A few problems - Advice needed

    • achschelo
      achschelo
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2010 Posts: 67
      Hi All,

      Please take this post seriously...I know some things in it may sound silly, but they are reality to me.

      I've been playing online for about 1.5 years. I prefer cash games and tried various types. I ended up getting pretty impatient with the regular ring games, and moved to rush. I did pretty well in rush, built my bankroll to a few hundreds, but also lost it all a few times. I managed to get back using rakeback (and TAF program here) and again built it up to a few hundred and lost it all. I did this about 5 times now.
      I would basically go on tilt, play crazy, lose more, go up the levels - and lose it all.
      I'd lose it all in 1-3 days, where it would take me a couple months to build it back up.
      It's important I note that the tilt start just a bit after I start reusing Pokertracker. I somehow "overplay" on opponents stats, and completely f' up my game, which was pretty good to that point. Once I start using it, I go down a bit, then a bit more, then the tilt sets in.

      I'm back now at a few hundreds. Thing is, I used to play .05/.10. Now I'm playing .25/.50 - way above what my BR allows. Why you may ask. Well I was talking with a friend of mine, who plays here & there and knows my game. He asked me why I'm playing at those "silly" .05/.10 levels and I explained about BR management and my tilt. He said that he seriously advises going up, although it ain't within my BR. At first I was like NO WAY, that's STUPID. But then I tried it, and guess what? I currently have a 12BB/100 (yeah only over 2k hands), but I'm playing very well, and thinking hard in every single tough spot, something I would rarely do at the lower limits. I make big folds and make good calls (so far). I can count the number of "biggish" pots I've lost on one hand.
      I think one of the main reasons why I play better at these limits, is that I'm so much more afraid about losing $50 than I am $10. Suddenly the pots are big and the money is more "important". You could argue that the downside of this is playing scared money - I can understand that as well, but somehow it feels like I'm more at comfortable playing at these levels against these players. Which brings me to the next point.
      Most of the players at the higher level seems to be MUCH better than where I was playing before. They take more time to think, make better decisions (I assume), and play more like poker should be played (I mean their plays make sense).

      "Move up to a level where people respect your raises" - I've seen lots of people in this forum making fun of people using this statement, but what if there's some truth to it? Maybe it's not that people will respect your raises, maybe it's simply that people play more sensibly at these levels, they know more about that game, and thus think somewhere around the levels that I'm thinking (when I'm not on tilt obviously).

      So a few questions:

      1. At which level do you think I should be playing after you've read the above? I need some good advice here.
      2. Should I dump Pokertracker? I really thought I could use it to my advantage, but now I'm afraid of opening it cuz it f's up my game somehow.
      3. What can I do about my tilt? I've self-excluded myself a number of times already, but I know myself well enough to say that I will tilt again.

      Any advice or feedback is appreciated. And if you feel the need to make fun, go ahead, I surely can't stop you.

      Thanks a lot,
      Achschelo
  • 12 replies
    • hackbinder
      hackbinder
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2009 Posts: 618
      While I cannot give POKER advice because the only stakes where I am a winning player is 1cent/2cent, I would like to share a couple of related thoughts and opinions.

      People are like elastic bands. The core of who you are was set by the time you were 5. You may THINK for brief stretches of time that you are different and you may have 'changed' but pretty soon, just like an elastic band that has been stretched, you will snap back to who you really are.

      Changing ones mindset and personality is extremely hard. That is why people try to get it early on in childhood. Once you are an adult, the best you can do is develop coping strategies to live with your 'shortcomings' and hopefully those life strategies become habits. For a few people, those habits may even, over many years, lead to a true change of a person's core.

      Imo, those people are the exception, not the norm. The rest of us who try to overcome our mental shortcomings play a back and forth game of stretching the elastic and then snapping back. As a result, just like a stretched elastic, we are just full of tension.

      So, am I saying to just give up trying to change? Of course not. But imo, you WILL get hit with a a downswing that is either bad luck or mistakes or other players adjusting to you. And unless you are mentally strong (which you say you are not) you WILL snap back just like an elastic. The difference, however, is that the amount of money that you will lose will be more, and the shame you will feel will be multiplied by amount equal to how far out of your BRM you are playing.

      If you REALLY thought you were ready, would you be asking these questions?

      Go 50,000 hands at the lowest stakes. If you show a winning record, reevaluate. If not, you should stay there until you do.

      Those are my thoughts, anyways.

      :) :)
    • achschelo
      achschelo
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2010 Posts: 67
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Hackbinder! :)

      I think what you're saying is basically true. I will surely snap back to my tilt at one point or another (unless I somehow learn how to deal with it, and I've really tried, I'm sure pretty much everyone here understands it ain't easy). And yeah, once it happens, I will be losing more as the stakes are higher.
      However, when I am tiltless, I am a winning player. I've showed profit over much more than 50k hands (hands fly quickly in rush), but again, once the tilt sets in, it all goes down the drain, very quickly.

      Thing is, I feel more comfortable at the higher stakes. I protect my stack better, I make better decisions, the players I play against share somewhat similar mindsets etc. That's why I have this dilemma.

      Am I ready for these stakes? BR-wise, definitely not. Can I do better at these stakes? For some reason I believe so.

      I'm still not sure what is the right thing for me to do.

      Thanks again for sharing your mature thoughts :)
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,908
      First do you ENJOY poker.
      If you love the thrill of the risk, then play at the stakes that give you that thrill without being scared. When people drive cars on the highway, they get comfortable at a certain speed. I once drove a '92 Mercedes through Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada at a more-or-less constant 200 kph. I'm sure our German friends do that daily on the Autobahn. The point is that at those speeds, you need to be "on the edge" with all of your senses alert, and in touch with the car, and the road. If you drive even faster to the point where you are frightened, you will likely kill yourself.

      When I came up to the edge of a town, and had to drop to 60 kph, it seemed ridiculously slow but every second, I was still covering 16m, but now there are a vastly greater number of hazards to deal with.

      Then analogy fits with higher vs lower stakes.
      If you play too high, and live in fear of making the wrong move, you've already made it.
      If you play too low so that it is boring, you live in danger of getting spewy because you just don't care enough.

      If they sense you are scared, those same people who respect your raises, will 3-bet bluff you right off the best hand. Not because they have a better one, but just because they know you will fold.

      Poker is about people. You need to know yourself. You need to balance the daring and the discipline.

      About PokerTracker. My experience is the exact opposite. My game drastically improved when I started using the HUD, and using PT to analyse my best and worst hands after each session. I can't truthfully say which of the two contributed more to my improvement, or whether it was using the "Advance Open Raising" chart to base my play on. The only warning is, "LAGs can have good hands, too".
    • ilrasso
      ilrasso
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.05.2010 Posts: 49
      1. The level you "should" play at depends on a lot of things. For you, based on the above, id advise to stay at 25/50cent if you like, but with a very defensive stoploss.

      2. I am also new to using stats hud, and so far i consider it to be something i need to learn for it to really help me. So i try to keep it open, but i also try to only deviate from my normal play if the stats give me an obvious choice.

      3. For tilt i think the best way is to be "professional" in how you let swings affect you. Poker is essentially about making good decisions.

      If the decision is good and the result isnt, you can blame bad luck.

      If the decision was bad but result was good, you make sure to enjoy your sucking out, but make more sure that you dont start a nasty habit. After your suckout giggles you make sure to try to understand how you came to make a bad decision, and how you can avoid making it again.

      If the desicion was bad and results also, either drastically reduce stakes or stop and figure out what went wrong. How is a player calling 5$ all in w 72 in nl holdem a better decision? - If the other option is calling a 5000$ all in w 72. If you must tilt, do it at the micros, as slow as possible.

      If the decision was good and results where good, keep on trucking.
    • roopopper
      roopopper
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.12.2010 Posts: 4,289
      With regards to bankroll management and which levels you do or dont play at.

      Its not just about what you can afford from your roll right now for me its what I can also add later if I want to.

      Example... I can afford to add 10$ to my poker account every week= yearly bankroll 520$

      =

      playing nl10 once a week hope to win
      playing nl5 twice a week hope to win
      playing nl2 5 times a week hope to win

      If you have a job and can afford to lose the money in your roll I say go for it.

      Roo
    • achschelo
      achschelo
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2010 Posts: 67
      Thanks for the responses people! :)

      VorpalF2F - You asked a great question! I do NOT enjoy grinding for hours and hours, day after day to accumulate a small profit (microstakes).
      I do enjoy the potential of making more money quicker at the higher stakes - don't we all.
      I do fear of making the wrong move, that is losing my entire bankroll, but I do not have fear of the other players at the higher levels.


      ilrasso - I get what you're saying about the type of decision I made. The tilt usually comes from extreme suck-outs (can easily happen, especially in rush). Once I get a few of those (where I did make the right decision, but the outcome was horrible), I tend to go on tilt. Suddenly I hear myself saying "don't hit a 4", and BAM the guy hits a 4. mext hand is runner runner flush against me. What I'm saying is that once the tilt kicks in, I cannot seem to win anything, and every imaginary terrible outcome happens.
      I really need to work on this.


      roopopper - for me, it's not about if I can afford to lose the money. The money I have in the account originates from the free $50. So any money there is basically free money. Maybe if I manage to build the bankroll, the money will really make a difference (I wish I get there LOL), but for now, my only fear is losing the entire BR (not the amount it is, but just not having one).


      For now I think I will continue trying my luck at .25/.50. I feel better there, it takes less time, and I think I'm doing better at it than at the lower limits. If I can avoid or work on the tilt, I believe I have a good chance of succeeding.

      I wish you all lots of luck, and thanks again! =)
    • phantommm92
      phantommm92
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.05.2010 Posts: 1,464
      I believe I have a good chance of succeeding.
      [ ] i believe in you too

      why the f. do you even write/visit this site if you do not intend on improving you game and mindset?

      imo the first big step for you would be BRM
    • bRiNgOnChAsEr
      bRiNgOnChAsEr
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.05.2011 Posts: 22
      When you feel the tilt or the need to player higher than your 25 buy allow write this down.

      There is no Force
      There is no Power
      There is no Prize
      There is no Incentive

      That will take me away from my goal a
      Maybe goto the 1 p table have a break kit kat anything but under no conditions play higher than you know you should.

      I am a beginner but I have a friend that plays dam good and two things he says to me make a lot of sense

      1. It's better to fold a winner cheap than play a loser
      2. If you can't lose it don't put it in front of you
      3. Keeping your head when it goes tits up is more important than knowing the rulse

      Hope it helps
    • amplifyd
      amplifyd
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.08.2009 Posts: 1,769
      quit poker
    • achschelo
      achschelo
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2010 Posts: 67
      Originally posted by phantommm92
      I believe I have a good chance of succeeding.
      [ ] i believe in you too

      why the f. do you even write/visit this site if you do not intend on improving you game and mindset?

      imo the first big step for you would be BRM
      I guess you didn't even read my post. BRM says I should be playing NL10. NL10 is full of people who think at a lower level, thus making insane calls and hitting crazy outs. So far in NL50 I've seen this ONCE, out of 4k hands. BRM works for most people in most cases, not for me so far in this one.

      Peace.


      Originally posted by bRiNgOnChAsEr
      When you feel the tilt or the need to player higher than your 25 buy allow write this down.

      There is no Force
      There is no Power
      There is no Prize
      There is no Incentive

      That will take me away from my goal a
      Maybe goto the 1 p table have a break kit kat anything but under no conditions play higher than you know you should.

      I am a beginner but I have a friend that plays dam good and two things he says to me make a lot of sense

      1. It's better to fold a winner cheap than play a loser
      2. If you can't lose it don't put it in front of you
      3. Keeping your head when it goes tits up is more important than knowing the rulse

      Hope it helps
      Thanks bRiNgOnChAsEr, I am trying to keep my head. Making good decisions so far, have taken few beats and dealt with them courageously (so far)! :rolleyes:




      Originally posted by amplifyd
      quit poker
      Quit life :]
    • phantommm92
      phantommm92
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.05.2010 Posts: 1,464
      BRM says I should be playing NL10. NL10 is full of people who think at a lower level, thus making insane calls and hitting crazy outs. So far in NL50 I've seen this ONCE, out of 4k hands. BRM works for most people in most cases, not for me so far in this one.
      Thats where your money comes from in the long run. over and out
    • achschelo
      achschelo
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2010 Posts: 67
      Originally posted by phantommm92
      BRM says I should be playing NL10. NL10 is full of people who think at a lower level, thus making insane calls and hitting crazy outs. So far in NL50 I've seen this ONCE, out of 4k hands. BRM works for most people in most cases, not for me so far in this one.
      Thats where your money comes from in the long run. over and out
      You do have a point, but it would be concrete if it was a regular ring game. This is rush, you don't play against the same players most of the time. If I can get a read on someone I can note it, but the chance I will play him again in a pool of ~400+- players is slim.
      In the meantime I have other crazy caller runner runner hitters which I have to deal with, I'd rather be player poker at .50, than player bingo at .10, even if it's currently out of my BR.