I was supernova on Pokerstars grinding 24 tables online at NL50 and NL100 as a rakeback grinder when Black Friday forced me to adjust to live poker. I needed to adjust very quickly because poker was my main source of income. It was crucial to get back on the grind as soon as possible because I needed to support my wife and kids being the only income provider. Since then I studied the live game through books, watching training videos, and listening to podcasts. However, my major factor to my success was talking to other winning professionals. I spend the majority of my time grinding 2/5 NLH. However I also play 5/10 NLH when it runs from time to time and dabble in 2/5 PLO as well. I also play high Stakes tournaments when they are in my area or state.

 My best cash was recently at $3,500 WPT Championship with 1,795 players where I took 30th place. Poker has given me the opportunity to live my dreams, do what I want, provide for my family, and has give me a very blessed life. That's why I have dedicated a part of my time to teaching others and helping others that love the game as much as I do and help them achieve the same success and more!!

 Want free live poker strategies? Go to to my lollivepoker.com website and subscribe to me email list by putting your name and email in the box on the page. To receive personal coaching from me, check out my posting on twoplustwo.

Jeff will be live on TiltBook to answer all your cool questions on Wednesday, 23.04.2014 at 20:00 CET! at www.tiltbook.com/AskThePRO. And as always, remember the best question posted wins $20!

Sorry, you can't post questions at the moment.

Scarmaker: Hey Jeff! Thanks for doing the AskThePRO! As an expert on live play, I cannot resist asking you this - are these old school live players whose play, on the fundamental level, has been critised so much over the years llike Phil Hellmuth or Daniel Negreanu) on a super long heater or are they really that above the rest in some areas specific for live poker? And if its the latter, what areas exactly are we talking about? Thanks!
April 22, 2014 12:34
Hey Tomas!! Thank you for having me here, its great to be apart of this community and part of being the great pros here!! Great question you asked, there's no way they are on super long heaters. These so called "old school" players have stood the test of time and still doing well till this day. Yes we do see a lot of weird things that they do, but a lot of us such as myself learned a lot from playing online poker, playing over 5 million hands in less than 2 years, studying the game everyday, understanding game theory optimal plays, going over holdem manager database, plugging leaks, training sites, doing sweat sessions, getting coaching, etc. I can go on and on. These great players such as Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, and Doyle Brunson had nothing when they started compared to us, they put in the time at the tables when there was nothing else out there 10-20 years+ ago to learn. They have done the hard work of putting in the time and learning everything on their own and at that time, they probably only had each other to learn off of, in my opinion, that is the best learning tool. The thing is when it comes to live poker and playing over the past 3 years now professionally from playing online, I see that there are so many ways to beat the game live because so many more people make mistakes, weather they have bet sizing tell, physical live tells. Most of the player pool at the lower limits and some higher limits are mostly recreational players, or so called guys that think they are good, pretend that they play poker and that's all they do. A lot of them are there for the social aspect of the game, there to have a good time, drink and gamble.
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:10
3betnoregret: How did your daily routine(suggesting that you had one) change from an online player to a Live player?I mean online grinding 24 tables just isnt the same as a Live cash game :D
April 22, 2014 14:38
Another great question, thank you for it!! To be honest with you, it was such a refreshing yet nervous thing that happened on black Friday. I went from playing 8-10k hands a day in my office, doing sweat sessions with other online friends, studying, and analyzing my Holdem manager database (basically grind 12-14 hours of my time in a room) to driving to the casino that was 45 minutes away from my house now only 10 minutes away (hehe), putting in as many hours as I want sometimes more or sometimes less, meeting and interacting with interesting people everyday and enjoying the rest of the day with my family, enjoying the beautiful day and sunshine, and just breathing life instead of being stuck in a room worrying about putting in massive volume.
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:13
kobo: Hi Jeff, wondered what your thoughts are on the current state of poker in the US and how you expect it to develop the upcoming years. Additionally, would you switch back to online poker when the market opens up or will you be grinding the better part of your working schedule in the casino's? Thanks in advance, a fellow cash grinder
April 22, 2014 15:17
Hey Kobo my fellow cash game crusher, thanks for the question!! I honestly think poker isn't going anywhere in the US. Over the past 3 years playing live poker now, I've seen how games can go bad from time to time, but the amount of people that come through in poker rooms during different times and seasons that it is always going to be profitable. The key is to adjust when you feel the games aren't as good, meaning maybe you play at different hours, maybe traveling to another poker room, or just staying where your at and adjust your play some and exploit all the players who make mistakes and we know even some of the players that think they are good still have a lot of mistakes in live poker. To answer your other question, if online poker or lets say pokerstars opens back to the US and all the states, I think I would slowly transition back to online focusing on different things instead of cash games such as more MTT's and PLO online but still play more at the casino since I enjoy it and do really well playing cash games. Gotta go where you can print money right? =)
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:18
mart4s: Hi Jeff! I want to know. It's there any situation that you ever had folded an Aces preflop?
April 22, 2014 17:10
In a cash game, never!! In a tournament, never!! In a satellite on the bubble to win a ticket to a bigger event and i'm guaranteed to get the prize, than yes I would fold AA and that would be the only situation. I guess if for example you won a seat to the main event 10k buy in at wsop and happened to make it to the money bubble and you had no money left to your name, I might fold aces there too but that's it. I guess thinking about Life EV when your broke
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:20
Scarmaker: What do you think us online regs should looking to improve at when switching to a live setting?
April 22, 2014 18:43
Try to be social, don't be that internet guy with the back pack and always betting when checked to,lol but no seriously don't be that guy. On a serious note, just try and adjust to the players and the game. Remember that game theory optimal plays are not going to be as prevalent to live poker as it will be for online. If you use GTO live, you going to be spewing a lot more money since we don't have enough information on the players or their tendencies. Don't burn money until you adjust to live poker and the players. Also you only get 20-30 hands live, lol do the math. The key to adjusting to a live setting is being patient and focusing more than ever!!!
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:34
Scarmaker: Also, I do post this question every time and I am very interested to read yor answer as for the live scenarios - what are the main leaks that other regs have that you think you have made the most money off?
April 22, 2014 18:43
What another great question Mr. Tomas!!! I'm almost afraid to give you this answer, but not really jkjk, the regs really just don't adjust to me. They continue to pay me off, call my raises, and try and beat me. Sometimes they just try and bet me off hands and I just call them down since I know they are aggressive. The key is to capitalize off their mistakes and figure out how we can make money off each reg.
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:37
SanderSmets: What is you're sole best advise for a recreational player to switch to, very low stakes, live torneys?
April 22, 2014 20:08
Hi, I'm not sure of the question you are asking me if you are asking me if you want to switch to live low stakes cash to live tournaments? If so, depending on if you are a winner at low stakes cash and even if you aren't, I would recommend to study up on MTT's. Subscribe to a training site such as tournament poker edge or cardrunners and watch some videos on tournaments. Also find a really good tournament reading book, possibly Jonathan Little's Secrets to Professional tournament poker. I would love to plug myself, you can always hit me up for live poker coaching since that's my specialty and I love to help people!!!
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:28
SanderSmets: Your*
April 22, 2014 20:09
SanderSmets: What was your biggest frustration having to switch to the live stage? I can imagine from 24-tabling to 1 live table, it goes too slow?
April 22, 2014 20:11
I didn't have to much trouble transitioning. The first few weeks were awkward but as I saw how the game played, the players, and my continuous thirst to improve, it was an easy transition. Plus I have more patience than most, especially with having twin girls that are now 4, they test me all the time..hehe
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:39
Scarmaker: Following up on the previous question posted by Sander, when I sometimes wander into the live setting, I try to prevent from getting bored by talking to other players and generally having fun, but it happens quite often that I am stuck at the table with some really annoying and obnoxious people etc. It does neccesarily tilt me but it takes the fun away for me and makes me much tougher to focus when I am playing one hand per 3 minutes and not having fun. Does that happen to you and how do you deal with that?
April 23, 2014 12:15
Thanks for the question!! I see this happen all the time. First thing you have to ask yourself is this game still +EV meaning is this game still great even when somebody is being annoying. Perhaps he is slowing down the game but he is creating lots of action, players are playing more poorly, and when you get involved in hands, they are going to make worst decisions. Just try and find the positives in this if it is bothering you. You have to figure out what's more important to you. Is that table profitable enough to offset the obnoxious people? Saying that you are not going to go on tilt because of it? You have to calculate your overall EV of the situation. IE if someone pays you $50/hr at say 2/5NL is that worth it to you? Try and tune it out, listen to some music, or even chime in on the annoying players and engage with them and possibly change topics. Its a part of the game, and like I say in my answers, being able to adjust in any climate. Now, if the game is slow and there is not action, I would suggest changing tables if possible and if you can't or that is the only table available, not much you can do besides embrace the annoyingness, focus on why you are there, and make the best of live poker.
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:44
SanderSmets: what was your happiest moment in you online and your live poker carreer? Did those moment have an influence on your game?
April 23, 2014 12:23
Love the question!!! Happiest moment online was when my twin girls were 9 months old and I had these little rockers I could use my feet to rock while they were in the middle of taking their nap, I was clicking buttons grinding online at the same time...haha kinda like multitasking, working in the comfort of my own home and being a dad at the same time was such a great feeling of accomplishment. In my live career, the happiest moment was when I realized that I can balance my life so much better from live poker. I can pick up and leave when I want. If I happen to be up my first hour say $1000, its a great feeling to have and I can enjoy the rest of my day, be with my wife, and watch my kids grow up. Yes, everyone of those moments did influence my game greatly. It made me want to work harder, continuously be a student of the game, learn other games, gave me motivation, basically where I am now and helping others achieve the same success if not more!!!
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:47
blender803: hy there!what`s your strategy against the opponents psychological speaking?[in live poker]
April 23, 2014 13:46
Awesome question, a broad question, but some of my strategy I use is waiting for my opponents to make mistakes where It be through when they are tilting, lose a big hand, them getting upset at another player etc. The more mistakes they make and when they are in that state, that is when I can capitalize on them by opening up my range a little wider because I know I can make better decisions then them. If I feel I can get under there skin when I'm in the hand I will sometimes show them the bluff or give em a smirk like I "GOT EM" when they look at me as I make a bet and they fold.
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:50
bogdan0809: Hey Jeff,what determined you to play poker?Thanks!
April 23, 2014 18:53
Used to be a musician back in the day and my close friend used to love my band Nevea Tears. He told me his dad Kenna James played professional poker and I was like huh, for real? This was like 5 or 6 years ago. So he introduced me to him and he really just motivated me in his charisma and character that made me go out and pursue poker on my own to become a professional. From starting at limit holdem live and winning consistently jump started me to playing online poker when my kids were born and now play live No Limit poker and really enjoy the game!
 photo jeffmeta April 23, 2014 20:55
Scarmaker: Thanks Jeff for awesome AskThePRO and everyone for asking great questions! The winner of $20 for this week is kobo, congratz! :)
April 25, 2014 14:03
Thank you again for having me!! It was great!! Feel free to ask me anything or if anyone has any other questions about live poker. Gl at the tables or for a lot of you, gl at clicking buttons and crushing!!!!
 photo jeffmeta April 27, 2014 16:26

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