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    • animagne
      Joined: 20.05.2010 Posts: 12
      I'm Karolis from Lithuania and have been playing poker for quite some time, lately only HU SNGs and I'm ready to take another stab at SH NL BSS (6bb/100 over 16k hands wasn't enough for me).
  • 11 replies
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 22,027
      Hi Karolis,

      Welcome to the NL Beginners Course :)

      Let's hope we can help you to improve that win rate!

      As long as you put the time and effort into the course, I really don't see why it can't be improved.

      All the best,

    • animagne
      Joined: 20.05.2010 Posts: 12
      Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker?
      I'm very competitive person and my main motivation is to have a sport which I enjoy and can professionally compete in (yes, in Lithuania poker is considered as a sport... too bad no cash is involved).
      As a undergraduate student extra money from playing poker is also motivating me at some extent, but when playing poker I usually tend to not think that I'm betting actual money, only chips (even though I'm more cash player).

      Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker?
      Don't really know how to play stud (except razz)... Oh wrong forum for that :)
      As for NLH BSS my main weaknesses are lack of concentration on micro stakes tables, tendancy to go on a smaller or larger tilt once a week (shouldn't do that... again) and making too much "information calls" against opponents I would probably never get to use that information on.

      Question 3: What does it mean to play tight-aggressive?
      Playing only relatively small amount of starting hands preflop (depending on game, table size, position and players left to act) and more betting/raising than calling postflop .
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Hello animagne,

      Have you ever thought about why do you lack of concentration? Like is it that you do some other stuff like have some distraction. Watching movies, listening to music, surfing in browser? Those all things can force you to do less work. Just find a way for yourself how you will concentrate more. Like force yourself that you ain't here for just having fun but rather you came to make money and become better so you would make even more money later on. Of course the game is not only of money but money is a motivation what helps you to find more and more reason to play the game.

      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.

      Welcome to the Course and Good luck! First points earned.
    • animagne
      Joined: 20.05.2010 Posts: 12
      Question 1: What do you think you could play differently than how it is in the BSS Starting Hands Chart, and why?
      Since I'm keeping my distance from FR tables I can't comment much on the basic chart besides the fact that it is the worst chart on this site (compared to MSS/FL charts for example). On the other hand I play more or less by the standard SH ORC (Sue me, but school is supposed to be available for both FR and SH players, isn't it? And it's closest thing to SHC we have :) ) and the main adjustments I make is stealing, isolating and 3+ betting, which I do more according to opponents stats/reads/player types than the chart or basic article suggests, as I'm learning to play the people more than the char... I mean cards and these things are only guidelines. (for example I tend to steal less, since often I play against players with high vpip/low fold to flop c-bet% (too bad these qualities come in a package).

      Question 2: Post a hand for evaluation where you have a question regarding your pre-flop play.
      SH NL2 Johny All-in and me

      Question 3: What is the equity of AKo against the top 5% range? 5% means: 88+, AJs+, KQs, AKo?
    • animagne
      Joined: 20.05.2010 Posts: 12
      Also my blog-like school progression post for week 1 (I meant to post it yesterday but my isp crashed):

      Actually I get distracted (watching TV or something) so that I wouldn't get bored with poker and start playing like Tony G (with heart, commitment and 50% vpip) and it's probably the hardest habbit to get rid off for me. On the other hand I can't play alot of shorthanded tables either as I start doing mistakes (or need better hardware for it) and slow progress tends to annoy me. RIP Rush poker :( ...

      Anyway small learning progress update: didn't put much volume in this week, only 3331 hands at NL2, as I was changing sites (going from party to stars, cause party poker software made serious multitabling for me literally impossible), trying various number of tables, etc. Still I'm up 22.7$, which makes it 34.07 bb/100 way over my NL2 goal (which is to stay over at least 15bb/100 when my br reaches NL5) and only 3.5BIs over EV. Hopefully after good start I wont run into a long breakeven streak which I seem to do lately...

      I should probably post some hands, but anything relevent is either obvious play or obvious fail by me, so hopefully 2nd week I'll have something more interesting to post in evaluation forums. (As I mentioned in my evaluation thread, there is no learning value for me so far : either I'm playing standard semi-loose poker (I'm around 26/21 so far) or failing and know my mistakes, which I didn't do much lately... hence the 3.5BI diffence (if I'd be failing I would be more like only 1.5BI up))
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Good job! Homework #2 Done!

      I totally agree with you about the SHC. Although it's still mainly towards beginners not rather advanced players. Since advanced players can make adjustments themselves. I haven't used the chart for very long time. It's practically made for just easy to follow and not make many mistakes with playing less hands.

      That's the problem with those who played rush. It's really hard to change back to normal poker for them. It really forces them to make such stuff as watching tv, reading forums, etc. Which of course will hurt your play. Just try few times to have such a session where you wont have any distractions and you will see that how many +EV spots you will find there and how you might even earn more money with it. Of course you also have to do correct plays not just play looser. It's always possible even to take notes during the game if you are bored.

      What's better, to force yourself doing some poker related stuff on tables and earn money during that. Or watch the TV series or whatsoever which ain't gonna give anything for you, just entertainment. Force, force, force! Like as you see yourself opening the forums, JUST CLOSE it and remind yourself what you are doing on tables. If you are watching TV, close it or just close the tables. Start forcing that kind of thing into your play and with time you will just get used to it and of course your mind.

      Should post hands? Of course, how else you want to manage fix expensive leaks, rather fix them on your early game than later on when the stacks might be $100 or even more.

      Hopefully you enjoy the School so far. Some more points earned.
    • animagne
      Joined: 20.05.2010 Posts: 12
      Disclaimer: the italic parts are irrelevant, but they give some reasoning regarding long post.

      Question 0: Download and install the Equilab.
      Done more than once and waiting for my new laptop to install it on too.

      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: ?
      50.78% preflop, 26.46 post-flop.

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

      Obviously the correct answer is we don't have enough information regarding his play, so we have to play cards and not opponent. tl;dr analysis is incoming next. (I am mathematician so even though I could have written only the last paragraph and I would have made the same point, but what's the fun in that)
      Essentialy this is almost Beluga theorem taking place (ok, it's not c/r, hence the almost part) - flop check and turn reraise is a very strong line and most often indicate a good hand. Unless we have more information about the villain, we should rule out weak hands like flush draws or pairs and leave only two pairs, sets and straights (so only flush draw and split odds count).

      Let's look at how we do it if we would have only 0.22$ left:
      Calling equity is 19.46%.
      Against any set or 63 we have 19.32% equity.
      Against 4:club: 7:club: we have 15.91% equity.
      Against 4:club: 7 or 7:club: 4 we have 18.18% equity.
      Against 4:club: 6:club: , 6:club: 3:club or 4:club: 3:club: we have 17.05% equity.
      Against 4:club: X:club: we have 19.32% equity.
      Against other straights 20.45% (with a :club: which isn't 4, or 4:club: 4), 21.59% (with 4:club: or 44 without :club:) or 22.73% (without :club:) equity.

      So against individual hands we have enough equity to play most of the straights (only 9.12% of possible straights we wouldn't have enough equity to play). However, if we are going against any two pair, any set and any straight our equity is 21.55%. Most of the math above isn't relevant to a real situation, but since this is only practice, I added it for the sake of completeness. And for fun.

      Narrowing the range down depends on opponent. Since this is micro stakes we could expect to see one-gappers, connectors and pocket pairs calling from looser players, which could make the range something like 66-22,64s+,54s,64o+,54o, against which we would have 21.17% equity and we should call. If player is tight 66-55,33-22 range is more likely, which is unfavourable for us and we should fold.

      However, we don't have to call an all-in for 0.22$ here so it is possibility, that we could get some value (a.k.a. we might have some implied odds) if we hit flush draw, but again it depends on the opponent. But here comes the crux point : the only unprofitable situation is when opponent has set and would fold if we made a flush, but opponent doesn't know we are drawing clubs, so, even if a diamond would come, he would fold to our bet. So the right answer is calling.On the other hand if hero doesn't think that much through (doesn't come to that crux step), 0.44$ bet would be very well calculated and could exploit heroes who just used calculator allowing villain to bet here atc.

      Anyone would like to bet that no one would answer this question the same way the underlined part goes, without reading my answer?

      Question 3: Post a hand for evaluation where you have a question regarding your post-flop play.
      Since no one will evaluate this post for next 10 hours, I'll post it later. I was just having fun with 2nd question now.
      Since I really had to, here it is:
      NL2 set on a draw heavy board
    • animagne
      Joined: 20.05.2010 Posts: 12
      Second week I played even less hands : only 1795 profiting 12.2$, or 33.98bb/100. Since my playing br reached 100$ I am now thinking about moving to NL5, with my personal brm (I intend approaching the micros aggresively until I get to NL25, as I believe that NL25 is best for me to grind myself to a more conservative br and I don't want to begin NL50 without one, but moving down much more quickly than with usual brm). If I'm actually moving up, then one of my short-term goals would be acomplished : my winrate at NL2 is twice higher than the one I was hoping for. Another argument for moving up is that I have done even more agressive aproach before successfully (NL4 6-max with 60$ on party poker, since they dont have NL2 SH), winning decently in first 4k hands or so, but I dropped SH after next 12k being more or less break even (hence the only 6bb/100 winrate mentioned in OP).

      Also is there any information this week I shouldn't just skip? I am a very decent mathematician (not IMO level, but might still compete in student olympiads, as I'm only beginnig my freshman year this october) and combinatorics is my favourite (add that to motivation question from 1st week :) ) and 2nd best subject (only surpassed by number theory) and I do not know whether I should watch video/podcast, if the math is intended for beginers and playing is obviously only FR. Fun story how I missed coaching though : I started slow HU SNG on stars 20 minutes before the start, and thought : how much longer than normal 10min HU would it last? Oh, yeah, I enjoy strategy questions (like that one) more than hand evaluations, since I can evaluate hands myself (and should do more often probably), but can't discuss strategy alone. The abstract situations are also much more valuable in my opinion, since they usually have a more concrete (and much longer) answer than a single hand (which according to Doyle Brunson can be played in many different ways and it still wouldn't be wrong... unless it's FL... should... resist... more... mathematicians... jokes...).

      P.S. I'm really sorry for anyone reading my a little long (and heavily offtopic) posts... I just can't help it... (they are going to get bigger, if I start grinding a lot / get more interesting questions like 2nd this week)
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Good job! Homework #3 Done!

      Very nice analyze by the way on 2nd Question. :) Seems like you doing really good with those kind of math-like calculations. Be ready for even harder ones in future. :>

      But easy and simple answer 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.

      About moving to NL5 I'd still advice you to wait till you have 25BIs. Even the 25BI rule is a bit aggressive I'd say.

      Also got the answer how you are so good with math. :) Although the coaching vid was still great, if you have time watch it. There are few interesting things you might wanna use. :)

      Also I would still advice you to post the hands and discuss with others. That's how actually the analyze usually should work. Always better to do in groups rather just see your own game only which you might even ignore at some spots and see yourself doing good but actually you didn't.

      You are doing great progress! Some more points earned.
    • animagne
      Joined: 20.05.2010 Posts: 12
      I moved up to NL5 anyway, played only 3 small sessions (500 hands) and I'm down 1BI, cause of micro tilt (micro meaning I lost only 3 or 4 BIs when I shouldn't and 1 when I should... my 6-max profit graph is quite swingy :) ...) and I stopped playing NLH for a while (well I don't have a stop-loss limit, as I don't really care when I lose, and instead just stop if I'm deviating a lot from my A-game). The main reason why I'm comfortable with 20BIs is mostly because I have a very decent edge in small sessions of HU SNGs and can keep my BR at 20BIs, if it goes bellow (these micro tilts in longer HU sessions aren't helpful though). But I have a lot to do, with only 3 weeks left until freshman year and getting new laptop in next few days, so distracting myself from this bad start and getting back onto my A-game shouldn't be hard. Hopefully...

      Speaking of my A-game, however, I have ran leak buster on my NL2 hands and the numbers actually surprised me... I was actually playing A-game for the last 2 weeks (even though in small sessions). There were only 2 leaks : too high calling against 3bet% (53%, and I really don't know how to avoid it, as it is my biggest leak) and a little too high EP OR%. Also, from my point of view, floating too much might become a problem, when I go up the limits, as I like to abuse the 1-barrel playing style in micro stakes. Any advice regarding that? Especially on how to prevent myself from calling 3-bets too much (I'm afraid answer like "just don't" doesn't work for me, as I would have stopped calling long time ago... It is quite hard to change the playstyle I'm used to).

      Speaking of changing playstyles, that is also a reason why I'm reluctant to post hands : everyone has a different playstyle, with a bigger difference in 6-max than FR. Since I consider myself to be more HU player, I tend to play more defensive poker (more balancing, bluffing, slowplaying, etc.) than would be considered as ABC poker in small stakes (I consider myself to be semi-LAG player) and so far that playstyle works for me (it kinda balances the risk/reward, with TAG being lowest risk and LAG being highest reward). In one of those NL5 sessions I had a similar situation to the hand I posted and I just tried shoving all-in on the flop and got no value, when I was almost certain, that playing less straightforward I could have gotten maybe even whole villain's stack (I assume he had overpair and he was unwilling to go broke on flop, but might have commited himself on turn).
    • veriz
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      too high calling against 3bet%

      Well, this is a huge leak. And you want to know how to avoid is easily? Just try finding out the opponent ranges. By that I mean for example you have AQ. Do you expect the opponent having a rather looser 3bet range? Can our equity be better against his range, can he 3bet with AT/AJ? If you rather don't know that then just fold it.

      floating too much

      Way huge leak. Even raising is better in a lot of spots than floating. :) Remove this kind of habit, this is going to cost you a lot of money in long run. You are trying to win too many pots. Try to start raising more spots where you have some kind of equity like with draw and backdoor draws, etc.

      everyone has a different playstyle, with a bigger difference in 6-max than FR.

      Well, that's true. But there are still pretty basic spots and very good view from other people. :) Which might even force yourself to avoid doing such plays as floating too much, calling too many 3bets. What do you think how will your mind re-act to negative feedback? Do you think it will try to continue doing them and get more of those bad evaluations or rather you will try to avoid them and later on get better feedback. :)

      Well, I doubt that it would change much either you ship there or not. :D In the set hand. If he has the Kx he is paying you anyways.