From beginner to pro...Nah, who are we kidding?

    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      So I decided to start my own poker blog here on PokerStrategy.com, mainly for purely selfish reasons, I shall admit. The ability to get feedback and the enhanced commitment that comes with maintaining a blog were compelling, but before I made one of these, I wanted to make sure I could do SOMETHING unique. (Else, why would anyone be interested)

      So I dived into other poker blogs, and apart from a few, I noticed most of them had some things I didn't really like, though I hesitate to call them "problems". For one, I noticed that most of the poker blogs were basically blocks of stats, and when I think of a blog, I think of more of a diary than a stat sheet. (On that note, I really like "Midlife Crisis? What Midlife Crisis?" purely BECAUSE it's about the journey, not just the graphs)

      Additionally I noticed that most people wanted to become professional poker players, even the beginners, which gives me a bit of a unique angle. I don't want to be a professional poker player. I'm basically dabbling in poker at the moment, but I'm a very competitive guy and try to do well at everything I do.

      So basically, this blog is gonna be about an uber-beginner's journey in Poker. Stats are gonna take a backseat, instead I'm gonna talk about how I feel about different types and formats of Poker, a bit about how I'm going, and what I'm learning along the way.

      Note: If anyone can tell me the proper terms for a type of Poker (Difference between Hold'em and Omaha) and a format of Poker (Difference between Ring Game and SnG) that'd be great.

      So since this is about my journey, I suppose I should tell you a little about me. My screen name is Salivanth, I'm 18, and I'm a bit of a power-nerd. My interests include Chess, Magic: The Gathering, StarCraft and Dungeons and Dragons. I particularly like real-time and turn-based strategy, and Magic: The Gathering is my favourite game: similar to Poker, it's a strategic card game. Wikipedia it sometime if you're interested: It's complex to explain.

      I dislike overuse of emoticons, so if you see me using them, most likely it means I have a good reason. I like to have my personality come out through my writing.

      I started playing Poker about a week ago, though I already knew the rules, after discovering PokerStrategy.com when it sponsored a StarCraft tournament. I like Sit'n'Gos and MTT's. Their stages of the game remind me of Chess (in fact I think a Chess analogy was used in one of the Basic articles). I don't use a statistics tracker, though I intend to later on (Maybe get Elephant when I reach Silver status) and I've made a grand profit of about 5 dollars (2 dollars of which is entry to a tournament). I play on Full Tilt Poker.

      So that's basically it for now. I suppose I should leave you with the obligatory goals section:

      * Get a bankroll of $100, so I can start playing in the $2 tournaments.
      * Still be playing Poker in a month or two (I have a tendency to tire of things).
      * Try a bunch of different NL Hold'Em formats
      * Get my Academy Graduation Cap (Complete 3 Full Tilt Poker Academy challenges in a month)

      I figure the last three are all more than reasonable to achieve in the next month or two: If I'm still playing then, I'll see what happens.

      Thanks for reading this post, and I'll see you guys next time.

      -Salivanth

      P.S: I'm betting I receive at least 5 "LOL USE A STAT TRACKER LOL" posts in the next 6 minutes :)

      P.P.S: I said I hate overuse of emotes, not emotes entirely.
  • 13 replies
    • Targetme
      Targetme
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.05.2009 Posts: 1,888
      I believe I was in that starcraft tournament gl
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      Thanks, Target. I wasn't in that tournament: I'm a terrible SC2 player :P

      Just played a Matrix tournament. This is a Full Tilt Poker exclusive format, basically you play 4 SNG's at once, with the same people on each table. The prizes are divided into five: One each for the four SNG's, and one for the Matrix pool, which you get points at by outlasting and eliminating other players.

      I didn't do too well: Multitabling's not my forte. I used to play two, but then after reading some advice at the Full Tilt Poker academy, decided to go back to one. I'm not gonna compete in any more Matrix tournaments I don't think, but it was good to try it out. Gonna go play an MTT.

      MTT's are high-variance, but I've found a good one on Full Tilt Poker: 90-man SNG, double stack, and the top 18 get paid, so it's not as swingy as most MTT's. First place still gets 25% of the prize, too, so if I get lucky I can still win a lot!

      Bankroll: 51.92

      -Salivanth
    • Targetme
      Targetme
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.05.2009 Posts: 1,888
      deepstack is good more time to stack the fish
    • smile101
      smile101
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.08.2010 Posts: 134
      Well gl with this m8, my advice to you is start playing 2 tables and increase the number with time, example when you get bored playing 2 tables increase to 3 and so on, and with you should play cash until you get enough br to play 2$ mtts, i dont know about brm on tourneys but i dont think 50 or 100 is enough to play 2$ mtts because the variance is alot bigger than cash. And you should really get a stat tracker later on :D . GL with this again. Star Craft sux WARCRAFT 3 POWAH :P
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      Thanks smile: I guess I should have been clearer: I intend to play in the 2-dollar 9-man SNG's at 100 bucks: Gonna wait til I'm higher to do 2-dollar MTT's.

      Lost the MTT: Went all-in with two-pair when my opponent was betting timidly: He had a three-of-a-kind all along. Such is life, maybe I should have picked up on that particular quirk earlier, but I didn't.

      This'll be my last post for today, maybe for a couple days. SNG Madness is going on at Full Tilt Poker atm. I don't think I can make the leaderboards (Scratch that, I KNOW I can't make the leaderboards) but I'll be aiming to win 3 SNG's in the next 2 days so I can participate in the 75K freeroll. So I shall be 2-tabling for now, even though you miss out on some information like betting patterns and such playing 2 tables.

      I'm also planning on participating in the Daily Dollar to get some higher-level tournament experience. I think a dollar every now and then is worth that, and with over a thousand people cashing, I might just make some money.

      My uber-short-term goals for the moment are to play a dozen or more SNG's in the next 2 days and to try and win 3.

      Thanks for the responses, I'm off for tonight.

      -Salivanth
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      In grandiose fashion, I have failed hard at both my endeavours since yesterday. The SNG madness I thought would last 48 hours, but I'd entered late, and I think it has about an hour left, and I can't 8-table :) I finished 56XXth in the Daily Dollar after going all-in with a straight and getting hit with a full house.

      Fortunately, this is the blog of what may be the worst player on PokerStrategy :P Tremble in fear at my basically-breaking-even EV when 1-tabling microstakes.

      So what are my goals now? I'm gonna compete in another double-stack 90-man MTT, and play some more SNG's. I also need to learn when to fold a hand when I've put a decent amount of chips in. That's a major fault of mine.

      I also have a bit of a problem. In PokerStrategy, it seems that people always multi-table a lot, but the Full Tilt Poker Academy suggests to play one table at a time as a beginner, in order to learn things like picking up on hand ranges and betting patterns. (Betting patterns I'm learning, hand ranges no clue yet) I've also received advice to 2-table even as a beginner if I'm capable of doing it.

      What should I do? Is it more important as a beginner to see more hands, or practice reading one's opponents? At the moment, the ROI isn't important to me: I have a pretty break-even ROI, so playing two tables just multiplies my hovering.

      Shall probably post again in a few hours, in the meantime, got some stuff to do, then an SNG or two, dinner, then an MTT.

      Goal for today: Generate 70c of rake so I get my 11 Strategy Points. That means 3 SNG's, plus the MTT. 4 SNG's would be even better. Since I only 1 or 2 table, that means a few hours of play, but still shouldn't be too hard.

      Thanks for reading!

      -Salivanth
    • smile101
      smile101
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.08.2010 Posts: 134
      Well 1 tabling i gues it is ok, but playing just 1 table i didnt had alot of patience and made alot of stupid calls just to see a flop because i was bored blah blah.. but i gues playing 1 table until you can put a range on someone its ok :D as long as you have alot of patience
    • erptech
      erptech
      Platinum
      Joined: 15.03.2008 Posts: 659
      good luck and i hope you will change the attitude from title... think positive about yourself and you can make it happen
    • jbpatzer
      jbpatzer
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.11.2009 Posts: 6,944
      Glad you like my blog! :f_biggrin: (Emoticons are great. If Shakespeare was around today, I reckon even he'd use them.)

      If you're trying to see what formats and games you like, I'd recommend trying the play money tables first just to get a feel for the rules and the various formats. This will teach you less than nothing about how to play these games profitably, but you may be able to find out what appeals to you before you start risking real money. I spent a couple of months playing on Facebook with play money before trying real money. Mind you, that might explain a lot about how I play now. Hmmmm. Maybe you should just ignore me. Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to play.
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      @Smile: Yeah, I have a lot of patience. Even when I'm being aggressive, I usually do it patiently, even if that makes little sense.

      @erptech Thanks, and the title is meant to be intriguing/funny/poking fun, not genuinely self-deprecating (Though I do believe I can't be a poker professional because I don't want to be, so I won't put in the effort)

      @jbpatzer That's great advice, I must try that. I'll have to play some play-money Omaha at some point.

      So I played 5-6 SNG's, cashed 2nd in one and lost the others, one or two due to luck, but mostly due to poor play. Didn't get around to the MTT, and it's nearly 11 pm now, so it'd be -EV to play it at this point since even a 90-man can take 2 or 3 hours.

      My bankroll is now around 48 bucks, though this is the first time it's gone below 50 at the end of a session. But since I did say this blog wouldn't be all about the statistics, I'd be amiss to leave it at that.

      I watched Erick Lindgren's video "Final Table" in the Full Tilt Poker Academy. I found it very entertaining, and picked up a few tips, though most of it's currently beyond my ability to implement. I'm always glad to see a bit of the depths of poker strategy, since I get bored with shallow strategy games very quickly.

      I'm hoping to play in a 90-man or two tomorrow: Not gonna enter the Daily Dollar, since I have stuff to do. The Daily Dollar starts at 12:15 pm my time (Sydney, Australia) and can take 7-8 hours to finish apparently, so it's only for days when I have nothing to do. I'm gonna be playing some Dungeons and Dragons with friends tomorrow, but I should have some time tomorrow afternoon and evening (Nice long stretch suitable for MTTing after dinner)

      Thanks for the comments guys, and I'll see you guys next time!

      -Salivanth

      P.S: I have a terrible memory. Is there a way to see one's history of money spent / money won on Full Tilt Poker, so I can see how many SNG's I play, how much rakeback I get, and other stuff?
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      Didn't play any Poker today. Didn't feel like SNG's, and for some reason, the 1 dollar MTT's disappeared. I checked a few minutes ago and couldn't find any MTT's at all. Maybe there's a bug or something. I shall check again tomorrow, and if they still don't appear, I shall have to contact support.

      Poker tomorrow though, hopefully!
    • smile101
      smile101
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.08.2010 Posts: 134
      maybe you have a filter on ? :f_confused:
    • Salivanth
      Salivanth
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.01.2011 Posts: 587
      Well I've tried a couple different formats, most notably SSS, which I did terribly at. I made some slight deviations that, all without fail, came back to bite me in the ass, and the worst, worst part about it is that I know it's all my own stupid fault. Bankroll down to 40 dollars, and I shall write an actual post when I'm not on tilt (something I almost never do in normal circumstances) Don't think I'll try SSS again: It was so dull I had to 5-table to make it interesting, and I don't think I have the discipline to make it work. Even if I did, it's just not fun.