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My goals and thoughts at the start of my no-limit journey

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  • My goals and thoughts at the start of my no-limit journey

    Goals for March:
    1) go for more than one day without making a hideous ‘all in call’ with top pair.
    I’m currently running at 2/12 on all ins, and one of those wins was where i got a set on the river.

    (If you subtracted these from my plays, i’d be up quite considerably...and trust me, all of them were terrible calls..)

    i’m hoping the pschology &tilt courses will help me with this. Its definitely a form of tilt where i refuse to believe my AA or KK have been outdrawn by a random card (usually a small pocket pair making a set).

    2) continue playing otherwise solid abc poker at the microstakes to confirm ive got the basics right.

    I’m happy my preflop play is ok - not exceptional by any means, but is adequate for now (bar my blind defence which will need work),

    my postflop judgement can be improved considerably, but isnt *terrible* apart from calling the all ins. I likely cbet too often but the masterclass is helping me rein that in a little.

    3) start working through the homework assignments so i can begin the (slow?) process of learning to think in ranges.

    4) must not get discouraged by my above tilt issues. Initial depression somewhat alleviated by watching the ‘unbeatable mindset’ course, clearly i’m not that ‘different’ in this respect.



  • #2
    If you think you need work on c-bet frequency, Lexi Gavin does a nice course on this topic. She talks about different flop textures and how to respond. It really helped me expand my game.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MisterSutton1 View Post
      If you think you need work on c-bet frequency, Lexi Gavin does a nice course on this topic. She talks about different flop textures and how to respond. It really helped me expand my game.
      thanks, i’ll check it out.

      I think my biggest issue right now is assessing flop texture in the face of all-ins.
      i’m now running at 3 won out of 15, and mostly down to my judgement rather than luck/ev.

      my confidence is pretty low in the face of this, if i’m honest. Just have to trust the process/teaching and try to learn and practice as much as possible, i guess.
      Last edited by NewbieFish; 03-20-2021, 08:50 AM.

      Comment


      • MisterSutton1
        MisterSutton1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yea, check out her class because it's very likely that you are not assessing your range's strength in relation to the flop. It'll be a game changer I think. Also, you may be using a bet sizing that is getting you in trouble depending on the flop.

    • #4
      The most important piece of advice I ever got in poker was this: Big hands = big pots and small hands = small pots and 1 pair is not a big hand.

      Comment


      • #5
        I thought i might use this thread as a semi-blog, i thought other forum members who might be newish like me might find solidarity in our struggles.

        about one month in now, and i’m still a solidly losing player. If this continues for another month, i’ll have lost my entire bankroll (which i can replenish without much effort ,but still...not the aim! ) ..and thats at 1c/2c. There is no lower level i can move down to.

        The self doubt is real. I’ve been learning as fast as i can (given a challenging and mentally exhausting day job in covid testing) , and i’m trying to apply the concepts, but right now i lack the experience to correctly apply them. The misapplication is *increasing* my loss rate.

        That said, i clearly *am* learning. Ive reduced the rate at which i am stacked (although this is still a distinct hole in my game) or otherwise find myself in big pots with such hands as only top pair + J kicker ( so also needs study and work) ...but I am getting to grips with some of Jonathans suggested thought processes around bet frequency and sizing.
        I lack the experience in assessing ranges to apply this correctly in real time (online) , though... i know i need to consider their range but i’m not good at quickly working out what that range is...so clearly thats an area for future study. Hitting flopzilla & equilab frequently is clearly in my near future

        Ive been tempted to give up, but a short break and a watch of a video or two has reignited my determination to succeed...or at least keep trying for another month. ...
        Last edited by NewbieFish; 04-02-2021, 12:28 PM.

        Comment


        • #6
          Trying to implement strategies, hand ranges and concepts at $.01/$.02 & $0.2/$.05, is going to make you go broke faster than you can say bad beat. Very little of what you will learn on this site, or most others, will help you at those stakes. You are thinking at level 10 and all the villain knows is they have a pocket pair of 2's and is never folding. Games $.10NL and under are always, always straight forward. The most you will see at those levels is the player who is thinking about their hand and yours. Anything beyond that and you will out think yourself.

          To truly win at $.01/$.02 & $0.2/$.05, you need to learn how to play at those stakes because they do not play like anything else. Go to Blackrain79.com and pick up his Crushing the Microstakes & Modern Small Stakes books in PDF form. Nathan won $26,000 at those two stakes over about 4 million hands. He had some of the highest winning percentages on the internet. He is the absolute authority on how to win at those two levels.

          Once you get beyond those levels, you can slow start implementing what you are learning here.

          Thanks!
          Last edited by NJpokermike36; 04-03-2021, 10:45 AM.

          Comment


          • NewbieFish
            NewbieFish commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks. I'll give those a try.

          • NewbieFish
            NewbieFish commented
            Editing a comment
            a week on from your advice, mike :
            I've had a good read of the book you suggested and have been applying it.
            Of course it could be variance, but I've had far more successful sessions than before since reading it...so that's been good advice, thanks.
            Clearly a week isn't long enough to make 100% decisions, but its fed into my feelings from the last month, and I've come to some conclusions.

            Clearly this style of poker succeeds at this level, but frankly...its a dull style of play with only one table & I don't feel I'm learning much about becoming a genuinely good player while grinding at this level.

            As a consequence I'm going to move up a little bit as a trial. Not too far, just a bit. Cautiously. Prudently.
            My aim here is to learn to play well ; I don't think I'm doing that down at 0.01/0.02...if anything I feel I'm going backwards.

            Obviously if my bankroll drops sufficiently, I'll come back down.. but right now I *do* have a suitable bankroll for a slightly higher level & I just don't think I'm moving towards my long term aims by grinding away at the lower level .
            Last edited by NewbieFish; 04-10-2021, 07:51 PM.

          • NJpokermike36
            NJpokermike36 commented
            Editing a comment
            Glad my advice helped!!! What you have to understand is 2NL & 5NL is all about the basics. It is straightforward poker. You have to learn to play ABC poker and be successful at it before you can move on to move advanced play. Blackrain79 teaches you the basics and how to win at those levels. Once you crush those levels and start moving up, you can slowly apply what you learn here and at other training sites.

            Don't be in a rush to move up. If this is going to be your career, it is more important to build a solid foundation so you will have sturdy building blocks as you move up. Think about how much training it takes in other professions to be successful in:

            1) Doctors- 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school & 2 years or residency.

            2) Lawyer- 4 years of college, 3 years of law school & 2 years as an associate

            3) Management at a large company- 4 years of college, 2 years to get your Masters & 2 years of their training program.

            The reason so many people lose at poker is because they are in a rush to get to the top and they do not have strong fundamentals. Before you move beyond 2NL & 5NL, you should have the follow characteristics:

            1) You should know what hands to play in what position.

            2) Know what hands to 3 bet & 4 bet with, from what position, against what position and against what type of opponent.

            3) You need to be crushing those stakes.

            4) You need to have tilt under control.

            5) Your fundamentals must be solid.

            In Phil Gordon's Little Gold Book of Poker, which came out in 2011, he talks about how he saw Phil Laak playing in a $10/$20 No Limit game in at the Bellagio in 2010. In 2010!!! Way before Black Friday. Phil laak has played in the highest cash game stakes around, so why was he playing $10/$20 at the Bellagio when he could have been playing in Bobby's Room for more money? Because this stake was the most profitable for him and he was killing it.

            It you are a world class $2/$5, $5/$10 or $10/$20 player, you are going to make a killing. Why would you want to play higher? Seeing all the great players play on TV is fun, but do you think they want to play in that lineup everyday? I doubt it because the only one who makes money is the casino. The rest are just passing the money around because no one has a big enough edge.

            You may some day find yourself at the top, but if you don't that doesn't matter. What matters is being successful and making money at whatever level you dominate.

            Thanks!

        • #7
          So, latest update: Moving up to $0.02/0.05 was a very good idea.

          Obviously there's some variance (good or bad) to account for as I've not hit 10,000 hands at this level yet .... but I'm finding it considerably easier to understand my opponents psychology, the correct play , and generally make a profit.

          I've just recently recouped all my losses and am now officially in the black with a fairly healthy BB/100 winrate. I'm winning around 66% of my sessions .

          I'm far from perfect and have a long way to go. No doubt many of my plays are still sub-par, but my rate of complete blunders is certainly better than it was.

          My bluffing at the river still remains pretty poor ( my last big bluff ran into a weak fish who had flopped *quads*. he only called one river bet all day...lol!) ,
          and occasionally I get overconfident / overaggressive...and promptly get punished... but the game is making more sense....

          ....and most importantly I feel like I'm learning.... Which I didn't feel I was doing at 0.01/0.02.

          I've also tried a few sit and goes. Even with my complete lack of experience I've cashed in 50% of them and have an ROI 0f 0.05%. So, not great, but when you've consider I've yet to study short stack or tournament play AT ALL, I think thats a clear illustration of just how bad many players at this level are.
          (I'm certainly getting thrashed when I'm heads up in the last two when the other player clearly knows what they're doing.)

          I've decided to stick with cash for now until I'm happy I have more experience...but the tourney experience has been interesting.

          I do have days when I get dispirited. I recenlty had a bad beat followed by the above bluff, which lost me about 2.5 buy ins ; my doubts about doing this resurfaced- "am I just wasting my time ?" ,,,,, Fortunately I got bakc on the horse and won it all back the following day.

          I'm not planning to move up again until I've earned it through good play ....(although theoretically I could increase my bankroll without too much hassle) ... and I'm not sure I'd recommend moving up to random folks on the internet... but in my case I think it has made a great deal of sense.

          Overall, -and like I say, most importantly - I feel like I'm LEARNING. Which is the main aim at the moment. So, onwards and (hopefully) upwards...

          p.s. met my first really huge whale this week. VPIP 85%+ , going all in with air or bottom pair... they spent about $50 in rebuys over circa 150 hands (it was about 0.75 BB per *hand* they were losing) . My share of that came to about $15 that I've not included in the above stats....so for other newbies, these folks do come along once in a while ....
          Last edited by NewbieFish; 05-21-2021, 10:21 AM.

          Comment


          • #8
            Ohhh dear, i spoke too soon.

            some irritating bad beats where ive been big favourite at turn have completely wiped my profits. Plus One very bad bluff admittedly but otherwise...grr!

            Comment


            • #9
              As you said in your last post, the most important thing is that you're LEARNING. Bad beats happen to everyone, but not everyone puts in the hard work away from the table which will seperate them from the rest of the pack in the long run.

              Comment


              • NewbieFish
                NewbieFish commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you. I must admit the kast 48 hours have badly hit my confidence. However, i’m sure i’ll recover and get back at it in a day or so...

            • #10
              Results are a very poor barometer of performance in the short term in poker.

              I am currently riding out a 326 MTT downswing. But, if I look at my actual stats my Adj BB/100 over this time is +5.60. In the short term there is such a small correlation between performance and results that the results are not worth worrying about and, more importantly, it is therefore illogical to tie your confidence to your results.

              Of course that is easier said than done. Am I happy with my results at the moment? No. Has my confidence taken a hit? Yeah, a bit. Do I believe that as long as I keep playing well the results will come? Hell yeah.

              What do you use to track your stats?

              Comment


              • #11
                Originally posted by LondonImp View Post
                Results are a very poor barometer of performance in the short term in poker.

                I am currently riding out a 326 MTT downswing. But, if I look at my actual stats my Adj BB/100 over this time is +5.60. In the short term there is such a small correlation between performance and results that the results are not worth worrying about and, more importantly, it is therefore illogical to tie your confidence to your results.

                Of course that is easier said than done. Am I happy with my results at the moment? No. Has my confidence taken a hit? Yeah, a bit. Do I believe that as long as I keep playing well the results will come? Hell yeah.

                What do you use to track your stats?
                eek. My sympathies.
                Like you I’m working on ‘keeping the faith’ as it were. I’m seeing taking bad beats as part of the education. As is trying to not to let it affect my thinking. i did start chasing the loss initially but have pulled myself back from that way of thinking.

                btw, my thanks for the feedback,it is appreciated.

                i’m using Poker tracker .

                This week has certainly been a mix of my bad play and a bad beat or two...but yeah, gotta keep working at it. ive certainly learned (or at least consolidated) a few things this week.

                my adj bb/100 is +3 bb/100. Not great, it was quite a bit higher ...but like i say its not all bad beats, ive made some questionable bluffs and calls. ...

                one of the things i’ve learned is it doesn’t take many bad decisions to make you lose alot of bb! I’m thinking of compiling my thoughts into a post....
                Last edited by NewbieFish; 05-23-2021, 08:28 AM.

                Comment


                • #12
                  So, back in the black after three very positive sessions.

                  looking at the graph in general, I’m breaking even (or very slightly losing if you include rake) against most of the average players then get a big boost from all ins or poor calls from the very weakest .

                  I’m assuming this tendency is reduced at higher stakes...

                  Am studying a fair bit although not as focussed as i’d like: very few braincells left after the day job takes its toll. However, i start the day with a learning video over breakfast, the repetition helps.

                  ive played in seversl small cheap mtts for some amusement. Initial reaction is that at the microstakes its the wild west. i can see why people love them but I think i’ll come back to tourneys later once i’ve learned more about short stack play and heads-up, i think. I did cash in one out of three, 29th or thereabouts out of about a field of 250-300, i think. Got back 5 times my stake...but sadly it was the cheapest tourney, so not in positive ROI there but the point was the experience.still, Not a bad return for a literal 2C !

                  On the good news front, i still feel i’m learning and my cash bb/100 is now +7 after 2,500 hands at the current level...hardly a volume to eliminate the variance factor, i know, but its what i can squeeze in.
                  My all in equity stat in pt4suggests i’m running slightly badly, so i’m guessing that means i’m playing slightly better than that i.e. would be higher with “average” luck....and i’m not finding too many big mistakes with my hand reviews...so fingers crossed, i think that i’m playing ok. Always lots more to learn of course!

                  facetious thought : has anyone considered that poker is a giant pyramid scheme....?
                  Last edited by NewbieFish; 06-13-2021, 03:30 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by NewbieFish View Post
                    one of the things i’ve learned is it doesn’t take many bad decisions to make you lose alot of bb! I’m thinking of compiling my thoughts into a post....
                    If you spew off a 100bb stack just once over the course of 1,000 hands, that will take you win-rate down by -10bb/100 over the 1,000 hands that you played.

                    You're right, it definitely doesn't take many mistakes to cost you a lot of money,

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by LondonImp View Post

                      If you spew off a 100bb stack just once over the course of 1,000 hands, that will take you win-rate down by -10bb/100 over the 1,000 hands that you played.

                      You're right, it definitely doesn't take many mistakes to cost you a lot of money,
                      Too right.
                      did it tonight, lost a fair hand (i flopped 2 pair, the passive calling station flopped a straight) , then lost a bad beat, then tilted off the rest of my stack with an ill advised bluff against a blind stealing obsessed lag who happened to have pocket kings for this particular steal....
                      Kissed goodbye to 170 BB in three hands... would have only been half on that sans tilt.
                      tobe fair its the first tilt in a while,but still, should have quit after the second hand.

                      its my own fault, i got cocky then i got tilted.

                      Oh well. Learning experience. Must take a few hands off when i get irritated... At least it was only $8, not $800...
                      Last edited by NewbieFish; 06-14-2021, 03:32 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Poker is such a fickle mistress. Yesterday bad plays and tilts. Today, more luck with hole cards than you can shake a stick at.

                        Today.. i was dealt hands that a 10 year old could win with. Dealt AA three times in less than 80 hands, plus AK, AQ, 99....
                        stacked three opponents in less than an hour for +300BB.
                        ...then lost 120BB to a full house...

                        (Shakes head) variance, eh?

                        It was still a soft table when i left, but i took a short break as i didnt want to get cocky or tilted again. Will be flagging my opponents on my fish list though...

                        (I’m working harder on identifying weak opponents/tables. I’m pretty certain its a key factor why my win rate is much improved this month , tilt aside...or even tilt included. Sadly you rarely get to pick your seat online, but picking a table...yup, see the benefits of that!)

                        current study focus: Blinds defence vs rfi, and SB vs BB. Assassinato’s videos have persuaded me its a great place to grt a good improvement quickly.
                        (currently my BB is -55/100 and SB is -35/100, i think )
                        Last edited by NewbieFish; 06-15-2021, 03:45 PM.

                        Comment


                        • NewbieFish
                          NewbieFish commented
                          Editing a comment
                          And oh my, the tilt element is real. Fortunately “only” 12 BB today...but still, i think some work on my mental game is needed... time to pull up the mental game videos, the work on the blinds might have to wait..

                      • #16
                        Ouch. Four days in a row I’m down 100 BBs (each day).

                        Lost three big hands over the last three days where I lost due to variance but magnified my loss by pilling in excessively when my hand wasnt as good as i thought....need to be more careful about going all in when i have second or third nuts.....taking the evening off to allow the sting to recede.

                        confidence knocked a bit, but i’ll be back.

                        At least i got some study in this weekend....And remembered to overfold today....So thats something.

                        Comment


                        • #17
                          Its depressing but i have to face it... 3 months in, and even with study, i’m still a losing player.

                          At least currently.

                          Looking at my stats over the last few weeks, my initial thoughts that i might have a winning margin look optimistic....my losses exceed my winnings if I exclude one outlier session (when i was playing an incredibly massive whale whose ludicrous losses are what keep me in real profit ) ,
                          ... and while my play isnt grand scale terrible, I would be down ..and I would say I’m probably running about “average” overall.

                          so basically, I’m breaking more than even against other players, but i cant beat the rake ...yet.

                          It is dispiriting but it at least means i have some easily identifiable weakness to work on.

                          I’m still happy with my preflop play (blinds aside) , and i think my flop play is adequate for now (and an improvement over three months ago)... but i tend to forget any previous careful analysis once i hit the turn or river.

                          That tends to mean I do well (or minimise my losses) if the situation doesnt change much at turn or river, but I tend to get clobbered for extra if my opponents draws come in. Overfold at the microstakes. Overfold.OVERFOLD , dammit!

                          I’m using it as a driver to study more.

                          However, i do find trying to learn equity with flopzilla and equilab a bit of a weird business. I know everyone says its the best way, but i dont find the information sticking. I’m going to spend some time over the next fortnight experimenting with ways to consolidate better.

                          its not all bad though..This weeks study on Blind defence is definitely already showing some benefit, for example.

                          In summary, the results of the learning process is not quite working out the way I expected. I had thought I might make break even at microstakes a little sooner, given the low standards ...but I’m going to keep working at it. Lets see what the next 3 months bring.
                          i think my experience 10 years ago with limit HE may have skewed my expectation. Back then i was profitable fairly quickly at microstakes. Those telling us the average skill level is up since then are right.

                          I have patience though...my goal is not simply to be profitable at microstakes, after all. I knew this could take along while.

                          That said it *is* dispiriting the last few days...but thats poker reality. Even if/when i’m a winning player, there will be downswings...suck it up, take a deep breath, and move on....
                          Last edited by NewbieFish; 06-21-2021, 10:31 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #18
                            Originally posted by NewbieFish View Post
                            That tends to mean I do well (or minimise my losses) if the situation doesnt change much at turn or river, but I tend to get clobbered for extra if my opponents draws come in. Overfold at the microstakes. Overfold.OVERFOLD , dammit!
                            This is vital. As the saying goes, "fold your way to the higher stakes".

                            Comment


                            • #19
                              Really struggling with my confidence…. made a couple of poor decisions offset by some good hands, but head doesnt seem to be in the right place. Will take a couple of days off and return to it.

                              Comment


                              • #20
                                Where i am failing:

                                failing is definitely the right word here. I’m now back in the red after less than 100 hands this morning.

                                what happened? I overplayed two hands badly…now that no doubt happens to all of us at times, but in both cases i was not thinking about the other players cards properly. Really silly mistake.
                                in case one had AKO oop on 58K7K board. Opponent bet heavily on FT and i called down to river,planning to fold river if he went all in and i didnt improve…I already had put him potentially on pocket pair - the betting pattern screamed either kx or a set - yet when i rivered trips, i forgot to think that now potentially gave them full house…which of course they had.
                                Case two was a bit more forgiveable but still didnt think enough. 97s got there with a flush on turn on Q8AA5 board. Opponent bet heavily - once again fh with AQo.

                                Galling that i’m back to making novice mistakes like not thinking about their potential hand…three months in and i’m still doing stuff like this.
                                And not just this morning. I made similar mistakes in my three previous sessions as well.
                                Thats well over 500 BB ive leaked. Thank god i play well within my means.

                                I clearly need to work on my mental game as I’m not thinking clearly -and allowing the online timers to bully me into rushing decisions. I’m not sure that excuses my play, but until i can get that sorted I’m going to remain a losing player, i think.
                                Last edited by NewbieFish; 07-11-2021, 04:10 AM.

                                Comment


                                • NewbieFish
                                  NewbieFish commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  This sort of thing makes me question whether i’m cut out for this. I’m chosing to consider those doubts part of the mental game i need to improve. However… that doesn’t mean the doubts go away…

                                • LondonImp
                                  LondonImp commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  You don't give enough info on the hands for us to be able to comment

                              • #21
                                Well, after a couple of weeks break, back at it.
                                So, the plan is to spend this week to get in some (moderate) volume and see how i do.

                                I’ve found switching the interface from $ to BB has helped , not for the maths, but because it reminds me to play fundamentals rather than think about how much i’m up or down. It is also reducing my all-in-tilt a little, and that definitely helps.

                                I spent some time studying ranges and range comparisons and although I’m hardly an expert, even a small amount of stufy has definitely paid some dividends …”i know they rarely bluff at this level, but theres no way he’s got top pair here “… Thanks to Dilly for the advice on that one.

                                Had a couple of bad beats on all-ins…but rather than let it get to me, just got on with it. Reload, play fundamentals… By the end of the session today had got back into moderate profit. Again, i think switching the interface to BB helped me mentally there.

                                Comment


                                • #22
                                  Ok, so another few weeks have gone by.
                                  My studying is continuing - i’m working through JLs book on Mastering Small Stakes - and I do feel my understanding is getting better.
                                  I’m also practicing spots by using the AdvancedPokerTraining tool…the automated advisors on that seem to believe strongly on leading(?!) , so i take that with a pinch of salt.

                                  Overall I feel my general skills are slowly improving …
                                  My SB stats are awful(-50.5) so I’m working on that , along with post flop oop.

                                  …but the most massive hole in my game is not improving , and I’m really struggling to address it.

                                  Yet again I’ve lost around 200 BB to two bad calls with all ins …and its down to my poor play ,not luck. I really need to work on remembering my analysis preflop on later streets…an example is probably best for me to explain.

                                  I raised with JJ preflop and got 3 bet by a reasonably tight player in the BB . His 3 bet % is somewhere between 5-10% . I call, but am very aware QQ, KK, AA are possible holdings, along with, say, AK, 88+ , etc. Therefore, proceed with caution, yes?

                                  so, when the board comes Q88 + 5+ 8 …me firing three large barrels versus a checking villain, followed by calling an all in…is over enthusiastic to say the least. . If i had remembered my preflop thinking I *should* have been more cautious, and calling the all in from someone not inclined to bluff feels particularly dumb.

                                  And I do this sort of thing about once every two to three hundred hands, far too regularly. Its not so much overvaluing my hand as forgetting my previous thoughts in the heat of battle. Adrenaline? excitement? Feeling needlessly rushed? Not sure, but its costing me lots of BB (although thankfully only a small amount of £££ at microstakes). .

                                  Given the hard work the study entails, I do wonder if perhaps I’m wasting my time with poker. However, for now I am thinking this sort of doubt is probably natural, and I shall have to work on it. I’m hoping that by using the APT tool - and taking hands a bit more slowly than real play - might help me work these sort of hands a bit more calmly.
                                  Last edited by NewbieFish; 09-19-2021, 03:59 AM.

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