00471

    • 00471
      00471
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.03.2011 Posts: 2,590
      This is my second shot at poker. The first one ended rather quickly, in short, with Full Tilt Poker being shut down and me deciding on taking a few months off to focus on my personal life. In my defence I have to say that it proved to be a good investment, since I'm planing to propose in the coming months.

      I always knew I would come back since poker really proved to be the first thing that drew me in so much after e-sports and chess. I just didn't plan any specific date. I've finally decided to do that just before December 2011 and started again with a $60 capital on PokerStars. That was the amount that is frozen on my FTP account. December was really busy at work because of Christmas but I've gotten through NL2 without much problems except little time to play and now I'm after my first day of playing NL5. So, I have a basic poker understanding, thanks to PokerStrategy.com and two good friends being regulars (one is a coach at the Polish section of PS,) therefore I've skipped the video for the first lesson, since I'm already acquainted with the site quite well. However, I believe that I still have a weak theoretical background, which I plan to work on most in the coming months. I'm really looking forward on solidifying my basic theoretical knowledge with this course, as well as doing some additional work on theoretical subjects.

      I plan to take a lesson or more every week. I also plan to take 5 quizzes and read 5 articles every week. Maybe read some (e-)books in the spare time but I haven't really done research towards what could I read first. Except that, the rest of my time for poker will be dedicated to actually grinding at the tables. I want to play less tables and focus more on individual hands. About 8 to 10 tables is a good number for me to achieve that purpose at this moment. I think I could play as much as 14 tables now, but I simply chose not to do that yet. I play NL FR but I am thinking on switching to SH when I feel more comfortable in my post-flop game.

      One last thing, I like to write a lot ;) I'm a typical extroverted type and I like to get into discussions. Also, don't hate me too much for being wrong or asking basic questions that I should know the answer for by now, I'm just not afraid to do it, I like to be 100% sure of something, and I hope that you're at least not very annoyed by answering questions either :)

      So, anyway, as for the first homework.

      What is your motivation for playing poker?
      I have a big drive towards it. I'm almost addicted to competition, I'm an ex-high level Quake player, who has worked a lot in and around various e-sports events and communities. I also played chess competitively as a teenager and in three years I went from a complete newbie to winning a few tournament games against people, who drew games against grandmasters in simultaneous exhibitions. Maybe it will sound a bit too poetical (I often speak like that) but I like to do things that I enjoy and I enjoy obtaining knowledge.

      The money is also a factor. I've been forced to provide for myself since the age of 18, therefore I don't really have an education that I would like to have and this is a way of making some additional cash. Ideally, I would like to combine working part-time and playing. Maybe commit myself to playing full-time, if I'm really successful at it. But that is a long term plan and I don't like of thinking about it too much, I like to focus on everyday tasks. One thing that I honestly admit is that I strongly believe in my abilities to learn and work hard, so I'm very optimistic about it.

      What are your weaknesses when playing poker?
      As I said before, a weak theoretical background. I often get lost in situations that I feel I do not fully understand. I admire people like PS coaches, who can easily assign a very specific range to a player and play by it. I want to put much work towards that. In Quake/chess, I've mostly played with guidelines, rules that were more or less specific and much room was left for me to improvise or play creative - either by playing skilfully or by counting down variations. In poker, it seems, that I will have to learn to be much more accurate. Obtaining that accuracy and the right mindset for being able to obtain it, and not just play by some general rules, is one of my main aims at the moment.

      Also, time. I live with my girlfriend and I work full-time, so I don't really have that much free time for myself. My girlfriend is keen on letting me play when we're together (even play a lot,) yet I'm still not very into doing it as much as to be able to make rapid progress. Or at least I often feel like what I'm doing is not enough, I always want more. But, in all fairness, I can do a lot of both theoretical and practical work at my job place, so if anything doesn't go bad with it (:P ) I should be able to manage well. That's pretty much my only mindset problem, which I described a few months back, during my first shot at Poker at the mindset sub-forum on the Polish PS section. I plan to take a second look at that, if I feel I have to. Since December, I'm doing well. I play regularly and now I've also planned specific tasks for every week. We'll see how it goes, but I'm not satisfied by it yet.

      What does it mean to play tight aggressive?
      Pre-flop, to play a very small range of hands that have the highest equity. Post-flop, play the best hands aggressively and take some opportunities to bluff. Like, I think, elky once put it, you have to have an aggressive image on the table. Other than that, once you've got a good hand, make the most of it. But, don't be afraid of folding when you strongly believe that you're behind. I'm happy if I'm forced to fold a fairly good but not the best hand and I take much pride in my big folds, rather than the big wins. And I like that about myself. I think that it is an important factor for playing tight aggressive, as well.
  • 9 replies
    • ThatGuyMatt
      ThatGuyMatt
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.12.2010 Posts: 3,758
      Welcome back to School 00471 :tongue:

      First of, Good luck with Proposing!

      You seem to have all of your goals sorted out already which is great, you also like discussions eh? I guess we will be seeing your name around the forums frequently then :f_biggrin:

      Hopefully you can learn alot on the course & best of luck on the tables!
    • 00471
      00471
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.03.2011 Posts: 2,590
      Thanks, man! Although I don't like gambling, not much luck is needed here, I'm pretty sure that I've found the right one :)

      And yeah, browsing forums is a nasty habit, I admit :D
    • veriz
      veriz
      Black
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Welcome to the Course and Best of Luck. Good job! Homework #1 Done!

      Hehe, I used to play Quake 2 as well long long time ago. :) But obviously now I see it's a waste of time while I could spend the time into poker and even earn money.

      Most of the weakness you wrote can easily be fixed by posting hands (analyzing your session). We will start writing feedback to your play. Usually negative feedback will put you into thinking phase and trying to fix all those leaks. It's almost the same as you lose money, you will remember it more than winning part. By this situation it's gonna be that negative feedback you gonna remember and try to avoid them next time.

      Also about mindset, few good tips for you:
      Easiest way 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 results. Some may put it higher, some lower. Also after the stop you can spend some time with evaluation part to become better.

      Tight style is usually called playing selected hands. Like following the Starting Hand Chart. Aggressive should be also pretty clear that already the word says how you should be playing. But the problem playing aggressively is that you have to watch that you don't play too aggressive. Find good spots, find good targets. About The tight-aggressive strategy you can read in this article: "What is the Big Stack Strategy?"

      Hopefully you will enjoy the Course.
    • 00471
      00471
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.03.2011 Posts: 2,590
      I haven't finished the course, although I have a pretty good excuse for that and I thought that I'd drop a line for the English-speaking community.

      During January and February, I took some time to contemplate on my motivations and considered learning PLO instead, since my native Polish PokerStrategy section has recently singed some awesome, inspiring PLO coaches. I talked to a few people and finally decided to stick to Hold'em for now and see how the game continues to develop in the upcoming months or maybe even years.

      When I finally decided to get things going, instead of finishing this course, I participated in a special promotion organised by the Polish PokerStrategy section which concept was very similar to this one. One vital difference was that you could also win 50 $ if you pass the theoretical part (which included six lessons, lasted two weeks, and you had to beat nine other people from your group) and another 75 $, together with a private coaching, if you win the practical part (which lasted another four weeks and included feedback from the coaches). I wanted the coaching so bad :) I passed the theoretical part and according to a number of people, I was pretty close to winning the whole thing.

      Meanwhile, I also participated in a literary contest and... again, finished second :) Hence the Platinum status.

      Right now I'm playing NL10 and planning to pass the limit before the end of May. I feel a pretty big edge against a lot of my opponents. So, there's no use in passing a basic-level course now. I started a learning group, which is going great. Tomorrow, I'm having my first private coaching with a dear friend of mine, who offered me some help. I'm planning to work really, really hard this whole year, hopefully to become a NL100 regular by the end of it.

      Although I haven't really had the opportunity to work with you, I looked forward to it. Thus, I would like to take this opportunity to say that the work that you're doing here looks really awesome and I'm pretty sure that this kind of help is vital for many aspiring poker players. If it wasn't for you, many people like me wouldn't be able to take a shot at their dreams. And for that, I thank you.

      Cheers! :f_cool:
    • veriz
      veriz
      Black
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Hey mate,

      That's really great story to read. It seems that you have really big plans, especially if you enjoying the content of Polish community and the course seems to be running differently there you should definitely keep to it. You can always hop in here and say hi time to time. :)

      In the future we are also planning some improvements in the course but as you may understand I am stuck with uni thesis and have to finish it and after summer might move to Gibraltar and then start working on it. :) Never know... But about the future plans we will hear in like half a year or so.

      PLO rocks but the variance there is just huge. :D If you can't deal with the tilt in NL then it will be also trouble for you to deal with PLO variance-tilt.

      Best Regards & Thanks for the feedback. :)
    • 00471
      00471
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.03.2011 Posts: 2,590
      Hi, it's me again ;)

      The plan was to drop a line or two here as quickly as I'll beat NL10. Originally, I thought that it'd take me until the end of May but it took four long months more. The reason for the slower progress was far from perfect time managment. But I've managed to start playing NL25 with 27 BIs since the beginning of October and it's going fine. Not playing a whole lot of hands, since I only play six tables 1-3 hrs a day. +6,5bb/100 after 7k hands. Once again, I'm learning almost as much as I'm playing and value quality over quantity. I'm pretty confident about my play.

      When thinking about what to specifically write about, I've noticed how a girl and poker have changed my whole life.

      Me two years ago:
      • An ok job.
      • A destructive relationship; when I wanted to start playing poker, my ex was furious, since she considers it gambling.
      • No hobbies, except for e-sports, which was something purely for fun.
      • Nothing more interesting, really.

      Me now:
      • Got engaged in June \o/
      • Started extramural IT studies this year (which I've wanted to learn since I was little).
      • In August, I came back to working out at the gym and eating well after a looong time.
      • Recently began writing for the Polish PS section after the Polish CM actually approached me three times (hence the avatar).
      • Making slow but steady progress at poker.
      • Still the same job, but I've got plenty of free time to learn and play when at work (srsly :f_pleased: ).

      Just like playing Quake has given me passion and a drive towards something in my teens, now poker dictates the pace of my life.

      The only downside - little free time. I'm actually working my a** off ;) But that's the price of progress and, besides, my fiancée is swamped with work at uni, since it's her toughest year. So that's the best time to do this.

      Time management has become a necessity. Therefore, starting two weeks ago, I'm planning every week ahead. It worked for me in the past but somewhere along the way I just stopped doing that. So I came back to a good habbit. I'm posting aims/results on my blog, which has grown big.

      This video has given me so much motivation. As well as this:

      Originally posted by veriz
      You can always hop in here and say hi time to time. :)
      In my worst days, when I think about making a final cashout and leaving poker altogether, I go back that one sentence and say to myself, 'hey, I want to hop in there so badly, and be proud to say hi, and brag about how successful I am'. So, yeah, although I had high hopes for NL100 by the end of the year, which most likely is not going to happen, I'm not giving up on the game altogether. I've evolved as a human being thanks to it, in some way. I hope to evolve as a poker player a lot more.

      I'll sign in every couple of months. I'll definitely do when I'll start playing at NL50.

      Cheers! :s_cool:
    • veriz
      veriz
      Black
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Wow mate, great to hear of your progress. :) Congrats also on moderator of PL community, how do you like around there?

      Life is truly changing really fast, at one day you might think "what I am doing", the next day/month you already doing much different stuff. As you got engaged and congrats on that! Of course the studies idea is also very good, nowadays IT is one of the best things on the market what allows you to get a job. So where did you ask her? :f_biggrin: Any special way?
    • 00471
      00471
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.03.2011 Posts: 2,590
      Nothing THAT big. Took her to the nicest park in town, while some friends set up a surprise party at our place. After the initial shock the first thing that she did was... changing her facebook status via cellphone, lol ;)

      We've been living like a married couple for a while now, so nothing in our lives has really changed since then, to be honest. Except making more specific plans for our wedding than before, obviously ;)

      There's progress but it's still slower than I'd like it to be. I hope that making specific plans for every week will give me a huge boost in my poker skill.
    • veriz
      veriz
      Black
      Joined: 20.07.2008 Posts: 65,504
      Originally posted by 00471
      Nothing THAT big. Took her to the nicest park in town, while some friends set up a surprise party at our place. After the initial shock the first thing that she did was... changing her facebook status via cellphone, lol ;)

      We've been living like a married couple for a while now, so nothing in our lives has really changed since then, to be honest. Except making more specific plans for our wedding than before, obviously ;)

      There's progress but it's still slower than I'd like it to be. I hope that making specific plans for every week will give me a huge boost in my poker skill.
      Wow, that's amazing. :) I am really happy for you and wish all the best for ya both! How have things been so far, how is poker?