Some questions on the learning path of FL

    • funnyclock
      funnyclock
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.06.2011 Posts: 68
      Hi guys,

      I'm new around here, finished reading and took notes on the basic articles of FL in the strategy section, and learning my way in online poker (only able to spend about 2-3 hours playing per day, played for 2 days). I have a few questions that I really need to ask (tried the search function but non-relevant topics came up)

      1. I'm now playing completely by-the-book, i.e. following the preflop Starting Hand Chart, onto the flop, turn, and river rules. Takes me a lot of time on the table when I get a hand or had to make a decision, I need to quickly refer to the notes that I've been making. Is this normal? Will the need to refer to the charts get less and less?

      2. I assume a yes for the above answer, but is there any way that I can understand the mechanics behind the charts? Because all of them seem very confusing to me right now and/or doesn't follow a linear pattern. I would very love to play without having to refer to the charts every time.

      3. Do you all recommend FL or NL for a very beginner in online poker? Are there any advantages or disadvantages for focusing on FL?

      Have more questions but I think these are the ones who come to mind right now. And damn.... PokerStrategy is such an amazing site :)
  • 6 replies
    • brobz
      brobz
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.03.2011 Posts: 569
      Originally posted by funnyclock
      Hi guys,

      I'm new around here, finished reading and took notes on the basic articles of FL in the strategy section, and learning my way in online poker (only able to spend about 2-3 hours playing per day, played for 2 days). I have a few questions that I really need to ask (tried the search function but non-relevant topics came up)

      1. I'm now playing completely by-the-book, i.e. following the preflop Starting Hand Chart, onto the flop, turn, and river rules. Takes me a lot of time on the table when I get a hand or had to make a decision, I need to quickly refer to the notes that I've been making. Is this normal? Will the need to refer to the charts get less and less?

      2. I assume a yes for the above answer, but is there any way that I can understand the mechanics behind the charts? Because all of them seem very confusing to me right now and/or doesn't follow a linear pattern. I would very love to play without having to refer to the charts every time.

      3. Do you all recommend FL or NL for a very beginner in online poker? Are there any advantages or disadvantages for focusing on FL?

      Have more questions but I think these are the ones who come to mind right now. And damn.... PokerStrategy is such an amazing site :)
      Your making your own notes? That;s good I do the same all the time it;s easier to remember everything when you write it down yourself :) Keep making notes to if your a beginner you should probably study a bit before a session, if your playing 3 hrs study for 1 play for 2. Anyways it's normal to keep looking at the charts until you understand why you raise with this hand in this situation but fold it in another, which comes with time.

      - I;m sure Fl won;t experience the swings that NL will experience so it;s best to start with FL to get use to the game and the flow of how everything works, but not everybody starts at FL then moves to NL, just a preference


      What are you not understanding about the charts specificaly?
    • funnyclock
      funnyclock
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.06.2011 Posts: 68
      Thanks brobz. I think I understand a little bit further after studying it more a little. My first short goal will be to play perfectly according to the charts on micro limits without having to refer to the notes/charts. Maybe I'll post a blog by then!
    • brobz
      brobz
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.03.2011 Posts: 569
      hell post one now lol, its a good way to keep a little journal and keep track of your progress it helps alot.

      anyways good luck!
    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Hmm, I'm not sure that there is any less variance in FL tbh, all forms of poker tend to be swingy, and NL/FL aren't hugely different in my experience.

      The best answer is to play whichever variant you enjoy... that way you'll be motivated to study more.

      Of course, as you play more, you get more experience, you'll need to refer to the charts less and less. As you generate more rake - whether through volume or moving up limits - you will get access to articles which explain the basis of the charts and how they are arrived at. Essentially though, they are based on the analysis of millions of hands and on equity edges based on actions of players already acted in the hand, or on the probability of actions from players yet to act.

      Make sure you post any hands you are unsure of in the hand evaluation forums. Also, finding someone to partner up with playing at the same limit as you to do hand history reviews/sweat sessions/discuss theory is a great way to improve too.

      Trust this helps!
    • madorjan
      madorjan
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.11.2009 Posts: 5,561
      Hi Guys!

      Just a small thought about variance. In purely mathematical sense variance IS lower in FL than NL, since in FLFR STDDEV/100 (the standard deviation in 100 hands avg.) is around 15BB (=30bb), however as far as I remember in NLFR it is somewhere between 40-60bb, so in that sense STDDEV and therefore variance is lower.

      However, people usually are mistaken that variance is like the swings on the graphs, and the longitude of breakeven/downswingy periods, that is definitely higher/longer in FL than in NL, since not just the STDDEV is smaller, but your expected winrate is smaller too. So while you can have around 1 BB/100 on microstakes as a beginner player, and have 15 BB/100 STDDEV with it, in NL you can have 7+bb/100 with the above mentioned STDDEV, and if you look at the ratio between winrate and STDDEV it's considerably lower in NL. Ergo you can easily have much longer bad periods when you're running under expectation.

      The other (mis)use of the word variance is that on average how much you can loose in a hand compared to your bankroll - and that's what is the most important in the case of a beginner, learning player, because of tilt issues, and not being mentally prepared to see the money at the table as an investment and not as like real money that you can buy food with. In NL you can loose ~1 BI a hand (not talking about deep games), and that is if I remember correctly is somewhere around 1/20th (=5%) of a beginner's bankroll. In FL however you can only loose 12BB, that is according to PS.com BRM is 12/300th (= 4%) of it, and to be honest, it happens faaar less often than losing a stack in NL. Now here comes the counterargument: you can't win that much in one hand in FL. That is 100% true, however I guess a beginner player is much more frustrated about losing money, than winning, so that's why I think FL can be more suitable for guys with tilt-management issues.

      I hope I could help a little bit, and the above mentioned numbers for NL might be completely ridiculous, because I've rarely played the game, so sorry if that's incorrect. However the calculations should be correct.
    • awishformore
      awishformore
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.06.2007 Posts: 922
      Well, to be fair, you have to say that a winning rate on FL micros of 2-3BB/100 is just as easily possible as a winning rate of 8-12bb/100 on NL micros. So I would say that on micros at least, NL is definitely more swingy.