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Operation Winning is a Habit

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  1. #1

    Default Operation Winning is a Habit

    (Edit 5/1/09) I moved past the 2.7k bankroll mark with 1.3k withdrawn, and I'm taking my first shot at 100nl - 5k hands and up a few BI. I'm learning a lot about poker, though I still suck. I would like this operation thread to accomplish 3 things:

    1. Inspire other beginners
    2. Journal my progress
    3. Collect useful links

    I had a break through in late September, 2008. In the past six months I've gone from 10nl to 100nl, from less than $500 to $4k total in bankroll + withdrawals.

    I use this thread to post "articles" to inspire beginners and to help me think more clearly about poker, and I update these first couple of posts to keep current info and good links readily available for me and others. Several beginners have thanked me for my posts. As long as beginners like them, I'll keep right on. Writing down my thoughts helps me more than anyone else. Experts can bypass them. There are many other places on this site to look for great players' advice on poker. Here are some of my "articles" and posts.

    Contest Winning FTR Strategy Article

    Exploitation and the FTC Theorem

    Poker Inspiration

    1. Fight Club
    2. Poker: The Crazy Bitch
    3. Rubbin' is Racin'
    4. LOL Wife-aments

    Beginner's Digest Article

    Microstakes Misconceptions

    Poker Guide

    Noobie's First 5k Hands at NL10: Guide, Links and Advice

    For any Beginners or Noobs out there, the biggest key I've learned to winning at poker is to develop the discipline to move up levels. The discipline to admit when you suck and work hard to improve. The discipline to stay at a level and grind your way up patiently. The discipline to move back down if the variance gets you and you hit your stop-loss. The discipline to keep working, to keep logging hands, leads the biggest thrill in poker: changing your internal image of yourself. I used to think of myself as a "winning 10nl poker player." I now think of myself as a "winning 100nl poker player" which is a very cool change.

    I have found that excellence at the poker tables is a habit. Playing my best poker every hand. Quitting when I'm tired. Focusing 100%. Not playing so many tables that my win rate is affected. Winning at poker becomes habitual after a while, and any lack of success due to bad play really starts to make you angry. Which is my frustration. My A game beats 50nl pretty well and is competitive at 100nl, but my B game loses and my C game would be horrible spew (haven't see it much lately, but I shudder at that thought!). In the past, I played my B game a lot just because of how life goes at my house. Patience and playing well every time is the goal. I like to win.

    Good luck at the tables!
  2. #2
    Classic FTR Posts & Links


    Strategy

    Renton's Theorem aka ABCD Theorem. Explains expert postflop play in a way beginners like me can understand. He followed it up with ABCD Theorem Exercises where folks post and analyze HH's, and break down the ranges. Renton comments using super-mod powers. Avoid this thread unless you want to stop sucking at poker.

    ISF's Strategy Collection. Awesome strategy discussions by one of FTR's best poker writers. Read 'em all - twice.

    BigSpenda's Five Biggest Leaks of a Losing NL Holdem Player Leak 1, Leak 2, Leak 3, Leak 4, and Leak 5. This is Poker 101 for noobies and intermediate players alike. Gives some theory and lots of practical advice. Tells how to think about poker.

    ilikeaces 86 simple way to beat 6max. Great post and even better discussion including thoughts from some FTR icons like Gabe and ISF. Not everyone agrees, which is great, imo. OP was edited and lists several very strong points for any 6max player to consider.

    Sauce123's Super Simple Guide to Beating Beating NLH 6max. Geared toward playing 6max in post-UIEGA and PT2 environment. Good stuff, but be careful with "3betting like a monkey" suggestions as those stats are available in HM and PT3. Still, the general suggestions are spot and still relevant. And the entire thread is filled with good suggestions from great players.


    Advice

    Beginner's Digest. I read every post in here when I got to FTR at least once. Every month since, I've gone back and read or reread it. They add new content, some of which I didn't see in the forums. And I often need refreshers on the basics.

    ISF's Psychology: The Beauty of Admitting You're not Good is an awesome thread, and well written. Read OP. Rest of thread is meh.

    ISF's Blog. Anything by IowaSkinsFan, aka ISF, is a must read imo. This guy gives great advice for beginners and advanced players alike.

    Backwards Learning Theory of Poker. ISF makes a great point for noobies and beginners about how to learn poker and provides 2 great links to articles he wrote. Follow this one through, and keep thinking about it.

    BJaust wrote a series he called "Thoughts on Beating the Micros." Each one is worth a read.
    Thought 1, Thought 2, Thought 3, Thought 4, Thought 5, Thought 6, and Thought 7

    Rant Complaints about Bad Opponents. Another Spoony rant. Read, laugh and learn something.

    Why Poker is Simple. Spoon breaks it down, as only he can do.

    Lukie's List of Exploitable Habits asks FTR regs to state one of their habits that thinking opponents could exploit. Great thread since most common leaks are addressed, and done so by FTR icons like Rondavu, pgil, DaNutsInYourEye, mcatdog, renton, jackvance, biondino, givememyleg, and pyroxene. Find leaks in our own game or exploitable tendencies to use in the Reg Wars.

    ISF's 2nd leveling at 200nl is a very interesting preview of what's to come there, and how to adjust. ISF talks about how to use the fact that certain villains think to identify lots of profitable lines for bluffing and/or maximizing profits.


    Non-Playing Issues

    Dev's hilarious and insightful How to Become a Poker Player. Great read for noobies trying to make this whole poker gig work.

    Spoon's Quick Fix American Guide to RB and Bonuses, a great template for noobies to follow to build up a roll and learn the game.

    Time to Start Over, Need Advice Skim noobie post and read excellent replies, especially BR Management guidelines by Spoony in Wesrman's reply (2nd post in thread).

    BR Management Rant. One of Spoon's great rants, and right on target, with good advice from guys like Lukie all the way through the thread.

    Spoon's Rant: BR Management for People with Balls. Read, laugh and learn, like all of Spoon's rants. Have plenty of BI's to back your play.

    Managing your non-playing poker issues. Miffed wrote an excellent article that all noobies and micro-grinders should read.

    Taking Breaks and Avoiding Tilt. Dwafman's solid advice. Note to self: read once a month.

    Importance of RB and Bonuses. Very comprehensive look at Rakeback and the money side of poker, how to game the system and maximize profit.

    Dealing with Bad Beats. Long post but great for anyone who struggles with Bad Beat Anger Management Issues.

    Jym's Thoughts on Sessions which is more like "math on sessions." He accurately computes the number of premium hands we should expect per 1k hands. He and Eupho related that to dealing with "bad" sessions, where no flops connect, all AA gets cracked, etc.


    Tactics: Pre Flop

    Blindstealing 101 and Raising Behind Limpers by Spoonitnow. Great stuff about playing late position hands in unraised pots. Blind Stealing 102 was added much later but fits in with the general theme.

    Playing PP's Read Lukie's post, 3rd from top, and follow from there. Discusses playing small pp's in midstakes games, but the concepts are pretty well explained, especially in Fnord's, Renton's, Miff's, and Lukie's posts throughout thread. At the end, thread hits implied odds for sc's, and JefferyGB weighs in with more great content. This thread got me to dump the silly 10x set odds in favor of 15x at 10nl and 20x at 25nl.

    Question regarding 3betting and 4betting by a reasonably good player with awesome insights provided by guys like Fnord and Spoonitnow. Good discussion of 3betting, where, when, why and how.

    Should I Stop Raising Preflop. Bigslikk asks about preflop bets and bet sizes and gets a nice discussion of Stack-to-Pot Ratio and how effective stacks influence preflop strategy. Read whole thread - it's good.

    Happy Fun Squeeze Time is yet another Spoony math classic, walking through a mathematical analysis step by step. This will definitely help you think better about big preflop pots.

    Some Preflop 3betting Concerns, a math-filled strategic analysis of the TAGG-reg 3betting wars including ranges and implications based on wider/looser "light" 3bet ranges.

    Muzz's awesome 3betting and FE in Full Ring theory post, with the math behind 3betting including a look at common ranges. Geared toward FR, but 6m guys can get something out of this, and every micro-FR-grinder should read this.

    4bet is the new 3bet started by Genitruc and then pwn'd by Gabe and other FTR icons. Good discussions of issues every 50nl and 100nl 6m player needs to understand (and probably lots of others).


    Tactics: Post-Flop

    Some Soul Reading Threads: Nutsinho is master of posting HH's where he takes actions that simply blow your mind, and sometimes he explains his thinking. The Soul Read section of the post-flop tactics section was created to collect some of his classics: What have I gotten myself into?; Pwning 101: Do not try this at home; and Brag hand (53o). Good stuff.

    KK with Axx flop is Gabe's classic discussion thread, oft-quoted by FTR regs the generation before me, and a very simple yet profound look at how to play KK postflop when an A hits. The OP is a SnG scenario and Hero has position. The concept applies to many cash game KK hands and can apply when Hero is oop.

    Spoon's Good Example of When to Cbet. Also see A Good Example of When Not to Cbet. These are two threads that got me thinking more coherently about cbetting and started me working on my game. My work on cbets is linked below.

    Restealing with the Best Hand. Classic Fnord. Succinct. Thought-provoking. Spot on.

    ISF's I've found the biggest leak among .5/1 and 1/2 grinders. This is ISF's bet/fold opus, a classic development of poker thinking centered around postflop decisions that lend themselves to bet/fold plans. A must read for anyone who wants to learn to think better about post flop decisions.

    Fnord's Implied Threat thread. A simple example turns into a great discussion between FTR icons like Rondavu, Lukie, and Warpe. They talk about how to play in position after a cold call against a Kinda TAggy player on an Axx flop. Fnord suggests a raise and then asks what kind of hands would make that suggestion correct. A great thinking exercise. If you want to think like these winners, that is.

    Fnord's Leading into the preflop raising thread is another great flop-play thread like the one above. Same discussants as above with BankItDrew and Miffed joining in. Warning: will make you think correctly about flop decisions.

    Playing a Set in Position. Spoon gives HH and quiz, and starts a great discussion about how to MAX EV with sets.

    MCatDog is pretty good at math, so it's not surprising to see him offer a stab at a randomized, optimally unexploitable bluff-a-set line in his Mixing it Up: Pretending to Have a Set. Great ideas on how to exploit the regs when we set mine them.

    BigSpenda's Advice for Beginners thread which starts off on how to play big hands postflop and meanders through bet-sizing for several different scenarios. Thread wanders a bit - read all posts by spenda and miffed, though.

    Spoon's Betting Against a Flush Draw thread, with excellent discussion. Read BankitDrew's analysis toward bottom. Warning - short!!

    Vi's Any way to cut down on your reverse odds thread, with great discussion of postflop play especially focused on big pp's.

    Marginal hand out of the BB against a limper or two by DaGoat. Good conversation about how to play the Big Blind Special. Read Miffed posts half way into thread and final comments from Miffed and Goat.

    Nutshino's Picking off Steals gives nice insight into when villain's line makes no sense compared to the board and game setting. Short, with input from Renton and Fnord.

    Caddies' [url=http://www.flopturnriver.com/pokerforum/beginners-circle/fundamentals-value-betting-rivers-182312.html]Value Betting the River[\url] Strong op and follow-up discussion by folks who did the math and know both how to use it and how to explain it.

    Just for Kicks

    Newbie with a Couple of Questions. One of Spoony's first FTR posts. An LoL moment for those of us who have learned an ass ton from him in 2007 / 2008. Read Biondino's reply, several posts down for great beginner's suggestions.

    Fnord's hilarious Why Poker Fucks with our Heads post starts a very entertaining discussion, which is insightful, too.

    The origin of "that Gus Bronson poker guy from TV" allusion is in Fnord's Online Table Chat 101 post. Fnord chats like a donk while playing Omaha, and it's pretty funny.


    Inspirational Stories of Poker Progress from FTR Guys You Know

    IowaSkinsFan's Swings of Poker talks about his experience grinding up (and down) at the micros. He lost all but $2 and eventually won his way up to the nosebleeds. He's won over $100,000 lifetime (probably way more, now) and posted some awesome content on FTR. Jack Vance chimes in at the end at a time when he had less than a grand in bankroll. He's got a bit more than that now. Warning: short!!

    Renton's I graduated post from 2006, when he had just reached the $10k bankroll mark. A great story from an FTR icon.

    Spoony's My Great Story (1000th post) thread from January 2008. From a guy who won his way up, learned and contributed at FTR, and has supported himself with poker income.


    Some of my personal posts on FTR

    First, a disclaimer. My posts will be most valuable to beginners. I'm a poker enthusiast, not an expert. I have a master's degree in math (game theory, prob-stats expertise), and I work on my game. My posts aren't expert advice, but it's where a beginner can get ideas. See above FTR posts for the expert advice. I do.

    Robb's 400th Post. I talk about my first year of losing poker and how I turned myself into a winning microstakes player, what I've learned, and how I used FTR to improve my game.

    Problem Solving and C-bets. This post is more about how to work on your game than actual tips or advice about playing the flop. It describes in detail how to use PT, HUD reads, PokerStove and experience to work on a part of your game. I hope to update it into an article for new players soon.

    Robb's First Rant: Don't be a Dumbass. An entertaining read, I hope, encouraging aggression and tight preflop play. I said a few controversial things, especially about KJo since AOK's 19-hand guide suggests limping it a lot. But the point wasn't a guide, just a way to think about opening ranges and aggressive postflop play.

    Rant: Stations are *sob* so hard *sob* to play against. Title speaks for itself.

    Bluffers and Stations: Attack 101. Patient aggression is perfect for both types of players. I talk about aggression and how to attack players we have solid reads on, together with two hand histories. One I played well. One I could have played better. Good critique by TJ afterwards.

    Variance Tool for the Mathematically Challenged. If you hate math but want to understand variance, read the thread and download this Excel spreadsheet that allows you to enter two numbers from PokerTracker and estimate your projected "hotstreaks" and "downswings." It also gives decile ranges for sessions, letting you know how variance will play out in the short-run.

    Where the $$ are at Micro NLH. Analysis of winnings at 10nl, and which groups of hands are most profitable.

    Lesson 4 Noobs and The Noobie Never Do This List. Two short threads about basic "correct" plays and big mistakes I make at 10nl.

    Profiling Villains (Robb's 800th Post). Suggestions for notes to take and keep handy for each villain reg we play (hands > 1k).

    My HM HUD Configuration discusses the color-coding of all 10 main display stats and the 6 customized popups.

    Improving FTR - Get to Work, Dammit (Robb's 1000th post) is a call for recycling classic FTR threads like all the ones above rather than reinventing the flat tire. My first sticky.

    What to do when someone says you suck at poker is the turnaround point in my poker career and imo an interesting thread. After getting called out for sucking at poker, I did something about it, and as of 9-May-09 had won $4k as a direct result of what happened on FTR that week. I also posted it to show what I think people with class do when they get slammed or called out or disagreed with in the forums.

    Practicing Ranges is exactly as advertised. I suggest a "chunking" memory method for grouping preflop hands and narrowing to successively more accurate range estimates at the table. Example HH's and range estimates included.


    Great FREE Poker Content on the Web

    I generally don't like linking away from FTR, since most great poker advice is available somewhere on FTR (see links above). But some classic sites have great articles from poker pros.

    Mike Caro University. Fifty poker lectures from a guy who wrote part of Doyle's original Super System when Ngreanu was still in diapers.

    Phil Gordon's personal No Limits website. The articles section gives advice from a pro who actually tells you how he thinks during hands, sessions and tourneys.

    Steve Badger's Play Winning Poker . A lesser known pro, but reveals how he actually thinks about poker. Hasn't updated much since 2007.

    Pokey's 2+2 "How to use PT2" Post . This is a great introduction to PokerTracker's usefulness in analyzing your game. The latest version of Holdem Manager has updated this guide for HM complete with ready-made reports to check out all the "leak-fixing" stats Pokey suggested. The articles are copyright protected, but HM has a full-feature download trial version - these articles alone are worth the download time, and they contain the results of a huge data-mining project with more than 1800 players of 6max at 100nl and below, each of which has at least 5k hands.

    Holdem Manager. I was planning to purchase Poker Tracker 3 (and lots of FTR regs like it), but I'm a Holdem Manager convert. Awesome HUD, extremely versatile and customizable popups, slick and quick. Great reports and filters. All the usual graphs. Runs fast enough that I never notice it's even open.

    The Stove. A great tool most of the good players I've read utilize. Ranges. Equity. Pwnage.
    Last edited by Robb; 05-13-2012 at 06:43 PM.
  3. #3
    Fight Club

    Part I in an inspirational series about poker.

    Poker is a ruthless, bare-knuckle brawl. Brutal. Iron hard, ice cold. A street fight where anything goes. A UFC scrap with choke holds and kicks to the nuts. Poker can beat the crap out of you, even when you're playing well.

    When I sit down at the table, I know I'm facing opponents who want to grab me by the throat and bash my head against the wall. They want to knock me on my ass and take all my chips - twice. Poker is a vicious and Darwinian battlefield. Only the strong survive.

    I love this game.

    I've got this 65/40/6 maniac on my right with half a stack. I 3-bet him with AK and AJs preflop. He folds. Jab. Jab. I 3-bet him with JJ and he calls. He fires on the Q-high flop. I rr him all-in. The straight right. He calls, and we see two blanks before he shows down AJ. Knockdown. He reloads. I 3-bet him with AQ and he rr's all-in. I fold. Duck his big punches. Dodge and weave. Use the footwork. I wait, sparring a bit, keeping my distance. He raises from the button. I pick up 99 and 3-bet. He calls. Good. He's setting me up for the roundhouse. We get it all in on the flop, and he gets 80 BB with TT. Knockdown for him. I'm up again, still with a 140 BB stack. I think about the hand and decide I played it all right - or at least not terrible bad. The very next hand he raises, and I 3-bet with TT. He calls. I know he's setting me up for the roundhouse again, but I get a third T on the flop. Poor bastard. He checks the K-high flop, I bet and he rr's all-in. He's got TPTK with AK. I get my chips back - doubled. He leaves the table. Knockout.

    "Are you ready to RUMMMBLE?" Oh, yeah. Let's get it on.

    I've been in fights. I took karate long enough to do some full contact sparring with kickass fighters. One was a former professional kickboxer. I know I can get punched in the face and still function. You have to keep thinking in a fight. Or you've lost it. You have to stay aggressive in a fight. Or you're losing it. And the scorecards aren't tallied until the final round is over. If the opponent is still standing.

    Here are three lessons fighters learn early - or quit fighting.

    1. Fighters never whine.

    I went one round of full contact with the pro. I got my ass kicked, but whoa! It was an awesome thing, watching him fight. Quicksilver footwork, never off-balance. Powerful, accurate punches with rattlesnake quickness. Afterward, he broke it down, giving me tips, telling me my weaknesses. Sure I got beat. But I didn't whine about it. I learned from it.

    Great poker fighters don't whine about bad beats or vicious downswings. They own up to their losses, admitting when someone has fought harder, better. They own up to their mistakes. They don't make excuses. They work on their game.

    2. Fighters can take a punch.

    Anyone can get hit hard. A fighter can get hit hard and still function. No panic. Keep the feet moving. Cover up and clear the cobwebs. Stab and move. Don't let a lost battle turn into a route. Fighters know the war ain't over.

    Great poker fighters don't tilt. They absorb the punches and fire back. They stay calm. If they need to, they sit out an orbit and refocus. They stay aggressive, and shove all-in again if they have way the best of it. Their decisions are still great decisions even right after a bad beat. They wear a cup, like Spoon suggests in this rant. Your cup is called bankroll management.

    3. Fighters train hard.

    They work their combinations on the heavy bag. They spend hours in the gym. They spar opponents who are better than they are.

    FTR and Poker Tracker are training sessions for the great poker fighter. Posting and analyzing HH's. Reading the posts from better players. Reading poker books and articles. Analyzing stats and hands from sessions. When I'm done with a session (typically about 1k hands/90 minutes), I sit quietly in a chair, thinking about the fight. Where was I too aggressive? Where was I not aggressive enough? Did I get my chips in way ahead in the big hands? Did I duck big punches? Then I head back to the computer and look at PT: stats, a couple trouble hands. Then I'm off to FTR to read some more. I find that reading FTR right after a session is good to help identify weak spots in my game. I usually post a bit, because writing helps me think more clearly.

    You are becoming a great poker street fighter - starting today. It doesn't matter how many poker fights you've lost in the past. You can learn aggression. You can learn the patience needed to fold when half your stack's committed but you know you're beat. It's one punch, not the fight. Where you've been and what fights you've lost in the past is yesterday. Be a warrior, not a whiner. You're training hard. You can win. You can kick some ass.

    No go sit down at the poker table, and punch someone in the mouth. And punch him again. And when he's all crossed up, wrong-footed, and punch-drunk tilty, rip his stack away from him - twice. Be stronger.

    "Are you ready to RUMMMBLE?"

    Let's go win some money at poker.

    Robb

    The author is a poker enthusiast, not a poker expert. And is probably full of crap.
  4. #4
    I will be watching intently Robb as i am on a mission to get to 1,000 at NL10 and your advice has helped me a heap so far. just a couple of questions:

    1) What bankroll did you start at to get to 1,000?
    2) Did you start at NL10 or NL5?
    3) Your VP$IP of 19 after 77k hands with a PFR % of 14 is one area of my game I have trouble with, mainly the PFR% and getting to around %75 of my VPI$P. Any tips ? (starting range?)
  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Hotfrog
    1) What bankroll did you start at to get to 1,000?
    $100

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotfrog
    2) Did you start at NL10 or NL5?
    NL10. But I made a bankroll blunder. I cleared a bonus and won $100 about the time I joined FTR and learned bankroll management. Good luck, a bonus, the poker gods and a fishy site all saved my 10 BI roll. I wouldn't do it that way again - I'd start at NL2 until I had $200. Maybe more. I explain a lot more about my story up 'til now in my "Robb's 400th Post" which is now linked above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hotfrog
    3) Your VP$IP of 19 after 77k hands with a PFR % of 14 is one area of my game I have trouble with, mainly the PFR% and getting to around %75 of my VPI$P. Any tips ? (starting range?)
    LoL. Now, I play more like 18/16, but those stats include the days when I played 25/12. I learned preflop aggression by doing this. I picked up a hand and decided I wanted to play it. Then I asked myself, "Is it worth a raise?" If I was scared to commit myself to a preflop raise, I folded it. You'll find position matters. I play 8/7 UTG and more like 24/20 on the button.
  6. #6
    Stop being a BR nit take a shot damnit!
    Check out the new blog!!!
  7. #7
    paulwright's Avatar
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    Here here Robb - listen to ISF - move it up a level - your game is more than good enough...
  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by IowaSkinsFan
    Stop being a BR nit take a shot damnit!
    Roger that. Three thoughts occur.

    1. I have taken shots at NL25

    Edit: My free picture hosting site is spamming everyone, so I pulled all the links down- suffice it to stay I had a mental block at the time, and just couldn't beat 25nl to save my life.

    You can see from my stats that I played too loose and too passive pre, and got weak-tight post.

    2. I set a goal once upon a time to log 25k hands at NL10 with an 8+ ptBB/100 winrate. I'm at 18k/8.08 right now, and completing the mission puts me right at $1k.

    3. Regarding #1 and #2, there's more to being ready for the next level than having 20 BI. I needed to learn more about this game. I had two big downswings in early February that coincided with me putting a lot of pieces together and sorting out my game. Then, bang, nearly 20k hands of solid success. I ready now, Daddy.

    I will take my shot in early March and let everyone know how it goes.
    Last edited by Robb; 04-17-2010 at 07:47 PM.
  9. #9
    Chopper's Avatar
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    watching...as always, robb.

    love the first couple posts in the blog. good work, m8.
    LHE is a game where your skill keeps you breakeven until you hit your rush of random BS.

    Nothing beats flopping quads while dropping a duece!
  10. #10
    m8, chopper, most ppl wouldn't get that - vnh
  11. #11
    XTR1000's Avatar
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    Good stuff, probably one more OP thread I´ll check out daily.

    And listen to ISF dude. Move up and make more moniez
    Quote Originally Posted by bigred View Post
    xtr stand for exotic tranny retards
    yo
  12. #12
    Chopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    m8, chopper, most ppl wouldn't get that - vnh
    aaahhhh. but, thats why you and i are friends, eh? keep em coming, bra?

    could i USE any more ethnic slang? i'm austrailian. or canadian. or hawaiian. wow, could be chameleon? lol.
    LHE is a game where your skill keeps you breakeven until you hit your rush of random BS.

    Nothing beats flopping quads while dropping a duece!
  13. #13
    I'm 20k hands into a goal I set for myself at NL10: racking up an 8+ ptBB/100 winrate over 25k hands. Over the last 21k hands, I'm only 7.2 ptBB/100, so I'll either have to cherry-pick some hands or get a nice heater to finish on. Here's the stats for the relevant period:

    Edit: bad picture host spam deleted.

    I am going to take a VERY serious shot - the last one - at NL25 starting Monday or Tuesday, when I finish my NL10 25k operation. If I don't get quite to 8 ptBB/100 - so be it. I'm pwning NL10 more than I ever thought possible in October. I've posted over $300 in winnings in 21k hands at NL10. I hope it comes out at 8+, but either way I've learned a lot.

    I'm working tonight on my second "article" for this blog. I think I'm going to post all the articles on my school web page (hidden link, since the administration might not approve of what I'm doing ), so they'll be more easily linked to. The upcoming article uses Buck Cherry's "Crazy Bitch" to make it's point. Should be fun.

    I will be posting a good bit in the next month as I make my move to NL25 permanent. BTW, I intend to keep playing NL10 1 - 2 sessions per week. Multitabling 10+ 6max tables at 7 ptBB/100 is good for the ol' bankroll, so I think I'll keep doing it until I have evidence I make more by playing a level higher.
    Last edited by Robb; 04-17-2010 at 07:56 PM.
  14. #14
    Join Date
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    hey, nice one. Keep it going! You should kill $25nl, maybe not 8ptBB/100 - but enough. Consider increase in rakeback when you calculate earn-rate at one level vs the other. Spot ya, and good luck!
  15. #15
    Poker: The Crazy Bitch

    Part II in an inspirational series about poker.

    There's an old joke about the difference between a slut and a bitch. A slut will sleep with anyone. A bitch will sleep with anyone but you. For the beginner, poker can be like trying to score with some superhot chick so evil she'll sleep with your best friend - or your worst enemy - just to wind you up. Poker is cold-hearted. A love 'em and leave 'em whore. A game where it can seem like every dumbass but you is scoring with her.

    Poker is ungentle, like the Buck Cherry song says:

    You're a crazy bitch
    But you f**k so good I'm on top of it
    I dream of doing you all night
    Scratches all down my back - I keep right on
    I love this game.

    To be good at this game, you gotta like it rough. Here are some lessons I've learned about the crazy bitch we call poker.

    1. Poker will screw you over.

    Poker was invented by tough-as-nails riverboat gamblers, professionals at taking people's money. NLH is the most highly refined instrument professional poker players have come up with to part the less skillful from their cash - and have them like it. The key to any money-stealing gambling game (like slots) is the high variance. The naive player has a small negative expectation but such high variance that he or she can play for hours and hours and still be ahead, despite horrific play. The high variance masks the overall losing trend. The down side, for the good players at least, is that while they have a small positive expectation, they can also be visited by the high variance and lose for hours and hours, despite heroic play.

    You've got to understand this if you're going to win at poker. The pros who invented it did not want poker to be fair in the short term - they designed it to pay off the fish a lot. They did it on purpose, to lure the fish into playing for more money than they should and to keep them playing long after they should have quit. But all that combines to kick you in the balls some nights, even when you're playing well. You have to expect to get roughed up. You have to expect that whore to visit everyone at the table but you some nights. The bad beats keep the fish swimming happily, but they hit you, too. They're the precise part of the game meticulously designed to part people from their money. You gotta get used to it. Heck, you gotta like it - really like it - rough.

    2. Poker is a tease - not a slut.

    Poker is great at throwing wads of cash at new naive players, making them think that they're good players. Poker is also ruthless at extracting cash from players - most players - over the long run. Think about this: 90% of all poker players lose more money than they win in their lives. Even talented players who start off successfully often move up too high, and find games filled with pros and solid players they can't beat. Instead of moving down a level or two, they donk off all their cash and then some. Happens every day. Know this: poker isn't sleeping around with everyone in the world but you.

    At the bottom of its dark and dangerous soul, NLH is about skill. It's a professional gambler's game, where the pros who understand the game make money by playing it well. These pros much prefer stud-style games where the majority of all players' hands are exposed. They don't like the old "draw poker" games where none of the cards are showing. With tons of information about the possible hands available, the game boils down to high quality decisions. NLH has plenty of information available for the skillful to exploit. At the end of the road, only a very few succeed. The rest are chasing a chick who will never give it up for them.

    3. Winning at poker is amazing fun.

    Almost as good as sex. Well, not really, but it's a thrill. And here's the beautiful thing about understanding the poker bitch: let her work for you. Let that streetwalking whore go attract all the bums and losers to your tables. How many people would be willing play basketball against Michael Jordon - for money - over and over and over? Well, no one in their right mind except maybe a half dozen superstars. But that same talent/skill differential exists in poker, and weak players are lining up to face off against the top players around. To give away their cash.

    Why? Because the crazy poker bitch is showing some leg, some cleavage, promising thrills. And when you sit down with a solid bankroll behind you and enough talent and skill and chips in front of you, you profit from this game. And that little hottie who was flauntin' it all over town, bringin' in the johns hopin' to score? Yeah, she's headed home with you tonight.

    And the scratches all down your back? Keep right on.

    Let's go win some money at poker.

    Robb

    The author is a poker enthusiast, not a poker expert. And is probably full of crap.
  16. #16
    wesrman's Avatar
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    Token post, so i get updates when u post.
    I just joined Grinderschool also (just the micro for know though).
  17. #17
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    nice work, robb....as always.
    LHE is a game where your skill keeps you breakeven until you hit your rush of random BS.

    Nothing beats flopping quads while dropping a duece!
  18. #18
    Like Sarbox, I took my shot at NL25 this week. Unlike Sarbox, my road was decidedly bumpier. I coughed up 9 BI in the first 2k hands. A third were my fault - just dumbass plays, calling or shoving when I knew I was behind. But some of it was great negative variance - like having KK all-in against A6o and losing. You know you played it right and that, if there are donks like this at the higher level, you can win. But negative variance - great as it often is - gets old after a while. Here's a graph for my first 4k hands:

    Edit: old web host sux.

    The interesting thing to me is that I never lost my confidence. I knew (after some early miscues) that I was playing well, sticking to a TAGG profile, cbetting in reasonable spots. And I had the bankroll behind me. So I just kept on grinding. Being up 12 BI in the second 2k hands - that was a lot more fun.

    One thing I did to stabilize my game was revert back to FR. I knew I could beat 6max, but the crazy-high variance there was starting to sting. I get back on track in FR action, then went back to 6max (+5 BI in last night's session).

    All in all, just another day at the office, earning 5 ptBB/100 over 4k hands. LoFL.
    Last edited by Robb; 04-17-2010 at 08:00 PM.
  19. #19
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    hey robb,

    not to hijack your Op, but i thought i'd provide you my first 3 days (1500 hands) of 25NL, myself...lol. yeah, variance stinks, but poor play can kick in there, too. and when lady luck doesnt step in and bail out some of the bad plays, you start thinking too much...like i am. here's a 9 BI ($15 shorting experiment) downer in 3 days!!



    that last, sharp drop was 1.5 dumb hands, and 2.5 glorious suckouts. one was half dumb, but half variance...lol. (wrong play for not seeing cards, right by Sklansky's FToP). this is why we carry DEEEEEEP bankrolls, tho. this hasnt phased anything but my mental capacities.
    LHE is a game where your skill keeps you breakeven until you hit your rush of random BS.

    Nothing beats flopping quads while dropping a duece!
  20. #20
    My life to date at NL25

    Edit: yeah, it was Chopper who suggested the stupid web host I now hate.

    I'm playing with some confidence now, and doing all right. But several of the big downswings were variance. I mean, I do suck at poker, but not this bad!! I'll be back in a few days to post some stats, when I get more than 10k hands in the database.

    For now, I think I've left my NL10 days behind me.

    ** fingers crossed, knocking on wood, hoping he has not upset the poker gods **
    Last edited by Robb; 04-17-2010 at 08:02 PM.
  21. #21
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    nice that you didn't get psyched out by the downswing! I just dropped hard too (see op for details), and i think i'm still not tilting - just need to emulate you and grind it all back...

    and yeah, you'll be playing 25nl++ from now on. How's adding tables going?

    Anyway, good luck, what's your tag on FT? I'll search you out when I play, and hit you on some tables!!!
  22. #22
    Rubbin' is Racin'

    Part III in an inspirational series about poker.

    Bristol Motor Speedway is legendary for intense, bump 'n' bang, put-em-in-the-wall races. The Bristol "racin' stripe" is a round, black wheel mark on the side of your car, earned by "nudging" an opponent at 120 mph. The top 5 finishers at tracks like Charlotte often finish in a car still shiny and new. Hardly any of the top 5 Bristol cars have all the sheet metal they started with.

    There's a scene in "Days of Thunder" where racer Colt Trickle (Tom Cruise) gets angry at rough track treatment. His crew chief (Robert Duvall) has this to say:

    Harry: Cole, you're wondering all over the track.
    Cole: Yeah, well the son of a bitch just slammed into me!
    Harry: No he didn't slam into you, he didn't bump you, he didn't nudge you. He rubbed you. And rubbin', son, is racin'.
    Dents, scars, bruises and abrasions. Wrecks, cussin', swearin', and fights in the pits after the race. Rubbin' is racin' at NASCAR's short tracks. And the winner at Bristol is often the guy smart and lucky enough to have avoided all the big wrecks. Kind of like poker.

    I love this game.

    Here are some lessons I've learned about poker thanks to my dad's fanatical following of NASCAR.

    1. Qualifying matters.

    Racers and teams get a few practice laps, then they qualify. The fastest times start at the front. But at a track like Bristol, that also means excellent early track position to help keep free of the big wrecks and priority pit selection - having to pit on the backstretch is a huge handicap. These advantages are worth fighting for. And the best teams plan, tinker and adjust so they're ready to grab them.

    How do you get into the poker race? I used to sit down, open up the poker software and jump into the first few games I could find a seat in. I was playing in seconds. Kinda like racin' in a car that hasn't even been set up for the track. I often pushed too hard, too early, and paid with a wrecked stack. Even if I only dented my stack, it still took me 10 mintues to "settle in" and begin playing good poker. These days, I get PT/HUD up and running, table select carefully, and get on half a dozen wait lists. Get the streaming audio rockin', grab a coke. I glance at the regs in the games and think about what track position I'd like to have on them. I get my mind right, thinking about the style of poker I'll be playing.

    2. Top racers think long run.

    The best drivers know that having a bad car early in a race is only a small problem. There'll be plenty of pit stops to tweak the setup, make adjustments. They don't get too worried about going a lap down if they have a good car. They know there's plenty of time to get back up front. I drive every day on HW9 between Dahlonega and Dawsonville, the road "Awesome Bill from Dawsonville" made famous with his #9 race car. He came from two laps down at Talladega to win, on his way to becoming the first driver to win the Winston Million, a prop bet earned by wining legendary races at historic tracks in one season. Great racers always seem to be there in the final laps. They've made adjustments, worked hard, and fought through the rough-housing tactics of the pack. They don't give up - ever. They get that lap back, fix the car, and go for the win.

    I play premium hands only for a few orbits as I get my tables positioned and wait for my HUD to get current. Just ABC poker. I don't get too high about early wins or losses. And I don't get uptight even when someone outplays me for half a stack. I make a note and move on. I am learning to wait for poker opportunities, get my lap back, get my car adjusted exactly right for when the racin' really matters.

    3. Rubbin' is racin', and racers are ruthless.

    There's a cruel fact of short-track NASCAR life: the guy in the lead is vulnerable. The guy in second drives into the turn too fast and bumps the leader. The force of the "wreck" does two things. First, it knocks the leader's car loose, making him ease off the gas and slide up the track. Second, it slows down the guy in second just enough to corner at race speed. The bump opens the door for the second place car to drive on by, and often sends the would-be winner crashing into the wall cursin', spittin', fumin' and ready to fight.

    Often, the best position at the poker table is one that seems vulnerable. When an almost-good player gets the best of it against me in a couple of hands, I smile. The easiest way for me to take his stack is if he thinks I'm one of the fish. Hopefully, he'll type chat something like "nh donk" when I'm chasing some implied odds and check down with crap. I stay out of trouble and fight for track position, so when it matters I can give him the Daryl Waltrip "beep beep" treatment. He'll be cursin' and cryin' in a hunk of shredded sheet metal while I take the checkered flag - and all his chips.

    Rubbin' is racin'.

    Let's go win some money playin' poker.

    Robb

    The author is a poker enthusiast, not a poker expert. And is probably full of crap.
  23. #23
    Here are the results from 10k hands at NL25.

    Edit: dunno why I'm deleting all these, no one will ever read this post.

    I think it's clear I should focus on FR. LoL.

    6max, 4k hands, -5 ptBB/100, -$118 (yes, that NEGATIVE )
    FR, 6k hands, 6.3 ptBB/100, +188

    Overall, +$70 and some lessons learned. For example, play FR you flippin' moron!! I think FR is more suited to my natural game. While I learned various styles at NL10 and won big at both 6max and FR, my style is still very aggressive. At FR, there's more weak-tight players. At 6max, it's a more loose passive/station game. I like playing stations, but I need to focus on my ABC game at NL25 for 15k or 20k hands before expanding my focus too much.

    Here are my position stats for FR:

    Edit: dunno why I'm deleting all these, no one will ever read this post.

    I'm fairly happy - nearly 3:1 difference in button vs. UTG/EP stats, and strong win rates in the final 4 positions at the table. I'm used to having positive stats at all positions on the table at NL10, but I can work on that. Maybe tighten up even more in EP. I'm not sure why my UTG VP$P is 11. I only open about 8.5% of hands there: all pp's (6%) + AK/AQ (2.5%). But maybe I just got dealt more good cards - it's 248 total hands, so it would take much to throw that percentage off.

    Since this is my third serious shot at NL25, several people (including me) have wondered if I can specify the differences between NL25 and NL10. What makes it seem darn near impossible to noobies tryin' to move up when NL100 regs believe it's simple and virtually equivalent to NL10? There are real differences, but in the end they don't matter too much. Here they are, for anyone who cares:

    1. More 3betting preflop.
    2. More flop raises and check raises.
    3. Fewer bluffs and bad calls on the turn and river.

    But the biggest difference imo is the fact that the players are slightly better on average. Hero's decisions are basically the same, but the margin for error is less. At NL10, I could donk off a stack or two and quickly earn it back. At NL25, I need a much higher percentage of correct decisions to win at the same rate. Not different decisions. Not harder decisions. Just have to be better at the routine decisions in the game. More reads. More planning ahead. Less "oh, hell, it's only five bucks." You can get away with more mistakes at NL10, and I for one got used to making them.

    I've seen very positive things in my decision-making, especially this weekend as I logged 5k hands. I can beat this level. But if anyone asks what the big deal is jumping from NL10 to NL25, I can honestly say this: there's no real difference.

    Some improvements I've made:

    1. Bet sizing.
    2. More selective aggression.
    3. Fish tracking/table selection.

    For #1, the key at any new level is not so much learning when to bet 2/3's of the pot but at what point the money involved seems to matter to your opponents. At NL10, villains only get cautious when their entire stack is at stake. At NL25, villains slow down around the half stack mark and start thinking (or trying to, at whatever level mental amoeba's have brain function). So their bets are "real" a lot more often on later streets. This is fine - it means they're playing their cards face up a lot. But for an NL10 agro-monkey like me, it means I have to (#2) be more selective with my turn/river aggression and play out medium hands street by street. There's still a place for the shove, no doubt, but I have to be very picky about the spots I choose.

    For #3, I'm just getting better at choosing good seats and letting tables go by if the stacks/player types aren't positioned right. Also, at UB where I play most right now, I generally sit down at tables where I have 500+ on half the table, and am facing new opponents (hands <100) less than 20% of the time.

    Upshot is this: focus on FR, grind up some roll, and learn to make high quality decisions on every street every time. And win. LoL. Sounds easy. Now I just have to go do it.
    Last edited by Robb; 04-17-2010 at 08:07 PM.
  24. #24
    swiggidy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    But the biggest difference imo is the fact that the players are slightly better on average. Hero's decisions are basically the same, but the margin for error is less. At NL10, I could donk off a stack or two and quickly earn it back. At NL25, I need a much higher percentage of correct decisions to win at the same rate. Not different decisions. Not harder decisions. Just have to be better at the routine decisions in the game. More reads. More planning ahead. Less "oh, hell, it's only five bucks." You can get away with more mistakes at NL10, and I for one got used to making them.
    yup.

    Also, you might want to start a new 25NL database. That way you can see the progress you're making now without worrying about the money you've lost in the past during previous attempts. Psychologically this was very good for me.

    glgl
    (\__/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")
  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by swiggidy
    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    But the biggest difference imo is the fact that the players are slightly better on average. Hero's decisions are basically the same, but the margin for error is less. At NL10, I could donk off a stack or two and quickly earn it back. At NL25, I need a much higher percentage of correct decisions to win at the same rate. Not different decisions. Not harder decisions. Just have to be better at the routine decisions in the game. More reads. More planning ahead. Less "oh, hell, it's only five bucks." You can get away with more mistakes at NL10, and I for one got used to making them.
    yup.

    Also, you might want to start a new 25NL database. That way you can see the progress you're making now without worrying about the money you've lost in the past during previous attempts. Psychologically this was very good for me.

    glgl
    Thanks, man. I appreciate it. I started my latest NL25 shot on March 1st, so filtering out the bad crap is easy. Out of site. Out of mind. I'm sort of waiting on PT3 to see what's what before I make a new database.
  26. #26
    Robb, I enjoy your inspirational pep talks! Some of the differences I noticed when moving from 10NL to 25NL were:

    -You can actually get people to fold some broadway cards with a 4-6x BB PFR. Good luck with that at 10NL.
    -The check-minreraise on the flop seems to be the standard "tricky" play for that level on Stars. It usually means TPGK or better. At 50NL it's completely different and often means a draw, combo draw or a mid-pair on a dry board.
    -There are a few decent short-stacking nits at 25NL, whereas at 10NL you really can't give any short-stackers credit for being good. Try to identify the good shorties and don't call their shoves without a very strong hand.
    -People start paying attention to implied odds for chasing draws. At 10NL there are certain players that will chase them with their entire stack every time. At 25NL you need to pay more attention to sizing your bets so it would be a mistake for them to chase. Double-barreling a blank on the turn now becomes a useful play.

    GL with your Op.
  27. #27
    Chainsaw Massacre

    Part IV in an inspirational series about poker.

    When I don't post much on my blog or the forums, you can't count on this: I'm running bad. I don't like giving advice when I'm certain I suck at poker. And right now I'm certain.

    I ran bad, then compounded it by donky-donk spewing. I coughed up so many chips I hit my stop loss, and I'm back at NL10. I took a few hours off for thinking. I used the time to crank up my chainsaw and hack down a tree. I cut a bunch of deadfalls, hauled wood and then cranked the chainsaw up again. Felt good. Nothing like firing up a tool that can rip off an arm to take your mind off your troubles. Poker this week reminds me of the song by Three Days Grace.

    Pain - without love.
    Pain - can't get enough.
    Pain - without love.
    I'd rather feel pain than nothing at all.
    I love this game.

    Here are some thoughts I had while tearing things up with my chainsaw. To put it in context, most of my spewing is due to aggression in the wrong spots. Not folding when I know I'm beaten. I get impatient and shove over the top against a fishy villain. Problem is, the fish was playing like he had some cards finally. And I knew it. And spewed. And then wanted to go throw up. And I'm not writing this for you. I'm writing it for me, 'cuz I suck at poker and have the gashed bankroll to prove it! But these are some things I realized I was doing wrong.

    1. The destructive power of the chainsaw requires a delicate touch.


    If you've never used a chainsaw before, you'll probably be surprised how complex it is. Adjust the chain. To tight and it binds up. To loose and it can derail and rip your head off. And since cutting heats it up, it expands. So you make a couple of cuts and work with a wrench and screwdriver for five minutes, getting it just right. Then you can cut again. Five more cuts and you're back for some bar oil. Three more cuts and the chain is loose again. Damn, got it too tight, so five more minutes fiddling with screwdriver and wrench. Less than a third of the time you're working with a chainsaw are you actually ripping into anything.

    Kinda like poker.

    I can't just overshove. I have to fine tune the table conditions, wait on some cards, find a flop that works. And the villain folds. So it's back to work with the wrench and screw driver, patiently getting all the conditions right again. Yes, the chainsaw has it place in poker, ripping into villains' stacks with a raw ferocity. But using it at the right time - that requires a deft and delicate touch.

    2. Using a chainsaw requires physical strength.

    You'd think, if you've never used one, that a chainsaw would cut through a tree like a hot knife through butter. Only if it's a soft wood like pine or rotten wood - and even then it can be difficult. But try hacking your way through a live hardwood trunk, and you're in for moderate test of physical endurance. Your hand's gripping the trigger, yanking the saw back when the chain binds up, forcing it back down in the cut in different positions, working millimeter by millimeter through the tree. Get it notched. Head to the back side. Wait for the wind to stop blowing - the tails of trees falling the wrong way are hilarious and frequent, and this tree was near my house. Then pull back on the trigger and go for it.

    You have to stay quick on your feet. When the tree starts to go, you keep the saw running but get ready to dodge. You have to get the saw and yourself out of the way. If you're unlucky, it falls toward you. You get about a second for a quick step, or a tree that weighs over a ton lands on your sorry ass. And you're trying to avoid the chainsaw running full tilt. Using a chainsaw is definitely not as easy as it looks.

    Kinda like poker.

    I know I can beat this game, but let's not forget all the work and constant awareness that is required. Just because I own all the poker power tools that exist doesn't mean winning will be easy. I have to keep working hard, using my brain and my knowledge to get the power tools zeroed in and ready to roar.

    3. If the chain's too loose, it can kill you.

    Just like with poker, tight is less dangerous than loose. Too tight and saw the binds up, refusing to run. If you don't loosen up, it can ruin the chainsaw. But it won't kill you.

    But when the chain starts sagging, you're in dangerous territory. Inside a cut, there's a lot of force throwing the blades around. The saw can kick and jump, and if the chain is just that fraction too loose, those forces heave it off the bar. Yep. The shit just hit the fan. It gets worse. Cutting loosens the chain, and stopping a cut in the middle is often just as dangerous - or more - than continuing with a loose chain. But it takes several minutes to tighten up the chain, working with wrench and screwdriver on a blade and bar that are searing hot. So you try to get that last cut in before stopping.

    Just like me and poker. Just one more cbet, even though I know it's wrong. Just one more 3bet, even though this villain is TAGG. Just one more all-in semibluff with too few outs - it's worked twice already. I've had the chain come off my saw once, and I was lucky. I was through the cut and off the throttle, and the log rolled a bit, binding and grabbing the chain. As the chain eased to idle, it came off the bar, about six inches from my leg. Since then, I stop cutting a lot earlier, and I make damn sure I have everything perfect before I cut. Just like me and poker. Except poker has ripped my leg off a few times, metaphorically at least. And getting too loose is almost always the problem.

    Those thoughts are my "chainsaw chronicles." I've taken 10 hours off from poker, planned my moves, tried to learn from the pain. Now I'm headed back to the tables. I just can't get enough of this game, even when it kicks me in the balls. "Pain - without love..."

    Now let's tighten up that chain and go win some money playing poker!!

    Robb

    The author is a poker enthusiast, not a poker expert. And is probably full of crap.
  28. #28
    dev's Avatar
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    I've been going thru a bad run, too. It helps to read your posts here . I'm rooting for you, man.
    Check out my self-deprecation here!
  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by dev
    I've been going thru a bad run, too. It helps to read your posts here . I'm rooting for you, man.
    The bleeding has stopped. Thanks for the post. I wasn't done playin' poker, but I was sick of the coolers. So I tried 2nl. Up a BI at that level.

    Actually, 2nl is a fun game - and it helps you learn some poker skills. You definitely get rr'd and 3bet a lot more at 2nl than 10nl or 25nl, so you really learn to play some tricky hands. Of course, their donk-fish morons, to that helps. But seriously, there's so many short stacks that every bet, every raise forces you to think about implied odds - I've never folded small pp's so often!! BUT TPTK pays pretty well. :P
  30. #30
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    Sounds exactly like my problems last week.
    I was doing the same.
    Getting coolered over and over, and then making it worse by spewing.
    I wasnt making laydowns when i knew i was beat and i was pressing too hard. Everytime i got a decent hand i was over playing it horribly and trying to out play my opponents.
    Sklansky says poker is a game of mistakes.
    Make fewer than your opponents and you will prosper.
    Also poker takes a lot of patience/confidence and self controll.
    You can have all the knowledge/skills in the world,
    but without great patience/confidence and self controll, its all useless.
    I also dropped down to 2NL when i was running/playing bad to build my confidence and minimize my losses. It worked well for me.
    Remember, after every downswing comes an upswing...lol
    Good luck to you Robb.
  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by wesrman
    Getting coolered over and over
    +1
    Quote Originally Posted by wesrman
    and then making it worse by spewing.
    + 5
    Quote Originally Posted by wesrman
    Remember, after every downswing comes an upswing...lol
    Good luck to you Robb.
    ty
  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    Just one more cbet, even though I know it's wrong. Just one more 3bet, even though this villain is TAGG. Just one more all-in semibluff with too few outs - it's worked twice already.
    1) you wrote a c-bet article. Read it again.
    2) 3-betting TAGGs in position is fine, but just cos you 3-bet DOES NOT mean you own the pot
    3) all in semi-bluffs! If you have enough outs it's not a bluff - you can see why. And wow, I semi-bluff a little differently, and it's usually about buying a free card if i don't steal the pot.
    4) crush 10nl for a session then go and beat 25nl! then get to 50nl, I'm planning to stay there a while - until br $5k or so, and I want to sit to your left and defend my blinds!

    also, take breaks when you're running good sometimes too. Trust me. I hit the waves hard on Friday (finally swell AND offshores!), then a twelve hour music festival saturday.
    including these guys...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHnMcRUQP7U
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvEOk0XeRZ8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQNSw2lk56Q

    And now I'm back!
  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by daven
    2) 3-betting TAGGs in position is fine, but just cos you 3-bet DOES NOT mean you own the pot
    This is gold.
    I need to repeat this to myself when i play.
  34. #34
    These were my "Bad Day" PT Stats from my worst ever day of poker:



    Maybe half was coolers and bad beats, but the rest was spew. And I had another two nights of spew, just not quite this bad. I was reverse grinding, took a $700 bankroll under $400.

    Here's today's results. Whew. I'm baa-ack!!



    Happy Easter.

    I'm back up to $450 already, winning 5 BI at 10nl 6max in 2k hands. I've been table selecting like a demon, ditching tables that are laid out wrong, keeping all the chips on my right and trying to avoid LAGGy shorties to my immediate left. Fishing hard. Changing seats. Jumping in and out of games. I think if I take enough trouble to table select like this all the time, I could pwn Absolute's 6max 10nl tables for 10+ ptBB/100 playing 4 at a time. And I'm going to give it a serious shot in the next couple weeks as I rebuild the roll. And I've got $50 in rakeback on the way any day.

    I've taken some of Spoon's advice about PAHUD stats, working to get my popup stats configured and using them more often (need more hands on this site/level to make more of them meaningful).

    I'm thinking of taking my next shot at 25nl when I hit $625 (25 BI) with a $400 stop loss. I know my A game beats 25nl, if I do the following:

    1. Play my A+ game EVERY hand.
    2. Play only 4 tables of 6max at once.
    3. Play only 6 tables of FR at once.
    4. Table select hard.
    5. Profile and target villains.
    6. Work on session review.
    7. Post more HH's on FTR and at GrinderSchool.

    If I'm not able to play my A game, I can kill some time playing PLO2 - something that won't bleed my bankroll.

    But I'm back to winning. I'm on the upswing, and regaining my confidence hand by hand. Just a temporary (though massive) setback.
  35. #35
    I'm ba-aack. LoL. Work and life conspired to nearly eliminate my poker hobby for 3 weeks. But I've played nearly 1k hands this week in three short sessions, so I'm easing back into the grind.

    Results have been good. I'm up about $100 on 2.5k hands at 10nl, 4-6 tabling 6max. With rakeback and solid playing, I'm nearing the $600 mark, so by early May I'll probably be testing 25nl again. I know I can beat that level, but it will certainly take my A+ game every session to do it.

    I'm also going to be posting more on FTR - that's a big part of the learning curve, imo, and I've missed the conversations about how to not suck at poker. Good luck at the tables.
  36. #36
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  37. #37
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    I thought you might have run away. Glad that's not the case
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  38. #38
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    welcome back Robb
    Never bet on a white man in the heavyweight division!
  39. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    Chainsaw Massacre
    I ran bad, then compounded it by donky-donk spewing. I coughed up so many chips I hit my stop loss, and I'm back at NL10.
    <snip>
    To put it in context, most of my spewing is due to aggression in the wrong spots. Not folding when I know I'm beaten. I get impatient and shove over the top against a fishy villain. Problem is, the fish was playing like he had some cards finally. And I knew it. And spewed. And then wanted to go throw up. And I'm not writing this for you. I'm writing it for me, 'cuz I suck at poker and have the gashed bankroll to prove it! But these are some things I realized I was doing wrong.
    Wow!

    This is all so eerily familiar. I'm about 2-3 weeks behind you on all this.

    I also recently took a short lived shot at 25nl recently. Short lived due to a couple beats and lots of spew. Just a day or two ago I was thinking about how poorly I'd done recently and suddenly I realized that I'd been going too far with bluffs and mediocre hands against players who could only have had me beat.

    I had a couple things contribute to me hitting this over-aggro rut. First, I'd been running very well over the last few weeks, over 10ptbb/100, closer to 20ptbb/100 for a good stretch of that (and yes I was fully aware that I was running well. This wasn't a case of me turning a corner). I got my BR to my alltime high. I'm actually rolled for 25nl (though on the small end) instead of just taking a one buyin shot above my head like I'd done in the past. Then I go get back into a home game I play somewhat regularly where we all know each other so well that "outplaying" each other becomes a much MUCH larger part of the game than my online FR games...and I made a killing there too. I can outplay people...who needs cards? Winning poker is aggressive poker...maybe I'll just crank it up and win more!!

    It took my worst downswing in a couple months before I realized what I was doing, and it's exactly what you are talking about here...uncontrolled aggression.

    I took some time away from my cash game (and only played a couple tourney's) to allow time for me to...i dunno...reset myself and get back to focusing on winning poker more than aggressive poker.

    I think part of my problem is that I somehow got away from focusing on their true hand ranges and thought I could get away with taking down pots because "most likely, he doesn't have a hand this time." FAIL!!

    Posts like these, where someone explains what I've been going through (and better than I could explain it to myself), are ones that really remind me why I love this place. They remind me that this is all part of the learning process and that I'm not the only dumbass to get stuck in stupid ruts like these.
  40. #40
    Hawkfan, good luck gettin' back track. I've regrouped and gotten a big chunk of my roll back, plus been helped by rakeback. So I took a shot at 25nl last night. Here are the results:



    I like the 20/16/4.55 profile. It's tight enough for 6max. My 35% steal blind attempts and 30+ VP$P from the SB are both higher than normal because the games on Absolute tend to be VERY passive and picked up a lot of sc's in the SB where a couple of limpers were in and the BB seemed very unlikely to raise.

    I didn't play weak-tight. I 2barreled a few times successfully, and even 3barreled once. But I also laid down hands. I folded AQ preflop from the SB after a raise and a call. I just didn't feel like playing out of position with a hand that can be trouble.

    I also ran well. When I picked up KK and QQ, the overcards did NOT hit. I picked up a couple of sets and got played back at. I picked up AA and got people limping and raising in front of me. But the last few times I've played 25nl, I've run bad. So it wasn't completely unfair to get some cards and play them well.

    Final thought: only play 25nl when I can bring my A game. My B game doesn't even break even here, yet. It's no problem to drop back to 10nl for a night or two when I'm exhausted, or stressed, or not feeling well.

    I plan to post another article in here this weekend - get back track with my posting and writing. Good luck at the tables people!!
  41. #41
    Day 2 at 25nl (for the 4th f**kin time ) is all good. I played well, but didn't really run good or face any coolers. Up a half BI after 400 hands without really playing anything memorable. It's funny. Every session of break-even right now is confidence building. 400 more HH's in the database for HUD reads. No gash in the br to recover from. Plenty more experience to know how my ABC games plays one level higher.

    I will reiterate what I believe to be true about the difference between 10nl and 25nl - there isn't much difference. Just a few players have learned to fold, just a few players have learned to 3bet, just a few players are better at avoiding trouble, just a few stations have been weeded out by the Darwinian struggle, but generally just the same stupid crap from 10nl for more bigger bets. I'm still regularly facing loose-passive players (40+/4+) pre who get weak-tight post. I'm still seeing the occasional maniac all-in fest.

    I am also practicing a new way to "warm up." I sit down and play 100 or so hands of 10nl, not really to try to win but find the zone, make sure that my decisions are sound. Since there's so little difference in the two, I just play my standard 25nl game at 10nl until I feel really comfortable that I'm concentrating well and playing great. Then I close down the 10nl's and open some 25nl tables and go for it.

    The real test will be if I can actually realize during the 10nl warm up that it's a bad night to play and not go up to 25nl. We'll see on that one. I'm looking forward to May. I should have more time to play, and if I can be playing mostly at 25nl I will be thrilled with my overall progress.
  42. #42
    Every now and then, you have a session-maker - a single hand which by itself almost guarantees a session will be positive.

    $0.1/$0.25 No Limit Holdem
    5 players
    Converted at weaktight.com

    Stacks:
    Hero ($27.11)
    CO ($24.09)
    BTN ($22.09)
    SB ($37.29)
    BB ($31.94)

    Pre-flop: ($0.35, 5 players) Hero is UTG
    Hero raises to $0.85, 2 folds, SB raises to $1.7, BB calls $1.45, Hero calls $0.85

    Flop: ($5.1, 3 players)
    SB checks, BB bets $2.55, Hero calls $2.55, SB raises to $5.1, BB goes all-in $30.24, Hero goes all-in $22.86, SB calls $25.14

    Turn: ($93.54, 3 players)

    River: ($93.54, 3 players)
    SB shows:
    BB shows:
    Hero shows:

    BB wins $9.35 ( lost -$25.14 )
    Hero wins $78.64 ( won $51.53 )
    SB lost -$31.94
  43. #43
    wesrman's Avatar
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    WOW.
  44. #44
    AnTman_69's Avatar
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    very nice. Lol....a session maker, nice one.
  45. #45
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    shame you weren't deep
    nice one
  46. #46
    April's nearly in the bag, so here's my first winning month at 25nl.







    I would be interested in any thought y'all have about my 6max game. Quick summary is I'm playing 21/16/4.4, stealing blinds 35%, and winning at a 6.7 BB/100 clip. I think I'm too loose in the SB, but I'm playing at Absolute where the action is passive and Deep Stack Poker (w/ their 200 BB max buy in) dictates some more loose play in the SB.

    Thoughts?
  47. #47
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    nice work!
    your W$WSD thing hasn't changed, and still amazes me - you must be good at controlling pots when behind and/or good at getting value when you hit.
    Another month or two like that and you'll be thinking about moving up
  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by daven
    your W$WSD thing hasn't changed, and still amazes me - you must be good at controlling pots when behind and/or good at getting value when you hit.
    I don't know about pot control or extracting value. I end up at showdown after checking down my weak hands against weak-tights. They often won't bet me off my hand after I cbet. Spoon and ISF both say W$WSD is okay, as long as it stays above 40%.
  49. #49
    Muzzard's Avatar
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    Looks good Robb keep it going, my advice is if your winning don't look for ways to change your game too much!
  50. #50
    Well...let's qualify winning. I can beat 6max 25nl at one sight, break even at my other site, and lose on both sites when I try 25nl FR. So I'm open to leak-plugging.
  51. #51
    Three straight 2 BI + sessions have me near an all-time bankroll high. My 4th freakin' shot at 25nl is finally coming together. I'm getting confident at this level.

    It's weird how 25nl plays about 4x bigger than 10nl, at least when it comes to one pair hands. Of course, the BB is 2.5x the 10nl one, but 10nl really is 2 street bingo. If you hit a big hand on the flop, you try to get it all in - and villains will usually oblige. But 25nl has some turn and river play, so you get in these spots where you need to bet TP2K, but any decent sized bet is an entire 10nl buyin.

    I think I've finally gotten comfortable with the stacks, the big bets, the bigger game. I've definitely gotten better playing the turn and river. I credit that to watching a lot of poker videos and learning how experienced players think about turn and river action.

    I'm beginning to look forward to withdrawing some of my bankroll. When I hit 1k, I'm thinking of starting to take $100 a month offline. As I've said in various posts, I'm very serious about playing a roll that is made up entirely of poker winnings. I would like for my poker habit to be all profit (or at least break-even) for my family. At $100 a month, I could still grow my roll for shots at the next level, and by Christmas would have repaid my entire losses (from pre FTR days), all my poker books' cost, and all my software including PT3.

    I've also been slowly adding tables at 25nl. When I started this month, I was playing only 3 tables at a time. I'm currently playing 4-5 with a 6th and 7th often open while I table select and see which games I want to stay in. I believe I could 8 table profitably, but I'm still learning a lot and takin a bunch of notes on players at this level.

    I agree with anti-multi's who complain you don't learn (as much) while playing 15 tables at once. But I also think that you have to log some hands to profit. At some point, you have to grind.

    I've also been thinking about taking some shots at PLO and PLO/8, now that I have the roll for the games that generally make at my sites. Maybe some stud. In a few years, I'd like to be competent playing all the HORSE varieties in limit and no/pot limit versions, if possible. It's nice to have a place where I'm confident I'm winning and can grind out some roll, but I want to expand my game beyond NLHE.

    Of course, that's all fine and good for the future. For the present, I just need to improve and solidify my game at 25nl.
  52. #52
    mrhappy333's Avatar
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    tldr, but will read soon, looks good!
    3 3 3 I'm only half evil.
  53. #53
    Muzzard's Avatar
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    Update?
  54. #54
    LoL moment. I'm 10-tabling 6max 10nl, cascading tables view, and these two hands come up within 5 seconds of each other on tables that almost on top of each other. I'm betting on AA the second time thinking, "Didn't I hit the BET button the first time?"

    $0.05/$0.1 No Limit Holdem
    6 players
    Converted at weaktight.com

    Stacks:
    Hero ($13.75)
    UTG 1 ($3.97)
    CO ($10.41)
    BTN ($9.98)
    SB ($9.67)
    BB ($4.51)

    Pre-flop: ($0.15, 6 players) Hero is UTG
    Hero raises to $0.35, 3 folds, SB raises to $1.15, 1 fold, Hero raises to $1.95, SB goes all-in $8.52, Hero calls $7.72

    Flop: ($19.44, 2 players)

    Turn: ($19.44, 2 players)

    River: ($19.44, 2 players)

    Final Pot: $19.44
    Hero shows:
    SB shows:

    Hero wins $18.47 ( won $8.8 )
    SB lost -$9.67




    $0.05/$0.1 No Limit Holdem
    6 players
    Converted at weaktight.com

    Stacks:
    UTG ($28.52)
    Hero ($9.70)
    CO ($5.26)
    BTN ($18.48)
    SB ($2.10)
    BB ($4.56)

    Pre-flop: ($0.15, 6 players) Hero is UTG 1
    UTG raises to $0.35, Hero raises to $1.20, 3 folds, BB calls $1.10, UTG goes all-in $28.52, Hero goes all-in $8.50, BB goes all-in $3.36

    Flop: ($43.18, 3 players)

    Turn: ($43.18, 3 players)

    River: ($43.18, 3 players)
    BB shows:
    UTG shows:
    Hero shows:

    UTG wins $18.82 ( lost -$10.05 )
    Hero wins $22.81 ( won $13.11 )
    BB lost -$4.56


    Not saying my donk-min bet was right on Hand 1, but it did get all the chips in :P . And villain was an agro tough guy - I thought the "show" of weakness might induce a bluff. Hand 2, nice flop, nh, ship it
  55. #55
    I'm grinding at 10nl again. Sigh. For the millionth time, it seems. I have a bad habit of "playing" around: PLO, PLO8, HU SnG's, MTT's, Stud, LHE. So I need to be winning at 10nl and 25nl to cover my spewy goofing off at games I suck at.

    So far in 2008, I'm -1 ptBB/100 at 25nl, so I'm back to a $400 bankroll thanks to goofing around. I lost $100 playing 25 and 50 PLO, got 40% equity hands in multiway all-in pots (flop). Lost a couple BI on +EV plays. Plus I lost the 6 BI I had ground at 25nl with mostly just negative variance. I tried a short stacking experiment that cost me $50.

    But my that decimated my $750 bankroll. So back to 10nl. I'm up 5 BI's today 10-tabling 6max 10nl.

    I took some time off, and thought about my poker life. You know what? I love poker, even 10nl poker. And I'm learning a lot about different styles of play, and even my 25nl is break-even if you count rakeback. So it's not all bad. In fact, it's all pretty good. I deposited my "last" $100 in October 2007, and I still have 4x that buyin. More blogging thoughts to come this weekend.
  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    Of course, that's all fine and good for the future. For the present, I just need to improve and solidify my game at 25nl.
    This.

    Not this
    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    I'm grinding at 10nl again. Sigh. For the millionth time, it seems. I have a bad habit of "playing" around
    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    I took some time off, and thought about my poker life.
    good plan. I'm doing the same. Discipline is still my major leak - the others are trivial in comparison. A break-even month. Yuck. Postponing moving up until July.

    anyway. Go and kill 10nl again - then move up and stay up. Then move up and stay up. etc.
    Good luck!
  57. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by daven
    Go and kill 10nl again - then move up and stay up. Then move up and stay up. etc.
    Good luck!
    Thanks. The ugly part of my poker life is that I like to gambool!! The happy side of my poker life is that, thanks to FTR and working on my game, I can pwn 10nl. It's kind of funny - in a couple of weeks, variance permitting, I'll be at the $1k winnings mark for 10nl. 100 BI. Now...if I can just quit pissing it away

    Been working through PT2 and analyzing about 30k hands of 25nl. Interesting fact: I was -0.8 ptBB/100, so about + 3BI after rakeback was added in. Oddly, I didn't find as many huge leaks as I thought. Just 2.

    1. Too loose
    2. Bad blind play

    Actually, the 2nd appears to be the major cause of the first. I don't play hands like K2s often (less than 20% of the times I got them), but I seem to play them far too regularly from the SB. I could have saved something like $200 in 30k by just FOLDING every damn SB - even AA!! I was playing 22% of SB hands. Fortunately, my VPIP from the BB was < 16%, and my play there was just about break-even. Other positions and hand groupings looked solid, though I'm not thrilled with my LP win rate. Again, a bit too loose. Just 1 or 2 extra hands per 100 played really does matter, 'cuz they're bad hands.

    So I'm pretty happy with my understanding of poker and what life at the next level is like. I know I can beat it. I just have to do it.

    My first 1.2k of 10nl grinding has netted 7 BI. What's the difference? Here's my current thoughts on 10nl vs. 25nl.

    Mistakes.

    At 10nl, in every hand you play, you can count on at least one opponent making at least one medium-to-major mistake on at least one street.

    At 25nl, in every hand you play, you can count on at least one opponent making at least one small-to-medium mistake on at least one street.

    One problem with 10nl is that it teaches you to be lazy. The play is so god-awful that many of Hero's mistakes aren't punished, they're rewarded. Hero doesn't have to play precise, solid poker to win. Hero's play at 25nl doesn't have to be great, but he can't just sit down like a cowboy at the OK Corral and shoot it out on every hand like at 10nl.
  58. #58
    I'm working a HUGE post for the Beginner's Forum. Hopefully will be my 888th post, coming out by the end of the weekend. I'm collecting some HH's, and explanation posts here in my op thread to use as links there. So the content in my next several posts will make more sense to you once the HUGE888 post hits.

    Stay tuned...
  59. #59
    Why do I write about poker?

    1. To help me - no guarantee or warranty implied or intended.
    2. I get a kick out of helping people and finally feel like I know enough about 10nl to be of some use.
    3. The game has changed since many online poker guides were first posted, and few updates have been offered.
    4. To keep good new content hitting FTR by inspiring others to write, too.

    If all we have are great posts from 2 or 3 years ago, the community will first get stale, then die. I'm not claiming my posts is great new content, but I hope they inspire others to post their articles, thoughts, rants and guides. AOKrongly's 19-hand cult inspired folks like Renton to write different and much better guides. And I learned from AOK, 'cuz I REALLY sucked at poker. Then I learned even more from Renton, when I didn't suck at poker quite so bad and could understand him better.

    Writing thoughts down helps me refine and improve them. So I am writing down things I know about winning at 10nl. Trying to explain concepts to others helps me understand them better. I hope you enjoy these posts and that it helps your game. I know that writing them has helped me.

    Several newbies in the FTR Beginners forum have been asking various versions of "How do I get started playing Poker online?" The answer is different in the post-UIEGA era, especially for US-based players. Why? Many fish have found it too difficult to get money to poker sites. So the majority of folks left are semi-serious players who haven't lost their entire bankrolls. NL10 is harder to beat than it was 4 years ago. But it's beatable. And Bad-Beat Jackpots have sucked a bunch of fish into them where it's even harder to win because of the additional rake, especially at smaller sites. Winning at microstakes, where the rake is at least one buy-in per thousand hands, means you're absolutely dominating. So you need to understand that many of the "it's so easy to KILL this game" guides were written pre-UIEGA. Don't worry if you don't win right away if you started playing poker in late 2007 or early 2008. The game is harder than it was. But beatable.

    Here's what I've found playing microstakes 6-max and full ring games seriously for about eight months. First, 10nl is very beatable with an ABC poker style that includes a basic understanding of position, value bets, cbets, and selective aggression. Second, few of the guides and advice (even on FTR, where they're excellent) are comprehensive and aimed at beginners. Even fewer address the current state of NL10/25 since UIEGA and BBJ tables. I'm no expert, and I lose at a lot of different limits and games. But I win consistently at 10nl, and I developed my own style by reading various posts in the "Beginner's Guide" sticky at FTR, posting HH's, commenting on others' HH's, and experimenting. You should develop your own style, too. You should learn to think about poker, not play it by rote having memorized someone's starting hand chart and post-flop guide. You should read several opinions about how to play, and then play to your strengths and develop more facets your own style.

    I also write because I see so many noobies on FTR and other places so unwilling to think for themselves. I've gotten better at Poker 'cuz I experiment. I read about how to play supertight and how to play extremely loose. I read about FR and 6max. I think about game theory and probability and implied odds. Specific situations on the flop and turn. Different stacks sizes and the implications. I post my thoughts on FTR, and respond to others. And then I adapt my game, hand by hand, opponent by opponent, table by table, night by night. And you can, too.
  60. #60
    Why listen to Robb's thoughts about poker?

    1. Don't. Learn to think for yourself. WTF?
    2. I have won consistently at 10nl (FR and 6max) for 100k hands, eventually at a 7.5 ptBB/100 rate over 30k (6max)
    3. I learned to beat this game as an American post-UIEGA
    4. I wrote down my thoughts about poker as I improved, keeping journal of my thoughts and progress, but I'm already losing touch with what seemed like revelations at the time. Other players know more about poker in general, but possibly have forgotten what noobies need to learn or the kinds of improvements that seem difficult. I'm more in touch with that learning process for fellow noobies and micro grinders. So I post a bunch of stuff in the Beginner's Forum that will hopefully be "revelation" level for noobies.
    5. I learned a ton from FTR, and I'm trying to provide a coherent way (with my op thread and 888th post - coming soon!) to approach mining the site for 10nl specific content and great articles in general.
  61. #61
    Pot Odds vs. Percentage Change to Win

    I'm a math professor. And the following misconception happens all the time. Someone uses math or PokerStove to calculate that (with only the river card to come) they have a 25% chance of hitting their hand and winning the pot. They say they need pot odds of 4 to 1 to be able to call. And they're incorrect. They only need 3 to 1 pot odds to call.

    Odds are quoted as a win-loss ratio. Being ahead "3 to 2" means that if the event happened 5 times, Hero would win 3 of the 5 and lose 2 times. This is a 60% chance of winning.

    Percentage Chance of Winning (aka "equity") is quoted as a Wins / Total fraction (converted to percentage form). If Hero will hit his outs and win the hand 25% of the time, this means if the event happened 100 times, Hero would win 25 times and lose 75 times (a 1 to 3 ratio).

    By the way, poker odds are often quoted backwards, in a loss-win ratio, as in Hero has odds of 7.5 to 1 against hitting a set on the flop. To convert this to a percentage, we have to add both sides of the ratio together the denominator of the fraction:

    % Chance of Flopping Set = 1 / (7.5 + 1 ) = 1 / 8.5 = .112 = 11.2% .

    Converting equity or % Chance to Win to odds format is more difficult unless the percent is divides 100 evenly, like 10%.

    If Hero has 10% chance of winning, his odds are 9 to 1 against.
    If Hero has 75% chance of winning, his odds are 3 to 1.
    If Hero has 20% chance of winning, his odds are 4 to 1.

    If Hero has, say, an 18% chance of winning, life is more difficult. We have to find a number x such that :

    1 / ( 1 + x ) = .18

    =>

    1 + x = 1 / .18

    =>

    x = 1 / .18 - 1

    In our example, this looks like:

    x = 5.56 - 1 or approximately 4.5 to 1 odds against.

    Needless to say, this calculation is difficult at the poker table. Fortunately, we don't need to do it all that often. And there are short cuts. But that's the topic for a whole different post.

    Just know that odds and percentages are different, and know how to convert between them when needed, offline, and with any calculator, spreadsheet and/or notes you require. And you'll be fine.
  62. #62
    Rule of 2 and 4

    It amazes me how few noobies know how to accurately calculate their percentage chance of winning a hand, even though it's easy, and even though they can quickly count their solid outs. Phil Gordon calls this quick method the Rule of 2 and 4. It works like this.

    Hero has 7 outs to the nuts on the flop. Villain bets out. What are Hero's chances of (A) hitting his hand on the turn and of (B) hitting his hand by the river.

    Answers:

    (A) With one card coming (turn), multiply Hero's outs by 2 ( 7 x 2 = 14). Hero has a 14% chance of hitting his hand on the turn.

    (B) With two cards to come (turn and river), multiply Hero's outs by 4 (7 x 4 = 28). Hero has a 28% chance of hitting his hand by the river.

    How do we use this information?

    Suppose Hero raises pre and gets called from the blinds by a TAGG. Hero's AJs catches 2 cards in his suit. Villain check-raises all-in. Hero has to call $5 for a chance to win a $10 pot. He's somewhat worried about a set (which would mean 7 outs, not 9), but is pretty sure villain wouldn't check-raise a set. So he's comfortable estimating 9 outs, although the Aces might be outs. So 9 outs, just to stay conservative. Since there are two cards to come, he calculates: 9 x 4 = 36% chance of winning.

    The pot is laying him 2 to 1 odds ($10 he can win on a $5 bet). He's got slightly better than a 1/3 chance to win, meaning he'll win slightly more often than once every three tries. So the call is correct here, if 9 outs is in fact correct or slightly conservative.

    Note: when estimating outs for a straight-up pot odds play, it helps to be conservative. If the board's paired, only count 7 outs for the flush, not 9. If you have AQ and are counting overcard outs, count only 2 of the Q's instead of 3 if you're about worried about villain having Kx. This is called "discounted outs," or "douts."

    By discounting outs and keeping our estimates on the low side, we don't get in trouble. We may fold a draw that actually had the correct number of real outs which we're only likely to find out if villain shows his hole cards. But we won't commit to a bet/call that DOESN'T have the right pot odds, or at least not very often. Coolers do happen, and we have to pay them off. Which is yet another reason to keep pot-odds calculations both simple and conservative.
  63. #63
    Noobie's First 5k Hands of NL10: Outline (with Links)

    This is for someone who likes the "readings" links and ideas, but doesn't have the time or interest to wade through my mega-post in the Beginner's Forum. The Cliff's Notes, so to speak. The original post is linked here.

    Intro. Basic ideas behind the post.

    Assumptions
    1. Bankr0ll management. Read BR Manage 101 and BR Manage for People with Balls.
    2. Rakeback. Read FTR's official Rakeback post and info and my Holy Mother of God - Rake Sucks thread.
    3. Must have PokerTracker or Holdem Manager (link for HM).
    4. You must track EVERY SINGLE HAND of poker you play.
    5. Focus on one poker idea at a time.

    Hands 0 to 1,000 - Playing Tight-is-Right Poker

    A 21-hand, positionally aware version of AOK's 19-hand guide is offered. We're starting here to get tight enough with plans to move toward Renton's 169-Hand SS NLHE Ring Strategy, Part I of III.

    Assignments

    HW: Post 3 hands in the Beginner's Forum, hands that gave you trouble, not AA or a flopped set.
    Required Reading: Zook's Year One Discipline Post and Biondino's Some Thoughts for Beginners.
    Think About This: Which hands make the most money at 10nl?
    Suggested Reading: Where the $$ are at Micro NLH

    Hands 1,000 to 2,000: Betting the Flop

    The basics of value betting and cbetting for new TAGG players.

    Assignments

    HW: Post 2 hands in the Beginner's Forum and reply to at least 2 other threads.
    Required Reading: Spoony's When to cbet and When not to cbet.
    Think About This: Hero is dealt AJ, raises preflop from the BTN, flop comes Qxx rainbow. Single villain checks. What should Hero do? Why?
    Suggested Reading: Newbie Circle of Death and Starting Over.

    Hands 2,000 to 3,000: The Poker of Position.

    Adding more hands to our BTN range and using LP raises to hammer opponents.

    Assignments

    HW: Go to the Beginner's Digest and pick an article to read that will help you with one of your biggest leaks.
    Range: Add AT, A9, KJ and QJ to your BTN range - raise them if it's unraised to you, fold them to preflop raises.
    Required Reading: Spoony's Blind Stealing 101 and Renton's 169-Hand SS NLHE Ring Strategy, Part I of III.
    Think About This: Two villains, one is LAGG (40/25/4), one is Loose-passive (40/4/1.2). Both have 120bb stacks. If you have to choose, which one do you want on your LEFT, and why?
    Suggested Reading: Les Worm's Thoughts for Beginners and Pyroxene's You cannot make someone fold.

    Hands 3,000 to 4,000: Reads and Profiles

    The four basic opponent types and general suggestions for altering our play against each one.

    Assignments

    HW: Post 5 HH's, focusing on exploiting position. Learn to use FTR site search (try a keyword search for "rant" - the hits will probably be entertaining).
    Range: Add Axs to your BTN range - raise them if it's unraised to you, fold them to preflop raises. Consider limping behind 2+ limpers.
    Required Reading: Spoony's Raising Behind Limpers and Renton's 169 Hand SS NLHE Ring Strategy Guide, Part II.
    Think About This Name 3 hands that villains at 10nl overplay. How can those overplays be diagnosed and exploited?
    Suggested Reading: IowaSkinsFan (ISF) Backwords Learning Theory of Poker, complete with links to two more articles he wrote, which are suggested reading, too.

    Hands 4,000 to 5,000 Pot Odds and Implied Odds

    The basic mathematics of poker and how to play draws.

    Assignments

    HW: Go to the NLH Strategy Forum. Read 5 threads, and reply to at least 2. Post 2 HH's somewhere.
    Range: Add all sooted broadways to your BTN range, and add AT, A9, KJ and QJ to your CO range. Raise 'em all up in unraised pots and follow with cbets when it's checked to you. Fold to preflop raises ahead of you or rr's behind you. Don't limp them - if you can't raise 'em, fold 'em.
    Required Reading: Renton's 169 Hand SS NLHE Ring Strategy Guide Part II and Part III.
    Think About This: Two villains, one is LAGG (40/25/4), one is Loose-passive (40/4/1.2). Both have 120bb stacks. If you have to choose, which one do you want on your LEFT, and why?
    Suggested Reading: Da Goat's Table Selection and Pyroxene's Improve your chance of winning your next online session.

    Extra reading for those who don't yet understand pot odds, implied odds and set odds:
    FTR's Pot Odds Article
    Spoony's Playing Big Drawing Hands
    Read Lukie's post, 3rd from top in this thread, and follow from there. Discusses playing small pp's in midstakes games, but the concepts are pretty well explained, especially in Fnord's, Renton's, and Lukie's posts throughout thread. At the end, thread hits implied odds for sc's, and JefferyGB weighs in more great content.
  64. #64
    badgers's Avatar
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    holy mother of awesome Robb nice work
    3k post - Return of the blog!
  65. #65
    Join Date
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    soaking up ethanol, moving on up
    wow
  66. #66
    The worst thing about having a poker hobby habit, instead of professional habit, is that my job (and family) often prevent me playing very much. I logged maybe 3k hands since June 1, a fact I hope to rectify soon! I run a leadership summer camp for academically gifted teenagers for two weeks each June, which translates into a month of full time work. Of course, the rock climbing, hiking, tubing, and high ropes course make it very worthwhile.

    But every time I take more than a week off from poker, I slump badly when I come back. I've been thinking about that lately. Why do I slump? What are the things that I have to correct EVERY FREAKIN' time?

    1. Too aggressive
    2. Too impatient
    3. Too loose (sometimes)

    It's silly. As often as I've read that when "out of your depth, tighten up," I never really thought about it applying to layoffs. After 3 weeks with only a few hundred hands, your reads are off, your instincts haven't woken up and your brain needs some time to refocus on poker skills.

    I tend to cbet mechanically (and too often), and two- and three-barrel relentlessly after a layoff. I forget that these things work only with picked spots and patience. And I always try playing my loosest game, opening K9o from the cutoff and any Ace from the button, forgetting that there's not a ton of value in those hands, and they have NEGATIVE value if I'm wasting time in tough spots rather than hitting the groove quickly with ABC poker.

    Oh, well, just another poker dumbass who has learned just enough to not have to face the dreaded "reload" in 10 months. Woo-hoo!! Winning at poker is the best way to have fun indoors. Well...okay, second best. Hmm...third be---oh, heck at least in the top five!!
  67. #67
    Massive heater last night. Started off with a coupla hundred hands in the morning, down 1 BI. Played in the afternoon and hit a +4 BI heater in 100 hands - and tilted on some kind of invincibility complex that I know think of as Backwards Tilt. That didn't last long, but probably cost me 2 BI. By the end of the night, I was up 7.5 BI, probably a record for me in one 24 hour period. Again, without tilting, I should have seen a 10 BI upswing from the heater.

    So I'm having fun - lots of fun. I'm just chillin' at 10nl right now, building the bankroll up. I'm still recovering from an abysmal April, and didn't play very much in May or June. But life is good, and July should get me back to my typical 20k hands in a month, grinding some roll and earning some rakeback.

    If I don't completely f**k it up, I should be winning for July after last night's heater - just gotta play solid poker.

    Good luck at the tables.
  68. #68
    Another day, another 4 BI. I think I'm learning the zen of microstakes poker - no big mistakes. I'm up 13 BI over 8k hands this month, though there was one SPECTACULAR heater. But I'm playing well, and learning to avoid my typical mistakes. Since most of my sessions are short (less than an hour), my most common mistakes related to lack of focus early and at the end:

    1. Early mistakes - too loose, too agro, too fast.

    I'm opening tables, getting the HUD up and reloading after blinds. In the first 100 hands, I'm vulnerable to the "I want to gambool!!" virus. Just play tight, ABC poker. Avoid 3betting and Hero calls. Just fold (a small mistake at worst) until stats and reads are solid.

    2. End of session "oh what the hell" hands, opening T8s from EP just because "it's my last hand of the night." Don't turtle up and protect winnings, but don't get too agro just because I'm ahead and "can afford it."

    3. Reading my fatigue levels throughout a session. I'm much better off playing for an hour, resting/reading for a half an hour, then playing another hour. That's better than letting my poker slip to C- level during that last 45 minutes of a session.

    Just stay cool and focused, and wait for opponents to make mistakes - they will if you let them.
  69. #69
    Hey, Robb what are the chances of a video of one of your sessions??
  70. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Hotfrog
    Hey, Robb what are the chances of a video of one of your sessions??
    I've never really thought about it. I think FTR should add more videos, but I'm only a lifetime breakeven player at 25nl - and that's only with rakeback. I'm only a solid winner at 10nl with a specialty in 6max. But if I get more winning levels under my belt and folks are interested, I'll do it. I just think there are a lot of guys who would have more good things to say about poker than me.

    There's also a technical problem - I'm still using using PT2, and whomever makes videos these days ought to show the HUD's available with PT3 and HM which have many, many more stats to display and use while playing. I'll probably get HM in a couple of months - maybe over Christmas break I'll do a video or two, if I'm moving up the levels like I want. But thanks for the idea.
  71. #71
    I guess I should have expected it after the week-long heater, but I can't hit a flop in any way that helps today. Yikes!! Down 2 BI, though I'd be about break even with a set of aces getting cracked on a runner-runner that was dominated all the way.
  72. #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    I'm only a solid winner at 10nl with a specialty in 6max.
    Robb, I'm a beginner playing 6-max 10nl. Guess what type of video I'd like to see. :P The beginners forum needs 10nl help more than 25nl help, right? At least I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robb
    I'm still using using PT2 ....
    You don't need PT3 to produce helpful videos. I bet there are many players still using PT2 rather than PT3. I use Poker Office but would still like to see your videos with PT2. Playing hands is the important thing. If you want to make a few basic points using PT2, that would be nice, but not mandatory.

    Anyway, I'm reading and enjoying all of your posts. I have tightened up my game and it looks like I'm a break-even player for now. I'm actually starting to reduce the deficit I created when I started. Thanks for all your work in the forum.

    Make a video!!!
  73. #73
    My Holdem Manager HUD Configuration

    Quote Originally Posted by Fnord
    Aggression Factor is a stat that tries do too much with one number.
    It's like summing the days won money at poker, times I fucked my wife and subtracting arguments lost with co-workers in the last week then calling it Happiness Factor.
    The next generation HUD's are here. No more omnibus measures like AF - though I still use it, there are LOTS of HUD stats I use more.

    My PT2 HUD showed:

    VP$P / PFR / AF / Hands
    Cbet% / Folds to Cbet%

    My new HM HUD shows:

    VP$P / PFR / AF / Hands
    Cold Call / Limp Call / 3bet% / Folds to 3bet %
    Cbet% / Folds to Cbet% / Raises Cbet%

    Each HUD stat is color coded, and each has a different popup menu that I've customized. Example, 3bet% is color-coded to turn red when > 8 (green < 3), and its popup menu has stats about how villain reacts to being 3bet, both pre and post flop. My color-coding used to be "green means go" or attack. Now, green indicates "exploitable," but does not specify in what way. Red still means "watch out." Here's my overall configuration. This setup is for 6max. I rarely play FR.

    VP$P
    Green > 30% (Red < 12.5%)
    Popup shows VP$P / PFR for EP / MP / CO / Btn / SB / BB

    PFR
    Green > 20% (Red < 8%)
    Popup shows "steal" stats from CO / Btn / SB and "folds to steal" stats in SB / BB. Also has "folds to 3bet after attempted steal" stat.

    AF
    Green < .8 and > 3.5 (1.7 < Red < 2.5)
    Popup shows AF and Agg% by street: Total / Flop / Turn / River. (I don't use this one much - pretty much a PT2 holdever.)

    Hands
    Color "brightens" > 75 (otherwise I treat villain as "no read")
    Popup shows HM's default "winrate" stats (lifetime, not session).

    Cold Call
    Green > 15% (Red < 5%)
    Popup shows flop play stats for "raised" pots. As PFR: Cbet, Fold to Cbet, and Check-raise. As preflop flat caller: Donk, Fold and Raise. For "vs. Donk": Fold & Raise.

    Limp Call
    Green > 10% (Red < 3%)
    Flop play stats for "raised" pots (same as CC above).

    3 Bet
    Green < 3% (Red > 10%)
    Popup shows 3betting stats by position, and responses after 3betting: Folds to 4bet, Folds to CBet Raise, and Check-raise as PFR in 3bet pot.

    Folds to 3 Bet
    Green > 40% (Red < 25%)
    Popup shows reaction to a 3bet: 4bet%, Folds to 3bet, Folds to CB after flatting 3bet, Raises CB after flatting 3bet, and Donk bets into 3bettor on flop.

    Cbet%
    Green < 20% and > 60% (20% < Red < 40%)
    HM's default Cbet popup

    Folds to Cbet%
    Green > 50% (Red < 25%)
    HM's default Cbet popup

    Raises Cbet%
    Red > 20% (no green)
    My combination of HM's default Turn and River popups, just made into a 2-column display instead of two separate popups.

    Here are some reasons why I chose the stats and popups.

    1. I love raising behind limpers. I'm checking the Limp Call stat and the CC stat for those left to act.

    2. I most often come in for a raise in LP. This makes CC an important stat in nearly every preflop action.

    3. PFR (with steal stats popup) helps because I steal blinds > 30% and 3bet about 10% of the times someone tries to steal my blinds. Facing a blind steal where villain's PFR > 20 and steal > 35%, I will 3bet with 88+, A9+, Axs, any two J+ and any two sooted T+.

    4. I cbet 90% of the time when I was PFR, so obviously "Folds to Cbet" is important. Also, I look at Cbet% and "Folds to Cbet" as I'm getting ready to act, scanning those players left to act (especially loose ones) to see if I think simple aggression aggression will take down a hand.
  74. #74
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    Hi Robb, why do you have 'raise cbet%' - surely it would take a truck load of hands to get a meaningful percentage - and even then the numbers are so small that the difference between 2% & 4% for example would be huge. In your experience what is the 'mark' for raise cbet% that tells you something?

    Wouldnt 'call cbet%' be way more useful in conjunction with the other stats you are showing here. They are geared toward preflop and flop decision making - and I would think being able to detect floaters who call cbets in position would be more useful more often.
  75. #75
    Quote Originally Posted by paulwright
    Hi Robb, why do you have 'raise cbet%' - surely it would take a truck load of hands to get a meaningful percentage - and even then the numbers are so small that the difference between 2% & 4% for example would be huge. In your experience what is the 'mark' for raise cbet% that tells you something?
    Cbet raises, imo, should happen about 5 - 10% of the time, depending on villains, reads, etc. Since I cbet nearly 90% of the time I'm PFR, villains with 200+ hands against me will have some usable numbers here.

    I mark "red" any Raise Cbet% > 20. As in, "Watch out!!"

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwright
    Wouldnt 'call cbet%' be way more useful in conjunction with the other stats you are showing here. They are geared toward preflop and flop decision making - and I would think being able to detect floaters who call cbets in position would be more useful more often.
    Point taken - but if I cbet (which I do - lots), only 3 things can happen. Villain can fold, call or raise. If I know his percentages for 2, I can guess (calculate) the other.

    I prefer the "fold to cbet" stat since that gets directly at what I want to happen. I also include the "raise cbet" stat since that's the thing that I most want to NOT have happen. The "shrug" stat of the 3 is "calls cbet%" which I can do the arithmetic for if needed.

    I do have call cbet% - it's in my main HUD display.

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