EllaMcC

  • 20 replies
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      OK so after an hilarious amount of back and forth with Skrill, I landed myself so many payments I have a Gold membership already :f_o: . This means I shall really make sure to use it.

      Once that was settled, I did a TON of reading and set up a cloud as I plan to move all poker things to a dedicated poker laptop (it happens to be sitting here new-ish and unused -- so I can have everything in one spot.)

      I haven't done my homework b/c I spent hours today just reading and taking notes and little quizzes and learning what some of the abbreviations mean. I printed out the starting hand chart and the abbreviations and spent a LOT of time in the glossary!

      Now I'm exhausted and it's not a good time to try to play, but I have made a manageable schedule for my "training" that I can fit into RL and keep it up.

      I am going to need to brush up on my mental math skills too methinks.

      When I call myself a beginner, I REALLY mean it. This could take me years to actually complete! :(

      A couple questions: This "Elephant" software you speak of in spots. Is it still available? When I clicked a link to it, I got a "page not here".

      If I can't use Elephant, what is recommended software for me to use with Cake/JuicyStakes/Revolution and hopefully later I will join the Merge network. So I'd want it to work with those two at the very least. I am not the most computer savvy human. I am trying to put in at least an hour at cash tables and I sometimes treat myself to SNGs if that matters. I am doing small stakes if that matters.

      Finally, I was practicing with a cheap SNG and kept winning tickets through 4 steps and landed in a 100K GTD Pro-Elite Bounty Tourney this Sunday. Given I don't know even the best starting hands, I am a bit intimidated, but hopefully I will last more than a few hands. I haven't done big tourneys beyond freerolls before. Never have I had a 52 cents (US) ticket to a $100 buy-in tourney. I've only been playing a week. I never heard of the pros so that's probably good for me. I'm already intimidated enough. :f_cool:

      Homework will be here tomorrow along with a few questions about starting hands in different situations.

      Be well -- Ella
    • serverm07
      serverm07
      Basic
      Joined: 08.08.2012 Posts: 1,130
      asl?
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Hi Ella,

      Great job, keep it up. No need to hurry, you are absolutely right: poker takes years to master.

      Regarding your question, unfortunately, Elephant is no longer available :( This type of software is called "tracking software", also "HUD". Elephant was free, but now there are only paid tracking programs on the market: two biggest brands are Hold'em Manager and PokerTracker. To make things worse, it's the single most important piece of software, so if you consider devoting some time and effort to online poker, you will have to purchase either HM or PT sooner or later :) (HM has a special version for small stakes that is quite cheep) If you already set up a special computer for poker only, I guess buying a tracking program should not be a problem for you. You can find the links in the Poker Tools tab on this site, or just Google it. You can still play without it the first limit or two, so don't worry right now, it should not be the first thing on your list.

      SNG is a great poker variant, however it's very different to ring cash games, so I would recommend you to make a choice and focus in one direction at the beginning. This course can help you only with cash games though.

      All the best,

      German
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      Hi German and serverm07,

      German - Thanks so much for the info on elephant and the other tracking software. I guess I'll try the free version of PokerTracker for a while and see how that goes. I keep trying to get to the "special" for pokerstrategy.com people and it keeps flipping me back to the levels page, despite being logged in. I wonder if that's b/c I'm in the US? It's just tracking software, so shouldn't at least that be allowed? Anyway, if I do buy it, I would like to use the special deal, and I have a feeling I'll be buying something sooner rather than later so I can post hands as I can't take part in the live coaching.

      Errm. I guess I really didn't introduce myself, so now I will. Never let it be said that I do anything normally.

      I guess I'm too old for anyone who asks my a/s/l but I'll answer anyway in the spirit this great site. I am both biologically and traditionally female, which makes me want to tell you that I'm 21 but really I'm in my mid 40s. I usually act around 12.

      I spend a lot of time being a dedicated music fan -- everything from opera to Sonisphere and Wacken to Download and Fringe Fest are on my yearly schedule. I also love to play pool (billiards) and fly. I also row -- both sweep and scull and both mixed and women's. I'm a veteran of the first Iraq war and my favorite TV shows are the Big Bang Theory, Breaking Bad, Shameless and Homeland. I have a LOT of TiVo to watch some day. I'm not really big on "long walks on the beach" and I pretend I don't know how to cook, but really I do. Shh - don't tell anyone.

      I now live on the east coast of the USA in Baltimore -- most famous for The Wire and Homicide. Until recently I lived between London and here but in the last 18 months, I've changed positions and now stay on one side of the pond for work and only travel to the other side for fun and friends.

      German -- that's how I ended up with spare laptops, tablets and smart phones... It's not that I'm independently wealthy, though I've worked hard for a long time, so I'm not starving b/c of my new "gold status" that I accidentally got here ;)

      Thanks for the info on SNGs. Yeah, I was really just fooling around trying out different things that I could use my meager freeroll winnings for without losing it all in one spot and stumbled into a the first one. When I won and kept moving through the ranks, I was truly shocked.

      I don't like big tournaments from the very little bit I know of them. I have no expectations for my big high rolling tourney tomorrow beyond trying to actually sit at my seat for a while. If it was legal I'd hand the ticket to someone who could really use it well in a hot second. I am here for the cash game instruction.

      Now that I've done that, I'll post my homework where we'll learn even more about why I'm here.

      Be well -- and thanks again for the welcome/encouragement and the help on software -- Ella
    • serverm07
      serverm07
      Basic
      Joined: 08.08.2012 Posts: 1,130
      welcome, the asl was just me being a troll and joking around. Now remember poker is a very hard game and will take a lot of time and effort but if you put in the work it will pay off.
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker?

      I played poker with my grandmother as a little kid. I played spades with my husband and another couple until he died. I played cards in the army and the first Iraq War. In the last few years my life has slowed down considerably with a job change that has me living only on one side of the Atlantic. I have spare time and find myself rarely stepping outside my comfort zone. I don't want my world to get smaller, I want it to expand, and that means pushing myself outside of that comfort zone.

      I've always been drawn to poker but felt like since I didn't learn young enough, I would never be able to be good enough. In recent years I've decided to challenge myself to do things that seemed like fun but I was too timid or intimidated to try. I need a new challenge and avocation.

      Also I’d just love to get really good at it. We have poker rooms where I live and I think it would be great fun to be able to walk in and play live.

      Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker?

      Warning: Long list ahead. Mostly they all relate back to being unsure of myself and lacking "nerve" as it was described in Hasenbraten's video. I am motivated, dedicated and diligent. What I lack is nerve, information -- which is why I'm here in this course, (and math skills...) I also haven't made an effort until yesterday to really plan a course for how I would improve, so I've suffered some face-palm situations that only made me feel less nerve.

      I get embarrassed when I lose – stupid but true. Watching the videos and listening to the podcast of the coaching have already helped this a bit in that they've reassured me that if I make the right decision, I can’t fault myself for how the cards fall afterward.

      My missteps mostly revolve around being too timid pre-flop and being scared of other people just getting lucky by continually calling with hands they should never have been playing with anyway. I already have learned that I wasn't raising enough to begin with and not defending my “made hands” well enough – especially when the board looks scary. Not making the next card cost a lot to see when I have the nuts.

      I don’t get enough value out of winning hands and as such even when I do win, it doesn't make up for a bad beat and the blinds I’m playing. Though I’m pretty tight it seems I already have a reputation for being that and it makes everyone fold when I do raise. I recently changed stakes [edit: I lowered them in order to be in line with the Bankroll Management and still have a little room to breathe.] and went to full ring so I’m playing a completely new set of people. Hopefully that helps.

      I tend not to go past the flop often enough. I can’t seem to read when someone is just trying to scare off the best hand and I fold if my ace doesn't pair on the flop or someone raises me… That often translates into me cursing myself when I see what the raiser had at showdown. People are very successful in bluffing me or taking me off the best hand. I need to be less bluffable.

      This all stems from the same thing – being timid b/c I’m not at all confident. People I work with would be shocked at the “poker me.” But the final thing is that I often don’t want to be mocked and when people are being rude and nasty at a table, I don’t play even all the hands I should play b/c I’m intimidated.

      I'm a neuroscientist with a strong background/ undergraduate degree in music -- which I taught to put myself through medical and graduate school. I supposedly should be good at math. Sadly I don’t immediately grasp the mathematics of poker and know I will need to spend a fair amount of time on that particular spot so I know how to get the value for my hands and when a risk is worth it. Right now I’m going on “the feel” which is far from scientific or correct!

      Oh – finally I play out of position far too often. Today already I have seen myself improve greatly by following the rules of the Starting Hand Chart and the BSS.

      Question 3: What does it mean to play tight aggressive?

      It means to play a small but good range of starting hands and to play them properly (“like I mean it”) both pre- and post flop. Since I will only be playing potentially good hands, I need to take the initiative and not let it go. Run the table knowing I’m only playing the best cards and in the correct position (hopefully.) This includes defending my hand when necessary as well as controlling the pot and getting the proper value from winning hands.

      That's it for now. I'll try to pick a hand to post in the proper forum from among my hands today.

      Be well & thanks again for all this great information! Ella
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      Originally posted by serverm07
      welcome, the asl was just me being a troll and joking around. Now remember poker is a very hard game and will take a lot of time and effort but if you put in the work it will pay off.
      Heh -- I sort of guessed but one never knows, hence my "long walks on the beach" and eHarmony-like introduction.

      Good to know you and thanks for taking the piss with me -- I'm always up for that.

      E
    • serverm07
      serverm07
      Basic
      Joined: 08.08.2012 Posts: 1,130
      lol @ eharmony introduction. sad thing is you are old enough to be my mom, but age is just a number and who doesnt like milfs?
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Hi Ella,

      I looked through your homework (of course you'll have a proper coach doing this as well), and there are just a few things I want to make sure you are aware of :)

      • Regarding tracking software: You can actually post hands without purchasing HEM or PT.

        First off, your hand history can be accessed either via your poker room software, or directly from a folder on your computer. For example, I have it here (I was translating from my Russian Windows, so it may not be 100% exact)

        C://Users/MyName/AppData(hidden folder by default)/Local/PokerStars/HandHistory

        Once you located your hand history, you can just copy-paste your hand to a converter to get a beautiful piece of text designed specially for forums. For a converter look here or here.

        If you totally freaked out reading this, don't worry. I have a simpler way for you as well :) There is actually a free piece of software on this site that can actually tracks your hands (and even convert them, I believe). It doesn't provide a HUD (statistical information on your opponents during your game at a table), that's why I didn't tell you about it when listing tracking software. It's very easy to use, I'm sure you won't have any problems with it. Look here.

      • I recently changed stakes and went to full ring so I’m playing a completely new set of people. Hopefully that helps.

        I really don't like the "changed the stakes" part :) Make sure you are familiar with bankroll management and stick to it all the time. You cannot overestimate the importance of BM, if there is a single most important piece of information you should get from this site before playing poker for cash -- it's BM.

        Also, at the stakes you are supposed to play as a complete beginner, most people don't bother with taking notes on you, and it should not concern you at all. Well, you might want to improve your game, so the regulars at your limit remove "a fish" note from you, but running away from them is not a solution whatsoever :)

      • Finally, you are doing a great job working on your game, and that's exactly the way you should go. Until you are confident in your game, I don't see any problems with you playing "timid", or tight in poker jargon. If you are not sure about something, "tight is right" -- it's better to fold a better hand than to lose one buy-in after another, because you have some gaps in your postflop game.

        I'm not saying that you should always play very tight, only when you don't know any other profitable lines in your situation. Fold has always expected value of zero (and bad decisions have negative expected value).

        "Sometimes the best player lays down the best hand" -- so while you are not the best player, there's definitely nothing wrong with folding postflop in case of doubt :) (for example, usually a good indicator that something is wrong is when you have one pair, and your opponent raises your bets one or even two streets)


      Okay, I'd rather stop procrastinating the things I need to do myself :f_biggrin: Hope something was helpful for you.

      Best luck,

      German
    • serverm07
      serverm07
      Basic
      Joined: 08.08.2012 Posts: 1,130
      @German Nice job comrade. Kak dela? ;)

      @Ella It's very important that you spend a lot of time off the tables working on your game. And it's very important you understand why you are doing something and not just doing it because someone else told you to.
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      Hey German,

      Habe viel (oder vielen?) Dank fur ihre Hilfe.

      And now back to my native American-English! I used to speak German a bit but I never really did learn how to write it (and I don't know how to make an umlaut on a keyboard.) Also I don't even know if you speak German. Plus as an American everyone expects me to be too selfish to try other languages so it's quite easy to slack off.

      Thanks for the thorough check-through! That was really nice of you. I have now downloaded/bookmarked the hand helper tools and practiced parsing hands: you're just awesome!

      I downloaded the free trial of PokerTracker just for the heck too. Probably far too many bells and whistles for my purposes but definitely fun.

      I edited my post above b/c of your BRM concern. I should have been more clear -- I actually went down in stakes. I was just on the cusp of the 5/10cent NL game according to the 25-Buy-In Rule. I figured since I don't really know what I'm doing it would make good sense to go to the lowest stakes possible while I get a clue. I also went to the larger table of 9; so now I'm in a FR at very comfortable stakes. Until I set and achieve some goals I don't see any reason to change that.

      I practiced tonight after my tournament (where I outlasted 800 people and managed to go out 2 before the money kicked in b/c I made a very stupid all-in call and was bored out of my brain.) It was not fun. I don't like these big tournaments. I had a couple great hands that thrilled me for a bit but overall I much prefer the cash games for now. I should've checked the money though and held on before blowing my stack on a whim.

      In my cash games, I found myself with a ton of questions, so I'm off to go eat and get some sleep and clean my house a bit before the New Year and tomorrow I'm going back to reread or research what to do in many situations that pop up whilst I'm playing.

      Thanks for your kind words on playing tightly. Better than throwing money around for no good reason. I think I just need to add the more aggressive parts to this tight beginning. I'll await a coach/teacher then get down to those questions if i can't find the answers myself.

      If I don't talk to you before then, I hope everyone has a happy and healthy start to 2013 -- the year we all become high rollers!

      Be well -- Ella
    • BogdanPS
      BogdanPS
      Basic
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Originally posted by ellamcc
      OK so after an hilarious amount of back and forth with Skrill, I landed myself so many payments I have a Gold membership already :f_o: . This means I shall really make sure to use it.

      Once that was settled, I did a TON of reading and set up a cloud as I plan to move all poker things to a dedicated poker laptop (it happens to be sitting here new-ish and unused -- so I can have everything in one spot.)

      I haven't done my homework b/c I spent hours today just reading and taking notes and little quizzes and learning what some of the abbreviations mean. I printed out the starting hand chart and the abbreviations and spent a LOT of time in the glossary!

      Now I'm exhausted and it's not a good time to try to play, but I have made a manageable schedule for my "training" that I can fit into RL and keep it up.

      I am going to need to brush up on my mental math skills too methinks.

      When I call myself a beginner, I REALLY mean it. This could take me years to actually complete! :(

      A couple questions: This "Elephant" software you speak of in spots. Is it still available? When I clicked a link to it, I got a "page not here".

      If I can't use Elephant, what is recommended software for me to use with Cake/JuicyStakes/Revolution and hopefully later I will join the Merge network. So I'd want it to work with those two at the very least. I am not the most computer savvy human. I am trying to put in at least an hour at cash tables and I sometimes treat myself to SNGs if that matters. I am doing small stakes if that matters.

      Finally, I was practicing with a cheap SNG and kept winning tickets through 4 steps and landed in a 100K GTD Pro-Elite Bounty Tourney this Sunday. Given I don't know even the best starting hands, I am a bit intimidated, but hopefully I will last more than a few hands. I haven't done big tourneys beyond freerolls before. Never have I had a 52 cents (US) ticket to a $100 buy-in tourney. I've only been playing a week. I never heard of the pros so that's probably good for me. I'm already intimidated enough. :f_cool:

      Homework will be here tomorrow along with a few questions about starting hands in different situations.

      Be well -- Ella
      Hi Ella,

      Welcome to the forums and the course.

      My name is Bogdan and I will be the coach in charge with answering all of your questions :)

      So don't be shy and ask away.

      How did your tournament go?

      As far as the tracking software you can use I'd recommend Holdem Manager 2 or Poker Tracker 4. Both have a trial version available so you can try them out before you buy them.

      Unfortunately the Elephant software doesn't work at this time.
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      Hi Bogdan,

      Nice to meet you and Happy New Year. I look forward to learning a lot here.

      I've been slowly working on lesson one/two stuff -- homework is above. I will use the little "paper" icon for my homework posts in this thread and for anything directed to you personally -- unless you prefer another way cue you in on stuff directed for you? Sorry for all the chatter cluttering the thread already.

      I busted out of the tourney three hours in and two places before I would've hit the cash of at least $250. I learned: don't play without a good night's sleep and also check "bubble status" before going all-in on tilt. I had plenty of chips to last another 20 or so BBs without playing any hands, so I did a stupid thing all to myself. Glad I didn't spend any of my own money getting that ticket! I will wait before playing more tourneys. I'm going to try to improve my cash game more and I need to learn a lot.

      Course info:
      I was losing money, albeit a little bit at a time, overall before I started my Beginner's Course. Since I started the lessons, applied the BRM and BBS, I am now +cash and it continues daily a little bit at a time. I'm playing 2/4 cent games on Cake. I've mostly memorized the starting hands chart and learned some lingo, and now I need to work on the post-flop stuff (ie, the actual game!)

      I did my first check raise yesterday -- also it was a semi-bluff! Very exciting for someone as timid as me. I don't even feel too guilty now that I understand it's part of the game. :D

      I am using the trial of PT4 for a couple days and already love it! Thanks for the recommendations all.

      I am currently working on implied odds and outs chart/math -- this is the hardest part for me so far, so I really want to get it under my belt.

      So, just to sum up, here's my "plan" for now:
        1) Read Beginner Course materials daily.
        2) Listen/watch a podcast or video every other day.
        3) 100 hands or one hour at the tables daily minimum, whichever comes first and depending on how I feel.
        4) After those 100 hands, take a look at them and try to understand what I can improve. (PT4 is going to help here.) I watched your video on evaluating sessions and have started doing that as of today.


      Current emphasis:
        Perfecting BSS Preflop bet/raise strategy according to Starting Hand Chart
        Working on post-flop odds/outs chart/understanding -- getting the maths to work automatically in my head quickly enough to play the hands.


      I work full time, but I have a pretty flexible schedule when I'm not with patients, and often I have free time when we don't have a full patient load or if it's a late night etc. It's nice to be the boss since it's affording me the chance to learn/play poker! So I will usually have about 12 hours per week to devote to this endeavor at the very least.

      One question that I can't find the answer to regarding calling pre-flop with speculative hands:
      "As a general rule of thumb you can call raises between 4-5 BBs when at least two players have already called and when you and your opponent(s) have 100 BBs or more in your stacks."
      -- Is that all my opponents combined or each one individually since we're all pre-flop and I don't know yet who may or may not actually be in the hand post-flop?

      Again, thanks for being my coach and let me know if you think I should be doing anything differently or more of something.

      Be well -- Ella

      edited to add question and fix typing.
    • Th334
      Th334
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.11.2012 Posts: 971
      Hi all,

      Not so important bit:
      Habe viel (oder vielen?) Dank fur ihre Hilfe.

      Although I understand this, I believe that my Deutsch is actually worse than yours :f_biggrin:

      @German Nice job comrade. Kak dela?

      "Kak dela" bit is much closer :) (that's Russian)

      I did my first check raise yesterday -- also it was a semi-bluff! Very exciting for someone as timid as me. I don't even feel too guilty now that I understand it's part of the game.

      :D :D good job!

      More important bit:
      One question that I can't find the answer to regarding calling pre-flop with speculative hands: "As a general rule of thumb you can call raises between 4-5 BBs when at least two players have already called and when you and your opponent(s) have 100 BBs or more in your stacks." -- Is that all my opponents combined or each one individually since we're all pre-flop and I don't know yet who may or may not actually be in the hand post-flop?

      Well, it's all very relative :) It's very difficult to give exact guideline. I would say that if 2 opponents called and one of them has a full stack, it should be fine to call behind. Rather than remembering strict rules like this, you would be better off learning the concepts of pot odds, implied odds, player types, and how good different hands flop :) Only then you can make a good decision in any situation.

      So roughly:
      • the better your pot odds are -- the more you can call with speculative hands
      • the more opponents you have -- the better your implied pot odds are
      • the more aggressive/loose your opponents are postflop -- the better your implied pot odds are
      • the stronger is your hand -- the better equity you have (compare 68s and TJs)

      By the way, if you have any questions regarding odds or anything at all, feel free to add my in the community tool, I'll be glad to help ;)


      Good luck,

      German
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      Hey German -- Thanks for the offer. I begged for friendship with you.

      This:
      So roughly:
      the better your pot odds are -- the more you can call with speculative hands
      the more opponents you have -- the better your implied pot odds are
      the more aggressive/loose your opponents are postflop -- the better your implied pot odds are
      the stronger is your hand -- the better equity you have (compare 68s and TJs)
      is EXACTLY what I need tonight. I was re-reading the implied pot odds and Odds/Outs portions of the course again b/c I'm really dense on this part. I was getting myself twisted up and your answer just fixed all that for me.

      Seriously, this sort of break-down is incredibly helpful. It's easily-understood and better yet - easy to quickly assess whilst the time-clock is ticking as I try to make a decision.

      I've been sticking so closely to the starting hands chart that I'm losing a lot of money on blinds, so I decided I need to be more adventurous on these speculative hands.

      Sorry about the German/German silliness. In the back of my mind I remember reading your intro about NOT being German despite your name... Argh. Oh well - then I'm glad we won't be needing our Deutsch skills :D

      I'm off to quickly do my rounds at work and try to get some hands in for the day. Be well -- Ella
    • BogdanPS
      BogdanPS
      Basic
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Originally posted by ellamcc
      Question 1: What is your motivation for playing poker?

      I played poker with my grandmother as a little kid. I played spades with my husband and another couple until he died. I played cards in the army and the first Iraq War. In the last few years my life has slowed down considerably with a job change that has me living only on one side of the Atlantic. I have spare time and find myself rarely stepping outside my comfort zone. I don't want my world to get smaller, I want it to expand, and that means pushing myself outside of that comfort zone.

      I've always been drawn to poker but felt like since I didn't learn young enough, I would never be able to be good enough. In recent years I've decided to challenge myself to do things that seemed like fun but I was too timid or intimidated to try. I need a new challenge and avocation.

      Also I’d just love to get really good at it. We have poker rooms where I live and I think it would be great fun to be able to walk in and play live.
      It's never too late to start. I know a few people that have started poker when they were older and they still managed to learn and get better at the game.

      In some aspects it may even be easier for someone with your life experience to start something and be serious about it !

      Question 2: What are your weaknesses when playing poker?

      Warning: Long list ahead. Mostly they all relate back to being unsure of myself and lacking "nerve" as it was described in Hasenbraten's video. I am motivated, dedicated and diligent. What I lack is nerve, information -- which is why I'm here in this course, (and math skills...) I also haven't made an effort until yesterday to really plan a course for how I would improve, so I've suffered some face-palm situations that only made me feel less nerve.

      I get embarrassed when I lose – stupid but true. Watching the videos and listening to the podcast of the coaching have already helped this a bit in that they've reassured me that if I make the right decision, I can’t fault myself for how the cards fall afterward.

      My missteps mostly revolve around being too timid pre-flop and being scared of other people just getting lucky by continually calling with hands they should never have been playing with anyway. I already have learned that I wasn't raising enough to begin with and not defending my “made hands” well enough – especially when the board looks scary. Not making the next card cost a lot to see when I have the nuts.

      I don’t get enough value out of winning hands and as such even when I do win, it doesn't make up for a bad beat and the blinds I’m playing. Though I’m pretty tight it seems I already have a reputation for being that and it makes everyone fold when I do raise. I recently changed stakes [edit: I lowered them in order to be in line with the Bankroll Management and still have a little room to breathe.] and went to full ring so I’m playing a completely new set of people. Hopefully that helps.

      I tend not to go past the flop often enough. I can’t seem to read when someone is just trying to scare off the best hand and I fold if my ace doesn't pair on the flop or someone raises me… That often translates into me cursing myself when I see what the raiser had at showdown. People are very successful in bluffing me or taking me off the best hand. I need to be less bluffable.

      This all stems from the same thing – being timid b/c I’m not at all confident. People I work with would be shocked at the “poker me.” But the final thing is that I often don’t want to be mocked and when people are being rude and nasty at a table, I don’t play even all the hands I should play b/c I’m intimidated.

      I'm a neuroscientist with a strong background/ undergraduate degree in music -- which I taught to put myself through medical and graduate school. I supposedly should be good at math. Sadly I don’t immediately grasp the mathematics of poker and know I will need to spend a fair amount of time on that particular spot so I know how to get the value for my hands and when a risk is worth it. Right now I’m going on “the feel” which is far from scientific or correct!

      Oh – finally I play out of position far too often. Today already I have seen myself improve greatly by following the rules of the Starting Hand Chart and the BSS.
      All the things you've mentioned above are normal for someone just starting out.

      The main thing you are lacking is experience at the tables.

      To gain experience you have to play (pretty obvious) but can also improve that aspect by watching videos (you already do that), posting hands for evaluation and attending coachings here (they are free).

      I highly recommend that you take advantage of all the tools you can find on this site.


      Question 3: What does it mean to play tight aggressive?

      It means to play a small but good range of starting hands and to play them properly (“like I mean it”) both pre- and post flop. Since I will only be playing potentially good hands, I need to take the initiative and not let it go. Run the table knowing I’m only playing the best cards and in the correct position (hopefully.) This includes defending my hand when necessary as well as controlling the pot and getting the proper value from winning hands.

      That's it for now. I'll try to pick a hand to post in the proper forum from among my hands today.

      Be well & thanks again for all this great information! Ella
      Looks like your definition for a TAG is good.

      Best of luck with the next homework and at the tables.
    • BogdanPS
      BogdanPS
      Basic
      Joined: 12.05.2010 Posts: 27,588
      Originally posted by ellamcc
      Hi Bogdan,

      Nice to meet you and Happy New Year. I look forward to learning a lot here.

      I've been slowly working on lesson one/two stuff -- homework is above. I will use the little "paper" icon for my homework posts in this thread and for anything directed to you personally -- unless you prefer another way cue you in on stuff directed for you? Sorry for all the chatter cluttering the thread already.

      Happy new year to you as well.

      No worries, I will be able to follow along just fine. Considering this as your "starting blog" so you can post here whatever you wish.


      I busted out of the tourney three hours in and two places before I would've hit the cash of at least $250. I learned: don't play without a good night's sleep and also check "bubble status" before going all-in on tilt. I had plenty of chips to last another 20 or so BBs without playing any hands, so I did a stupid thing all to myself. Glad I didn't spend any of my own money getting that ticket! I will wait before playing more tourneys. I'm going to try to improve my cash game more and I need to learn a lot.

      Course info:
      I was losing money, albeit a little bit at a time, overall before I started my Beginner's Course. Since I started the lessons, applied the BRM and BBS, I am now +cash and it continues daily a little bit at a time. I'm playing 2/4 cent games on Cake. I've mostly memorized the starting hands chart and learned some lingo, and now I need to work on the post-flop stuff (ie, the actual game!)

      I did my first check raise yesterday -- also it was a semi-bluff! Very exciting for someone as timid as me. I don't even feel too guilty now that I understand it's part of the game. :D

      I am using the trial of PT4 for a couple days and already love it! Thanks for the recommendations all.

      I am currently working on implied odds and outs chart/math -- this is the hardest part for me so far, so I really want to get it under my belt.
      I'm happy to hear that you are able to apply the items from the course and have good results. Remember that variance in poker could really be misleading so don't slow down your studying just because you are winning a bit at the tables (usually the biggest mistake newcomers make).


      So, just to sum up, here's my "plan" for now:
        1) Read Beginner Course materials daily.
        2) Listen/watch a podcast or video every other day.
        3) 100 hands or one hour at the tables daily minimum, whichever comes first and depending on how I feel.
        4) After those 100 hands, take a look at them and try to understand what I can improve. (PT4 is going to help here.) I watched your video on evaluating sessions and have started doing that as of today.


      Your plan sounds really good. Once you review your sessions pick up the most interesting hands and post them either here or in the evaluation board.



      Current emphasis:
        Perfecting BSS Preflop bet/raise strategy according to Starting Hand Chart
        Working on post-flop odds/outs chart/understanding -- getting the maths to work automatically in my head quickly enough to play the hands.


      I work full time, but I have a pretty flexible schedule when I'm not with patients, and often I have free time when we don't have a full patient load or if it's a late night etc. It's nice to be the boss since it's affording me the chance to learn/play poker! So I will usually have about 12 hours per week to devote to this endeavor at the very least.

      12 hours should be plenty of time to begin with. I'd split it up 50/50 at first (between play and study) and as you get more experienced you can play around with the %s. Sometimes you only have 30 minutes free and during those times I suggest you either watch part of a video (or a short video) or review some hands. Never start a poker session when you are short on time.




      One question that I can't find the answer to regarding calling pre-flop with speculative hands:
      "As a general rule of thumb you can call raises between 4-5 BBs when at least two players have already called and when you and your opponent(s) have 100 BBs or more in your stacks."
      -- Is that all my opponents combined or each one individually since we're all pre-flop and I don't know yet who may or may not actually be in the hand post-flop?

      Again, thanks for being my coach and let me know if you think I should be doing anything differently or more of something.

      Be well -- Ella

      edited to add question and fix typing.
      We would first have to classify speculative hands.

      For example I'd treat T8s different than 65o.

      But in most cases, especially if the opponents are weaker, we can call with more speculative hands. We want to know what our plan is though. Are we calling to hit 2p+ and nothing else? Are we calling to hit a draw and if so what type of draw? How do we plan on playing said draw if we hit?

      But usually the more people in the pot the better pot odds we get. The more people in the pot the better implied odds we have (someone is more likely to hit the board when we hit).

      Ideally you want speculative hands that can get the nuts (especially if we start to become deeper than 100 BB). For example A2s vs Q7s vs 23s.

      Best of luck !
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      I got knocked out by the flu -- despite a flu shot! So I've been just flattened for days and am working on getting real life work done starting tonight and tomorrow but I hhope to be back to poker and lesson two by the end of the week or weekend at latest.

      Sorry to be in absentia -- Ellla
    • ellamcc
      ellamcc
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2012 Posts: 16
      Lots of replied with questions scattered throughout. I'd organize, but I don't have the time to be shorter or edit right now - sorry!

      Starting to feel slightly human again and played a bit of poker last night before crawling under the covers again. I'm banned from work for another 48 hours, despite our whole staff being sick, but you can't bring sick docs in to treat sicker patients. It's bad medicine.

      Today I finally posted two hands together (hopefully you'll see why I did two at once) in the hand forum here: 3Betting AA at tight tables: $0.04 NL (FR) NLHE

      I was astounded at how quickly I'd forgotten all the things that had become sort of memorized before I got so sick, so I will continue to practice week one stuff and start moving slowly into reading and doing week two, making sure I have the odds/implied odds etc down before I move on. I really have a bit of trouble doing those quickly on the spot while the clock ticks on me at the table -- any tricks for that beyond get a calculator in my brain? I doubt even that would help a lot.

      I will be able to follow along just fine. Considering this as your "starting blog" so you can post here whatever you wish.


      Thanks for that -- I am chatty. Can you tell? :D

      Remember that variance in poker could really be misleading so don't slow down your studying just because you are winning a bit at the tables (usually the biggest mistake newcomers make).


      Heh - well, I'm more like "not losing" than actually winning. Breaking even with a teensy bit of bankroll growth that painstakingly grows only a tiny bit over days of playing. That's sort of what my posted hands are about - how to play at super-tight tables and still perhaps make a little money even when not losing. No worries about me getting a big head - I feel really under water with this stuff, and am learning from the VERY beginning, so if we can keep me from having to make another deposit for as long as humanly possible, that would be awesome!

      Thanks also for the info on speculative hands. I've been playing a little with them - mostly by calling from blinds when things haven't been raised by much. Bad spot to do it? I feel a bit bashful about opening a pot with a raise myself when I'm in the best position for play on the button or cutoff with those 7/9s or A2s hands.

      By the way - do we NEVER play Ax off suit? It's not listed in the BSS starting hands chart, but that feels wrong to me sometimes - especially when it's like A/2-5 where I may find a decent str8? Am I fooling myself? I usually find that it's not the ace that helps unless there is a flush, but the kicker sometimes finds friends on the flop. Does that make any sense to you? Am I mad? I've been staying away from offsuited Ax, but I really want to play them at times.

      Oh, just as a "reminder" - I can't actually attend the coaching sessions, so I try to find a podcast/video of a coaching for the lessons in lieu of actually attending. It stinks that I can't come to the coachings, but until you all start playing on Revolution, I just can't. Is what I'm doing OK instead? If you have any coachings you think I should watch, feel free to throw the links or descriptions at me and I will hunt them down.

      Thanks again - Be well -- Ella
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