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Time to start over --- Need Advice!

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  1. #1

    Default Time to start over --- Need Advice!

    Hello all. I've posted here once since I became a member a couple of months ago, but mainly I've lurked trying to read and learn (as you read this you'll see I haven't done a good job of the latter yet). I've been through all all the beginner forums (including experiencing the newbie circle of death). Read both HOH books and Theory of Poker so far. I love the game...have a great passion to become better, but right now I feel stuck somewhat, so I'm asking for help. Let me start with a little background. I need to confess my sins first to get it off my chest, have some of you tear me a new one, and have a clean slate to start from. I apologize in advance if this is WAY too long but it's important to me to put it all out there.

    I actually started playing online only in November 2007. I started playing on FT and proceeded to immediately lose my $50 deposits twice before I decided to look for forums (found this one - THE BEST!) to try and learn more about the game. I bought both HOH books and the Theory Of Poker and read them as well. Well, after this I began playing better and started to make money, then I'd have complete DUMB meltdown days and lose all my BR in one day (playing at higher stakes than I was rolled for of course). I proceeded over the next month to lose another $500 on FT and Carbon Poker. Down $600 so far. Yes, I would make some money and ignore logic and move up to a higher stake and lose everything I had grinded out!! Did this numerous times! How dumb am I, I know!

    Ok, so this brings me to mid-January (last month). I decided to give it one more go and bought in on Carbon Poker for the minimum $25 deposit again, well, I played horrible the first day back and went down to $15 in 25NL. Well, instead of just waiting to put more money in I got impatient and basically said to myself (despite reading the great posts here and having already read the HOH books), screw it, and played reckless, well, I ran HOT for one day....went from $15 to $215 in one day. Then over the course of the next 4 days I took that $215 and turned it into $345 playing 100NL (yeh, dumb again I know). Well, I do well in MTT tournies so I bought into a 25BI/80 player tourny and proceeded to win the tournament.....$540 from my $25BI! Great, I'm at $885 now!!! Well, dumb me, after winning that tourny, I'm feeling unbeatable, and I choose to go right into a $5/$10NL 6 max game and put it all at risk......third hand had KK and won a $440 pot! Wow, I quit immediately now with a $1325 BR in one week from $15!!!!!

    Well, so starts the newbie COD! Feeling so confident in how I was playing I cashed out $500 thinking I'll make that money back in no time. So, I have $825 BR and I proceed to try and play with the big boys at $2/$4NL 6 max......lose it all in 5 hands.....what started the whole tilt was when I hit a J9d flush, but my opponent hit a Q7d flush (the board was 10d Kd Ad 5s 9c)! Holy crap, I was devestated, what had I done!!!! Well, I quit playing for the day but still tilting the next day I put $300 on FT and lost it all in two days...then $100 on Ultimate Bet...lost it all in two days....then back to Carbon....$100....lost it all in three more days. That leads me to now!

    How could I be so stupid? Why didn't I listen to you guys about proper BR management? Do I really suck at this game that bad? Am I the dumbest poker play ever???? I had it made and blew it!

    So, here's where my questions start. How do I start this thing over THE RIGHT WAY?! I have a $500 check coming from Carbon Poker. I want to deposit it again and start fresh and new on Vegas Poker 24/7 (I like the site --- been studying it and the play the last few days). I have it already setup and even set it up through RakeTheRake this time to take advantage of the rakeback as well as the 100% initial deposit bonus.

    My first priority is, I don't want to play this money without doing things right this time though and I'm DONE trying to play higher stakes to make money back that I've lost. I wrote on a piece of paper to myself 100 times that I won't move up again in stakes until I have at least 20BI's for it.

    What I REALLY need is some mentors this time! I need to TRULY learn how to do this right. I do understand poker basics (starting hands, pre-flop play, basic post-flop play, calculating pot odds, trying to learn implied odds and EV, get your money in when you have the best hand, make good folds more than good calls, bet/fold more than check/call, etc.) I don't have hand stats memorized yet, though I'm trying to learn that.

    Overall, I do know I still suck and have TONS to learn and perfect, but generally speaking, I think I play fairly decently for a beginner....Until.....I have a bad beat or horrible suck out, then all hell breaks loose, and I have a tendency to tilt BAD, and as of now, I've FINALLY learned this about myself. So, how do I combat this effectively? Am I the only one out there who's been this stupid with their BR? Do I really have potential or am I kidding myself? Should I hang it up for good or should I just take some time off and learn more first before making another deposit? I WANT TO LEARN! I'm learning that I love this game, and I want to become a successful cash game and tournament player both someday.

    I'm not familiar with any of the tracking software or any poker software for that matter....have kind of seen it as not necessary yet for me, though I'm sure I'm wrong about that. I've looked at Poker Tracker and it seemed over my head at the moment.

    Please gurus...give me advice on where to go from here and how to do this all the RIGHT WAY, this time around. I'll be a sponge and listen to all the advice out there!

    Thanks for reading this lengthy diatribe!

    -Steve
  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by spoonitnow
    Start with about 20 buyins at 2nl or 5nl. This means either $40 or $100. Now, don't put anymore money into your poker account ever. Instead, grind through the limits and get good at poker. Then, the higher you get, take a slightly higher bankroll requirement than the stakes previous so that you better protect your poker bankroll.

    When you have $100, play 5nl. (20 buy-ins)
    When you have $250, play 10nl. (25 buy-ins)
    When you have $750, play 25nl. (30 buy-ins)
    When you have $1750, play 50nl. (35 buy-ins)
    When you have $4000, play 100nl. (40 buy-ins)
    When you have $10000, play 200nl. (50 buy-ins)

    If you follow this and regularly play and work on your game, you'll be making a lot of money in less than two years imo.
    lol, im no guru, im in the same position as you. Maybe we can help each other out.
    Good luck...
  3. #3
    Thanks wes. I definitely can use others to be accountable too. My wife gives me great leeway in learning this game and fortunately I do have the money to spend to play, but at the same time I don't want to waste it.

    Thanks for the additional BR thread, btw.

    -Steve
  4. #4
    Thanks wes. I definitely can use others to be accountable too. My wife gives me great leeway in learning this game and fortunately I do have the money to spend to play, but at the same time I don't want to waste it.

    Thanks for the additional BR thread, btw.

    -Steve
  5. #5
    Good luck with your mission! A couple of threads that might be helpful are:

    http://www.flopturnriver.com/phpBB2/...79.html#576017

    http://www.flopturnriver.com/phpBB2/...lt-t27258.html

    Avoiding tilt is a REALLY important part of the game, and understanding that short term variance can be brutal but is an unavoidable part of the game is a big step to overcoming this.

    The other thing is that BR management is a NON NEGOTIABLE if you want to be a winning player who hangs onto his winnings over the long term.
  6. #6
    flomo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taipan168
    BR management is a NON NEGOTIABLE if you want to be a winning player who hangs onto his winnings over the long term.
    QFT

    this is super important and not to be taken lightly

    poker is boring, gambling is exciting
    play poker, don't gamble
  7. #7
    If you really want to learn I would still start small, even though you're depositing $500. I would start at $5 or no higher than $10 NL and play about 20,000 hands. If you're winning there then move up, but just to $25 NL and another 20k or so hands....etc. You get the picture. Just having the bankroll for a certain level doesn't mean you're ready for that level. Stay disciplined and move up when you can beat the level you are at now over a large number of hands. Best of luck to you man! (Also don't forget to move back down if you run bad/get pwned or whatever)
    "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." - Elmer Letterman
  8. #8
    Pythonic's Avatar
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    Crimson,

    It's good to see that you have "seen the light" and have chosen to build a roll correctly. I know exactly what you are talking about though. About 5 years ago when I first started out I won a few tourneys worth $1500 each and pissed it way in about 7 days playing $850.00 sitngos at Pacific.
    Never bet on a white man in the heavyweight division!
  9. #9
    Crimson - I have been there and done that a hundred times and I can tell you that you need to stop tilting and playing out of your roll right away, or a day will come when you really really REALLY regret it.

    I could have quit my job and gone pro back in November, I had just below a $20k BR and was absolutely killing the 5/10 6max LHE games at every site I played. I am now playing 1/2 with a 1k roll and re-building after tilting most of it off and blowing the rest on TVs / computers etc before I had a chance to tilt it ALL away.

    Every day I think about how much money I could be raking in now if only I hadn't gone on mega-tilt for a whole month. Don't make the same mistake as me.
    PLEASE READ ULTIMATE BET THREAD IN "ONLINE POKER ROOMS" FORUM
    Wait, this is .05/.10 and you got sexied, I can't believe that shit, limit must really be dying.[/quote]
  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Pythonic
    Crimson,

    It's good to see that you have "seen the light" and have chosen to build a roll correctly. I know exactly what you are talking about though. About 5 years ago when I first started out I won a few tourneys worth $1500 each and pissed it way in about 7 days playing $850.00 sitngos at Pacific.
    Thanks Pythonic - I've been playing poker for a year, seriously (and winning) for about 4 months. It's nice to hear from folks who have worked for years and are still learning, still moving up, still building BR.

    I think lack of patience is a HUGE leak for me - maybe my biggest. I want to move up and pwn NL100, like tomorrow. But you know what? It's fun to play NL10, and I'm still learning at that level after 65k hands.

    That's my suggestion for Crimson. Enjoy the heck out of winning at poker and not wasting the BR, even if it's NL2. Play a MINIMUM of 20k hands at each level - and that's still short term (with my patience problem, I had a very difficult time accepting this). It's fairly easy to lose / break-even even at the micros for 5-8k hands and wonder if you're just a crap player. Now that should be a theory you consider (LoL - spoon's always talking about how he sucks at poker, just not as bad as everyone he plays against!), but often it's just variance.

    Be patient, pwn levels, move up slow, and enjoy the ride. Winning at NL2 is more fun than losing at NL50 (I've done both!!). Thanks for posting and getting involved here at FTR, and good luck at the tables.
  11. #11
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    Actually you didn't do too badly, despite the unwiseness of your actions! So, you are basically going to have to SWEAR never to play out of your roll again, because while you'll find plenty of people here to advise you, they won't give you a second chance if you go and do something dumb again.

    With $500 I'd start at 5nl or 10nl, depending on your experience and current ability. Remember, this part of your poker craeer has 3 aims, and 3 aims only: gain experience of common (and not so common) situations and how to play them, get better at poker, and build your bankroll slowly and surely so when you ARE better at poker, you can move up safely.
  12. #12

    Default Re: Time to start over --- Need Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonSteel
    Well, so starts the newbie COD! Feeling so confident in how I was playing I cashed out $500 thinking I'll make that money back in no time. So, I have $825 BR and I proceed to try and play with the big boys at $2/$4NL 6 max......lose it all in 5 hands.....what started the whole tilt was when I hit a J9d flush, but my opponent hit a Q7d flush (the board was 10d Kd Ad 5s 9c)! Holy crap, I was devestated, what had I done!!!! Well, I quit playing for the day but still tilting the next day I put $300 on FT and lost it all in two days...then $100 on Ultimate Bet...lost it all in two days....then back to Carbon....$100....lost it all in three more days. That leads me to now!

    How could I be so stupid? Why didn't I listen to you guys about proper BR management?
    Steve,
    The absolute FIRST thing you need to fix is gaining control of your impulse decisions. After reading your post every mistake you made was due to making quick emotional based decisions. Winning at poker is not about emotions, but is about making smart decisions that require thought. Get control of your emotions and you will find that it is easier to a) follow proper bankroll management b) avoid going on tilt so easily and so much more.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
    Poker is easy, it's winning at poker that's hard.
  13. #13
    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Biondino. I really don't think I play too bad for a beginner, but at the same time I realize more everyday how much I suck and what I still need to learn to make it to the next level.

    Let me ask a question. Do you think I'm safe enough with a $500 BR to play 10/25NL or should I just stick to everyone's recommendations and play another 20K hands at 5/10NL regardless if I'm winning easily and not seemingly learning much at that level? I can easily beat the 5/10NL game....proven that to myself already. To me, 5/10NL seems almost like playing a play money game...too many fish there that call anything and when you have good cards, you usually win hands, but you can't learn too much about the game because of the dumb calls that go on. I win very easily there, and maybe that's part of my problem. Winning easy there makes me feel I'm decent enough to move up and therefore I keep moving up. I don't feel out of place playing anything up to 100NL (the play between 25NL and 100NL seems about the same to me), but I know my BR doesn't support anything above 25NL right now.

    As you can see, I tend to have a patience and discipline problem (I'm sure compounded being a newbie), and I know now that those are two HUGE no-nos in poker. I don't want to lack self-control....I have definite goals I want to achieve in this game, but unless I sustain an ever-growing bankroll, that will never happen. Other than walking away from the game, how do some of you all with the same problems keep yourselves in check?

    BTW, thanks Taipan for the reposts....I read them both last night and the idea of walking away from the game for a bit is a big help to me right now.....though I'm already getting the urge to play again after only a week off.

    Thanks for the input everyone.

    -Steve
  14. #14
    I think with $500 you could take a crack at $25. That would be the bare minimum roll for that level. The important thing is if you have a bad session, drop down *right away* to 10nl and build up to over $500. The first couple times I reached $500 I ended up doing that, and actually had some bad variance that drove me back down to around $350 even though I was playing again at 10nl. The third time was the charm. I hit $500 again, had a couple good sessions and was around $600, and never looked back. (Now I'm at $1200+.)

    One other thing to be careful of is that now people on here are hammering home the idea of BR management. If you listen, you'll do fine. But if you don't, folks probably won't have as much patience the next time around. YA GOTTA LISTEN!
    Sue me if I play too long....
  15. #15
    Pythonic's Avatar
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    I'd advise you play 15-20K hands at 10NL and see how you do before moving up to 25NL if you are appropiately rolled. Poker is not a race, play good poker and play within your BR and you'll do fine.
    Never bet on a white man in the heavyweight division!
  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Pythonic
    I'd advise you play 15-20K hands at 10NL and see how you do before moving up to 25NL if you are appropiately rolled. Poker is not a race, play good poker and play within your BR and you'll do fine.
    I concur.

    Let me add this: winning 7.5 BB/100 at NL10 is equivalent to winning 3 BB/100 at NL25. Until you're ready to pwn at NL25, NL10 is probably more profitable. And winning at the 7.5 rate is MUCH more fun, less influenced by variance (fewer losing sessions), and makes it easier not to tilt.

    Several folks have asked me in pm's why I haven't moved up, yet. I know my "best game" win rate at NL10 is 5 ptBB/100 or better, but the guys who pwn this level often earn double that. I think I can play better and that 8+ ptBB/100 over 20k hands is doable. I respect this level and want to pwn it.

    Even 20k hands is short term in poker. Win rates over even 10k hands are almost meaningless in the big picture. I've had an 8k hand heater, thought I was Johnny Chan, just to find a 8 buy-in downswing over 3 sessions just around the corner. Look at playing 20k hands at a level as the bare minimum for each level to determine how you're running.

    Finally, br management. I won't take my shot at NL25 until I have $1,000. I've done it twice with $750, and both times hit my stop loss at $600, some due to bad play, some due to negative variance. If I were taking a shot with only $500, I would have a really short leash with my stop loss, like $425. If I lost enough that I couldn't buy in and have $400 left untouched, I would move down.

    How many tables you're playing has something to do with it, too. I multitable, and will start at NL25 with 3-4 tables, hoping to be playing 8 - 10 quickly. So I need more like 40-50 buy-ins, just to keep a solid br untouched during multitabling sessions.

    People talk about buying in short, and it's an option. I don't like it personally, but more than a few FTR people do it successfully.
  17. #17
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    What I may have missed is how many hands you have played in your career to date. If it's under 20,000, then it doesn't matter, stay at 10nl until you reach it. If it's over 20,000 - to be honest, play at least another 10,000 at 10nl anyway because (and you don't seem to have grasped these things yet):

    1. The way you win at microstakes is by playing more "correct" poker and making fewer mistakes than the players around you. You need "correct" poker (the inverted commas are there because, the higher you go, the more you will divert from textbook poker in certain circumstances, but at 10nl it is almost never necessary) to become as second nature as possible.

    2. It will help you learn the patience you've been lacking to date. It might feel like a tedious grind at times; but the discipline will hold you in good stead for times, and levels, where it's going to be even more important.

    3. It will give you enough hands in your database to know (or be 95% certain) you are a winning player. There is no point moving up if you're not beating your current level because, and this is vital, you win because bad players ship their chips to you. The higher the limit, the fewer bad players. Period. If this makes no sense to you, then stay at this level until it does.
  18. #18
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    Oh, one other thing. If you don't have it yet, buy Poker Tracker (assuming you will play on a site that supports it) - it will really help you analyse your game and others' - and download Poker Stove and learn how to use it.

    Btw:

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve
    I really don't think I play too bad for a beginner, but at the same time I realize more everyday how much I suck and what I still need to learn to make it to the next level.
    (my emphasis) This is the wisest thing you've said. It's a real sign of progress when you start to realise quite how far from being the finished object your own game is - and for a while at least, you'll find the more you learn, the further away you are from being a "good" player. I'm sure some buddhists have a saying about this kind of thing, but only by recognising your own flaws can you work to cure them.
  19. #19
    Thanks for your insights Biondino. I do REALLY need to practice patience and I think working from 10NL for a while will help to teach me that, so that's exactly what I'll do.

    As far as Poker Tracker....I have it and Poker Ace HUD downloaded, but honestly I have no clue if they work with Vegas Poker 247 or even how to use them in general. Guess I'll have to read the getting started in Poker Tracker to understand it. Any insights in to how to use them correctly or a post I can go to learn more would be advantageous. I see Absolute is supported by PT, but is VP 247????

    Here's another question. I actually feel like my tournament skills are better than anything else I do, do you feel I can play tournies along with cash games and still learn what I need to or should I concentrate on one or the other? If I play tournaments, what level should I start at safely with a $500 BR (I'm thinking nothing above a $11BI)? I have actually won many tournaments and regularly get ITM regardless if I win or not.

    No matter if I win or not, I'll only play 10NL cash games until I have a minimum of 20K hands under my belt and see how it goes from there, but I don't want to give up tournament play since I think eventually that's where the HUGE money is.

    -Steve
  20. #20

    Default g

    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonSteel
    Thanks for your insights Biondino. I do REALLY need to practice patience and I think working from 10NL for a while will help to teach me that, so that's exactly what I'll do.

    As far as Poker Tracker....I have it and Poker Ace HUD downloaded, but honestly I have no clue if they work with Vegas Poker 247 or even how to use them in general. Guess I'll have to read the getting started in Poker Tracker to understand it. Any insights in to how to use them correctly or a post I can go to learn more would be advantageous. I see Absolute is supported by PT, but is VP 247????

    Here's another question. I actually feel like my tournament skills are better than anything else I do, do you feel I can play tournies along with cash games and still learn what I need to or should I concentrate on one or the other? If I play tournaments, what level should I start at safely with a $500 BR (I'm thinking nothing above a $11BI)? I have actually won many tournaments and regularly get ITM regardless if I win or not.

    No matter if I win or not, I'll only play 10NL cash games until I have a minimum of 20K hands under my belt and see how it goes from there, but I don't want to give up tournament play since I think eventually that's where the HUGE money is.

    -Steve
    Hi crimson,
    looks to me like youve had similar troubles as myself and many other beginners. Ive sent you a pm because i have a few tricks i learned that worked well for me in preventing tilt, and especially the "greed" that makes us ignore the BR rules and move up levels.

    first thing i would advise is to only deposit what you need to properly BR 10NL - which would be about $200.

    if you deposit 500, it may feel as though you arent getting anywhere when you begin beating 10NL, so you will get that urge to move up prematurely.

    dont use your BR to decide when to move up, use it to decide when to move down.
    use your skill / win rate / comfort level to decide when to move up, and do it carefully with the understanding that you will probably be moving back down. it may take a few tries.

    i myself took a stab at 50NL starting in FEB, started great, but by 10 days in and 10k hands, i wasnt comfortable, i was beginning to tilt after bad losses or bad mistakes etc... started playing with the urge to "get my money back FAST" rather than "play smart and win".

    im back to 25NL, am on my game, and am playing consistantly.

    try getting poker grapher to monitor this.
  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by flomo
    poker is boring, gambling is exciting
    play poker
    Poker is like any other sport: a merciless battle with the self. It's war- not fun, but glorious (potentially). Find satisfaction in exercising self-discipline, not in playing for high stakes (they come later if you do the first part right).
  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by bigslikk
    Quote Originally Posted by flomo
    poker is boring, gambling is exciting
    play poker
    Poker is like any other sport: a merciless battle with the self. It's war- not fun, but glorious (potentially). Find satisfaction in exercising self-discipline, not in playing for high stakes (they come later if you do the first part right).
    Excellent.
  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonSteel
    Here's another question. I actually feel like my tournament skills are better than anything else I do, do you feel I can play tournies along with cash games and still learn what I need to or should I concentrate on one or the other? If I play tournaments, what level should I start at safely with a $500 BR (I'm thinking nothing above a $11BI)? I have actually won many tournaments and regularly get ITM regardless if I win or not.
    If you're talking about one-table SNGs, then a $500 BR would support playing tourneys around the $11 level. If you're playing MTTs, I'd want at least 100 buyins because of the higher variance, so I'd play around the $3-$5 level.

    IMO you can play tourneys and cash, just don't play them simultaneously as the mindset required for each is quite different.
  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by taipan168
    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonSteel
    Here's another question. I actually feel like my tournament skills are better than anything else I do, do you feel I can play tournies along with cash games and still learn what I need to or should I concentrate on one or the other? If I play tournaments, what level should I start at safely with a $500 BR (I'm thinking nothing above a $11BI)? I have actually won many tournaments and regularly get ITM regardless if I win or not.
    If you're talking about one-table SNGs, then a $500 BR would support playing tourneys around the $11 level. If you're playing MTTs, I'd want at least 100 buyins because of the higher variance, so I'd play around the $3-$5 level.

    IMO you can play tourneys and cash, just don't play them simultaneously as the mindset required for each is quite different.
    Good advice, there. I enjoy playing a lot of different poker games and formats: stud, omaha, SnG's, MTT's, pot-limit tourneys, O8b. But NLH cash games are where I know I'm a winner. So I occassionally earmark some "play" money, and buy into micro limit games or tourneys I enjoy. But I try to keep at least 80% of my time and 95% of my br focused on grinding at the game and format where I know I win.

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