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    • BillyTheGoat
      Joined: 06.04.2011 Posts: 27
      Hello everyone (and especially you dastardly fine-looking coaches)!

      I am an 18-year old poker player (well, more like completely scrubby poker noob), but I would really like to play. I signed up a while back, claimed my 50 bucks on Full Tilt. I then quit playing poker due to a real-life downswing (I know, those can happen too) where I didn't really felt like playing poker. I come back, Full Tilt is down :s_o: . Luckily, PartyPoker came to my rescue with it's 50$ for your soul offer. I already traded my soul for guitar skills, so I gave them a dummy. I hope to God that neither he nor them finds out what I did :f_grin:

      I am really looking forward to this course, and if possible (with homework coming on and such), I WILL follow through to the very end.

      Best of luck, and may the upswing be with you
  • 9 replies
    • IngridN
      Joined: 02.03.2011 Posts: 12,162
      Hi BillyTheGoat,

      Welcome to our Beginners Course.

      Hello everyone (and especially you dastardly fine-looking coaches)!
      :D :D

      I wish you best of luck with your studies and let us know how you're doing!

    • BillyTheGoat
      Joined: 06.04.2011 Posts: 27
      Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker?
      It is fun. This is my main motivation. I like calculating chances and still praying just a bit to faith in every hand. I think the game is beautiful in its deceptively simple design and staggering depth. I also see poker as a great way to develop myself personally, with regards to self control and deductive skills.
      Money is actually not a big deal in these early stages of my game. I am not planning on making a withdrawal before waaaay into the future, so far it is not even a consideration right now.

      EDIT: Actually, I make a LOT of bad calls. That is probably my biggest weakness.

      Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker?
      I have a lot of weaknesses as a poker player, but my most glaring one is probably how to play a missed flop. I don't know when a cbet is profitable, and I have great trouble id'ing different player types.
      I also tend to make a bit lose push-calls. When I win a push, it is usually not me who shoved first. When starting out, I made a couple of really bad push calls and that put me down about 7 BIs. This mistake is still very prominent in my game, despite being against the strategy on
      I also have a lot of problems playing a 3bet pot, as I just frankly feel lost with regards to when to call, raise and fold.
      Turn play in general is also hard for me. Generally I just check/fold missed hands, but I feel like I sometimes can barrel again to make my opponent fold. I don't know when, and that is why I don't do it.

      Question 3: What does it mean to play tight-aggressive?
      Tight means the TAG will only play select strong hands, playing more hands when in late positions, as he/she will have position on callers.
      I say callers, because a tight AGGRESSIVE player will almost always be raising preflop and play with initiative post flop. The TAG will bet and raise a lot, to generate bigger pots in hands that he can win. Of course, a good poker player (aka not me) will of course know when to pull out of a hand and fold it.
      This style works, because when the TAG does enter a hand, he will win it a lot of times, and occasionally get a lot of value from it. It is also a great beginners strategy, because marginal and dominated hands are often getting folded, leaving the post-flop play a lot simpler.
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Hello BillyTheGoat,

      Most of the weakness you wrote can easily be fixed with you posting hands. We will start writing feedback to your play. And usually negative feedback will put you into thinking phase and trying to fix all those leaks. It's almost the same as you loose money, you will remember it more than winning part.

      Also reading from your writings I'd say that you have problems with tilting. While being down for 7BIs is a lot of money. :( Easiest wait to fight against tilt is to set up stop-loss technique. Which means if you for example have lost more than 3BIs for a session then you just stop the session for some time. The BI amount is set up from your own wanting. Some may put it higher, some lower. And after the stop you can easily just spend some time with evaluating your play.

      Good luck in the Course. Earned your first points.
    • BillyTheGoat
      Joined: 06.04.2011 Posts: 27
      Question 1: What do you think you could play differently than how it is in the BSS Starting Hands Chart, and why? (Are there any hands you would play differently? Do you have a problem or question about how a specific hand or hands are to be played?)

      Yes. I would open-raise pocket pairs down to 88 from MP and forward. I do this to avoid being forced into lines along the lines of call-call preflop into check-fold on the flop when I miss. I would like to be the one open-raising and generating fold-equity with my hand.
      I would also call suited connectors if there is one raise and 2 callers akready in the hand. I can generally expect to win a big pot if my drawing hand does hit.
      I also believe you can raise a lot of hands as blind-steals if the opponents to your left are nitty/weak-tight, as they will fold a LOT of hands to aggresion. I would raise hands like 22+,Ax and K8s+, if I know I can probably take the pot down either pre or post-flop without having to go to a showdown. I select this range as I want to raise more hands from late position, but I don't want to raise any-two, and I still want to get some future respect if I flop a monster and get the hand to a showdown.

      Question 2: Post a hand for evaluation where you have a question regarding your pre-flop play. ( Post your hand in the Handevaluation forums, and provide a link to your hand in your private thread in the Locker Room.)

      NL2 KTs
      I will post more as I find them. This one just stood out in my mind.

      Question 3: What is the equity of AKo against the top 5% range? 5% means: 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo? ( You can either calculate this yourself or use an equity calculator such as the Equilab)

      It is 46,324%. That is of course losing if you plan on pushing all-in preflop. However, if you generate a bit of fold equity, and the board doesn't come extremely wet, we can generally represent some medium to big pocket pair on the flop and get a lot of folds.
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Good job! Homework #2 Done!

      Playing PPs can be in long run actually be very profitable, we could even say that you earn the most money with them. You can always try out either you play them profitable or not by check the programs either you are doing great on early position with PPs or not and base according to that.

      Suited Connectors can actually be a very strong hand. They have very good implied odds in multiway pot and as well we could even play them more aggressively and take the initiative and isolate. Therefore I don't even mind you playing them.

      Also of course playing more hands from LP is definitely very profitable. In future you might make the most money from LP and especially from BU. :)

      Hopefully you enjoy the School so far. Some more points earned.
    • BillyTheGoat
      Joined: 06.04.2011 Posts: 27
      Homework #3 coming up here!

      Question 0: Download and install the Equilab.

      Question 1: You are holding K:spade: Q:spade: . What is your preflop equity against an opponent who has 3:diamond: 3:club: ? How does the equity change on the following flop: J:spade: 5:diamond: 3:spade: ?
      Preflop, our equity is as follows:

             Equity     Win     Tie
      Hero   50.78%  50.40%   0.38% { KsQs }
      Villain  49.22%  48.84%   0.38% { 3d3c }

      So, basically it is a flip.

      Postfrlop, our equity changes to this:

      Board: J:spade: 5:diamond: 3:spade:
             Equity     Win     Tie
      Hero   26.46%  26.46%   0.00% { KsQs }
      Villain  73.54%  73.54%   0.00% { 3d3c }

      Now, when the villain hits his set, we are of course quite behind. This is what you hope will happen when you play pocket pairs.

      It is worth noting, that if he didn't hit his set, we will be ahead of him most of the time.

      Question 2: What would you do in the following hand?
      No-Limit hold'em $2 (9 handed)

      Players and stacks:
      UTG: $2.00
      UTG+1: $2.08
      MP1: $1.92
      MP2: $1.00
      MP3: $3.06
      CO: (Hero) $2.08
      BU: $2.00
      SB: $2.00
      BB: $1.24

      Preflop: Hero is CO with A:club: J:club: .
      5 folds, Hero raises to $0.08, BU calls $0.08, SB folds, BB calls $0.06.

      Flop: ($0.25) 2:club: 6:diamond: 3:diamond: (3 players)
      BB checks, Hero checks, BU checks.
      Turn: ($0.25) 5:club: (3 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets $0.22, BU raises to $0.44, BB folds, Hero...?

      In this hand, we have raised preflop with AJs and got called by two players, so we have a very standard situation. Postflop, we check the flop, as we only have a backdoor flush draw and two overcards on a board with a potential diamond flush draw or gutshots, or a combo draw. We might even be up against a completed straight already, so a cbet would be quite dangerous here. If I had history with the opponents, and I knew they were quite tight passive, I might have cbet this board, as I can represent the flush draw or the combo draw. Also, if my opponents are relatively tight, the possibility of them sitting with stuff like A4 becomes quite unlikely. In this position though, with no data, I would also check this flop.
      The turn comes 5:club:
      This card is interesting. It is both a scare card, because of the possible completed straights, but also brings us the nut flush draw. We should not count on the high five straight, as that would just split the pot. Also, the aces or jacks are no good for us now, as the probability of a straight is very high, if we get played back at.
      Hero decides to bet here, as the nut flush draw is a hand that is potentially very good.. The interesting spot comes when the Button raises to 2 times the bet. We are sitting with a draw to the nuts, and our option here is to call or fold. In this case, we should probably think ourselves up against a 4x, possibly a KQ of clubs or smth, but that is quite unlikely
      A raise is out of the question, as any straight would just re-raise again, and we are forced to fold. As discussed before, we don't have our aces or jack outs, so we are sitting with the remaining flush draw. According to the odds and outs table, we need at least 4:1 pot odds to call this raise.
      The pot is 0.25$+0.22$+0.44$=0.91$. We need to call 0.44$-0.22$=0.22$. That means that our pot odds are roughly 4.13:1, so enough to call here. In this case we can even expect some implied pot odds, as our opponent is full stacked, and will want to gain some value from his straight. He can probably bet for thin value on the river even if our flush hits, to account for the missed diamond draw.

      So, I think the best option here is to call with our nut flush draw, and then check-raise if we hit, against either the straight or worse flush of the BU.

      Question 3: Post a hand for evaluation where you have a question regarding your post-flop play.

      NL2 KQo FR
      This is a weird hand, I am uncertain of everything everything I chose to do.
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Good job! Homework #3 Done!

      About Question #3:
      There are few situations on turn:
      a) If we take just odds for the FD and we take into account that all our odds are clean. There which means:
      Total Pot = $0,91 ; We have to Call = $0,22 -> According to that it means we are getting ~4,16:1 odds. For flushdraw we would need 4:1. Which tells us that we are getting perfect odds.
      b) If we consider the opponent having sets here:
      Which means we have to discount outs, for example 6 and also 3. Which means we have 7 clean outs. Which means that we need 6:1 odds. That tells us that we need ~$0,41 on river to make it profitable. If we expect the opponent being loose enough and being able to pay us no-matter what then we can do the Call here properly.
      c) We might even have overcards as outs or even 4 as a out:
      Although this kind of situation ain't that likely. I'd rather discount that one and either pick a) or b). Most likely towards Call.

      You are doing great progress! Some more points earned.
    • BillyTheGoat
      Joined: 06.04.2011 Posts: 27

      I have, despite my girlfriend's constant occupation of my free time, finally managed to win back the 10 buy-ins a-month-ago-me foolishly wasted on loose all-ins and tilted sessions! I feel happy right now. It was my first personal goal when I begun this course, to win back the money and reach my starting point, the free50.

      I no longer feel superlost at the table, and I actually feel like my play has some direction and style, instead of just being reminiscent of a monkey with a typewriter, wither pressing fold or raise repeatedly.

      I know I shouldn't be results oriented, but I believe you need to set goals for yourself, and celebrate when those are achieved, in order to keep improving. I am also aware of some weaknesses in my game, especially my glaring weakness to any 3bet ever.
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Goals usually help. Also there will be times when you feel like you can't play poker anymore but you just have to ignore it. If you are playing your A-game and just getting beats then you can't do much there. But just continue to put volume and in long run you will earn the money back as you did.